In this episode, I show some simple, but extremely powerful editing and arranging functions in Pro Tools. Editing is one of the strengths that initially drew me to Pro Tools, aside from the amazing audio quality. For me, being able to edit quickly and efficiently really maximizes my creative ability. To be honest, I consider editing and looping to be a huge part of the creative process, especially for electronic music.
Mastering the Main Editing Commands in Pro Tools
As a quick review, here are a few of the main editing commands you may want to learn before jumping into the practice session, or a session of your own. The Pro Tools Shortcuts Guide – Version 11.2 (PDF) can easily be accessed from the Pro Tools ‘Help’ menu.
Horizontal Edit Window
Zoom In and Out
Mac: Command + [ or ]
Windows: Cntrl + [ or ]
With single key command area top right of the Edit Window ‘az’ clicked:
r or t
select the clip you’d like to duplicate (works best in grid mode)
Mac: Command + D
Windows: Control + D
select the clip you’d like to loop
Mac: Option + Command + L
Windows: Ctrl + Alt + L
select the clips (MIDI and/or audio) you’d like to group together
Mac: Option + Command + G
Windows: Ctrl + Alt + G
select the group that you’d like to ungroup
Mac: Option + Command + U
Windows: Ctrl + Alt + U
See the link below for a downloadable copy of the project. I’ve arranged the session into three sections, divided by Memory Locations or Markers (hit ‘Enter’ on the numeric keypad to quickly add a Memory Location – The ‘Memory Locations’ window can be opened from the ‘Windows’ menu). Here’s what each one is.
Marker 1: all parts separated, as before. No grouping or clip looping
Marker 2: drums are grouped together and bassline and synth parts are grouped together
Marker 3: everything grouped together (if you ungroup, you’ll have 2 separate groups like marker 2)
Marker 4: everything grouped and clip looped
Marker 5: A basic arrangement featuring all editing functions
Now you have some editing and arrangement chops, download a copy of the session and do some looping, deleting, copying and pasting for yourself. Also try and add some of your own tracks and take it in your own direction. You’ll be surprised how fast you can build a really complex and exciting track.
Don’t think we’re quite finished yet. There’ so much more to cover right here on Master the Art of Music Creation. Keep coming back and with your help, we’ll build this track into a masterpiece. Till next time!
Download the Session File
It does not contain audio, this episode is MIDI only. It requires the Maschine 2.0 AAX plug-in but you can substitute any other drum plug-in including Xpand!2 and reassign the MIDI channel outputs in the red drum tracks to Xpand!2 samples.