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When recording in Pro Tools the Monitor Mode determines what you hear on a track, when it's record enabled or in Playback Mode. There are two options, Auto Input Monitoring or Input Only Monitoring, and you can switch between the two using Option+K on a Mac or Alt+K on a Windows machine. This input status is shown here in the Transport controls in the Edit window toolbar. If we switch it over to Input Only Monitoring, you will see this light up.
Now on Pro Tools HD you can set this mode on each individual track, but in LE and M-Powered the mode determines the input status for all tracks. So let's check out Input Only Monitoring. When I record enable the bass track, Input Only Monitoring allows you to hear the input signal at all times. So even though I have a recorded track on here, I can play the bass right now when it's not playing or when I do press Play you will hear what I'm playing on a bass as oppose to what is recorded on this track. Check this out. (Music playing.) So you can see that I played is different then what you see on the waveform.
Input Only means you always hear the input to the track when it's record enabled. When I switch over to Auto Input Monitoring that changes what happens on this track. When I press Play, you will hear what's on this track, even if I start playing on my bass as you can see, when it stopped you can hear my input. But when I press Play, you won't be able. (Music playing.) So you just heard what's actually recorded on that track, even though this track is record enabled. The only time that you will hear what's on this track through the input is when your ear stopped or when you are actually recording and let's do that right now to check it out. (Music playing.) I purposefully played a performance that doesn't look all that great or doesn't sound all that great here. Just to show you the difference I'm actually going to undo that recording right there. Now we are back to the original.
So I want to show you how to do an Automated Punch. Let's check out this example. I have got this preexisting bass line and I want it to play all the way up to this punch point right here, I'm going to rerecord for a little while and then I'm going to have a punch back out automatically and keep playing rest of the bass line. So for this purpose I want to be in Auto Input Monitoring, not Input Only so that we'll able to hear the preexisting track up to the punch point and now I'm clicking and dragging to highlight of the part that I want to rerecord.
So we'll hear what's existing here, then we'll punch in, I'll play new bass material here and then the preexisting track will pick up right here. Now I want to see Pre-roll and Post- roll, so I'm going to choose Expanded Transport here. I'm going to add two measures of Pre-roll and two measures of Post-roll, press 2 and Enter. So we'll hear two measures before this record area, then I'll record a new bass line and then we'll hear two measures afterwards and remember I'm in Auto Input Monitoring right now. So let's try this out.
(Music playing.) Okay, so I didn't really like my performance there, but you get the point because it played up to the punch point Pro Tools automatically punched me in, I played some more bass and then it punched me out at the punch point. This is called an Automated Punch, and this is a really handy punching method, especially if you are recording by yourself. But I use it all the time when I'm with myself and also when I'm working with clients.
So let's recap. You locate the punch point, you select the area, you record enable that track, you set the Pre-roll and Post-roll, hit Record and Play and then Pro Tools will punch in and punch out for you automatically. So in general, it's often best to choose Auto Input Monitoring when punching only, but leave the Monitoring Mode as Input Only for all other applications.
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