Samplitude Academy – Techniques for working in the project window


Here we’ll show you some very useful techniques that will help you to develop a more efficient workflow in Samplitude.


You can use the zoom functions to adjust the sections of a virtual project. The higher the zoom level, the more precise the display will be.

Samplitude offers the following zoom functions:

I. Zooming in the Position Bar

Step 1: Make sure that both of the position bars are activated. To do this, right-click on any toolbar and go to the “Edit Workspace” option to check if “Position Bar” and “Position Bar 2” have been ticked.


Step 2: Click on the magnifying glass symbol to open the zoom functions. The buttons highlighted in red can be used to zoom horizontally along the timeline


and the buttons highlighted in blue are for vertical zooming.


The buttons with a plus sign are for zooming in and the buttons with a minus sign are for zooming out. The buttons beside these can be used to zoom the section to the size of the last activated range.

There is also a special button for horizontal zooming that enables you to zoom the display precisely to the pixel or sample. In addition to this there are 4 explicitly defined buttons for zooming to the second, to 10 seconds, 60 seconds and 10 minutes.

You can also customize your zooming options with the 4 freely definable magnifying glass symbols labeled 1 to 4.


To define these buttons simply adjust the zoom level accordingly and save it by clicking on the button while holding down the Shift key. This will also open a dialog where you can fine tune the zoom level manually.

The two wave symbols on the right – “Zoom Wave In” and “Zoom Wave Out” – can be used to set the zoom level of the waveform for the activated section.



II. Zooming with the keyboard arrow keys

The key combination “Ctrl + Arrow right” zooms out of the project; “Ctrl + Arrow left” zooms in. Press “Ctrl + Arrow up” to zoom into the waveform display, while “Ctrl + Arrow down” zooms out of the waveform display.

The zoom functions mentioned above can also be accessed through “View” > “Horizontal” or “View” > “Vertical”.


III. Zooming with the scroll bar – Zoom buttons

In the lower right corner of the VIP window, the “+” and “–” buttons can be used for more precise adjustment of the horizontal and vertical zoom levels.


A common feature of the preset zoom functions is that they center the playback marker in the visible section if it is visible when the zoom command is executed.


IV. Zooming with the mouse wheel

The key combination “Ctrl” and the mouse wheel enables simultaneous horizontal and vertical zooming even during playback.

The keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Alt” and the mouse wheel enables simultaneous horizontal and vertical zooming.

You can zoom in by rolling the mouse wheel upwards.

You can zoom out by rolling the mouse wheel downwards.


V. Zooming with the mouse – Vertical zoom

An elegant method of zooming is to left-click on the time line, hold down the button and drag the mouse vertically.

By dragging the mouse up, you can zoom out of the project and you can zoom in with the reverse action. Simultaneously, you can change the range borders or the playback marker position with horizontal mouse movements, depending on whether you position the mouse at the beginning of the action on the grid toolbar or on the marker bar.

This allows you to position the playback marker precisely “in one go”.

Step 1: Click on the the marker bar to roughly position the playback marker.


Step 2: Next, move the mouse downwards while holding down the mouse button to zoom into the project.


Step 3: Correct the mouse position by moving it horizontally and then zoom out of the project by moving the mouse upwards.


Deactivate this function at any time in the system settings (“Y -> Keyboard, Menu & Mouse -> Mouse -> Disable zoom with vertical mouse dragging on the timeline”).


VI. Zoom mode

Selecting the magnifying glass icon in the mouse mode bar activates zoom mode. This turns the mouse pointer into a magnifying glass.


Use the right mouse button to zoom out of the project, and click with the left button to zoom into it. In this mode you can also hold down the mouse button and draw a rectangular area that you want to zoom into.


VII. Zoom tool (keyboard shortcut: Z)

You can temporarily switch to “Zoom” mode by pressing “Z” and then dragging out a lasso with the mouse. By holding down the “Z” key and left-clicking, you can zoom into a project in stages; right-clicking while holding down “Z” zooms out in stages.


VIII. Zooming with the scroll bars

The scroll bars can also be used to change the zoom stages. When the mouse pointer moves over the left and right border of the horizontal scroll bar, it changes into a double arrow. This can be used to move the scroll bar borders, which also changes the length of the section displayed in the window. The length of the section will then always be displayed.


Similarly, you can use the vertical scroll bars to zoom into the track display.



IX. Zooming with the overview mode

Overview mode offers you a view of all the objects in your project in a clear display underneath the arranger track. You can activate overview mode with this button


or with the corresponding option in the “View” menu. In this screen area the mouse pointer turns into a magnifying glass. The section chosen in overview mode determines the display size and the position of the section shown in the arranger. You can adjust the section in the arranger by clicking on the desired position.


With the arranger scroll bar you can also control the selected section in the overview.


To select the desired section, drag out a lasso around the overview using the mouse.


If another position in the overview is selected or a new lasso is drawn by left-clicking, the horizontal (i.e. temporal) position in your arrangement will change.


By extending or shortening the vertical scroll bar you can determine how many tracks will be shown in the arranger.


Overview mode also displays the tracks in the arranger that are shown at the current zoom level as a colored field.




“Scrolling” refers to the navigation of the playback marker and display area within the arrangement.

The visible section follows the playback marker in so-called Autoscroll Mode during normal playback.


This means that the section “jumps” to the next time section shortly before the playback marker moves off the right side of the screen (Page Mode).


In contrast, “Soft Auto Scroll” constantly moves the section under the playback marker so that the marker remains in the middle of the screen.


You can switch between these scroll modes in the “View” menu.

The playback marker can also be moved using the arrow keys on your computer keyboard. If you activate the grid function in Auto Scroll Mode, the playback marker will move a full grid step every time you press the key.

If the grid is not activated, the playback marker will move one sample every time the key is pressed. To scroll through the arrangement quickly, hold down the respective arrow key.

If you want to scroll with the arrow keys in Soft Auto Scroll Mode, hold down the ALT key before pressing the arrow key.

The “Home” and “End” keys move the playback marker and the visible section of the project either to the very beginning or the very end.

If you want to move the visible section without moving the playback marker, you have the following options:

Grid/marker bar: Moving the mouse pointer in the grid/marker bar while holding down the “Alt” key enables you to move the visible section conveniently from left to right.


This method is very useful for navigating quickly within the arranger.

With the scroll bar: By moving the scroll bar the contents of the window can be moved either to the left or to the right.

With the arrow buttons in the position bar: The red arrow buttons can be used to move the section independently.


With the keyboard: You can set up keyboard shortcuts for any command available in “View > Horizontal / Vertical”.

Detailed information on creating keyboard shortcuts will be provided in the next edition of the Samplitude Academy.


Have fun zooming and scrolling through your Samplitude projects!

Your Samplitude Team

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