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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.
In this movie, I want to show you a little bit of what you're capable of doing in Pro Tools if you're composing with virtual instruments. In this session, I've used all of the virtual instruments that come for free in Pro Tools: Xpand2, Boom, Vacuum, Mini Grand, DB-33, and Structure Free. Let me play a little bit of this for you. (Music Playing) Now that just gives you a quick little tease of what this song is all about.
And as you can see here, I have got a four-minute song based around some of these ideas that you've heard in this section. If you want to hear the rest of the song, just open up this session Composing with VIs, from the exercise files. Let me quickly talk about what I have got here in the session. I have got Structure Free as an Electric Piano, Mini Grand with an Atmospheric Piano sound, Xpand2 set up with a Sitar sound, Vacuum as a Bass Arpeggiated sound, Boom with my Beat, DB-33, obviously as an Organ, and then I have a stereo master fader track and some reverb and delay.
Now well I am not going to dig into the composition techniques I have used here, I do want to show you an important practice that I highly recommend you adopt when composing with virtual instruments. I recommend recording all of the MIDI performance data and sounds onto audio tracks. This ensures that you have a hard copy of the virtual instrument performance, a safety version in case your software crashes, or if you end up opening up the session several years later and the manufacturer has stopped supporting or updating the instrument.
So let me show you how to do that. I am going to switch over to the Mix window, and you'll see on this Mini Grand track, the output is routed to bus 5 and 6. So I am routing the output of that entire performance over to bus 5 and 6, which is here picked up as the input on this audio track. So I've recorded each one of these virtual instrument tracks onto audio tracks simply using bus setups like this. Once you have recorded the virtual instrument tracks as audio, you can actually go down and make the virtual instrument tracks inactive.
So if I click on this little icon right here, I can choose Make Inactive, and that turns this whole track off in the session. You don't lose any of the data, but you gain back all of the processing power that was taken up by the virtual instrument and the track. And let me tell you, virtual instruments can take up a lot of processing power, so in this particular session, I could literally go and make all of these instrument tracks inactive and save tons of processing power.
To make them active again, simply click the same button and make them active. Now with all of the free virtual instruments shown here in Pro Tools, plus all of the third-party instruments that are available, you are now completely able to compose in any style of music, all within Pro Tools, so go have some fun with it.
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