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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.
Pro Tools has several record modes. The main ones are Nondestructive, Destructive, Loops, and QuickPunch. The current record mode is indicated by the Record button icon in the Transport Controls, right over here. If you right-click, you can see all four modes listed. You can also choose them from the Options menu, right here at the top. You'll usually record in Nondestructive, a.k.a. Normal mode. I don't recommend using Destructive mode because it records over existing audio, erasing whatever it records over.
Recording in Normal nondestructive mode does not erase over existing material. So let's get to recording. I want to add a chimey single note guitar part over my original guitar idea, which I've double-tracked here on these two tracks with two acoustic guitars, and I've panned each one left and right. So I am going to add a new track, a mono audio track, and we'll change the input because I'm still plugged into Analog 1.
I am going to name the track Lead gtr, and I am going to do one more fun thing. I am going to add a plug-in into the Insert section. I am going to add the AIR Multi-Delay plug-in, and I am going to choose this Crazy Dots preset. I will close that window. There's one more thing that I want to do before I start recording. I am going to activate the count off. So I am going to choose the MIDI Controls over here, and it looks like the count off is actually already on.
We can't really see how many bars it is, so I am going to hit the Command key and move that over here, and I am going to get rid of the Grid and Nudge and move that over there. So now we can see that the count off is two bars, and it's activated, and we still have access to all the controls of the Transport that we need. You'll also notice that the metronome, or the click, is on as well. So now I am going to record enable this track and start recording this new part.
(Music playing.) Okay, so that wasn't too bad of a take.
Definitely a couple of miss notes here and there, but that's why we can overdub and we can edit this. To do that, let's try out some of the other record modes. So I am going to Loop record mode, and I believe that there was a little mess- up in this area here. So I'm going to loop these three bars and trying and pick that up. What happens when we loop record is that we are actually going to record multiple nondestructive takes over the same section of music while that section repeats.
This repetition creates a little bit of a comfort level, or it gives the artist a little bit more flow. Since we have the count off still active, we'll get two bars before this comes in. So let's try it out. (Music playing.) All right, so I got a number of takes there.
I think that last couples were pretty decent. The reason why it shows three bars in this particular case was because it was actually easier to play. I didn't have to do a slide up on the guitar. So it was easier to go between the different chords that I had to play. So as you watched this record, there were a number of regions that got recorded in this area. If we right-click on this area, we can go down to Matches and see these different takes listed right here, and these were what we loop-recorded.
I can switch between the different ones by choosing the different matches. You'll also see that these regions are over here in the Regions list, and each time I change, the one that's highlighted shows up here. Now, I am actually going to cover loop recording in a little bit more detail in another video in this course, but this shows you the basics of it. Now I want to talk about QuickPunch mode. Now punching means to drop a track into record while it's playing back. In QuickPunch mode, you can Record Enable a track, press Play, and then punch in when you want to fix a part of a previously recorded performance.
So, let's go up to the Record button. I'm going to right-click it and choose QuickPunch, and you'll see the little P in the middle of the Record button. That means we are in QuickPunch mode. I am going to place the cursor over here, and we are going to go along this track and punch in a few little bits. Before we do that actually, I want to go to the Track menu, and change to Auto Input Monitoring. That's going to mean that we are going to be able to hear what's on the track previous, and then when we punch in, we'll hear the new part of the track and when we punch out, we'll hear the old part of the track again. So, what do we do? We actually hit Play, and then we will click the Record button to punch in and out for QuickPunch.
(Music playing.) Now, I wasn't actually playing along there. It's kind of hard to quick punch yourself in and out while you're playing an instrument, unless, of course, you have a foot pedal connected to your interface. But I don't have that one here at the moment.
But you get the point of being able to punch in like this, and you can do this up to a hundred times during playback of one track. One thing you should note about Quick Punch is Pro Tools actually begins recording a new audio file as soon as you start playing back the track. It doesn't only record just at the punch points, which are down here. It actually records continuously throughout this whole time period. It only shows us the sections on the track that are punched in. So what this does is it enables an instantaneous punch in and out time, and if you miss an exact spot for the punch, you can actually trim back the punch region like this.
Let me go to the Trimmer tool and trim the punch point. So you'll never miss a punch again. One final note about QuickPunch: I wouldn't keep it on all the time, as it records continuously, and that can eat up a lot of hard drive space. Now, I'll discuss some additional punching techniques in another video in this course. I recommend that you get to know these recording modes. Aside from Destructive mode, Normal, Loop and QuickPunch modes all have their place in recording sessions.
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