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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
Most plug-ins in Pro Tools have a real- time version that you can insert on the track and work in real time during playback and recording. Most of them also have non-real- time versions that we simply call the AudioSuite version. AudioSuite plug-ins process audio while Pro Tools is stopped, not playing or recording. The advantage of the non-real-time processing is that it doesn't take any processing power while you're playing back or recording. To apply an AudioSuite plug-in to an audio clip, first we need to highlight the clip, and then we choose the plug-in that we want from the AudioSuite menu. So I can simply go up to the AudioSuite menu here, and I'm going to choose Chorus.
A lot of AudioSuite plug-ins have presets, so I'm going to choose EvenSlo Flange here, and that changes the settings here. And now if I want to hear this, I can click the Preview button, which is right down here. Let's hear what this sounds like. (Music Playing) With the Bypass button on, we hear what the track normally sounds like.
(Music Playing) If we actually like that sound-- that's kind of crazy--but if we do like it then all we need to do really is hit the Render button and Pro Tools will create a brand-new audio file that renders that effect into the acoustic guitar track that we have. If you look over here on the Clips list, we can see this new clip right here. We can always tell that it has been rendered by an AudioSuite plug-in because it will have a little abbreviation of that effect right here.
So the A stands for AudioSuite and the CHR stands for chorus. So as we can tell here in the Clips list, this piece of audio is bold here, and that indicates that it's a whole-file audio clip. Now before rendering a clip with an AudioSuite plug-in, I highly recommend making a duplicate playlist on the track so that you can always go back to the original unrendered clip if needed. So in this particular case, I'm actually going to choose Undo, then create a duplicate playlist, and I'm actually going to name this "chorus," and now I can render this effect. And now I have this playlist with the chorus effect, and I can always go back to the original if needed.
A good time to use the AudioSuite version of a plug-in is when you're running out of processing power from using so many real-time plug-ins. In that case, save the plug-in settings that you're using in the real-time version, then take that plug-in off the track, and then finally apply the AudioSuite version like this. Let me show you how. Go over to the Mix window. And I have got this EQ plug-in on this bass track, so what I'm going to do is actually save this setting as df bass EQ.
So now I can actually take this plug-in off the track completely. I can have no insert, or I can simply make it inactive. And what I did there was press Ctrl+Command on the Mac or Start+Ctrl in Windows. Now I'll switch back over to the Edit window, and I'm going to go down here-- I will actually close this window-- and double-click on the bass track. Now I'll go to the AudioSuite plug-in and choose my settings here on this EQ.
I can find them right here, df bass EQ. It loads up my EQ curve, and I can press Render and that creates a whole new audio track for my bass that is rendered with the EQ processing on it. You can also use the AudioSuite plug-ins for creative effects. I like to use the Reverse AudioSuite plug-in to render a track in reverse. Let's check it out. I am going to highlight this guitar track and choose AudioSuite > Other > Reverse, and let's hear what this sounds like.
(Music Playing) Pretty cool. Let's say that we just want to render part of this track. So I'll highlight this section and choose Render. So what we have here to the left of the Render button is the handle length for rendered clips. Now handles are a specified amount of time outside the current edit selection that enable you to trim clips beyond their originally rendered selection after they've been processed.
So down here we have this selection; however, when this is set to 2 we have 2 seconds on either side that will give us some handles that we can extend this audio clip out left or right. Now handle length can be up to 60 seconds on either side to the left or the right, if there is enough material in the originally referenced whole file. You can also choose to make the handle the entire whole file referenced by the clip, and you can choose that in the plug-in here, except we actually have to change our preference.
So we go to Setup > Preferences and here in the Processing page we've got the Default Handle Length, and we'll choose Whole File. One other thing we have to change here is that we want to create individual files, and now we can select Whole File here. And what that does when we render it is that we'll see and hear this part being rendered, but actually this entire whole clip will be rendered. So let's do it. I will render it, and literally I can go down here and drag this out and it'll actually be rendered with our Reverse plug-in.
I'll play it here, and you can hear it. (Music Playing) Very cool! So as you can see here, you can use the AudioSuite plug-ins for creative effects like this Reverse plug-in, and you can use them to help lessen the processing load when you doing a large mix.
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