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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
Bouncing in Pro Tools means to combine all of the tracks in your Pro Tools session into one file. When you're ready to bounce and mix up your songs so you can burn it to a CD or make an MP3 to post online, here's what you do. First, in the Edit window, highlight the length of time that you want your song to be. What I usually like to do is set up a marker at the very beginning and at the very end of the time that I want to bounce. So, what I can do is click on this one marker, press Shift and click on the other marker, and the time between these two markers is selected. That will be my entire bounce length. Then you go to the File menu, choose Bounce to > Disk, and you get the Bounce to Disk window. In this window, there are specific settings you need to choose to make a file that can be burned onto an audio CD.
Let's start from top to bottom. First, we have the Bounce Source. Choose the main stereo outputs of your Pro Tools system. Often this is just Analog 1-2, which is usually the default in this window. Next, go down to File Type, and in this case, we'd actually choose either WAV or AIF to bounce to a file if we want it to be on a CD. Next, we go down to the Format, and in this case we want to create a Stereo Interleaved file. Those are the kinds that are able to be burned on to a CD.
We'll choose 16-bit and 44.1 kilohertz as the Sampling Rate. Those fit the specs of a CD. Since this particular session is actually a 16-bit 44.1 kilohertz session, we don't need to convert it to any other bit depth or sampling rate. So, this will just be grayed out, the Conversion Quality. However, if we had a session that was at a different bit rate or sampling rate, we would have to choose a Conversion Quality here.
Finally, down here we have the Conversion Options, and I think you should 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 can use while you're bouncing. That's why I always choose the setting, Convert After Bounce. Now, we can go ahead and click the Bounce button and Pro Tools will ask you where you want to save the file. I'm going to go ahead and save it to the Desktop and we'll call it bounce1. As soon as I click Save, the real time bounce will start, and this is a great opportunity to do a quality check of your mix. Let's have a listen. (Music playing.) So, there you go. There is the process for bouncing down an audio file so that you can burn it onto a CD. Now, what if you want to make an MP3? Well, the process is a little bit different. First you need to make sure that you have got the MP3 option installed.
Pro Tools come with the free 30-day trial of the MP3 Encoder. After that, you're actually going to have to buy the authorization code from Digidesign. If you have one already, copy the MP3. bundle file into your Codecs folder to try before you buy. That's actually located here within your Pro Tools folder in the Codecs folder in the MP3 folder. For Windows users, check out the file name and path in the overlay here. Now, I highly recommend buying the MP3 option because it produces very high quality files. With the MP3 option installed, you can create an MP3 file in the same way as described earlier. We just need to change the File Type to MP3 in the Bounce to Disk dialog box. So, simply go up here, choose File Type as MP3. We keep Stereo Interleaved and everything else the same.
This time when we click Bounce, the MP3 Settings dialog opens and you can name your MP3 and give it other metadata, such as information about the artist and the album etcetera. You can also choose the Encoding Speed as well as the Constant Bit Rate. The higher the bit rate the higher the quality of MP3 and the larger the size of the MP3 file.
The default setting of 128 kilobits per second is a good compromise between quality and size where each minute of a song roughly equates to a megabyte in file size. So, if we click OK and save the file, it will start the Bounce process again. 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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