Timeline

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The Timeline displays a horizontal ruler above the tracks measuring time from zero (the start of the track). Depending on zooming the ruler may span minutes of audio or give a "close up" view of a few seconds or fractions of a second.

Legend for symbols displayed on the ruler

  • SelectionRangeCursor.png The selected region: (when present) is shown as a shaded region on the ruler. Pressing Play or Record on Transport Toolbar plays or records from the left edge of this region.
    • Underneath the shaded region, the playback region is shown by thin left-pointing and right-pointing arrowheads connected by a line. This region will be played whenever the Play button Play button is clicked.
  • EditCursor.png The editing cursor: (always present when there is no selected region) is shown as a black vertical line. When "Quick-Play" is not active, the playback start position cursor image of the playback start position cursor is attached to it image of the editing cursor with attached playback start cursor. Pressing Play or Record plays from this cursor position.
  • PlaybackCursor.png The playback cursor: (when playing or paused during play) is shown as a green triangle.
  • RecordingCursor.png The record cursor: (when recording or paused during record) is shown as a red triangle.
  • QuickPlayRegionCursor.png Quick-Play region: A region in the Timeline that plays immediately when dragged with the mouse. It is shown by thick left-pointing and right-pointing arrowheads connected by a line. Quick-Play never modifies the position of the editing cursor or region in the waveform. To start "Quick-Play" of a region (even if the track is already playing, recording or paused), hover over the Timeline until the mouse cursor changes to a hand, then drag in either direction and release. Playback will continue to the end of the Quick-Play region.
    • To make the dragged Quick-Play region loop (play repeatedly until stopped), press and hold SHIFT, drag in the Timeline then release the drag. Loop play will be indicated by the Play button in Transport Toolbar changing to Loop Play Loop.png.
    • If you just want to play from a particular point to the end of the project, click in the Timeline at the point from which you want playback to start or restart. The Quick-Play cursor is then shown only by a left-pointing arrowhead. Playback will continue to the end of the project.
    • As with standard playback, you can press SPACE or click the Stop button Stop button to stop Quick-Play before the end of the region or project is reached.
  • PlayRegionCursor.png Play Region Lock: The position of the editing cursor or playback region (or the current position of the Quick-Play region or Quick-Play cursor) can be locked in the Timeline for use in all further standard playback. To do this, choose Edit > Play Region > Lock.
    • When "Locked", the region or cursor position displays in red in the Timeline. A locked region or cursor is always used for standard playback (including Play-at-Speed) irrespective if the editing cursor or region in the waveform is at a different position.
    • The locked region can be expanded or contracted by dragging either red arrowhead, then the next standard playback will use that new region. If you drag a new region in the Timeline then release, that new region will Quick-Play and will then be used for all further standard playback. Similarly if you click in the Timeline, the project Quick-Plays from there, and all further standard playback starts from there.
    • To unlock the region or cursor position, so that all further playback respects the editing cursor or region in the waveform, choose Edit > Play Region > Unlock.

Play Region Lock or Unlock may be performed even when the track is playing, recording or paused.

Examples of the Timeline in use

Standard playback shows:
Timeline01.png
  • The editing cursor (the black vertical bar)
  • The playback start position cursor (the left-pointing gray triangle with short gray vertical bar to left)
    • When Quick-Play is not active (see below) the editing cursor and the playback start position cursor are always at the same point on the Timeline, and together are called the standard cursor
  • The playback cursor (the green triangle) - playback will continue until stopped.
Recording with no selection present shows:
Timeline02.png
  • The editing cursor and the playback start position cursor (as above)
  • The recording cursor (the red triangle) - recording will continue until stopped.
After clicking in the Timeline to initiate "Quick-Play":
Timeline03.png
  • The editing cursor position is unchanged
  • The playback start position cursor moves to the point clicked
  • The green playback cursor shows the current playback position.
After clicking and dragging in the Timeline to initiate "Quick-Play" of a region:
Timeline04.png
  • The editing cursor position is unchanged
  • The green playback cursor shows the current playback position
  • The "Quick-Play" region is indicated by the thick horizontal gray bar with arrowheads on each end.
After clicking and dragging in the waveform:
Timeline05.png
  • Instead of the editing cursor, a shaded region shows the time range of the selected audio.
  • No audio plays, but the potential playback region is indicated by the thin horizontal gray bar with arrowheads on each end.
  • The potential playback region is identical to the selection region in the waveform.
After locking a Play Region
Timeline06.png
  • The thick horizontal red bar with arrowheads on each end show the region that will always be played, irrespective if the editing cursor or region in the waveform is at a different position.
After locking a Play Region cursor position
Timeline07.png
  • The left-pointing red arrowhead shows the point from which the project will always be played, irrespective if the editing cursor or region in the waveform is at a different position.

For other methods of navigating to playback points or areas, see Playing and Recording.

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