Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Recording audio


Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

with David Franz

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Video: Recording audio

In this video, I am going to show you the steps involved in recording audio into Pro Tools. I'll start from the very beginning, as if I'm coming to Pro Tools with a brand-new song idea. First, we need to create a new session, so I'll go to File > New Session. And we could start with the session from a template if we wanted, but I'm actually going to go to a blank session. So I'll choose WAV as my audio file type, I'll choose 16-bit/44.1 kHz as the sampling rate, and I'll use my last used I/O settings.
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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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
8h 23m Beginner Nov 05, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Pro Tools interface
  • Choosing a playback engine and other settings
  • Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
  • Importing audio
  • Recording and editing audio and MIDI
  • Arranging a session
  • Writing and editing automation
  • Mixing and mastering a session
  • Using automatic delay compensation
  • Bouncing down a mix as an MP3
  • Importing and displaying video
  • Archiving a session
Audio + Music
Pro Tools
David Franz

Recording audio

In this video, I am going to show you the steps involved in recording audio into Pro Tools. I'll start from the very beginning, as if I'm coming to Pro Tools with a brand-new song idea. First, we need to create a new session, so I'll go to File > New Session. And we could start with the session from a template if we wanted, but I'm actually going to go to a blank session. So I'll choose WAV as my audio file type, I'll choose 16-bit/44.1 kHz as the sampling rate, and I'll use my last used I/O settings.

I'm going to name this. I'm actually saving this to the Desktop, but usually I would save this to an external FireWire hard drive. But the desktop is fine, just for this initial idea right now. So here we have the Edit window, completely blank, with no tracks. So I am going to create a new track. And I'm going to be recording an acoustic guitar, so I'm just going to create one new mono audio track, make it larger, by going to the bottom of the track here, and you'll see the icon for the cursor is this double arrow.

If I click and drag, I can make it taller. And while I'm here, I'm going to double -click the track name and change it to Ac Gtr, so that now when I start recording, the audio files will actually be called Ac Gtr, as opposed to Audio 1. Once I've created my track, I need to plug in my instrument into the interface, which in this case is the back of a 003, and I'll be going into the DI input. If you're recording with a microphone, obviously you go into the microphone input here.

The next step for me is choosing the proper input type on the 003 itself. So I'm going to press the Mic/DI button to toggle the input to the DI setting, which is the one with the light illuminated. That tells the 003 what type of input signal to expect. You may have a different process for this for your interface. Now back in Pro Tools, I want to check out that this track is set up for the right input and output. So I'm going to choose the I/O on this track, and check that we're plugged into the Analog 1 input path.

So I've plugged into the Input 1 of the 003, and that is the same input is Analog 1 shown here in Pro Tools. And the default output, Analog 1-2, is the one that will be going to my monitors and my headphones, so that's totally fine. And again, if you don't see this I/O section on the track, you can go over to this button right here, and choose it, or you can go up to View > Edit Window View, and choose I/O. The next step is that I want to go and check our hardware buffer size.

So I want to go up to Setup > Playback Engine, and the hardware buffer size I want to make as small as possible. And in this case, I can make it 32 samples. It's a very short amount of time, and what that does is reduce the amount of latency that happens when I'm recording. For those of you recording into a USB-powered interface, like an Mbox 3, you should turn the Mix knob all the way to the left to the Input side, to achieve zero latency monitoring. On some third-party USB devices, this Mix Control is software driven.

In that case go to Setup > Hardware, and click on the Launch Setup App button to adjust the mix level. Pro Tools users with FireWire interfaces, like the 003--which is what I'm using here--can actually choose Low Latency Monitoring from the Options menu. This will reduce the latency to the least amount that you can possibly have while using one of these types of interfaces. Now I'm going to cover latency in much more detail in another video in this course.

The next step is to choose the Monitoring mode. We can choose that from the Track menu. There are two options: we have Input Only Monitoring and Auto Input Monitoring. The one that you see here is not the one that is active. It's a little confusing, but if we choose this one now, Input Only Monitoring will be active. And you can see that indicated right here. That's the one that we actually want to be active at the moment; we don't want Auto Input Monitoring active, so we're going to just get away from that and not choose it.

It's a little confusing for sure, but we can at least check this over here and know which status we're in. So we're in Input Only Monitoring. I am going to talk in much more detail about the monitoring modes in another video in this course, but for this particular purpose, let's keep it in Input Only Monitoring mode. So we're almost ready to record. The next step is to actually record-enable the track. So we go over to the Record button and we hit the red Record button.

Now we need to adjust our input level, so we need to set our recording level, and that means that you need to start playing or singing into the microphone to see how large our signal is. (Guitar playing.) All right, that seems like a pretty good level. We don't want to peek it out, and we don't want it to be too soft. If you need to, adjust the gain knob, turning it up or down for the Input level on the track on your interface. So the last step now is to actually record.

So let's go over to the Record button, click that, and then I'll hit the Play button, and Pro Tools will start recording. When you're done, you can hit the Stop button or press the Spacebar. (Guitar playing.) Well, it wasn't the perfect take, but it will do, as a rough idea. Now, this may seem like a lot of steps just to start recording.

However, these steps will become second nature to you very quickly, and you'll be able to record into Pro Tools within just a minute of launching the program.

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