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.
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 file or all the files 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:
- Create a copy of the track you want to consolidate. See "Create a Copy of a Track" at the end of this page to learn how to create a copy of a track. Retain the original track in case you want to make editing or other changes to it at some point in the future. You can "Hide and Make the Track Inactive". Right click on the track name (the scribble strip) then choose Hide and Make Inactive.
- Highlight the entire track you want to consolidate (the copy you made). To highlight all the cut/separate clips:
- 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.
- 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 tracks clip you want to consolidate. To make a selection within a tracks clip:
- Left click in the upper half of a tracks clip where you want your selection to begin.
- Hold down your left mouse button and drag your mouse cursor in the direction you want to make your selection.
- Release your mouse button when you've reached the end of the section you want to select.
- Press and hold down the Alt + SHIFT + 3 keys. The track will begin the consolidation process immediately.
Consolidate all the tracks in a session:
- 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.
- Highlight all of the files in the session. To highlight all the files in a session:
- Left click to the right of (not in the track clip) 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 to the left until you reach the beginning of the track or tracks you want to consolidate.
- The tracks will turn a slightly darker shade of grey after they have been selected. See the image below.
- Press and hold down the Alt + SHIFT + 3 keys. The tracks will begin the consolidation process immediately.