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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Shortening Regions I

You don’t have to use Apple’s canned loops in their entirety. By shortening a region from its right end, you can isolate only a favorite first portion of it.

Shortening a region is simple enough: Drag the end inward, as detailed at bottom in Figure 25-4. You’ll know you’ve grabbed the right spot when the cursor changes to a vertical bar with a rightward arrow, as opposed to the curly cursor that appears when you make a loop repeat. This movement is exactly the same cropping motion you can use on clips in iMovie’s Movie Track.

Tip

If the region is blue or purple—a Real Instrument region—you can drag either end inward. That is, you can shorten it either from the beginning or end. (You can’t shorten a green Software Instrument loop except from its right end.)

And now some cool mix-and-match editing pointers:

  • Once you’ve shortened a region, you can then drag its upper-right corner to make just that shortened version repeat over and over. This trick does amazing things for drum and bass loops, for example, creating fresh, shorter, more repetitive loops that never existed in Apple’s imagination.

    If you drag a region by its upper-right corner (top), you make it repeat seamlessly (bottom); the curly cursor tells you that you’ve grabbed the correct corner. The farther to the right you drag, the more repetitions you get.Middle: The little notches—four of them shown here—illustrate where the region will repeat.Bottom: If you grab the middle or bottom of a region’s right side, you can shorten it by dragging it to the left. (See the difference in the cursor shape?) You can also grab the left side of a blue or purple region and drag inward, cropping out the beginning of the region.

    Figure 25-4. If you drag a region by its upper-right corner (top), you make it repeat seamlessly (bottom); the curly cursor tells you that you’ve grabbed the correct corner. The farther to the right you drag, the more repetitions you get.Middle: The little notches—four of them shown ...

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