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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
Where the Edit tools and MIDI Event List enable you to do edit specific notes or groups of notes, the editing possibilities found in the Event Operations window can have even more of an impact on your MIDI and instrument tracks. Go to Event > Event Operations > Event Operations Window. Now we've got the Event Operations window open. The operations here enable you to enter and alter the pitch, dynamics, timing and phrasing of any MIDI performance. Now we've already covered Input Quantize and Step Input, so I'll give explanations of the others in this video, and then I'll dedicate a separate video to the most enigmatic of these operations, the Quantization function.
So let's start here at the top with Change Velocity. The Change Velocity function adjusts the attack and release velocities for selected notes. It's useful for creating dynamic changes that weren't recorded with the original MIDI data. So let's take a look at this trumpet track, where we've got the velocity showing, and I'm going to highlight this area. So I'm going to change the velocity of the Note On, and if we choose Set all to this value 64 and hit Apply, it moves all of the velocity to 64. I'm going to undo that.
You can also scale it by a percentage or just simply subtract by a number, let's try subtracting by 31, hit Apply. It keeps everything at the same relative value, but it is dropped down by 31. I'll undo that. What if we try the Randomize, and this is maxed out at 100, so we hit Apply, you can see that their velocities go all over the place. I'm not sure when that would be a good thing to do, but hey! Why not? Let's go to the Change Duration. The Change Duration function is good for making a MIDI or instrument track more staccato. That is for shorter notes, or legato for smoothing out a phrase. You can use it to remove overlapping notes and transform sustain pedal data into duration data, which is actually quite useful for piano players who are too heavy on the sustain pedal while recording MIDI data.
But let's hear what it sounds like on this trumpet part. You can see that these notes are pretty short here. I'm just going to play this real quick, so you can hear how short they actually are. (Music playing.) So what if we take these notes and make them more legato, so that they're actually one beat in length? Let's apply this and see what happens. Press Play. (Music playing.) It's kind of a cool effect. I'm going to undo that. So there is a lot of opportunities to change the durations and the whole feel of the track by using this Change Duration function. Let's go down to Transpose.
The Transpose function moves selected notes up or down and pitch. This is what you use if you want to change the key of a part without rerecording the part, or if you want to move a MIDI part up or down an octave to make it sound in a better range, or you can even change a triggered sample on a repeated note, like changing the sound of a high- hat track from one sample to another. What I'm going to do now is play this track with all the instruments in it, in its original pitch, and then I'm going to transpose it all up. (Music playing.) So if I highlight all of these regions and let's bring it up, let's try 6 semitones, hit Apply, and that's moved everything up. Let's listen. (Music playing.) While that's a good test, I actually like the original key better than this one.
And you'll note that I did not apply it to the drums, because if you transpose the drums, then that's going to really mess things up. In fact, let's try it just for a second and we'll hear what happens. (Music playing.) It changes the samples that you're triggering away from the original sample, so we don't want to do that. Let's move on to the Select/Split Notes window. This function allows you to select notes based on pitch, velocity, duration and position, whether you're selecting a single note or a range. It's particularly useful for altering a single note for the entire length of a region or a track.
For example, if you had a percussion track that had a whole bunch of percussion instruments in it, and you wanted to change just the Congo sound to a Bongo, all you need to do is go in with this function and select the one pitch and then change it up or down to a different pitch to trigger a different sample. And that's using the Select Notes part. More advanced than the Select Notes function is the Split Notes function, and that helps you divide notes into ranges. That's very useful for splitting up parts that were played on a single track into multiple tracks.
For example, you could split up a chord into individual notes for a horn chart or you could split up a full drum kit track into individual tracks. I'm going to actually show you how to do that here. So I'm going to choose the pitch criteria. It's going to be all the notes, so that each note gets split. I'll keep the other criteria as is and then I'll choose Split Notes. I'll copy to a new track per pitch. Since we've got this beat already selected, I'm going to hit Apply, and you'll see that it created three new tracks. I'll expand these out. We've got notes on each track. This is the kick track, these are the snares and this is the high-hat. Let's move over to Restore Performance.
The Restore Performance function enables you to undo any timing, pitch, duration or velocity edits that you made, using the MIDI editing functions in the Event Operations window, even after the session has been saved. It can even be used to remove quantization that was applied using the Input Quantize function. However, when you manually move a MIDI note, the Restore Performance function does not undo that move. This includes cutting, copying, pasting and trimming. Also note that the Restore Performance command cannot be undone. And as you can see here in this window, we can choose which things that we want to restore.
Finally, we have the Flatten Performance. Once you've finalized some or all the edits on your MIDI or instrument track, you can choose the Flatten Performance option, and save the edits permanently. Now before you do this, I recommend making a duplicate play list of the edited track before flattening it. If you remember how to do that, you can go over here to the Play List menu, and choose Duplicate. Now I personally don't really see the need for this operation. So I don't really use it, because I always like to be able to go back to previous edits if necessary. But some might want to do this to kind of lock in their edits.
So here you've seen many powerful editing features that are part of the Event Operations window, and we haven't even yet touched the quantization. Get to know these features. They can make potentially cumbersome data manipulation into quick and easy edits.
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