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Bouncing means to combine all of the tracks in your Pro Tools session into one file, usually a stereo file, so that 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 that you're going to get in your bounce. MIDI clips and instrument tracks don't need to be converted to audio tracks. As long as you can hear the tracks on playback, they will be in the bounce.
So let me show you how to bounce a track. First, in the Edit window highlight the length of time that you want your song to be. What I usually like to do is create markers at the start and end, and then it makes it really easy to just click on one of the markers, press Shift, and then click on the other, and that highlights the entire range of time that I want to bounce. If you leave it open ended then Pro Tools is going to bounce until the very last piece of information, and that could be a piece of automation that's way out here.
In fact, if we had a piece here, it would bounce all the way out to here. So we don't want that. So we want to highlight the entire amount of time, but nothing more or nothing less than what we really want. So now let's go to Bounce to > Disk from the File menu and the Bounce to > Disk window opens up. Let's pick the right settings here, and we'll choose settings that will create a file that can be burned onto an audio CD. First, we'll set the Bounce Source, and that's our main outputs. That looks good here. And that what we can see down here is what we've routed everything through on this master fader track, So we know that's correct.
then we'll choose the file type and we can choose from a number of different ones here. I like WAV files the best, so we'll set that. We could also choose AIFF or MP3 if we wanted to make an MP3 file. Next, we'll choose our format, and most of the time you want to choose Interleaved, and that creates a stereo track. Next, we'll choose our bit depth and in this case if we want to burn it onto a CD, it needs to be 16-bit, so we will choose that. And our sampling rate.
We like 44.1 kHz. That's what the CD standard is. Because the audio in this session is already at 16-bit and 44.1 kHz, we don't need to convert it. But if we were changing it to something else, we could choose a conversion quality, but usually you will want to keep it at the best one, which is Tweak Head. Even though it says it's slowest. On our computers these days it's really not slow at all. So anyway let switch this back to 44.1 kHz, and now we have a few other options down here.
I always 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 this setting, Convert After Bounce. Now we have a few more settings down here, and I am going to cover that in the next movie, but now let's just go to the Bounce button. After clicking the Bounce button, we need to name the file and choose a location to save it.
And I usually like to save it one file folder above the audio file so it doesn't get lost in my Audio Files folder. I'm just going to name it "bounce" and click Save. Once I hit Save, Pro Tools will begin the real-time bounce, and this is a great opportunity to do a quality check while listening to the mix 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. You can also bounce to an MP3 file and bring that into your iTunes library or post to SoundCloud, and I'll show you how to do that in the next movie.
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