Chances are you like saving time and you like it when tools make my work easier, right? So if you don’t already do so, you should be using the Track Name Pop-Up Menus that were added to Pro Tools 7.3. It’s a good, sensible feature that will save you a ton of time and energy.
Why this is cool
There’s certain track functions that you do more often than others. For example, several times during each session you’ve got a track that you want to Make Inactive and then Hide. It used to take three or four moves and clicks to do this. But now, this process is reduced to one step:
- Select the Hide and Make Inactive command from the Track Names Pop-Up Menu.
It saves you about four or five seconds each time you do it this way. And it works in reverse! Right (or Control) – Click on the track name in the Tracks (Show/Hide) menu and choose the Show and Make Active command. Nice.
How to use the Pop-up Menu
If you’ve ever used the right-click feature on your mouse then you already know everything you need to know.
Just Right-Click (Control-Click) on the name of a track in either the Mix Window, Edit Window or the Tracks list and depending on the track type, you’ll be presented with a menu containing the following options:
On Audio Tracks
- Hide: Hides (or Shows) the track(s). Keep in mind – if you have more than one track selected, the command will affect all of them.
- Hide and Make Inactive: My personal favorite. Makes the track(s) Inactive and Hides them from view.
- Make Inactive: Makes the track(s) inactive and leaves them displayed.
- Scroll into View: I’ve always found this useful. If you’ve got a session with lots of tracks it can sometimes be difficult to locate a specific track in either the edit or mixer window. In cases where you can see the track in at least one of the windows, you can use the Scroll into View command and Pro Tools will automatically scroll the selected track to the top of the Edit Window and the far left of the Mixer Window. Before Pro Tools 7.3 added the Track Name Pop-Up Menu, Scroll into View was the only command that happened when you (Right, or) Control-Clicked on the Track Name.
- Rename… lets you rename the track
- Duplicate…duplicates the track
- Split Into Mono: converts single stereo tracks into two mono tracks
- Delete… there hasn’t been a keyboard shortcut for the Delete Track thus far, so this little command being here is cooler than you might think
On MIDI Tracks
- Send to Sibelius…: this really only works if you happen to have Sibelius or G7 installed on your computer. If you do, Pro Tools will automatically export the MIDI data from the selected track(s) to Sibelius or G7.
- Export MIDI…: This will call up the Export MIDI dialog so you can export the MIDI data from your track(s) as a Standard MIDI File (.mid).
Instrument Tracks will present you with all of the options from both Audio and MIDI track pop-up menus.
Pro Tools HD Users
Pro Tools software (not LE or M-powered) provides three additional commands in the Track Name pop-up menu:
- Coalesce VCA Master Automation: Coalesces the VCA automation to the
slave tracks of the VCA.
- Coalesce Trim Automation: Coalesces Trim automation on the track
(or selected tracks if any).
- Clear Trim Automation: Clears Trim automation on the track (or
selected tracks if any).
There you go! Another way to speed up your workflow, get more music done and spend less time fiddling about with menus.
Peace to you.