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Pro Tools 9 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz demonstrates concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in the industry-standard software for music and post-production. The course covers creating music with virtual instruments and plugins, editing with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing with effects loops. Exercise files accompany the course.
When starting up a new session, you'll need to create some tracks. In this video, I am going to explain the different types of tracks and how to create them. If you go to the Track menu and select New, you'll see the New Tracks dialog. Here is where you create all of your new tracks. We've got listed here Create one new Mono audio track, with samples as the timebase. We can choose the track format, Mono, Stereo or some sort of surround soundtrack type.
We can choose between Audio, Aux Input, Master Fader, VCA Master, MIDI Track, Instrument Track, and Video Track. Let me tell you a little bit about these different types. Audio Tracks are used to record and arrange recorded or imported audio files and regions. It's important to remember that Pro Tools session documents don't actually contain the audio files; the session references them from the hard drive. These audio tracks can be Mono, like a single voice track, Stereo, like a piano track, or multi-channel on HD systems or Pro Tools systems with the complete production toolkit too.
Aux Input tracks are used for effect returns, sub-mixing, and a variety of other signal routing tasks. Aux Input tracks can be Mono, Stereo, or multi-channel as well. Master Fader tracks are most often used to control the overall level of all the audio signals routed through the main output paths. For instance, if you have 12 audio tracks all routed to analog outs 1 and 2, a Master Fader track with its output assigned to analog outs 1 and 2 will control the combined output level of those 12 audio tracks.
Master Fader tracks can be Mono, Stereo, or multi-channel. I highly recommend putting a stereo Master Fader track into any Pro Tools music session you create to monitor the overall output level. VCA Master tracks are only available in Pro Tools HD and Pro Tools systems with the complete production toolkit too. VCA Master tracks emulate voltage controlled amplifier channels on analog recording and mixing consoles and are used to control tracks in a mixed group that are assigned to a VCA Master.
They do not pass audio, so they don't have any input, output, inserts or sends, yet they can be mono, stereo or multi-channel. You may not ever use one of these in one of your sessions. MIDI tracks are used to record MIDI performance data--that is notes, velocity, pitch band, et cetera. Because no audio passes through them, there is no option for mono, stereo, or surround. Instrument tracks are essentially a combination of a MIDI track and an Aux Input. They allow MIDI recording as well as audio monitoring of an inserted software or hardware instrument on the track.
Finally, Video Tracks, which are only available on HD systems and Pro Tools systems with the complete production toolkit too. However, you can import a video into Pro Tools, and a video track will automatically be created. We'll cover more about video tracks later in this course. So I am going to go ahead and create a number of tracks here. If you click these Plus and Minus buttons, that will add or subtract new tracks. Create a Stereo Aux Input, Stereo Master Fader, Stereo VCA Master, a MIDI Track, a Mono Instrument Track, and a Video Track.
So now you know how to create tracks and what the differences are between each type of track.
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