Bouncing means to combine all of the tracks in your Pro Tools session into one file, so you can burn it onto a CD or make an MP3 to post online. When you bounce in Pro Tools, what you hear is what you get. If a track is muted, it won't be in the bounced file. If you've soloed a track, that's all you'll get in the bounce. MIDI regions and instrument tracks don't need to be converted to audio tracks. As long as you can hear the tracks on playback, they'll be in the bounce. So let me show you how to bounce a track.
First, we need to highlight the length of time that we want to bounce for. So, I've already setup a start and an end marker, and since the session is already back at the beginning of the session, for playback, I'm going to hit the Shift button and click on this End marker. And now, I've highlighted from the very beginning of the session, the start marker, to this end marker. That's how long I want the bounce to be. Next, go to File > Bounce to > Disk, and the Bounce window will open up.
For the Bounce Source, we should choose the main stereo outputs of your Pro Tools system. Usually this comes up as the default, and we'll just keep it as that: Analog 1-2. The File Type, we can choose WAV, AIFF, MP3, and a few other options, but let's just choose WAV now, if we're going to bounce this to a CD, or we would choose MP3, if we want to make an MP3, and I'll come back to that in a minute.
The Format, if we're bouncing to a CD, we want to use a Stereo Interleaved file, as opposed to a Multiple mono or a Mono file. So, keep it as Stereo Interleaved. The Bit Depth, or resolution, should be 16, if we're bouncing to a CD, and the Sample Rate should be 44.1 kHz, if we're bouncing to a CD, because those are the CD specs: 16 Bit, 44.1 kHz. Because our session is actually at 16 bit, 44.1, we don't need to convert anything.
So, we don't need to choose anything there. And finally, we'll choose Convert After Bounce. When you choose Convert After Bounce, Pro Tools converts the bounce track to the desired file type after the bounce process takes place. If you choose Convert During Bounce, that can eat up a lot of system resources and could reduce the number of plug-ins that you use while you're bouncing. That's why I was to choose this setting: Convert After Bounce. When we click bounce, then we need to choose where we want to save the file, and now I'm just going to call this bounce1. And I usually like to save my bounces one file folder above the Audio Files.
So I'll choose one higher and click Save, and now Pro Tools is going to go into a real-time bounce, and this is a great opportunity to do a quality check while listening to the bounce down in real time. (Music playing.) So there you go; that's the process for bouncing down an audio file so that you can burn it onto a CD.
In Pro Tools 9, you can also bounce down to MP3. You don't need any add-on MP3 export option anymore as you did in previous versions. You can create the MP3 in the same way. We can just go to Bounce to > Disk, and choose MP3 as the file type, and keep all the other settings the same and choose Bounce, but then we get an extra window, this MP3 window. Here, we can name the track. We'll call it bounce1.
We can put an artist, we can add in album, comments. We can add a genre and a bunch of other stuff. We can also choose the encoding speed, and we can choose between Fastest, which is Lower Quality or a Higher Quality which is slower, and this can take up to five times as long for the encoding speed if we choose the Highest. We can also choose the Constant Bit Rate, all the way up to 320kbit/second. Now, 128 is the default, and it's a good compromise between quality and size.
And for this setting, each minute of a song roughly equals 1 megabyte in file size. And this good for streaming on the Internet, but MP3s with higher bit rates will definitely sound better. So, if we click OK and save the file, it'll start the bounce process again. I won't do that here, but you get the idea. So, now you know how to bounce down your session to a stereo audio file that you can burn onto a CD or post as an MP3.
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