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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
A terrific feature of Pro Tools is the ability to import session data from one session file directly into another session file. You can do this for any type of track, including audio, instrument, auxiliary, master fader tracks, etcetera. And I like to use this feature to import tracks that have settings that I really like on them. Like for example, if I've dialed in a nice vocal signal path with effects and EQ and compression, and I want to duplicate that into a new session, or if I want to bring an instrument track that already has some notes on it or something that I really want also in this new session, this is the way to do it, using the import session data option.
If you go to File > Import > Session Data, here we can choose which session that we want to import from, and I'm going to just go ahead and double-click on Composing_With_Vls, and that opens up our Import Session Data dialog box. At the top we've got the source properties and these are the properties that have to do with the session that we are trying to import from, and that all looks good. Down below we have the Audio Media Options, and here this is talking about linking or copying or bringing in your audio files into this new session, and we have a variety of options here.
Link to source media means that it won't copy the audio it'll actually link to the original files wherever they are in your hard drives, or you can choose to copy and make a new copy for your new session, we have these other options here too. The same goes for Video Media Options, we're not going to working with video here, but we do have some different choices. Up here on the top right we have the Timecode Mapping Options, and this is mainly for working with video and helping to align the audio correctly with the video, and we have some different options here, don't worry about that too much now.
We can also add a Track Offset, so if we want the audio that we were bringing in to start at a different bar or beat, we can do that or at a different timecode or different sample number, we can do that here. We also have the Sample Rate Conversion Options, and in this particular case the sampling rate in the session that we're importing from is the same as the one we're importing to, so we don't really need to sample rate convert, but if we decide to anyway, we can check this off, and we can set the different sampling rates and we can also set the conversion quality.
Usually I go for the best called the Tweak Head, it says it is the slowest, but really with the computers these days, it goes really fast anyway, and it is the best quality, so I would choose that, and you'll also noticed that when we do the sample rate conversion, the Audio Media Option changes to force to target session format, and that just means that we have to force our new audio files to the new session format that we're deciding on right here. So now let's get to what we really need to do, we want to bring tracks into this session.
So I'm going to go down here and choose which ones that I actually want to bring in. We've got the source tracks from the original session and the destination, so I'm going to just click here and choose New Track, and the same for this one. So now I've got these two tracks that I want to bring into our new session. We can also bring in some other information from the session that we're importing from. If you go down here to the Import area, we've got tempo/meter map which I'm actually going to check off so that the tempo of the session matches what we originally recorded these tracks at.
We can also bring in the key signature and the chord map, markers and memory locations, window configurations and mic preamp settings. Over here on the right we can choose which data to import and there's a long list. We can bring in anything from the track really, alternate playlists or clip gain or volume automation, plug-in settings, input and output assignments, comments, even mixed groups. And for the Main Playlist Options we can import what's already on the main playlist, or we can choose not to import anything and have a blank playlist and that's what I'm going to do right now.
So when we go ahead and hit OK, and Pro Tools is going to bring those files in, and it needs to look for the original audio file, so I'm going to say Automatically Find & Relink, and while it's looking for them, I'm going to go up and show you the other way to import session data. If you go to Window > Workspace, and if we navigate to a Pro Tools session file, we can simply click and drag it into the session and it will open up the Import Session Data dialog box, and we can do the same thing here, we can bring in new tracks and import anything else that we want from that session in this dialog box.
I am going to cancel that. So now you know two different ways to import session data into a new session, and this is a great way for bringing in tracks from other sessions and personally I find it very useful to import tracks that already have effects plug-ins or virtual instruments on them that I use regularly, and I'm sure you're going to find this feature very handy as you begin to use Pro Tools more frequently.
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