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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.
In this video, I am going to talk about how to properly assign the inputs, output, and busses on tracks. Let's first take a look at a mono audio track. We'll go down to the I/O section. You can see that Analog1 is the audio input path for this particular track. If we click on this Input Path Selector, you can see that we can choose any of the interface options, so Analog1 through Analog4, and some digital inputs, as well as other analog inputs down here. You can also choose a bus.
A bus is an internal Pro Tools signal path. When you record through your interface, you want to select one of the analog inputs. So if you plug your guitar into Input1 on your interface, you can choose Input1 as the input on the track you want to record on to, as we've got here. The default output path is Analog1 and Analog2, which is the output path routed to the main outputs on your interface. It's the signal that's going to your headphones and your monitors. Now I recommend putting a stereo master fader track into every session that you create, that monitors Analog1 and Analog2, and that's what we have over here.
You'll see that master fader tracks don't have an input choice. They simply have this output, and what that does is all of the audio that's routed to that particular output-- Analog1 and Analog2--goes through this master fader track. So let me say that again. All tracks routed to Analog1 and Analog2 in this session will pass through this master fader track that's assigned to Analog1 and Analog2. So the master fader mixes and sums all of the tracks together.
That way you can monitor and control the overall output levels from Pro Tools through this one track. If you decide to route a track through a bus instead of an output, you can choose it here in the Output Selector. And we'll choose Bus7 and Bus8, and what that's going to do is route the output of this track to the Bus7 and Bus8. And in order for Pro Tools to receive that signal somewhere else in the session, you need to assign an input--like we have set here--as the same output, so we have Bus7 and Bus8 here, and Bus7 and Bus8 here as the input.
So this track will receive the output from this track. Dealing with the MIDI signal flow is a little bit different. The input on MIDI track is whatever receives this signal from your MIDI controller. So if you play a MIDI keyboard, you need to set the MIDI input to the right MIDI port and channel to receive that keyboard's MIDI data. However, the default All MIDI input setting as shown here is often the easiest choice, because it will accept all incoming MIDI data from any MIDI port and channel.
Your choice for the MIDI output has to be more discerning to make sure that the MIDI signal is routed to the right virtual instrument or sound module, so we need to choose this specific instrument and MIDI channel here. I can go down here and choose from any of these virtual instruments and channels, and I am going to choose Expand to Channel1. So now the MIDI data on this track is routed to the Expand to plug-in, which is actually hidden at the time, so let's unhide it. So this track is routed to this instrument right here.
Instrument tracks have both audio and MIDI inputs and outputs. When you insert a virtual instrument on a track, the signal routing is set up for you. We've got the MIDI input set to All, so any MIDI controller that you play will go through here. Then it's automatically routed to the virtual instrument that's on this track. We go down to the audio input. We don't really need an audio input, because the sound that we are getting on this track is coming from the virtual instrument, and then the output is routed to our main outputs.
We'll cover more about choosing inputs, outputs, and busses in the Recording and Mixing chapters.
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