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Working with Markers

All of the Apple Pro Applications include markers that can be used to mark specific frames or points in time. In Soundtrack Pro, markers are very useful tools for making notes in the Timeline, as well as for marking specific points for music changes, sound effects, or dialog cues. You can mark a frame or beat, depending on the time format that you are using as a reference.

Soundtrack has four different types of markers that come in a unique color to make it easy to distinguish from the others. Time markers (green) mark a specific timecode frame and use timecode as a reference. Beat markers (purple) mark a specific beat and use the time in beats as a reference. Scoring makers (orange) are embedded in a video clip in Final Cut Pro and reference the video clip’s timecode. You will work more with scoring markers in Lesson 5, “Designing Sound in the Waveform Editor.” Finally, End of Song (red) markers can be added to the Timeline to mark the end of the project.

During the next series of exercises, you’ll work with the Time, Beat, and End of Song markers to further organize your sound design ideas in the Timeline.

Adding Markers to the Timeline

To add a marker, all you have to do is move the playhead to the desired position and use one of the following methods:

  • Choose Mark > Add Time Marker, Add Beat Marker, or Set End of Song.
  • Press Option-B (for Beat marker) or -M (for Time marker).
  • Click the Add Time Marker or Add Beat Marker button in the Toolbar.

Let’s use all three methods to set some markers that you’ll need later on. This is also a good time to practice your Timeline navigation skills.

  1. Click the Time-based format button, if the project is not already in that format.
  2. Choose Window > Big Video over M&E to change the layout.
  3. Play from the beginning and pause just before the woman sits up in her bed (00:00:05:11).
  4. Click the Add Time Marker button on the toolbar.

    A green time marker appears in the Timeline at the playhead position.

  5. Find the frame just before the latches on the door drop and the door swings open (00:00:07:16). Click the Add Time Marker button on the toolbar to add the marker at the playhead position.

    The remaining markers don’t require the larger Video tab, so you can return to the Standard layout for the remaining markers.

  6. Press F1 to change the window layout.
  7. Find the first frame where you see the vampire (00:00:12:18) and press M to set a time marker.

    Next, you’ll mark the location for the music to start, so you’ll use a beat marker.

  8. Click the Beats-based format button to change the project’s time format.
  9. Move the playhead to the 3rd beat of the 8th measure (8.3.000), and click the Add Beat Marker button or press Option-B.

    A purple beat marker appears at the playhead position. Since that is the only beat marker you’ll be setting in this lesson, it’s a good idea to change the project’s time format back to time-based.

Naming Markers

Once you’ve added a marker, you can open the Marker Edit dialog and name the marker or move its position on the Timeline. You can also move a marker by dragging it to a different point in time. In this exercise, you’ll name the markers that you’ve added to the project so far.

  1. Double-click the head of the purple beat marker.

    A dialog box opens with information about the marker. Notice that the Time field has the beats-based position of the marker (8.3.0).

  2. Type start music in the Marker Name field and click OK.

    The marker’s name appears above the Time ruler.

  3. Double-click the head of the first time marker (green) in the Timeline and name it sits up.
  4. Name the second time marker door opens and the third marker vampire presence.
  5. Move the playhead to 50;00 in the Timeline.

    This is where you’ll mark the end of the scene.

  6. Choose Mark > Set End of Song.

    A red end of song marker appears in the Timeline.

Project Practice

It’s your turn to add and edit the last marker in this exercise. Move to frame 16;15, set a time marker, and name the marker breathe.

Moving Between Markers

Now that you have set all six markers, you can easily move between them in the Timeline.

To move between markers, press Shift-M to move forward in the Timeline to the next marker and Option-M to move back to the previous marker. You can also go to the Mark menu and choose Go to Next Marker or Go to Previous Marker.

  1. Press Return to move the playhead to the beginning.
  2. Press Shift-M to move the playhead to the first marker in the Timeline.
  3. Press Shift-M four times to move the playhead to the last time marker (breathe) in the Timeline.
  4. Press Option-M to move the playhead back to the previous marker.

    Moving between markers with Shift-M or Option-M does not include the red end of song marker.

  5. Press the End key or click the Go to End button on the transport controls at the bottom of the Project window.

    The playhead moves to the red end of song marker.

Catching Up

If you didn’t complete all of the steps in the previous exercises for this lesson, feel free to close your current project and open the project 3-2 Add Reality to catch up.

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