Friday, August 28, 2020

Consolidate a Track, Clips or Session - Pro Tools

By TOM BOWSER

NOTE: Add a "fade in/out" to every clip within every track you intend to consolidate. See my tips that cover the basics of adding fades within a track.

Why Consolidate?

Consolidating a track joins all of the "cut" sections (separate clips) of a track and creates one continuous track. Why would you want to consolidate a track or all the tracks in a session?

Consolidating a track or all the tracks in a session makes it:

  • Easier to transfer the file or files to someone using a different brand DAW
  • Impossible to accidently move individual cut clips from their original position on the time line.

How to consolidate a track:

  1. Create a copy of the track you want to consolidate. Retain the original track in case you want to make editing or other changes to it at some point in the future. Make the original track inactive. Right click on the track name then left click on "Make Inactive".
  2. Select ALL the cut/separate clips on the track:
    • Left click in the top half of the track. (The mouse cursor should look similar to a capital I)
    • Press and hold down the Ctrl key then press the letter a.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt + SHIFT + 3 keys. The track will begin the consolidation process immediately. You can also left click on Edit then Consolidate Clip in the Pro Tools menu bar to begin the consolidation process.

Consolidate a Section Within a Track:

You will need to "select" the section of the track/clip/s you want to consolidate.

To make a selection within a track/clip/s:

  1. Left click in the upper half of the track where you want your selection to begin.
  2. Hold down your left mouse button and drag your mouse cursor in the direction you want to make your selection.
  3. Release your mouse button when you've finished your selection.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt + SHIFT + 3 keys. The track will begin the consolidation process immediately.

Consolidate all the tracks in a session:

  1. Save a copy of the session you want to consolidate. This will be your backup in case something goes wrong with the consolidation process or you are not satisfied with the results. To save a copy:
    • Left click on File then Save Copy In… on the Pro Tools menu bar.
    • Left click on the "OK" button to save using the default settings.
    • Left click on the "Save" button to save a copy of the session into the default session directory/folder.
  1. Highlight all the tracks in the session within the Edit window. To highlight all the tracks in a session:
    • Left click to the right of the audio portion of the top track of all the tracks you want to consolidate. (see the image below)
    • Hold down your left mouse button and drag downward slightly past the bottom of the last track you want to consolidate.
    • Continue to hold down your left mouse button and drag left slighly past the beginning of the audio portion of the track or tracks you want to consolidate.

The tracks will turn a slightly darker after they have been selected. See the image below.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt + SHIFT + 3 keys. The tracks will begin the consolidation process immediately.