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Creating a click track

From: Pro Tools 9 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. Recording to a click track is a very common practice, 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 in every recording session that I'm in. But I recommend recording to a click or a drum loop at a steady tempo, even when you are simply laying down a rough song idea. So let's do that. Let me create a new track, one mono audio track, and I am going to create a click track, which I can go to Track > Create Click Track.

Creating a click track

A click track in Pro Tools is a steady beat that is in sync with the session's tempo. Recording to a click track is a very common practice, 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 in every recording session that I'm in. But I recommend recording to a click or a drum loop at a steady tempo, even when you are simply laying down a rough song idea. So let's do that. Let me create a new track, one mono audio track, and I am going to create a click track, which I can go to Track > Create Click Track.

I will expand that out. You can see that the Click Track plug-in is already inserted on this auxiliary track. Let's open that up. This is what the Click Track plug-in looks like. And if I press Play, we are going to hear what it sounds like. (Click track playing.) The reason we can hear that is because we have this click or the Metronome button activated.

That's in the MIDI controls. They are shown up here. Also right here in the Options menu, if we deactivate the Click, that is also deactivated here in the MIDI controls, and we'll turn that back on. If we go to this button right here, the factory default setting is that sound that we just heard. However, there are a few other options if we want. We can choose Cowbell 3, and I'll press Play. (Click track playing.) I'm not really sure how that's a cowbell, but okay.

I like the factory default sound a little bit better. Actually, there's a couple of other ways that we can turn off the click track if we don't want to hear it. I am going to press Play and show you the two options. So you can hit the Bypass button, (Click track playing.) or you can hit the Mute button on the click track. (Click track playing.) But the whole point of us putting the click track on here is to hear it. So let's record something to the click track. Before we do that, I want I should change the tempo of the song.

I don't want to record at 120. The song that I want to do is actually going to be at about 86 BPM. So by double-clicking this button here, I get the Tempo Change window, and I typed in 86, with the resolution of a 1/4 note. I click OK, and you see the grid change here, due to our change in tempo. Now, let's listen to the click, and it's at a different tempo. (Click track playing.) We can also change the meter if we want, and you can choose that here.

You can add a meter change. Now, I don't actually change the meter, but if you wanted to, you could type in something here and put it to a different location. You can also create a tempo change at some other bar than the beginning, if you click on that little arrow here and open up the Tempo Change box. But I'm happy with just keeping it at 86. So now, first I am going to rename this Ac gtr and record enable the track, and I am going to lay down my acoustic guitar to the click track.

(Music playing.) So, I just laid down my acoustic guitar track in time with the click.

Now, let me show you a few more things about the click track before we get out of here. If we go to the Setup menu, and down to the Click/Countoff, we can tell Pro Tools when we want the click to happen. We can say during play and record, only during record, only during count-off, and we can have a countoff that happens only when we are recording. We can also choose a different output for the click. We can use virtual instruments here or just have the simple click plug-in, and we don't have to change this output at all.

But I just want you to be aware of this Click/Countoff Options box. Also, if we go Setup > Preferences and we click in the MIDI tab, we can check this off in the Basics, Automatically Create Click Track in New Sessions. I like to have that on, so I'll keep that checked. So anytime you open a new session, Pro Tools will automatically create a new click track. Recording to a click ensures that you play along with a steady tempo, which is often a good idea when you're trying to flush out an idea to share with others or when you're going to be recording other rhythmic parts on the song.

I highly recommend that you record almost everything with a click track as a reference.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11334 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O Settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations
      52s

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