Cutting & Pasting

I have a 16 track song. Tracks 5-9 are drums. The drummer played the first verse great, but not the second verse (he did stay in time however).

So, I want to copy the drums in the first verse, and paste them over the bad drums in second verse.

However, I can only figure out how to copy and paste either:

each of the 5 drum tracks one at a time, meaning i have to line them all up with each other after pasting, which is very difficult.

or, i can copy and paste all 16 tracks, which i don’t want. i just want to copy and paste tracks 5-9.

can anyone tell me how to do this? or if it isn’t possible, does this seem like a reasonable feature request? i can’t imagine not being able to do this!

There may be a way to copy-paste them all as a bunch, but I don’t know it. One option is to submix the drums (solo them all, mixdown, import the mixdown, and mute the originals). However, you lose control over individual instruments and you probably don’t want that. Here’s what I’d do instead. This works using V4; there may be difference for V5.

1) Turn the grid on. Doen’t matter if your recordings are recorded to the grid, though it sure does help.

2) Scroll to the area where you’re going to paste the tracks. For each track, select the region where you’re going to paste the better stuff and Cut (Control-X). Don’t worry, you didn’t delete any audio data. Select a wider area than you’ll actually use, because you’ll adjust the boundaries later. If your tracks aren’t aligned to the grid, leave at least one “measure” open at both ends.

3) For each track, select the good part, Copy (Control-C), go to the region you cleared out, select the space where you want the track to go, and Paste.

4) Now you have a bunch of tracks all lined up together, but they’re not aligned with the music unless you recorded to a click and set up the grid in the first place. (Next time you’ll know better!)

6) If you didn’t record to a click set up to the grid, you now have to align your tracks to the rest of the music. Click on one of the pasted parts, then hold down the shift key, and click on all the others. This selects all the tracks. Zoom in on the beginning of the pasted section. Select the “cross-arrows” toolbar tool, for moving parts. Save the song now! Turn off the grid, and drag any part left or right to align with the music. If you totally hose up, revert and try again.

If you did record to the grid, be sure to monitor to check that you pasted into the correct measures.

7) Now you need to adjust the endpoints of the parts and avoid pops at the splice points. With the grid off, zoom in on each track and grab the little square “end handles” on the edges of the adjacenty parts and slide them left or right so they’re snug, at a quiet point, and connect where the level and slope of the signals is roughly the same. If you can find complete silence, no worries and the parts don’t even have to snug up. Do this separately at each end of each pasted part, and you’ll have excellent splices on all tracks.

That’s it.

Note that if your recordings are aligned to the grid in the first place, sometimes you can often skip the last step – just carve out the exact number of measures and paste the stuff in. However, even with stuff aligned to the grid there are often pickups or whatever and you need to adjust the splice points manually and carefully.


Quote (learjeff @ Nov. 15 2006,18:08)
4) Now you have a bunch of tracks all lined up together, but they’re not aligned with the music unless you recorded to a click and set up the grid in the first place. (Next time you’ll know better!)

Actually, I have a bunch of tracks that are not lined up together, nor with the rest of the music, because I had to cut each track separately, no? I mean, I can’t highlight track 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and copy and paste them at the same time, without pasting all 16 tracks. So I have to do the kick (track 5), then the snare (track 6), then the floor tom (track 7), etc.

Since I have to do them each individually, how can I avoid having to line up all the drum tracks manually after pasting?

Also, I do record to a click track, but I don’t record in N-Track. I record on a standalone hard disk recorder, then import the wavs into N- Track. Maybe I can line the tracks up with N- Track’s metronome after I import them?

If you, like Jeff said, turn the grid on when copying and pasting, it should be quite easy to have the copied parts lined up as compared to each other. Just copy the tracks one by one, starting from the same grid line. Then when pasting, select another grid line (in the “bad part” area) as your reference.

Well, after messing around some more, I have developed a little work-around. I highlight all tracks on the good verse, copy, and paste the “verse 1” segments at the VERY END of the song, in the blank part of the timeline after all tracks have finished playing.

I delete the pasted segments I don’t want (ie, everything except drums, like vocals, guitar, bass, etc), and then I shift+click the remaining drum segments at the end of the song, grab them, and move them back to the hole I made in the second verse. That way, I know they are lined up. Kind of a pain.

If you use the grid lines to line up the tracks, that helps, but you still have to cut and paste each drum track one at a time. I wish there was a way that you could shift+click, highlighting only the tracks you want to copy, and then paste ALL THOSE tracks at once. It would turn that whole operation into one move. As it is now, you have to do it for each separate track, and with drums that can be like 8 separate tracks.