Pro Tools – Shortcut of the Week (2009.06.15)

Pro Tools is a strong multi-track editing program, but unless you’re willing to drop some change on a custom keyboard, it can be tough to learn all the keyboard shortcuts.  I’m featuring one a week in an attempt to highlight the tricks I find most useful.

Shuffle Mode:  Option+1

Slip Mode:  Option+2

Spot Mode:  Option+3

Grid Mode:  Option+4

Hot keys to flip between the four edit modes of Pro Tools.  I find that it’s rare I’m flipping between modes in a given session - usually the structure of the session dictates which edit mode I use.  Regardless, when I go to get started I’m almost always in the wrong edit mode.

Shuffle mode is useful for “shuffling” the order of regions in a file.  The best example would be rearranging the order of bars in a track, or the structure of the song.  When you drag a region it will latch to the beginning/end of whatever region you drop it near, and everything will slide to fill the gap it left behind.

Slip mode is completely free-form.  If I’m working in a session that was recorded without a click or bar:beat references, editing between takes, this is the only way to work.  Moving one region has no impact on the location of other regions - anything you cover is covered, and holes may be left in the playlist.

Spot mode allows you to specify the precise location of a region through the use of a dialog box (as opposed to using the mouse).

Grid mode latches the region you’re moving to the bar:beat references of the session.  This is primarily useful if you have a session that is well marked, and that was recorded to the grid or that has had a grid built around the recording.