Clip Effects are a Pro Tools Ultimate feature. As the name suggests they are clip-specific , which is very convenient for static settings but can become cumbersome when changes are needed on a clip by clip basis. Automation is of course very flexible but to apply just a single EQ move on a single clip it can seem over the top to have to introduce automation.
AudioSuite is a solution here, by processing using AudioSuite and printing a new file we can apply a specific treatment to an individual clip but AudioSuite is a rendered effect and tweaking AudioSuite is a little cumbersome. A convenient halfway house between a “live” real time AAX plug-in and AudioSuite is offered by Clip Effects which can be created and edited in Pro Tools Ultimate and are available as a “Read Only” feature in Standard Pro Tools.
Channel Strip Processing
The Clip Effect Window, displayed by clicking the disclosure arrow which also reveals the Universe Window in the top right of the edit window or by hitting Option/Alt+6 on the number pad. It offers a version of the processing available in the Avid Channel Strip with EQ, Filters and Dynamics in addition to trim and polarity switching. It is extremely intuitive to use, apart from the Dynamics section as the lack of real time metering makes it of limited use compared to a realtime AAX plug-in. I use it a lot for EQ and filtering where it is so much more convenient than an automated AAX plugin or an AudioSuite process.
Easy Recall of Clip Effect Presets
I find I tend to do the same things over and over again using Clip Effects. One perfect example is dealing with moderate plosive pops in voiceovers. For big pops there is nothing I’ve tried which does as good a job as the De-plosive plugin from iZotope but for a moderate pop which has made it past the high pass filter but isn’t a full-on “PAH” a quick clip effect with a 12db HPF at around 140Hz usually gets the job done. It was this repetition which reminded me of a preference I’d seen but never used.
Reassigning Keyboard Shortcuts From Zoom Presets To Clip Effect Presets
Zoom presets Have been available for ever in Pro Tools - the little buttons marked 1-5 under the waveform and MIDI zoom controls. I’ve never used zoom presets and, although I’m sure you’re out there, I can’t think of anyone else who does. The keyboard shortcut to access these is Control/Start 1-5 on the alphanumeric keyboard. With Command Focus engaged (Command+Option+1) the number keys can access these zoom presets directly without any need for a modifier to be pressed. In Preferences - Editing you can change what the number keys control, with a choice between Zoom presets and Clip Gain presets. This Preference only controls what the number key shortcut controls so if you are a zoom preset user you can still access your Zoom presets using Control+1-5 and using 1-5 to access Clip Effect presets.
For an in depth look at using Clip Effects and Clip Effect Presets look out for the upcoming Premium Tutorial.