Hi all

Do you spot what and where to record on the timeline with fake blank regions, and then replace those blank regions while recording (if your recording foley) and with your edited sfx? Or do you just spot with markers or on the paper?

I find that spotting (and create regions as marker-place) on the timeline take more time, but in the end the results are more precise and the time spent planning is well rewarded in the end.

What do you think? What's your workflow?



6 Answers 6


I use markers to cue FX, mainly because

  • they can be used as a non-linear grid
  • they are easy to conform & you dont get messy sub-regions
  • they can be dropped during playback (for instant notes or to capture human timing)
  • they can be exported to text if required

one day we will see PT support proper marker databasing....

  • I use the markers too (especially for temporary edits or spot while in play). But, as we all know, in PT markers support is pretty much basic: hopefully we'll see an overhaul in the future. I find markers: a little confusing (when I have a lots of different kind of markers in a session), limited (64 character or something like that? in 2011? why?), it's impossibile to export and import only some of them. Hopefully will see some improvements soon! Dec 7, 2011 at 14:05
  • re the grid thing, incase anyone hasn't used it/noticed it, if you look in the Grid pop up (beside the transport) where u choose Bars/Beats or TC etc the lats option is Clips/Markers - if you choose it when you drag regions they will snap to the nearest marker or clip, super handy if you crawl through & drop markers on every sync point in a scene...
    – user49
    Dec 7, 2011 at 22:04

I do spot with blank regions, though I don't eschew markers. Here's the upside to groups:

  • edicue We use edicue for our ADR, foley and sfx cueing, and the workflow requires region groups. Edicue is great for spotting other things as well though, and has department note functionality built in. The program takes the region groups and outputs nice pretty pdf reports with timecodes, or can spit out a tab delimited text file. This solves the databasing and transcription issues that Tim has to deal with, though it is a third party solution.
  • Multiple tracks. I can spot different tracks for different departments, so foley, sound design, and dialogue can all get their own tracks with notes. This would be true even without edicue.
  • Color Coding. A common footstep foley workflow for me is to spot the feet per character and surface with region groups, then change the color of the groups away from the default color of the tracks (usually per surface). As we cut the foot foley, we drag the recorded file down to the character track and set it on top of the empty group, overwriting it. In this way we can tell at a glance what's been recorded and what's left to do.
  • in and out points. Markers only give you one point of reference at a time. region groups give you ins and outs.
  • Hi @Rene, I use region groups and MIDI regions pretty much as you wrote. I don't need edicue, but often I import the exported text file in a spreadsheet to print or for visual reference. Do you record over the group regions, or keep those spotting on separated tracks?? Dec 7, 2011 at 14:09
  • I record to a cut track and then move the takes down to the tracks with region groups as we go along. this keeps the spotted tracks clean until we decide a take is good to go.
    – Rene
    Dec 7, 2011 at 15:18

"i'm afraid i could confuse a low amplitude region with an empty one"

Hiya, if you delete the "Audio Files" folder after spotting all offline clips will be greyed out. The recordings have a colour, so you will easily be able to tell what's a spot clip and what's a recording.


I don't spot with blank regions, simply because i find it a hassle.
Furthermore i'm afraid i could confuse a low amplitude region with an empty one.

What i do create are midi region's to keep track of specific spots that either: need more design attention. Or some other practical reason for looking at, for example: a region could be named "temp visuals" to remind myself that not everything needs to be sync in that timeframe.

  • Yeah, I can understand that. I use MIDI regions a lot, to remind me things around the session (ADR needed, something missing, notes, etc). Did you tried to change the color of all the blank regions to a particular and unique one? Much easier to spot. Actually I use region groups, not real regions FWIW. Dec 6, 2011 at 17:46

I use clip groups on audio tracks. In clip groups you can make comments, and they can serve you as visual cues like where to record.

  • Yes, I use region (ops clip!) groups as well on audio tracks Dec 7, 2011 at 13:56

I keep Midi for tracking sfx with Kontakt sampler ;O) and spot with markers.

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