Multiple track selecting, Muting, and Soloing

@piitciia today asked me about multiple track selection, muting, and soloing.

From what she described to me, I think her objective was to select multiple tracks and solo or mute them in one click. So to help her and everyone else, here’s some information for you:

  • Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to select more than one track at a time. It’s more likely either a safety feature or just something that can’t be implemented easily. Nonetheless, it isn’t possible.

  • If you want to solo or mute a group of tracks, this is where the benefits of a bus comes in. Just send a set of tracks to that one bus and mute or solo it. Bussing should be common practice when dealing with sessions that have singers, drums, bass, guitars and other instruments. They should each have their own busses to control just that particular group.

  • If you want to mute individual tracks, they simply work as an on/off switch.

  • If you want to Mute or Unmute everything, hold [CTRL] or [CMD] + [SHIFT] and click a [Mute] button.

  • If you want to Solo or Unsolo everything, hold [CTRL] or [CMD] + [SHIFT] and click a [Solo] button.

  • Clicking Solo on the Master Fader also will Solo everything - lower the fader first in case something is set too loud.

  • Clicking mute on the Master Fader will only mute the Master Fader (which mutes all sound anyway) - but it won’t switch on the mute button on every channel. Hold down [CTRL] or [CMD] + [SHIFT] to do that.

  • There are no menu options to do the above. But there are commands, “Toggle Mute For All” and “Toggle Solo For All” that you can assign to a key in the Keyboard Shortcuts if you like.

  • Solo and Mute don’t work together, in that, they don’t care what the other is doing. If a track is muted, soloing it won’t turn off the mute, and if you unmute a track, it won’t solo or unsolo it. They work independently.


Solo buttons

Solo buttons can do one of two things, depending what you have set in Preferences, Multitrack, Track solo:

It has two modes: Exclusive and Non-Exclusive.

  • Exclusive:
    Will solo that track only and turn every other track off, but not mute them, ie, they won’t press the mute button. Exclusive in this sense means “Only me”.

  • Non-Exclusive:
    Is similar to the mute button in that you can turn on or off any track despite what others are selected.

If you have one of these modes set and you want to do the opposite without having to go into preferences, hold down [CTRL] or [Command] while you click and the opposite to what you have set will occur.

Having the Mute selected on a track will ensure the track will not play no matter what you do with the solo buttons.

Let me give you an example:

Exclusive

You have a session with 24 tracks of a band with vocals, drums, bass, guitar, and other instruments:

  • You would more than likely be wanting to quickly solo a track to hear just one instrument or a bus and then un-solo it to hear everything again. That way there’s no need to click each track you want to turn off just to hear 1 or a few tracks.

  • If you wanted to turn on another track or two, you would hold down [CTRL] or [Command] and click that track’s Solo button to turn that one on also.

  • If you can’t see which track is soloed, just click the [s] solo button on the Master twice and it’ll solo then unsolo everything and reset everything to 'normal.'
    BUT… as I mentioned above, to be safe; make sure the Master fader is down in case you’ve have something set incorrectly like a volume fader or an effect that makes the volume loud and turning on all the tracks overloads the Master. I’ve done it myself because I forgot which Solo mode I had set.

Non-Exclusive

Is more for when working with smaller sessions like voice and a music bed and SFX. You’ll just be turning tracks on and off like power switches.

If you need to quickly Solo just one track out of, say, six, without clicking 5 times to turn off 5 other tracks, hold [CTRL] or [CMD] and click the solo for that track and only that track will solo. To undo the Solo, click the Solo button with or without any keys pressed.

I hope that is enough information for you. I’m more than happy to answer any other questions about all the above.

Have a good day! :+1:

Hey David, thank you for this great explanation. This is exactly what I was struggling with. The Exclusive an Non-Exclusive is the solution for my wanted workflow. Thanks!

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@Mr-Shortcuts you always go above and beyond!

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