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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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