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Pro Tools: New Markers System

Avid Pro Tools: Tips & Techniques By Julian Rodgers
Published August 2023

The three new buttons at the right of the track header allow you to add a new Track/Folder Marker, select a particular track as Target for Markers created using keyboard shortcuts, and toggle between the Marker name and its associated comment.The three new buttons at the right of the track header allow you to add a new Track/Folder Marker, select a particular track as Target for Markers created using keyboard shortcuts, and toggle between the Marker name and its associated comment.

Navigate busy sessions with ease using Pro Tools’ new Markers system.

At the beginning of June, one of the longer‑standing feature requests from the Pro Tools community was finally addressed when Markers received an extensive overhaul. These new features were previewed at the NAMM show in April and released in Pro Tools 2023.6, and now that I’ve had some hands‑on time with them, I can say that they don’t disappoint.

The headline here is that there are two new types of Marker: Track Markers and Folder Markers. The old timeline Markers, displayed on the ruler, are unchanged. Instead of adding additional Marker rulers, the new Marker types are displayed on tracks themselves, either within a new lane or on the main playlist.

Markers can now be added to any track type, but if they’re added to a Folder track, a specific Folder Track Marker is created. These show up in the Memory Locations as a separate category of Marker. The difference between Track and Folder Markers is that Folder Markers display a line that extends down across the track lanes in the same way as a Marker on the Ruler does, except that in this case the line only extends through tracks that are members of that Folder.

Pushing Buttons

There are some new UI elements to accommodate the use of these new Marker types. The most prominent of these are the three new Marker buttons in the track headers. The bottom one is an Add Marker button, denoted by a ‘+’. Click this to create a Marker. At the top is a new Target button. This serves the same purpose as the Target buttons found in plug‑in and send windows, allowing the user to direct an action towards a specific destination. In the case of Track Markers, this Target button specifies which track a Marker will be created on if the new Add Track/Folder Marker shortcut of Command+Enter (Control+Enter on PC) is used. The Enter shortcut for creating Markers on the timeline ruler is unchanged.

Using this new shortcut, a Track or Folder Marker is created at the playback cursor position. If your timeline and edit selections are linked, as they usually are, then this will also be at the insertion point, but actually it follows the playback position, not the edit selection.

The third of these new buttons toggles between showing the Marker name and its associated comment. This greatly increases the usefulness of comments, by making it possible to display the comments field that has always been available in the Memory Locations Window on the timeline in the Edit window. These new Marker controls...

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