Working with Markers

Markers have a variety of uses in the Timeline and the File Editor. For example, you can use markers to:

Markers extend vertically through the Timeline, like the playhead. Each marker has a handle in the area above the Time ruler, letting you position the marker precisely in the Timeline.

Types of Markers

Soundtrack Pro displays Final Cut Pro scoring markers and lets you add your own markers to a project. You can add two kinds of markers: time markers and beat markers. The two types can be distinguished by their handles: time markers have green handles, and beat markers have purple handles. Final Cut Pro scoring markers have orange handles. By default, time and beat markers can only occupy a single frame of time, but their duration can be extended to any length.

The following sections discuss how to work with time markers and beat markers in a project. For information about working with Final Cut Pro scoring markers, see Using Final Cut Pro Scoring Markers.

Figure. Time Ruler showing Time marker, End-of-Project marker, Beat marker, and Final Cut Pro scoring marker.

Inserting Markers

You can insert a beat marker or time marker at any point in the Timeline.

To insert a time marker
  • Set the playhead to the point where you want to add the marker, then choose Project > Insert Time Marker (or press the M key).

To insert a beat marker
  • Set the playhead to the point where you want to add the marker, then choose Project > Insert Beat Marker (or press Option-B).

Naming Markers

You can name time markers and beat markers, so that each marker can provide a unique visual cue to a specific point in the Timeline or File Editor. For example, you can name markers to define sections of your project (Introduction, Verse, or Chorus), to reflect what’s happening in the music (Latin Rhythm or Fast Groove), or to serve as reminders for your workflow (Add Horns Here, Transpose to D, Insert Delay Effect).

To name a time marker or beat marker
  • Make the Details tab active, select the marker, then type a name in the Name field of the Details tab.

    Figure. Marker section of Details tab.
To view marker titles in the Timeline
  • Choose View > Show Marker Titles.

Moving Markers

You can move a marker either by dragging the marker’s handle or by entering a new position for the marker in the Details tab.

To move either a beat marker or time marker
Do one of the following:
  • Drag the marker by its handle, located in the area above the Time ruler, to a new position in the Timeline.

  • Show the Details tab, click the marker you want to move, then enter a new position in the Position field.

Note: You can also select and drag multiple markers. When you move a marker by dragging, the marker’s position snaps to the nearest Snap To position if snap is turned on. For information on setting the Snap To value, see Creating Fades and Crossfades in the Timeline.

Adjusting a Marker’s Duration

By default, Time markers and Beat markers have a duration of zero, but you can create Time or Beat region markers by changing the duration of any marker. You adjust a marker’s duration either by entering a new duration for the marker in the Details tab, or, if it is already a region marker, by dragging the ends of a marker handle.

To adjust a marker’s duration
Do one of the following:
  • Show the Details tab, click the marker you want to adjust, then enter a new duration in the Duration field.

  • Adjust a region marker by dragging the end of its handle.

    Figure. Time Ruler showing region marker.

Deleting Markers

If you decide you don’t want a time or beat marker that you’ve added, you can delete it at any time.

To delete a marker
  • Click the marker handle to select the marker, then choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).

    Note: You cannot delete Final Cut Pro scoring markers in Soundtrack Pro.

Using Markers with Video

Soundtrack Pro displays Final Cut Pro scoring markers included in a video file imported from Final Cut Pro. You can add time markers at points in time corresponding to specific timecode positions in the video clip, and align audio clips with markers using the snapping feature. When you add a marker to a project containing a video, the video clip displays the frame of the video that occurs at the marker’s position in time.

For more information about adding and moving markers, see Working with Markers.

You can score both Final Cut Pro scoring markers and time markers to the playhead, letting you synchronize the audio with specific points in the video.

Using Final Cut Pro Scoring Markers

When you import a video file from Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express HD, Soundtrack Pro displays any Final Cut Pro scoring markers included in the video file in the Timeline. Scoring markers have an orange handle in the area above the Time ruler. You cannot move or edit Final Cut Pro scoring markers in Soundtrack Pro.

Using Markers to Align Audio Clips to Timecode

You can add a time marker at a specific timecode position in a video clip, and align audio clips with the time marker or with a Final Cut Pro scoring marker.

Note: In order to add a marker at a specific timecode position, the Time ruler units must be set to the timecode format of the video in your project.

To add a time marker at a specific timecode position in a video clip
Do one of the following:
  • Type the timecode position where you want to add the marker in the Time display, press Return, then choose Mark > Insert Time Marker (or press M).

  • Make the Details tab active, add a time marker, select the marker handle, then enter a new position in the Position value slider in the Details tab.

To align an audio clip with a marker
  • Make sure that snapping is turned on and that Markers is selected in the View > Snap to menu, then drag the clip to the position of the marker in the Timeline.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing a clip being aligned with a marker.

    Note: You can temporarily turn snapping on or off by pressing N.

Scoring a Marker to the Playhead

For tracks set to Beats-based time format, you can score a time marker or Final Cut Pro scoring marker to the playhead, so that you can synchronize the audio with the video. Scoring a marker to the playhead adjusts the tempo so that the required number of beats exactly fills the amount of time between the last tempo change and the marker’s position in the Time ruler.

When you score a marker to the playhead, a set of special envelope points is created in the project’s tempo envelope, from the previous envelope point (or the beginning of the tempo envelope, if no previous envelope point exists) to the position of the marker. These special envelope points are locked and cannot be moved (but can be deleted). The locked envelope points, and the segment of the tempo envelope between them, appear red.

The tempo change created when you score a marker to the playhead is always instantaneous; that is, the tempo changes from the previous tempo immediately, without ramping. The distance between the two envelope points determines whether the resulting tempo change can be heard easily. If the resulting change in tempo sounds too abrupt, you can edit the tempo envelope to make the tempo change less noticeable.

To score a marker to the playhead
  1. Select the marker’s handle at the top of the Timeline, above the Time ruler.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline window showing a marker handle.
  2. Choose Mark > Score Marker to Playhead.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing a marker positioned at the playhead.

Note: If you score a marker to the playhead, and the tempo change resulting from the scoring operation sounds too noticeable or extreme, you can undo the scoring operation. After undoing the scoring operation, add an envelope point to the tempo envelope at a point after any audio clips you do not want to be affected by the tempo change, but before the marker to be scored, then repeat the scoring operation.

You can also adjust the tempo relative to a marker’s position, so you can synchronize the marker’s position with the Beats-based units.

To adjust the tempo relative to a marker’s position
  • Option-drag the marker in the Timeline.

As you drag, the red segment of the tempo envelope moves vertically as the tempo changes.