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Exercise 7: Use the TCE Trimmer

Skipping the Pencil and Scrubber tools for now, the last tool we use in this chapter is the Trimmer with its Time Compression/Expansion function. For this exercise, we’re going to import the shaker loop from Chapter 2. This time we’ll change the tempo using the Trimmer in TCE mode.

  1. Import a loop. In the File menu, under Import, choose Audio to Track. You’ll see the familiar Import Audio window. Find your Chapter 2 Loops folder, and select only the shaker files. If you hold down the Shift key, you can select both files. Choose Copy, and then click Done. This process should be getting familiar by now.

    The next window allows you to select the Audio Files folder, where you’ll copy these files. Then click Choose.
  2. Rename the track. Double-click the track name Shaker100, and rename it to “Shaker90” (since we changed our tempo to 90 beats per minute in Exercise 6).

  3. Activate the TCE Trimmer in Grid mode. Select Grid mode for the Edit window. Then click and hold on the Trimmer and choose the second option, TCE (Time Compression/Expansion).

    Your Trimmer now has a clock on its icon.
    • TCE Trim Tool: Reference Guide, p. 255

  4. Change the loop’s tempo. With the Trimmer, click and hold the end of the Shaker loop’s audio region and pull it to the left, until the Event Edit area shows you a Start time of 1/1/000 and an End time of 2/1/000, with a length of one even bar. Release the mouse button. You will very briefly see a window telling you that Pro Tools is changing the time of this audio region.

  5. Rename the region. To rename a region, make sure it’s highlighted. (If it isn’t highlighted, the easiest way to get this done is by choosing the Grabber and then clicking on the region.) I typically use 170fig_01.jpg+Shift+R/Ctrl+Shift+R to rename the region. The Rename command is found in the Regions menu.

    As I’ve mentioned often, it’s important to get into good habits while you’re learning. For instance, I always like to know exactly what my audio regions are when I look at them on the screen. Notice that Pro Tools has renamed our region Shaker100-TCEX_02.L. To Pro Tools, this makes sense—the region was previously called Shaker100, and it has now been time-compressed (TCEX) and become edit #2 of the Shaker region. However, we really don’t need to see all this information, so let’s rename this region “Shaker90.”
  6. Repeat the Shaker. With the Shaker90 region highlighted, choose Option+R/Ctrl+R and specify seven repeats. You now have eight bars of each track.

  7. Save. I probably don’t even have to tell you this, by now.

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