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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 choose New, you'll see the New Tracks dialog. Here is where you are going to create all of your new tracks. You can also access this New Tracks dialog with the shortcuts, Command+Shift+N on a Mac, or Ctrl+Shift+N in Windows. When you open up the New Tracks dialog, it automatically defaults to this, Create 1, new Mono, Audio Track in Samples format.
So we can choose the number of tracks we want. We can also choose the format; here we have Mono or Stereo. Mono is 1 track and stereo is 2, left and right. If you have the complete production toolkit or Pro Tools HDX, you'll also see surround sound types here, offering many multi-channel options. You can also choose the track type. You can choose from Audio Track, Aux Input track, Master Fader, MIDI Track and Instrument Track.
If you have the complete production toolkit or Pro Tools HDX, you'll also see VCA Master and Video Tracks as options here. Now let me tell you a little bit about these different track types. Audio tracks are use to record and arrange recorded or imported audio files and clips. And 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. Audio Tracks can be mono, like a single voice track.
Stereo like a piano track, or multi- channel surround tracks on HD systems or Pro Tools systems with complete production toolkit. Aux Input tracks are used for effect returns, sub mixing and a variety of other signal routing tasks. 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 to 1 and 2 will control the combined output level, of all twelve of those 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 that you create, so that you can monitor the overall output level. Because without a stereo Master Fader track, you can't tell what the overall output level is. MIDI Tracks are used to record MIDI performance data, that is, notes, velocity, pitch bend etcetera. 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 aux input. They allow MIDI recording as well as audio monitoring of an inserted software or hardware instrument on the track. In another video in this course, I'll explain the differences between Ticks and Samples, so I won't get into that here. So now I am going to go ahead and create a number of tracks. First I have a Mono Instrument Track ready here. And I am going to hit this little plus button, and it's going to allow me to add or subtract tracks from the new tracks dialog.
So I'll create another Mono Audio Track here and let's do a Stereo Master Fader, and I will create a MIDI Track. Hit Create and all those tracks will show up in your session. So now you know how to create tracks and what the differences are between each type of track.
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