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Having been an Adobe Audition/CEP user for almost ten years recording my own music recently I've come into the problem of using Protools for my uni work and also some short films I've been working on.

I had seen a classmate who was a protools user "consolidate" some of the edits we were doing in class work. I'd seen this before in a post production studio I did IT for, but had never needed to use it myself.

So the short films I've been working on had edits all over the place and not enough time to complete in the studio. I consolidated each track to the length of the film and as some of you may guess, I got home and found I had nothing I could work with.

Next day I had some more time to read help files, so I consolidated and then saved the region as a new file. Although I haven't used these files yet, they are all the same size so I would assume should all align on my program.

So back to the main topic, Why do you consolidate in protools?

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6 Answers

In addition to these suggestions, I would recommend checking out region groups in Pro Tools. The effect is the same as consolidating the edits, but the group is temporary can be undone whenever needed —— a paper clip instead of a stapler, if you will. Check out this video for details:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcSJQwW68LM

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I totally forgot about that one. Wicked. –  g.a.harry Sep 9 '11 at 10:28
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Consolidate is really useful for when you have fixed the sync for a section of a track and just want to group it into a single region. Some people do it for entire tracks, I like doing it for phrases if I am doing dialogue editing. You might have had to comp a section of dialogue together from different takes and this is just a nice clean way of bringing it all together into a new region.

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Another helpful tidbit... I tend to duplicate (create new) playlist before consolidating. This way I can always go back to a previous version.

I do this before preforming specific Audiosuite tasks as well, like vocal tuning.

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It's not uncommon to do your edits then print the mix to a new track. When time is really tight this makes a lot of sense since Pro Tools only does real-time bounce for now. If there's one thing wrong you can jump back to it, fix it in the edit, then print again just that portion of the mix. You do end up with a fractured but flattened mix then you consolidate those regions and export the resulting region to a new file. There's information in the Gearslutz post production forum regarding this. Since learning about it I haven't done a single bounce down in Pro Tools. Hope this helps..

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If I understand correctly what you mean by 'fractured', just select destructive record and punch in to that section - it should keep the region (and file) whole. Of course, before you do this, shift option -3 that region to make a safety file. –  AdamAxbey Dec 18 '10 at 14:05
    
i may have meant "fragmented" ; –  georgi Dec 18 '10 at 14:53
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I find that if you have a large amounts of edits, fades, what-not, if you try to continue to edit these regions, some aspects of the edits may not be desirable. For example, I had a track that required me to insert crossfades between pasted regions to eliminate that annoying and very audible 'blip' that you get. I then had to copy and paste part of the region, with just a portion of the crossfade in the copy, and upon pasting it I found that the newly pasted region ended with a fade-out as opposed to a crossfade. I immediately hit undo, consolidate the track, and tried my copy and paste again... and it worked as I had initially anticipated. Although upon saying this, I will also add that you must be absolutly certain that the rest of the track is okay before consolidating. If you're missing a crossfade, and you consolidate and save, you may be left with a permanent 'blip' in your track.

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I consolidate often to apply time compress/expand in order to meet lenght requirements on TV ads. Mostly on VO, some times on music beds. In any case I always create an empty track and copy a muted version of the unconsolidated regions just in case. About half the times I go back and retweak as video changes happens. I dont mix music tho. I also consolidate when exporting unprocessed stems ( VO-SFX-MUS syncd with a 2pop) ALWAYS keep a muted copy / alternate playlist, you'll be glad you did.

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