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How to Use Crossfades in Pro Tools

Crossfades are typically used to smooth the boundaries between regions where clicks or pops can occur, though they can also be used in more creative ways. The position, length, and shape of crossfades can all be adjusted in the Pro Tools Edit window.

Creating a Crossfade

You can create crossfades in a couple of ways — easy and complex. First, the complex method, using the menu:

  1. Using the Selector Tool, choose the start and end points for the crossfade (fig. 1). Notice that you don’t have to put the boundary in the middle of the crossfade but be sure that you don’t include any unwanted audio.
  2. From the Edit menu, choose Fades > Create. Or hit Command+F to have the Crossfade dialog box open (fig. 2). In this window, you can choose a number of presets as well as from several options, including the In and Out shape of the crossfade and whether to link the In and Out shapes with either equal Power or equal Gain (fig. 2 shows the standard curve without linking In and Out). You can also audition the crossfade by clicking on the Audio icon on the left side of the window.
  3. Click OK (or hit Enter). (Fig. 3 shows the crossfaded region selected, while fig. 4 shows the crossfaded region deselected).

 

Now, the easy method, using the Smart Tool:

  1. Turn on the Smart Tool by pressing F6+F7. Move the mouse close to a region boundary and toward the bottom of the track. The icon changes into a symbol that looks like a crossfade. Click and drag the cursor either to the left or to the right, and a crossfade will form, centered on the boundary.
  2. Release the mouse, and a crossfade will form (fig. 5). Crossfades created with the Smart Tool will use the default fade shape set in Pro Tools’ preferences under the Editing tab.

 

For more information about crossfading in Pro Tools, visit Sweetwater’s knowledge base article on this subject.


Dave Martin

Dave Martin is a Producer and Engineer in the Sweetwater Studios.  Dave boasts 40+ years of experience playing electric and acoustic bass, both live and in the recording studio, and more than 35 years of producing and engineering recording projects.

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