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Connecting your Pro Tools system

From: Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

Video: Connecting your Pro Tools system

In this video I'm going to show you how to connect the pieces of your Pro Tools studio system. First, if you have an already installed Pro Tools according to the directions that came with your software. For Pro Tools M-Powered and HD users, this process also involves authorizing your iLock key. If you have an external FireWire hard drive, plug that in first. Plug in the power and turn it on. Then connect it via FireWire to your computer.

Connecting your Pro Tools system

In this video I'm going to show you how to connect the pieces of your Pro Tools studio system. First, if you have an already installed Pro Tools according to the directions that came with your software. For Pro Tools M-Powered and HD users, this process also involves authorizing your iLock key. If you have an external FireWire hard drive, plug that in first. Plug in the power and turn it on. Then connect it via FireWire to your computer.

Note that USB hard drives are not compatible for using with Pro Tools. They are not fast enough to keep up with all the audio data transferring. Instead, I recommend using USB drives for archiving your projects. Using an external FireWire drive or a second IDE, ATA or SATA drive for recording audio is highly recommended. You should avoid recording audio to the internal system drive on your computer. Not only will you get better performance from an external drive, you will also keep your audio files and your system software separated.

If necessary, format your hard drive according to the instructions for your computer type. If working with a Mac, use HFS Plus format. If working with a PC use NTFS format. Should you partition the drive? I personally don't think so. Partitioning is not really necessary these days as the gains really aren't worth the cost. I don't recommend doing it. Check Digidesign's compatibility page online for specific hard drive compatibility information.

Also, be sure to back up your data regularly. I have had many drives crash, some I have not backed up and it's painful to lose your musical ideas and your clients' projects. Next in the set of procedure is connecting your Digidesign or M-Audio interface. If your interface requires power like the 003, plug in the power first before connecting it to your computer, then turn it on. Only a few interfaces require power. Even though many of the interfaces come with power cables most interfaces get enough power from the USB or the FireWire port on your computer.

Now, connect your interface to your computer. Use the USB or FireWire cable that came with your interface. If you only have one FireWire port and you have connected your hard drive to that port, connect your interface to your hard drive instead of directly to your computer. Most FireWire drives have two FireWire ports. If your interface has a FireWire 400 connection and your computer or hard drive only has a FireWire 800 connector, you will need to purchase a cable that has a FireWire 400 connection on one end and a FireWire 800 connection on the other end.

With the interface connected, now you can launch Pro Tools. Pro Tools will not launch without having an interface connected to your computer. Pro Tools LE users will need to enter an authorization code to use Pro Tools for the first time. Instead of a code, Pro Tools M- Powered and HD users also will need to plug-in their iLock keys to an available USB port to authorize the computer to use Pro Tools. Let's talk about connecting instruments and mics to your interface.

If you want to record a mic, plug it into one of the mic preamps on the interface. Choose Mic as the input type. If it's a condenser mic be sure to turn on the phantom power button. That's usually labeled as the 48V button. This powers the microphone's diaphragm. Without this added power the mic will not function. If you want to record an instrument directly like an electric guitar or bass, choose DI as the input type and plug directly into the DI Input on your interface. To record a line level instrument like a synthesizer, plug it into the Line input.

If you have got a Midi Controller, you can plug it into the Midi ports on your interface or if it has got a USB connection you can plug it into your computer instead. Plug your headphones into the Headphone input on your interface and connect your studio monitors to the monitor outputs. If you have got a USB powered interface like the Mbox 2, use the mix knob on the front of the interface to mix the output signal from Pro Tools with the input signal from whatever you have got plugged into the interface.

If you have further questions about how to connect any device in your studio setup, consult the Quick Setup or Setup Guide that Digidesign provided with your interface.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 8 Essential Training
Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 10797 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 12m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      3m 51s
    4. Troubleshooting
      3m 1s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 16s
  2. 23m 41s
    1. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      5m 8s
    2. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    3. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      6m 55s
    4. Setting essential preferences
      3m 42s
    5. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 56s
    6. Identifying elements in a session folder
      3m 2s
  3. 47m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      4m 50s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      2m 21s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 55s
    5. Investigating Pro Tools menus
      4m 37s
    6. Creating new tracks
      4m 10s
    7. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 36s
    8. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      5m 54s
    9. Adjusting the I/O setup
      7m 7s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 50s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 49s
  4. 30m 43s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      5m 6s
    2. Importing audio
      5m 13s
    3. Importing MIDI
      3m 55s
    4. Importing session data
      6m 17s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      4m 18s
    6. Importing video
      2m 57s
    7. Unmounting a hard drive
      2m 57s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Recording audio
      5m 6s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 31s
    3. Creating a Click track
      4m 53s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      9m 25s
    5. Recording with playlists and the Loop Record mode
      3m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      5m 28s
    7. Dealing with latency
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 33s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      7m 41s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      5m 34s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 13s
  6. 1h 26m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 31s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      6m 57s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 14s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 27s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 26s
    7. Understanding the edit modes
      7m 54s
    8. Arranging regions
      8m 38s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 3s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      10m 29s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 28s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      3m 36s
    13. Special buttons in the Editing window
      8m 16s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 11s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      10m 59s
  7. 18m 43s
    1. Working with region groups
      5m 47s
    2. Setting time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 46s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 10s
  8. 35m 30s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 25s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 50s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 46s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      5m 24s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 15s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 27s
    7. Using step input
      4m 45s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      2m 51s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 47s
  9. 48m 41s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      8m 23s
    2. Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor
      7m 20s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 41s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 25s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      11m 31s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 59s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      4m 22s
  10. 18m 51s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 22s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      6m 33s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 30s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      2m 26s
  11. 19m 0s
    1. Utilizing the Time Shift plug-in
      7m 41s
    2. Editing with Elastic Time
      8m 30s
    3. Editing with Elastic Pitch
      2m 49s
  12. 48m 20s
    1. Working with Boom
      11m 23s
    2. Working with Xpand2
      7m 21s
    3. Working with DB-33
      6m 58s
    4. Working with Vacuum
      7m 55s
    5. Working with Structure Free
      7m 12s
    6. Working with Mini Grand
      3m 57s
    7. Using Midi Learn
      3m 34s
  13. 25m 55s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 4s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 56s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 9s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 5s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 25s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      4m 16s
  14. 1h 40m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 0s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 18s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      3m 53s
    4. Dealing with delay compensation
      6m 51s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 19s
    6. Adding compression
      11m 17s
    7. Applying limiters
      2m 57s
    8. Using Gates and Expanders
      4m 40s
    9. Working with Side Chains
      3m 35s
    10. Working with De-Essers
      3m 4s
    11. Adding delay
      7m 34s
    12. Utilizing modulation effects
      4m 43s
    13. Adding reverb
      7m 5s
    14. Adding harmonic effects
      5m 7s
    15. Renting and purchasing plug-ins
      2m 2s
    16. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      5m 19s
    17. Bouncing down a mix
      5m 50s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Setting up a session for mastering
      8m 56s
    2. Using plug-ins for mastering
      8m 47s
    3. Applying Dither and Noise shaping
      4m 5s
    4. Bouncing down master recordings
      3m 56s
  16. 19m 52s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      4m 20s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      12m 28s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      3m 4s
  17. 4m 50s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 50s
  18. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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