DigiDesign Pro Tools 7.3

Objective: Use Pro Tools’ new features for easy importing, stretching, and looping of audio files.Background: Starting with version 7, all Pro Tools editions made it easier to import loops into a session. However, version 7.3 adds some new tools that can improve your workflow by making it easier to adjust the loop to the project’s tempo, as well as extend it for as many iterations as desired.

1. With an open session in Pro Tools, drag-and-drop a loop (or any audio file in WAV, MP3, or AIFF format) into your session from Pro Tools’ Workspace window (the project tempo doesn’t matter). You needn’t create a new audio track, as it will be created automatically upon dropping the file in your session.

2. If you did not import the loop’s tempo, it will likely need some editing to match the project’s tempo. You can check this visually by seeing whether the loop ends on a measure boundary (in this screenshot, the loop is shorter than a measure, so it’s faster than the project tempo).

3. Click on the “Time Compression/Expansion Trim Tool” and select the TCE (Time Compression/Expand) tool.

4. Position the mouse over the loop’s right edge. When the pointer changes to the TCE tool, expand (or shrink, if the loop is slower than the project tempo) the loop by dragging the edge to the nearest full bar.

5. Once the loop is in time, to repeat the loop you can either “duplicate it” with standard Pro Tools shortcuts, or use the new “Loop into the TCE Trim” tool.

6. After selecting the “Loop” tool, position the mouse over the right edge of the audio file until the “loop” pointer appears, then extend the loop as desired across your project. You will see the loop points marked within the wave file (circled in red for clarity).

- You can import the first loop’s tempo so other loops can follow it without needing to use the time compress/expand feature.

- You can import loops and audio files straight from the desktop/finder into the session.

- In version 7.3, you do not need to stop the audio engine to import new audio material into the session.