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Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools

The first step in having a successful Pro Tools experience happens before you even install Pro Tools on your computer. Before installing Pro Tools, check to make sure that your computer meets the requirements to run Pro Tools. Go to the avid.com site, and navigate to the Avid Knowledgebase. You can find that under Support & Services. On the right side here, Pro Tools Support, click Knowledgebase. Use this site to check that your computer specs, operating system, hard drive, audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, plug-ins, and third-party devices are all compatible with Pro Tools 9.

Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools

The first step in having a successful Pro Tools experience happens before you even install Pro Tools on your computer. Before installing Pro Tools, check to make sure that your computer meets the requirements to run Pro Tools. Go to the avid.com site, and navigate to the Avid Knowledgebase. You can find that under Support & Services. On the right side here, Pro Tools Support, click Knowledgebase. Use this site to check that your computer specs, operating system, hard drive, audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, plug-ins, and third-party devices are all compatible with Pro Tools 9.

I absolutely recommend checking this site before purchasing any additional hardware or software that you plan on using with Pro Tools, especially if you're buying a new computer. So let's look at where we want to find information for compatibility. If you actually scroll down to this menu, you can find Compatibility. Hit Search, and you can see Plug-in Compatibility, Operating System Requirements. While you're on this site, check to make sure that you're running a compatible version of your computer's operating system.

Minor version differences can be the difference between whether Pro Tools can run on your computer or not. Before installing Pro Tools, there are a few things that you can optimize on your computer to make sure that it runs really smoothly with Pro Tools. On a Mac, you should configure the System Preferences, optimize the Energy Saver, turn off Airport and Bluetooth, disable Time Machine, disable FireWire Networking and Filevault Protection, update your iLok Drivers, and turn off the Software Update.

You may also want to disable Spotlight Indexing, and disable the Sudden Motion Sensor if you're using a laptop computer. The specific steps on how to do these actions are listed in the Getting Started PDF in the Documentation folder that comes with your Pro Tools system. You can also find this information on Avid's web site. Note that some of these steps may change as the Mac OS gets updated. To optimize a Windows system for Pro Tools, you should configure your Device Manager, disable network cards, and audio devices, disable USB Power Management, disable system startup items, make a few hard disk optimizations, turn off User Account Control, and adjust the Power Options.

You may also want to adjust Processor Scheduling, disable the screen saver, and adjust the display performance. The specific steps on how to do these actions are listed in the Getting Started PDF in the Documentation folder that comes with Pro Tools, and also on Avid's web site. Note that these steps may change as the Windows 7 OS gets updated. Here are a few more recommended optimizations that are applicable to both Macs and Windows systems: turn off any program that runs in the background, quit any program that's unneeded while running Pro Tools, turn off any unused FireWire devices.

There may be a few more that are listed on avid.com. Check their site for the latest info. Avid strongly advises not to record audio to the internal system hard drive on your computer. That'll reduce the performance of Pro Tools, and can also interfere with the performance of your computer in general, not just with Pro Tools. Avid recommends using at least one external hard drive or a second internal drive to store your audio files. That drive should either be an external 7200 RPM FireWire drive or a compatible ATA/IDE drive.

Again, check the Compatibility page on Avid's site for the recommendations. Having a large fast hard drive is imperative for working with Pro Tools and achieving the best performance from your Pro Tools system. So make sure to optimize your computer for Pro Tools and check the Compatibility pages on avid.com, so that you don't run into any incompatibility surprises with your computer or your associated Pro Tools gear.

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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11533 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    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 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      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 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations
      52s

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