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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.
When recording, 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, and Input Only monitoring. And you can switch between the two using the key command Option+K on a Mac, or Alt+K on a Windows machine. You also can choose them in the Track menu. The one that is showing in the Track menu is actually the one that's not chosen. So although it's a little confusing, we can tell more easily by this indicator right here.
When it's green, this means that it's an Input Only monitoring, and you can see that when you have the tooltips on, it says Input Monitor Enabled. Now this status applies to all tracks in Pro Tools. However in Pro Tools HD, you can set this mode on each track individually, and that area is found right here on the track. So let's check this out. We are in Input Only monitoring, and when I record-enable the lead gtr track, Input Only monitoring allows you only to hear the input signal, not what's recorded on the track already.
So I can play and hear the guitar right now when Pro Tools isn't playing, and then when I press Play, you'll also only hear what I'm planning on the guitar, as opposed to what's already recorded. Check it out, and I am going to solo this to make it really obvious. (Music playing.) So as you can see, when I press Play with Input Only Monitoring on, you only hear what's coming from the input signal.
You don't hear what's actually shown on the track there. In contrast, if I switch over to Auto Input, that changes what happens on this track. When I press Play, you'll actually hear what's recorded on the track, not me playing the guitar. However, when Pro Tools is stopped, you can hear my input. (Music playing.) Auto Input monitoring is the mode often used when punching in and out.
Let me show you an example. I am going to highlight a few bars here, and I am going to go up and activate the pre-roll. We've got two bars of pre-roll, and I'm going to deactivate Loop Record and just go to Normal record. Now what you going to hear are the first two bars before this highlighted area, and those first two bars are going to play back what's already on this track. Then Pro Tools is going to automatically punch me in at this point, and I'm going to record up until this end point, when Pro Tools will automatically stop.
Let's check it out. (Music playing.) I call this method 'automated punching' because Pro Tools does the punching in and out for you automatically. This is a handy punching method, especially if you're recording by yourself, but I use it all the time when I'm working with clients too.
So let's recap the technique. First, you locate the punch in and punch out points, you select the area in between them, you record-enable the track, and set the pre and post-roll if needed. Then you press Record and Play, and you let Pro Tools do the punching in and out automatically. So, in general, it's often best to use Auto Input monitoring when punching but leave the monitoring mode in Input Only for all other applications.
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