Join Rick Allen Lippert for an in-depth discussion in this video Working in the Timeline, part of Soundtrack Pro 3 Essential Training.
In this lesson, we'll learn how to move around in the timeline. Let's start by closing some of these panes that we don't really need. Remember the keystroke to close the left pane? It is Ctrl+A. The keystroke to close the lower pane, Ctrl+S, and the keystroke to close the right pane, Ctrl+D. So now we're looking at just the Project pane, and this gives us a nice, big workspace. So we have the scrollbar on the right and down here at the bottom of the interface, we have what's called the Zoom slider where we can click in the middle of it and move it left to right, click on the end and zoom out and then zoom in.
It corresponds to this slider over here. This is not very precise and probably not the easiest way to do this. I prefer to use the Command+ Equal, actually, and Command+Minus. Let me zoom in a little bit by pressing Command+Equal. You can zoom in and now this Zoom slider bar gets a lot smaller. Remember you can always snap to a full view by pressing Shift+Z. And now we see the whole project right there snapped to our display. To play the project, we have these various transport controls down here, the Play and Pause.
We have buttons on either side of the Play button to move the playhead one frame left or right as you desire. Those also correspond to the left and right keyboard arrows that will move left and right one frame at a time. Two buttons to the left of the Play button is the Go to the beginning, clicking on that, and we go to the beginning of the project. Then we also have to Go to end button, clicking on that, and the playhead snaps to the end. We have the Record button for when you're ready to do your own recording, voiceover, or Foley work.
And then we have the Cycle button for when you want to create a small cycle region so that you can listen to your audio over and over and over again as you're making minor adjustments. Of course, we also have the Spacebar, the favorite way of starting and stopping the project. Let me put the playhead right there and press the Spacebar. (Male Speaker: With people and cultures...) And Spacebar again to stop, very, very handy. One thing that Soundtrack Pro shares with Final Cut Pro is the use of the J, K, L keys.
J, K, L, very handy when it comes to playing forward and reverse. The K key, of course, is the Stop button, but the L key plays it forward, pressing the L key. (Male Speaker: ...as unpredictable...) Pressing the K key to stop. To play in reverse, press the J key. (Audio playing. Indecipherable.) And it plays in reverse. To go forward one frame at a time, hold down the K key and tap the L key and you'll go one frame at a time. Again, this corresponds to the little button down here next to the Play button and also to your left and right arrows.
To go in slow motion, hold down the K key and hold down the L key, and you'll play in slow motion, and that works in reverse as well. The left and right arrows as I mentioned move one frame at a time when you press them. If you hold down the Option key and press the left or right arrow, you'll go one grid line at a time. The grid line units are determined by your ruler units and your current zoom level. We'll look at setting those ruler units in just a moment. Going back to the keyboard arrows, the up and down arrows.
Going the up direction takes you to the previous edit. The down arrow takes you to the next edit. Now we're looking at the smallest track height we have available to us. We have the Track Height buttons over here where you can click on them and make the track heights bigger, just like in Final Cut Pro. Or we have keystrokes, unlike Final Cut Pro where you have Shift+T to cycle through the various track heights. Here, each track height has its own keystroke and it is Command, and then, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Command+6 is the current view we have, holding down Command and pressing 7 takes it to the next size up, Command+8, the next size up, and Command+9, the next size up, so that you can really see what you're working on. Unlike the Final Cut Pro where you have to cycle all the way through, here, because each track height has its own dedicated keystroke, you can go from one extreme to the other. So here we're at the tallest track height. By pressing Command+6, we can just go to the smallest track height. At the top of the timeline is what's called the Global Timeline view.
Now it's all shadowed at this point, because we're snapped to the entire timeline project here. By zooming in, you see the Global Timeline view shadow here get a little smaller. This is indicating to us what we're looking at within the timeline. You can click on this and slide it and move to a different part of the timeline. The playhead in the Global Timeline view always corresponds to where it is on the timeline. So if you're a little lost, you can always find your playhead very easily.
Moving the playhead in the timeline is very easy, very similar to Final Cut Pro. You don't have to click on the playhead and drag it. You can just click wherever you want to, and move it to wherever you want to. You can click on it, of course, and drag it, but you can also create a cycle region. You see this very thin line between the timecode and beats number? This also determines where you should put your Selection tool, whether you want to drag your playhead or create a cycle region. Just by clicking on the timeline ruler below this little line and dragging either left or right, you will create a cycle region.
Then when you hit the Spacebar to play. (Audio playing. Indecipherable.) It will just keep playing until you either stop or disable the Cycle button. To resize your cycle region, click on one of the markers either the in or out, and then you can just easily resize it, just like you would in Final Cut Pro. You could move the cycle region. Make sure that you keep your Selection tool below the little faint grid line, click on it and then you could just drag it either left or right, and move your cycle region as you need. To get rid of the cycle region, the same keystroke that you would use in Final Cut Pro, Option+X, gets rid of the cycle region.
The more you work with the Soundtrack Pro, the more comfortable you'll become in the timeline interface and with the keyboard shortcuts.
- Editing an audio file with a non-destructive workflow
- Analyzing and fixing problems in a mix with processing tools
- Setting multitrack preferences for a stable import
- Recording multiple takes and using the Multitake Editor to create a final file
- Creating a usable song from the provided music loops
- Mastering multitrack projects and exporting a master mix
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: In the “Introducing the editor” video, the instructor says to Ctrl-click on a sound clip in the Final Cut Pro timeline and select Send to > Soundtrack Pro Audio File Project. On my screen, the option is grayed out and cannot be selected. How can this be fixed?
A: It is possible that a problem occurred when the software was installed. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the Final Cut studio could fix the problem.