chapter 22 What's New in Pro Tools 2022.6
In this chapter, we’ll take a look at accessibility improvements and changes in Pro Tools 2022.6 including the following areas:
- New Fade Shape Names
- Preset Buttons Menu
- Heat Master View Show/Hide Button
- Heat Controls
- Timeline Ruler Tables
- Key Signature List
- Chord change List Table
- Clip effects Plug-In
- MIDI Event List Insert
- Scroll Selected Tracks Into View
New Fade Shape Names
Fade In and Fade Out shapes now have meaningful names. The 7 fade in shapes are as follows:
- Fade In: 0 dB
- Fade In: +6 dB
- Fade In: +3 dB
- Fade In: Linear
- Fade In: -3 dB
- Fade In: -6 dB
- Fade In: -inf dB
The 7 fade out shapes are as follows:
- Fade Out: -inf dB
- Fade Out: -6 dB
- Fade Out: -3 dB
- Fade Out: Linear
- Fade Out: +3 dB
- Fade Out: +6 dB
- Fade Out: 0 dB
Preset Buttons Menu
Many Pro Tools dialogs include a set of 5 preset slotsat the top of the window along with a preset librarian. The preset buttons (also known as “chiclets”) are identified by VoiceOver in the various fades dialogs as “Fade Preset Toggle 1, Fade Preset Toggle 2,” etc. Clicking on a preset button now brings up a menu with an option to either load from or save to that preset slot. Alternatively, Control+1 through 5 will bring up the respective menu without having to navigate to it.
- Load/Save Presets 1 through 5: Control+1 through 5 on the numbers row
HEAT Master View Show/Hide Button
There’s a new Mix Window View Selector at the bottom right corner of the Mix window. Officially, It’s known as the “HEAT Master View Show/Hide Button.” Unfortunately, it has been mislabelled to have the same name as the Mix Window View Selector immediately to its left. Fortunately, it does at least have an additional “expanded” or “collapsed” indicator in its name. When this Mix Window View Selector is expanded, the HEAT Master controls become visible at the top right corner of the Mix window.
HEAT Master Controls
HEAT Master controls are now accessible in Pro Tools. To use HEAT, choose “Activate HEAT” from the Options menu. In order to get to the Heat Master controls, the HEAT Master Show/Hide button (currently mislabelled as the second “Mix Window View Selector” button at the bottom right of the Mix window) must be expanded. Apart from a few static text elements, there are essentially 4 controls:
- HEAT Master On/Off (the equivalent of the “Activate Heat” item under the Options menu
- HEAT Master Bypass control
- HEAT Master Drive Control (ranging from minus 5 to plus 5)
- HEAT Master Tone Control (ranging from minus 3 to plus 3)
HEAT Track Controls
The HEAT Track Controls available on all audio tracks include:
HEAT Pre/Post Insert Chain Control “Pre” Button HEAT Bypass Control
Note that the two controls here are actually only named “PRE” and “BYP” in the UI but the controls were labelled with perhaps more words than necessary. The Bypass button, at least, clearly has an “On” state, whereas the “PRE” button uses the word “Pre” to signify when it is on. This can be confusing unless you understand that the word “Pre” before the name “HEAT Pre/Post Insert Chain “PRE” Button” means that the control is engaged and, therefore, “Pre Insert.”
Timeline rulers now feature tables which display events like tempo, meter and key changes, chord symbols and markers. The tables are only visible when their respective rulers are shown. it’s now possible to edit individual events within the timeline rulers. In addition, since VoiceOver now recognizes the area where ruler events are located as a table, navigating to the table without interacting centers VoiceOver’s focus over the area. As a result, it’s now easy to perform a mouse click within these rulers.
Key Signature List
The Key Signature List within the Key Change window is now visible to VoiceOver. Upon reaching the Key Change List table, VoiceOver will indicate which row is selected but not which column. Upon interacting with the table, VoiceOver will identify which item is selected but further navigation to individual items doesn’t indicate what is selected. Clicking on an item does technically select it and stopping interaction and interacting again will verify the selection.
Chord Change List Table
The Chord Change window now includes a Chord Change List Table which showss the chord symbols available for the selected chord type. The individual symbols still have generic names in this release.
Clip Effects Plug-in Parameters
Clip Effects parameters are now visible in the Edit window. When the Clip Effects controls are shown, the parameters are now visible in an area labelled “Clip Effects Plug-In.” At least one clip must be selected in order for the Clip Effects Plug-In parameters to appear. The Clip Effects controls are only visible when the Show/Hide Session View button is expanded. Control+6 on the numeric keypad will toggle the expand/collapse state of the Session View button.
MIDI Event List Insert
When preparing to insert an event into the MIDI Event List, it’s now possible to read through and edit the event’s values before it’s inserted into the table. Although VoiceOver doesn’t recognize exactly which edit field is active, it’s possible to step through the fields with key commands or simply activate a given field with VO+Space Bar and review the results before pressing Return to complete the insertion process.
Scroll Selected Tracks Into View
A few new commands have been added to the available items within the Pro Tools Keyboard Shortcuts window. Most notable for blind users is the “Scroll Selected Tracks Into View” command whose shortcut is undefined by default. This command scrolls the currently selected track into view in both the Mix and Edit window. This is similar to the “Scroll to Track” command but involves less keystrokes and is perhaps more useful when working with tracks within which you need to perform modified clicks or get to one of the controls available only in the Edit window. If a track is already scrolled into view, nothing changes but if the track is off-screen, it’ll be scrolled toward the visible area within the mixer and timeline.
A suggested keyboard shortcut to assign to this command would be Command+Option+shift+F. The existing “Scroll to Track” command uses Command+Option+F. Since the global “Option+Shift” modifiers for “Do to Selected” are used throughout Pro Tools, assigning Command+Option+Shift+F makes sense and is easy to remember as it relates to the existing “Scroll to Track” shortcut.