Skip to content

Pro Tools tip #1

I plan to start this as a new mini series with small tips that may help you gain a better or faster workflow. Don’t expect huge essays here, only some practical advice for our daily work. Here’s the first one.

Elastic audio

Probably we all use it to some extent, whether in music or post production. Pitching, correcting, lengthen or squeeze something. Sometimes though, when we have to deal with a long clip it takes quite long to get the clip analysed so we can manipulate it. For these kind of things I always use work tracks. You don’t have to make them prior anything, it is sufficient to create them on the spot.

Let’s say we have a really long file (2hours long for example), but we only need some elastic manipulation on a 10 seconds long part. If we just simply activate elastic audio on the track, it would take quite long before we could actually do what we planned. Instead of this, there’s a faster method.

  • Duplicate the track (option+shift+d) and uncheck active playlist and alternate playlist in the box. This way, all your automation, sends, routing, etc. stays the same but you won’t have any clips on the new track.

duplicate track window

  • Select the area you want to manipulate with elastic audio and separate the clip there (hit b for separation). Then cmd+x to cut the selected part, hit semicolon to go down one track and cmd+v to paste the clip snippet. Now comes the important part, hit option+shift+3 for consolidate the clip. This is important because it creates a brand new file!
  • Now it’s time to switch on elastic audio on the new track so Pro Tools will only analyse that small clip instead of the 2hour long clip.

elastic window

  • Do whatever you wanted to do, done.

This might seem a bit complicated at first but in reality it takes only a few seconds. And as usual, there’s some added benefits:

  • the elastic audio analysation process going to be much faster
  • you’ve got a full untouched backup just a track above
  • whenever you change something in elastic audio, you’ll get the results much faster because Pro Tools will only work on that short clip instead of the original long one