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Beat Detective In Pro Tools

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques By Julian Rodgers
Published October 2020

If your song starts with a fill, as here, then the first transient probably won't be at beat 1, bar 1. You'll need to manually identify this beat.If your song starts with a fill, as here, then the first transient probably won't be at beat 1, bar 1. You'll need to manually identify this beat.

Get to grips with Pro Tools' powerful beat manipulation tool.

Beat Detective can be thought of as a big macro of features, and though nearly all of those features are available elsewhere in Pro Tools, bringing them together into a single tool speeds things up considerably — at least, it does when you know what you're doing. Having introduced many new users to Beat Detective, though, I'm familiar with the look of disappointment in people's faces when they discover that it's not an automatic process and is far from a one‑button operation.

Going Off Grid

Most examples and online tutorials show performances which have been recorded with a click track but are just a little off. The aim there is to pull the performance into time with the grid, which is already roughly aligned with the performance tempo. But what if you've tracked a live band without using a click track? Setting up your session so the grid relates to the recording on the timeline is an essential first step to using Beat Detective. Here's how it's done.

If it isn't already, you'll need to switch your main timebase to Bars and Beats. To do this just click the disclosure triangle next to the main timebase counter in the toolbar, and the Bars and Beats ruler will be displayed and highlighted even if it wasn't already visible.

Setting up your session so the grid relates to the recording on the timeline is an essential first step to using Beat Detective.

You'll also need to show the tempo ruler. You can get to this from the ruler's drop-down menu, or from the View / Rulers menu....

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Published October 2020

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