Jon Connolly is the most sought-after Pro Tools instructor in the world.
Having been with Avid since the company first started out as DigiDesign in the early ‘90s, he quickly became their Product Specialist in Los Angeles, offering Pro Tools installations, training, and support to major studios like Warner Bros., Universal, Capitol, The Village, Record One, Westlake, and more.
Today, Jon is a Pro Tools Master Instructor for Avid, travelling the world and training Pro Tools users of all levels. He also teaches at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music.
In this clip, Jon teaches you how to use the Smart Tool in Pro Tools.
What is the Smart Tool?
The Smart Tool is a very handy 3-in-1 audio editing device consisting of the Trim, Selector, and Grabber tools. While it’s possible to use different keyboard shortcuts to trim, select, and move audio clips, the Smart Tool combines all three and changes based on cursor position.
To enable the Smart Tool, click the bar placed just above the Trim, Selector, and Grabber tools. Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut F7 and F8 simultaneously, or the command key plus the number 7.
With the Smart Tool engaged, the upper half of a given audio clip will engage the Selector Tool. The Selector allows you to make selections by highlighting portions of a clip, or choose a playback/editing point by clicking at the desired location on the clip.
The lower half of an audio clip will engage the Grabber Tool, which appears as a hand. The Grabber allows you to click and drag a clip forwards/backwards in time, or up and down different tracks.
The Trim Tool will appear at either end of an audio clip when the Smart Tool is engaged. It looks like a bracket and allows you to trim either the head or tail of any audio clip to the desired point.
Smart Tool Extras
Fade: By moving the cursor to either the upper left or right corners of a clip, the Smart Tool will allow you to easily create fades in or out. You can also change the shape of the fade by clicking/holding and moving the mouse with the Fade tool.
Crossfade: The Smart Tool will allow you to create a crossfade between two clips when the cursor is near the bottom corner of either clip.
Scrubbing Audio: Holding the “control” key will turn the Smart Tool into the Scrub Tool to closely examine the material.