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Using the Cycle Mode

The Cycle mode causes a specified section of your song to repeat over and over again. The Cycle mode is particularly useful for practicing MIDI Regions before recording, editing song events as you listen to them, or driving your roommates and neighbors crazy with a continuously looping beat.

But seriously, the Cycle mode lets you focus on a small section of your song as you practice or home in on exact edits—and this makes it an extremely important editing technique. For example, if you're using the Hyper Editor to program a MIDI drum Region, the Cycle mode lets you hear that Region over and over while you arrange its drum hits.

The Cycle mode uses the Transport's Cycle button in conjunction with the Locator display to set the left and right locators for the cycle. (The Locator display is found in both the Transport window and Arrange window Transport panel.)

The Cycle mode is a feature you'll use often while working through this book's lessons, so pay particular attention to the exercises in this section!

Setting the Locators

Let's change the locators to create a new cycle Region in your song.

  1. In the Transport window, click the Cycle button to engage the Cycle mode.
  2. In the Transport's Locator display, double-click the left locator, type 5, and press Return.

    This sets the first locator to 5 1 1 1, which defines the beginning of your cycle.

  3. In the Transport's Locator display, double-click the right locator, type 9, and press Return.

    This sets the cycle's end locator to 9 1 1 1. You may have noticed that changing the locator positions changed the length of the highlighted section in the top of the Bar Ruler. This highlighted section shows you the length of the cycle, and it's called the cycle Region.

  4. Press the spacebar to play your song.

    The SPL begins playing from the left locator. When it hits the right locator, it jumps back to the left locator and begins playing the cycle again. The transition between locators is seamless, and you hear a continuous loop.

  5. In the Transport, click Stop to halt playback.
  6. Click the Transport's Cycle button to turn the Cycle mode off. (The slash [/] key also toggles the Cycle mode on and off.)

Defining a Cycle Region from the Bar Ruler

In the last exercise you saw that the cycle Region is displayed as a highlight in the top portion of the Bar Ruler. Guess what? You don't have to use the left and right locators to set the Cycle mode's boundaries. A much quicker technique is just to drag a cycle Region right into the top portion of the Bar Ruler!

  1. In the Bar Ruler's top portion (above the dividing line) click and hold at bar 1, and drag to the right until you hit bar 5.

    As you drag out this cycle Region, a few things happen. First, the pointer turns into a Finger tool. Second, a help tag opens to display the start point of the cycle Region, as well as its duration.

  2. Press the spacebar to play the cycle Region.

    The song cycles between bar 1 and bar 5.

  3. Click and hold the center of the cycle Region, and drag right.

    The pointer turns into the Move tool, and the entire four-bar cycle Region drags right.

  4. Release the cycle Region when it covers the four bars from bar 5 to bar 9.

    You can adjust the boundaries of a cycle Region by grabbing its lower left or lower right corner and dragging. But note that you must drag the lower portion of the corner, because dragging anywhere else moves the entire cycle Region, not just the Region's boundary.

  5. Click the lower left corner of the cycle Region, and drag left until you get to bar 1.
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