Snap items to the grid
The Tracks area includes a grid that helps you align regions, automation points, and other items with the time divisions in the ruler. When you perform any of the following actions, the items move according to the current Snap value:
Moving and resizing regions
Moving the playhead
Adjusting the cycle region
Dragging loops to the Tracks area
Moving automation points in automation curves
When Show Advanced Tools is selected in the Advanced preferences pane, the Snap pop-up menu is available in the Tracks area and in time-based editors, including the Piano Roll Editor and Audio Track Editor. Using the Snap pop-up menu, you can set the Snap value and perform other functions.
By default, the Snap function is relative. When you move or edit an item, it retains the same relative distance from its original grid position. For example, if a region is placed at position 220.127.116.11, and you move the region two beats forward (with the Snap value set to Bar), the region snaps to position 18.104.22.168, not 22.214.171.124 (or 126.96.36.199). You can move items so that they align with the nearest grid value by choosing Snap to Absolute Value from the Snap pop-up menu.
You can show the grid in the Tracks area, to help you visualize the positions of items in the Tracks area relative to the Snap value.
Set the Snap value for the Tracks area
Choose a value from the Snap pop-up menu in the Tracks area menu bar:
Smart: Edit operations snap to the nearest bar, beat, sub-beat, and so on, depending on the current ruler division value and the zoom level.
Bar: Edit operations snap to the nearest bar.
Beat: Edit operations snap to the nearest beat in a bar.
Division: Edit operations snap to the nearest division value. (This is the time signature shown in the LCD and the ruler.)
Ticks: Edit operations snap to the nearest clock tick (1/3840 of a beat).
Frames: Edit operations snap to the nearest SMPTE frame.
QF (Quarter Frames): Edit operations snap to the nearest SMPTE quarter frame.
Samples: Edit operations snap to the nearest sample.
Off: Turns off Snap to Grid. (Choose “Snap to Grid” when it is checked.)
Note: You can make sample-accurate edits only at a high zoom level. Use the Zoom slider to zoom in, and take advantage of the Save and Recall Zoom Setting key commands to speed up your workflow.
Show the grid in the Tracks area
Choose View > Grid from the Tracks area menu bar.
Snap to an absolute position
Choose Snap > Snap Regions to Absolute Value from the Tracks area menu bar.
A checkmark appears to the left of this option when it’s active. This feature works in conjunction with the chosen snap grid division. For example, if the Snap value is set to Bar, and Snap Regions to Absolute Value is active, moving a region (from position 188.8.131.52) two bars forward results in the region being snapped to position 184.108.40.206 rather than its relative position (220.127.116.11).
To return the Snap function to relative values, choose Snap > Snap Regions to Relative Value from the Tracks area menu bar.
Override the Tracks area grid
Do one of the following:
Select the region (or other item), then hold down Control while dragging the item in the Tracks area:
The division value chosen in the control bar (1/16, for example) determines the editing grid scale at lower zoom levels (macroscopic or wide view).
At higher zoom levels, (microscopic or close-up view), the editing grid scales by a certain factor.
Select the region (or other item), then hold down Control and Shift while dragging the item in the Tracks area:
The editing grid switches to ticks if editing at lower zoom levels (macroscopic or wide view).
At higher zoom levels (microscopic or close-up view), the editing grid switches to samples.
When the Tracks area is zoomed out so that the current Snap value would result in extremely large movements or edits, the Snap pop-up menu is temporarily dimmed, and Smart snap is used instead.
When the Tracks area is zoomed in very far, and a smaller Snap value (such as Division or Frames) is chosen, normal mouse movements move items by larger grid units. To use the chosen Snap value, either zoom out or hold down Control while moving items.
Using Control-Shift breaks the 1:1 relationship between the pointer and region (or Edit tool) movements. This means that you may need to move the pointer a long way (horizontally) to make the region (or Edit tool) move one pixel. Watch the help tag for an exact numerical indication.