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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.
In this video, I'm going to show you a quick way to create a drum loop using MIDI. Let's start with the stereo instrument track with Xpand2 on it and a click track. I'll open up Xpand here, and you're going to see that I have the Session Drums preset in here, and it's got a kick, snare, cymbals loaded up and other natural percussion. Let's take a listen to what we've got. (Drums playing.) Those will be the primary sounds that we'd be using: the kick, the snare, and the hi-hat.
So the first thing that you want to do is choose Loop Playback, and I'm going to right-click the Play button here and choose the Loop. Now, note that this is Loop Playback, not Loop Record. We don't need Loop Record for this. Now you notice that I've got the MIDI controls showing here in the Transport window. All of these are active. We've got Wait for Note, we've got the metronome on, we've got the MIDI Merge and the Conductor track as active.
So we're following the tempo and the meter that are in the session. We're set at 120 and a meter of 4/4. Finally, let's go up to Event > Event Operations and Input Quantize. We'll enable the Input Quantize, and we'll set the Quantize Grid to 16. That's fine. So now I'm going to highlight two measures, and I'm going to create a two-bar drum loop, recording one instrument at a time: kick, snare, and then hi-hat.
So let me practice just a second. (Drum playing.) So I want it to sound like that, but I'm going to do each instrument individually and show you how you don't have to play that all at once, just one instrument at a time. So this track is record-enabled. I'm just going to go over here. You'll see that Wait for Note is active, so initially we'll just hear the click track, and then as soon as I hit the first note, we'll be in, and we'll be loop recording over this two-bar phrase.
(Drums playing.) The fourth time that you heard it play around, just that last time through, I wasn't playing any notes. It was playing back the track by itself.
So now we have all three parts here on the track: the kick, the snare and the hi-hat. I'll press Play, and we'll hear it one more time. (Drums playing.) Now, how easy was that? We recorded one instrument at a time, and they're all three layered on top of each other because MIDI Merge was active. They're all aligned to the grid because we had Input Quantize on. So with just a few steps, you can create beats that are locked to the tempo grid and sound great.
Practice this technique and revisit this video if you have any questions about the steps involved, but most importantly, have some fun making beats.
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