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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's have a quick chat about several plug-in features that are handy to know when mixing or really when using Pro Tools in general. When you have a plug-in open like this and you go try to open another plug-in, the first plug-in actually closes back down. However, if you want to have both plug-ins open at once, all you need to do is click the Target button right here so that you can open multiple plug-in windows at once. Now I can open this one and both will be showing. This also applies to virtual instruments, Sends, and output windows. If I open this Send, deactivate the target, I can open another one both in the session and right here in the output window, if we click this button, same deal. Target, there we go.
If you Shift-click a plug-in, virtual instrument, Send, or output window, it will open with the target already deactivated so that's a good feature. We'll try that, Shift and click on this, and you will see that the target is already deactivated. Let me close that down. Now if I go to this output window here, or the plug-in window, and press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows, and then hit the Close button, all of the open plug-ins will close at once. So I'm pressing Option on my Mac, or Alt on a PC, click, and they all go away.
You can click-and-drag plug-ins, virtual instruments, and Sends from one position on a track to another. So if I click-and-drag, I can just move it right down there or onto another track. Option+dragging on a Mac or Alt+ dragging in Windows will drag a copy to another position on the same track or to another track. So I can do that and it creates an exact copy with the same parameters of that plug-in on this other track. Bypassing a plug-in takes the plug-in out of the signal path and there is a Bypass button on every plug-in that's right over here. Use the Bypass button to A-B the effect. That is to hear what the track sounds like with and without the effect. So if we solo this track, and have a listen to it, we'll try out this A-B technique. (Music playing.) Note that bypassing a plug-in doesn't reduce the processing load on your computer. Conversely, making a plug-in inactive takes the plug-in out of the signal path and does not take up processing power. The plug-in settings are still saved with the session though. It's very handy to use it and I'll show you how to do it right here.
If I actually just right-click on the plug-in, I can either choose to bypass it or make it inactive and when it's inactive, you see that it is italicized. If I right-click again, I can make it active. The same action can apply to virtual instruments, also to Sends, and to output choices. If you don't want to right-click, you can press Command on a Mac or Ctrl on Windows and click a plug-in to bypass it, like this, see that it turns dark blue.
If you hold down the Command and Control key on a Mac, or Ctrl and Start on Windows, you can click on an Insert and make the plug-in inactive. So use these buttons pushes and key commands to become more efficient when using plug-ins, virtual instruments, and Sends while you are mixing.
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