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Creating a Click track

From: Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

Video: Creating a Click track

A Click track in Pro Tools is a steady beat that is in-sync with the session's tempo and meter. Recording to a Click track is very common and offers the promise of aligning tracks that may not have been recorded at the same time. Being a drummer, I usually have to record to a Click track in every recording session that I do. But I'll recommend recording to a click or even a drum loop at a steady tempo even when you're simply laying down a rough song idea. So let's do that. I'm going to create a new audio track for my guitar.

Creating a Click track

A Click track in Pro Tools is a steady beat that is in-sync with the session's tempo and meter. Recording to a Click track is very common and offers the promise of aligning tracks that may not have been recorded at the same time. Being a drummer, I usually have to record to a Click track in every recording session that I do. But I'll recommend recording to a click or even a drum loop at a steady tempo even when you're simply laying down a rough song idea. So let's do that. I'm going to create a new audio track for my guitar.

I'll name it. I'm also going to choose Track > Create Click Track. And that automatically creates a mono auxiliary track with a Click plug-in on it. Let me show you that. Let me expand this out and I'll show you the inserts, and you'll see that the Click plug-in is in here in the Insert section. If I click on this, it opens up the Click plug-in window. If I press Play, you'll actually hear the Click track play back. (Music playing.) That's a great sound, huh? Or what if we want to change the sound? I'm going to hit factory default button, maybe we want the Cowbell. (Music playing.) Can't say that really sounds like a cowbell. I think I'll go back to the factory default. Now if you don't hear the Click track, when you press Play, it might be because it's not enabled. And you can enable it in a couple of different ways. Right here with the Metronome button, if you click it, now it's not active. When it's blue, it is active. And this control you can find in the MIDI controls of the Edit window toolbar. You can also go to the Options menu, and make sure that the Click has a check next to it. If you uncheck this, you'll see that the Metronome button also is made inactive.

You can also bypass the Click, which will make it silent. There are some Click options if you go to Setup > Click/ Countoff. In this window you'll see some options to have the Click play during play and record. Only during record, or Only during countoff. We can also change the notes for the Accented and Unaccented parts of the beat, changing their Velocities and Durations. We can even choose to go to a different instrument, and not have it be the Click track. We can route it to another plug-in, a virtual instrument, or even an external MIDI sound device.

We can also affect the Countoff here. We'll leave this as is. So the Click track will follow the tempo and the meter of the session. The default settings for any Pro Tools session are 120 beats per minute, and 44 meter. But what if we want to change that? Oh it's very simple. Click these little pluses, so Add a Tempo Change. I think the song that I want to record right now of a BPM of 90. So I'll type that in, and have it start right at the beginning of this session. And I'll keep the meter at the same, but if you wanted to change it, you can just click this button and change it here. But I'll leave at the same. So now we are ready to record with the Click track. Record enable the track. (Music playing.) Okay, maybe not my best performance, but you get the idea. Now what if you want to actually have a Click track automatically into every session that you create? Well, it's easy to do. Let's go to Setup > Preferences, to the MIDI Page and you'll see this option right here. Automatically create Click Track in New Sessions. With this active, anytime that you create a new session a Click track will automatically be in there on a Mono Ox track.

Recording to a Click, ensures that you play along to a steady tempo, which is often a good idea when you're trying to flesh out an idea to share with others, or when you know you are going to record other rhythmic parts to the song. I highly recommend that you record almost everything with a Click track reference.

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This video is part of

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

120 video lessons · 10763 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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