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This chapter is from the book

Task: Color-Coding Your Tracks

In this task, you'll change the color of your track icons so that you can easily identify useful groupings of related tracks.

  1. In the Mixereze.acd project that you began working on in the previous task, recall that you rearranged your tracks so that tracks 1 through 3 are all drum/percussion tracks. Click the track icon for track 1 to select that track. Press and hold the Shift key and click the track icon for track 3. Notice that tracks 1 through 3 are selected.

  2. Right-click any of the selected Track Headers and choose Color from the shortcut menu (as shown in Figure 3.2). From the popup list of color choices, select red to make all the selected track icons red.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to change the color of the two bass tracks to green.

Figure 3.2 Color-coding the tracks creates a handy visual grouping of similar track types.

Maximizing/Minimizing Tracks

Sometimes when you're working with a track, you'll want to see more or less detail about the track. You can resize a track in several ways, two of which we'll talk about in this section. These two buttons are located (one above the other) just to the left of the track icon for each track. Click the Maximize Track Height button (the lower of the two buttons) to make the track fill the entire height of the Track List and Track View areas. This action pushes all other tracks out of the visible area. When you maximize a track, the Restore Track Height button replaces the Maximize Track Height button. Click the Restore Track Height button to set the track back to the height it had before you maximized it.

The Minimize Track Height button (the upper button of the pair) minimizes the track to its smallest possible height. Minimize the tracks you consider to be complete in your project so that they don't eat up valuable screen real estate while you work on other tracks. After you minimize a track, click the Restore Track Height button (now the only button available) to set the track back to the height it had before you minimized it.

TIP

ACID contains a number of useful shortcuts. From the menu bar, choose Help, Keyboard Shortcuts for a listing of many of them. Here's one of our favorite tricks: To minimize all the tracks in your project at once, press the tilde key (usually that's the key to the left of the number 1 key at the top of your keyboard; it looks like this: ~). Press the tilde key a second time to restore all tracks to their previous height.

Cutting, Copying, Pasting, and Deleting a Track

ACID follows the basic Windows conventions for cut, copy, paste, and delete. Click the track icon of a track to select the track. To cut the track from your project and place it on the Clipboard, press Ctrl+X. To copy the track to the Clipboard, press Ctrl+C. To paste a track you have previously cut or copied, press Ctrl+V. Finally, to delete a track (without placing it on the Clipboard), press the Delete key on your keyboard. You can also find commands to perform these functions in the Edit menu and in the right-click shortcut menu for each track. The toolbar also contains buttons for the cut, copy, and paste operations.

Naming Your Tracks

ACID automatically names your tracks for you when you add files to your project. The newly created track assumes the name of the file that it contains. But you can change the name of the track. To do so, double-click the track's name. Just as in Windows, this action selects the name and puts a box around it; you can now type whatever new name you want for the track. When you're finished typing, press the Tab or Enter key, or simply click away from the name (the track icon is a good target) to apply the new name to the track. Alternatively, right-click the track icon and choose Rename from the shortcut menu.

NOTE

ACID calls the field that holds the track's name the "Scribble strip." As you'll learn in later hours, many other objects in the ACID window also have a Scribble strip.

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