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Pro Tools: Losing Time

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
By Julian Rodgers

We look at the different options for adding and removing time at the start of a Pro Tools session.

Changing the time at which a song starts on the Pro Tools timeline is something I find I have to do surprisingly often, whether I'm doing the equivalent of splicing in some extra tape at the beginning of a song to accommodate the unnecessarily long intro I've just decided to add, or removing it when I later realise it isn't 1973 any more. If you've ever found yourself selecting all the clips on the timeline and dragging them earlier or later, you probably need to familiarise yourself with the Time Operations window.

The Cut Time operation offers different options depending on whether the main timebase is tick-based (left) or absolute (right).The Cut Time operation offers different options depending on whether the main timebase is tick-based (left) or absolute (right).The obvious way to move an entire song is to engage the All group, which is created by default in every Pro Tools session, and drag everything to where you want it. However, this isn't usually the best approach. Apart from the risk of failing to select everything and thus changing the time relationship between the clips, the other problem is that although audio and MIDI will move, any data on the timeline relating to those clips won't. Markers, tempo and meter changes, and even key and chord data, won't follow clips when they are moved. For this reason, rather than changing the clips' position on the timeline, it's better to change the timeline's relationship to the clips.

Time Travel

To take control of the rulers and edit them directly you need the aforementioned Time Operations window, found in the Event menu or by hitting Alt + numeric 1. This will open the Time Operations window at the last-used page, but the different pages can be cycled...

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Published July 2019