Using Sync Points Tutorial

Sync Points in Pro Tools are useful when you want to line up a point within a Region (other than the region start and end) with a specific location in your session, like a bar|beat location or an exact frame.

When to Use Sync Points

Let’s say you’re doing sound design for a movie. Imagine you had a bow and arrow sound effect as a single Region. The sound has three parts to it – the twang of the bow, the swoosh of the arrow through the air, and the impact of the arrow hitting the target.

Now let’s say you want to place the impact part of the Region at an exact frame of the movie. By placing a Sync Point on the part of the region when the impact part of the sound happens, you’d be able to place it at the right frame, precisely and quickly.

You can Download a .zip file (Control+Click -or- Right-Click > Save As). It’s a basic Pro Tools session with a Cymbal Roll if you want to try this out yourself.

Step-by-Step

You’re going to create a Sync Point at the point in the waveform where loudest the cymbal roll peaks. Then we’ll snap the Sync Point to a new location.

Step 1: With the Selector Tool, click within the region where you want to create the Sync Point.

Step 2: Go to Regions Menu → Identify Sync Point.

Using Sync Points Tutorialsync point3

A little arrow should appear in the region indicating the Sync Point location.

Step 3:Enter a bar beat location in your counter. Or, just click somewhere on the playlist with the Selector Tool to make an Edit Insertion Point. (In the example here, I clicked at bar 22).

Step 4:Switch to the Grabber tool and while holding down the Shift+Control keys (Mac), or Shift+Start (Win), click on the region.

The region automatically snaps into position, aligning the Sync point perfectly with the Edit Insertion Point at bar 22.

Using Sync Points Tutorialsync point4

Region snaps into position, aligning the Sync point perfectly with Edit Insertion Point at bar 22.

Sync Points related Keyboard Shortcuts
Function Mac Windows
Identify Sync Point ⌘-Comma (,) Control-Comma (,)
Locate cursor to next region-boundary/sync point Tab (with Tab to Transient enabled) Tab (with Tab to Transient enabled)
Locate cursor to previous region boundary/sync point Option-Tab (with Tab to Transient enabled) Control-Tab (with Tab to Transient enabled)
Snap region sync point to stationary playhead or Edit selection start Control-Shift-click region (with Grabber) Start-Shift-click region (with Grabber)