Playing Projects

You can play both multitrack and audio file projects as you work, so you can hear the audio in the project along with the changes you’ve made.

To play the project
  • Click the Play button in the transport controls (or press the Space bar). Click the Play button (or press the Space bar) again to stop playback.

    As the project plays, the playhead shows the point in the project currently playing.

To play the project from the beginning of the last playback start
  • Click the Play from Beginning button in the transport controls (or press Shift-Return).

    As the project plays, the playhead shows the point in the project currently playing.

Soundtrack Pro lets you set the playhead and control playback of your projects in several different ways. You can use the transport controls or keyboard commands to start and stop playback and set the playhead to different points in time. You can also set a cycle region to repeat playback of a specific part of the project.

Setting the Playhead Quickly

The playhead appears as a thin black line running vertically through the Timeline in multitrack projects, and through the waveform display in audio file projects. Where it crosses the Time ruler, the top of the playhead has a triangular handle that makes it easier to see its position onscreen and drag the playhead.

To set the playhead
Do one of the following:
  • Click anywhere in the Timeline (in a multitrack project) or the File Editor (in an audio file project) to set the playhead to that position.

    Note: You can set Soundtrack Pro to require a click in the Ruler to move the playhead. For more information, see General Preferences.

  • Drag the triangular handle at the top of the playhead to the position you want to set it.

    As you drag the playhead, you hear the audio at the current playhead position.

    Figure. Multitrack timeline and File Editor displaying playhead position.
    Figure. File Editor tab showing the playhead position.

When you set the playhead, it snaps to the nearest Snap To position if snapping is turned on. For information on setting the Snap To value, see Using Snapping. You can also set the playhead by using the transport controls or the Playhead Location value slider.

Note: If you click the Time ruler, you may accidentally activate the cycle region. Press Option-X to remove the cycle region. Press C to turn the cycle region on or off. For more information about using the cycle region, see Working with the Cycle Region.

Setting the Playhead Using the Time Display

When a project is playing, the Time display constantly updates to show the current position of the playhead in both Time-based and Beats-based formats. You can also set the playhead to a new position by entering the position in the Time display.

The arrangement of the Time-based and Beats-based positions in the Time display changes depending on the time format of the project. The position matching the time format of the project appears in large, white numerals in the upper part of the Time display, and the other position appears below it in smaller, gray numerals. Each position is labeled for quick visual recognition.

For information on setting the project time format, see Setting Project Properties.

To set the playhead using the Time display
  • Select either the Time or Beats position in the Time display, then enter a new position.

    You can select the entire position or part of the position.

    Figure. Time display showing Time area and Beats area.

Entering Time-Based Units

When you set the playhead by entering a Time-based position in the Time display, you don’t need to enter all of the punctuation. Soundtrack Pro automatically adds the correct punctuation for the format of the Time display.

If you enter a partial number, Soundtrack Pro formats it with the rightmost pair of numbers as frames and with each successive pair of numbers to the left as seconds, minutes, and hours. Numbers omitted from a complete time position are interpreted as zeros. For best results, always enter delimiters to separate each division of time.

For example:

  • If you enter 01234321: Soundtrack Pro interprets it as 01:23:43;21. This stands for 1 hour, 23 minutes, 43 seconds, and 21 frames.
  • If you enter 01.23: Soundtrack Pro interprets it as 00:00:01;23. This stands for 1 second and 23 frames.

You can select only part of the position in the Time display and enter a new number for that position. For example, you can select only seconds, or minutes and seconds. The other categories keep their present values. You can enter a time position in timecode format, in a way similar to the way you enter timecode in Final Cut Pro.

Entering Beats-Based Units

When you set the playhead by entering a Beats-based position in the Time display, you enter periods between numbers to separate measures, beats, and beat divisions. Soundtrack Pro fills out the digits in the beat division category with zeros.

For example:

  • If you enter 123: Soundtrack Pro interprets it as 123.1.000. This stands for the 123rd measure, 1st beat, with no added beat divisions.
  • If you enter 12.3: Soundtrack Pro interprets it as 12.3.000. This stands for the 12th measure, the 3rd beat, with no added beat divisions.
  • If you enter 1.2.3: Soundtrack Pro interprets it as 1.2.300. This stands for the 1st measure, the 2nd beat, and 300/1000 of a beat (because each beat division is 1/1000 of a beat).

You can select only part of the position in the Time display and enter a new number for that position. For example, you can select only measures, or measures and beats. The other categories keep their present values.

Setting the Playhead Using the Playhead Location Value Slider

Below and to the left of the transport controls is the Playhead Location value slider. When a project is playing, the Playhead Location value slider constantly updates to show the current position of the playhead. You can set the playhead by entering a new position in the Playhead Location value slider.

Figure. Playhead Location value slider.