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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.
Pro Tools has several record modes, the main ones are non-destructive, destructive, loop and QuickPunch. The current record mode is indicated by the Record button icon in the Transport controls which is right over here. If I right-click, I can see all four modes. You can also choose the record mode up here in the Options menu. Now you'll usually record in non- destructive, a.k.a. normal mode. I don't recommend using destructive mode because it records over existing audio erasing whatever it records over.
So recording in normal non-destructive mode does not erase over existing material, and we are going to cover these other types of recording modes later in this movie. So, let's get to recording. What I want to do is add a chimey single note guitar part over my original guitar parts down here. So I've got two acoustic guitar tracks and they are panned out left and right. So I am going to add a new track, a mono audio track. Let's go up here and choose Track > New, single mono audio track, and I am going to name it Lead gtr.
And I need to change the input, to Analog 1, because that's where I'm plugged in, and I am also going to do something a little fun, I'm going to choose to put a plug-in on here, the delay plug-in, the AIR Multi-Delay, and I am going to choose this Crazy Dots preset. Now I'll close this window. So one more thing that I want to do before I start recording, I am going to activate the countoff, so I am going to go over to the MIDI controls here and put them into the Edit window.
Now I can see that the countoff is actually active, but I can't tell how long it is. So I am going to hit the Command key here on the Mac, or Ctrl on Windows and click and drag this over to the left. And I'm also going to click and drag the grid and nudge value over to the right, so we can see the Transport and all the MIDI controls. And now we can see that the countoff is two bars, and that's what I want it to be, and it's active because this is green, when it's off it's not green. And while we are here, we can notice that the metronome is actually on 2, so we're going to hear that as we play and record along.
So now I am going to record enable this track, and we'll start recording a new part. (Music Playing) Okay, so that wasn't too bad of a take, definitely a couple of missed notes here and there, but that's why we can overdub and edit it here.
And to do that let's try some of the other record modes. So I am going to go over to the loop record mode, so I am going to right-click on the record enable button and choose Loop Record. You will see that the icon changes, and now I am going to go down to this area here, I know there was a slight little mess up right around this area, so I am going to highlight these three bars right here, and try to re-record those. Now what happens when we loop record is that we are actually going to record multiple non-destructive takes over this same section of music, while this section repeats.
And this repetition can create more of a comfort level and give the artist a little bit more flow while they're recording. Now let's see that the countoff is still active, so we're going to have two bars at the beginning before we actually start recording. So let's try it out. (Music Playing) All right, so I got a number of takes there, I think the last couple were pretty decent, and now, by the way, the reason I chose to record three bars here is because it was actually easier to play than a longer passage.
I didn't have to do a slide up on the guitar to move between finger positions. And as you watched this record, there were a number of clips that got recorded onto the track. And if we go down here and right-click on a clip, we can choose the matching alternatives and choose any of them from this list. I can switch between the different ones by choosing their names. You'll also see that these clips over here in the clips list highlight along with what you choose down here in the matching alternatives.
Now I am actually going to cover loop recording in a bit more detail in another video on this course, but this shows you the basics of it. Now I want to talk about QuickPunch mode. Punching means to drop a track into record while it's playing back, and in QuickPunch mode you can record enable a track, press play and then punch in where you want to fix a part of a previously recorded performance. So I am going to go up to the Record button and choose QuickPunch, you'll see the little p show up in the middle of the Record button, and that means that we're in QuickPunch mode.
And now I am going to go ahead and place the cursor right over here and we are going to go along this track and punch in a few little bits. But before we start recording, I am going to go up to the Track menu and choose Auto Input Monitoring. That's going to mean that we are going to be able to here what's on the track previous to the punch, and every time that we punch in we'll hear the new audio and then when we punch out we'll hear what's on the track already. So I'll choose that, and now what happens is I'll hit play, and then we can 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 QuickPunch yourself in and out while you're playing an instrument, unless of course you have a foot-pedal connected to your interface. I don't have one of those here at the moment, but you get the point of being able to punch in and out like this.
One thing you should note about QuickPunch 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 shown down here on the track, here. It actually continuously records throughout the whole time period of recording, and it really only just shows us these sections of the track that are punched in. So what this does is it enables us to instantaneously punch in and out, but if you miss an exact spot for your punch, you can actually trim back the punch on the clip itself, like this.
I am going to go to the Trimmer tool, and click and drag, and you'll see that there's actually other material under here. So what this means is that you'll never miss a punch again when you're using QuickPunch. 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. I'll discuss some additional punching techniques in other videos in this course. And I recommend that you get to know your recording modes as they are shown here in the video.
Aside from destructive mode, normal, loop and QuickPunch modes, all have their place in recording sessions.
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