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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

Optimizing Pro Tools' performance


From:

Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

with David Franz

Video: Optimizing Pro Tools' performance

In this video I'm going to explain some of the key settings that affect how Pro Tools interacts with your computer and why you should adjust them for improved performance. Let's go to the Setup menu and choose Playback Engine. First, make sure that the current engine matches the peripheral you chose in the Hardware Setup window. Let's talk about some of these settings down here. First, let's look at the CPU Usage Limit. The CPU Usage Limit is the amount of your computer's total processing power assigned to Pro Tools.
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and Keyboard Focus
      3m 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training
8h 54m Beginner Jan 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Pro Tools interface
  • Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
  • Understanding signal paths and gain stages
  • Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
  • Importing audio from multiple sources
  • Recording and editing audio and MIDI
  • Adjusting time, tempo, meter, key, and chord in arrangements
  • Mixing and mastering a session
  • Setting up an effects loop
  • Importing and displaying video
  • Adding music, Foley, ADR, and FX
  • Archiving a session
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
David Franz

Optimizing Pro Tools' performance

In this video I'm going to explain some of the key settings that affect how Pro Tools interacts with your computer and why you should adjust them for improved performance. Let's go to the Setup menu and choose Playback Engine. First, make sure that the current engine matches the peripheral you chose in the Hardware Setup window. Let's talk about some of these settings down here. First, let's look at the CPU Usage Limit. The CPU Usage Limit is the amount of your computer's total processing power assigned to Pro Tools.

For example, if you assign 85% of your computer's power to Pro Tools, 15% is left for other applications, including your operating system. On this system, we're actually allowed to choose up to 99%, and that's because this is an 8-core multiprocessor. Your computer might only be able to go up to about 90% if you don't have a multi-core processor. The only reason not to boost this all the way to the limit is if you're going to be running other intensive programs on your computer at the same time as Pro Tools.

Now let's talk about the Hardware Buffer Size. The hardware buffer size is related to latency. All computer recording systems have latency, well what is latency? Latency is the time it takes for your computer to receive an input signal, process it, and send it back out to an output so that you can hear it. Yes that's right, digital recording is not actually instantaneous. We can adjust the latency in Pro Tools using the Hardware Buffer Size shown here. The hardware buffer size is the amount of audio data and samples that your computer grabs and processes at one time before it spits it back out for monitoring or recording.

Large buffer sizes give the computer more time to process audio data, but also increase the amount of latency and cause slower user interface responds. Small buffer sizes, like 32 Samples shown here, decrease latency but don't allow the use of as many plug-ins while using Pro Tools. So smaller hardware buffer sizes like 32 Samples or 64 Samples are more useful for recording sessions where you'll have less latency and you may not need to use as many plug-ins.

Larger buffer sizes like 512 or 1024 Samples are more useful for mixing sessions, where there is more latency, but you can also put in more plug-ins. As a side-note because these buffers are measured in samples, it stands to reason that faster sampling rates will yield lower latencies. For example, 128 samples at 96 kHz sampling rate is half as long as 128 samples at 48 kHz sampling rate.

These calculations may be over your head at the moment, and if they are, no worries. The take home message here is that lower buffer sizes are better for recording and higher buffer sizes are better for mixing. We'll discuss this topic further in the recording chapter. Let's move on to the Host Processors. The Host Processors setting determines how many processors in your computer are allocated for plug-in processing. On computers with one processor, this is automatically set to one. However, on computers with multiple processors like this one, you can increase this number to take advantage of those extra processors.

I recommend setting this to either the maximum 8 or the one below the maximum allowed 7, which is often the preferred value. Under Host Engine, most of the time you want to keep the Ignore Errors During Playback/Record unchecked. Because if you do check it, it says this down here, may cause clicks and pops in your playback and recording. And suppressing errors requires at least 128 Samples of additional buffering on some systems. However, when checked, this setting enables Pro Tools to playback and record even if the session's processing requirements exceed the selected CPU usage limit.

If you do check it, the Minimize Additional I/O Latency check box appears, when checked, any additional latency due to suppressing errors is minimized to 128 samples, regardless of what it set in the Hardware Buffer Size. While this setting may cause worst performance on slower computers, check this if you're using a fast computer, but only if needed. Below the Host Engine we have the Delay Compensation Engine, and I'm going to discuss that in another video.

The Plug-in Streaming Buffer setting determines the amount of memory allocated for streaming playback from virtual instruments samplers like Structure. In fact, this option only appears if some version of the Avid Virtual Instrument structure is installed on your system. Now Structure FREE comes with all Pro Tools systems, so it's likely that it is installed on your system. Low values here free up system resources for other uses, while higher values yield better sample playback reliability from Structure, even though they take up more system resources.

Usually keeping the default value here is fine, only change this value if you're experiencing problems with the reliability of streaming playback from Structure. Check the Optimize for streaming content on audio drives check box if you're playing back samples from the same hard drive, as where the audio files are playing back from in your session. Now if this is a bit over your head, don't worry, this section is for more advanced users. Keep the default settings and Pro Tools will perform well in most cases.

In fact, some of the other settings and terminologies explained here in this video might not make complete sense to you right now. However, they will as you move forward using Pro Tools. Revisit this video after getting more familiar with Pro Tools and you'll understand it more deeply. That said, for the purposes here, I would recommend maximizing your CPU usage, adjusting your Hardware Buffer Size to a lower number, and setting your Host Processors to one below the maximum amount.

Leave the rest of the settings at their defaults. These settings will increase the power and optimize your performance of Pro Tools on your computer.

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