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Working with plug-ins

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Working with plug-ins

Let's have a quick chat about several plug-in features that are handy to know when mixing, and really when using Pro Tools in general. First, that I want to show you that what we have 10 inserts, or 10 places where we can put plug-ins onto one individual track. Right now, we're just showing inserts A-E, but if we go to View > Mix window shows INSERTS F-J, we can show all 10, and as we add inserts down this row, that's how they're processed on the track.

Working with plug-ins

Let's have a quick chat about several plug-in features that are handy to know when mixing, and really when using Pro Tools in general. First, that I want to show you that what we have 10 inserts, or 10 places where we can put plug-ins onto one individual track. Right now, we're just showing inserts A-E, but if we go to View > Mix window shows INSERTS F-J, we can show all 10, and as we add inserts down this row, that's how they're processed on the track.

So the very first one is the one that is processed first. So if I go down here and add another plug-in, lets say an EQ, then the track goes through the phaser first, then to the EQ, and then out the main outputs. When you have a plug-in open and then you open another plug-in, like this, the first plug-in closes. If you want to have both plug-ins open at once, all you need to do is click this Target button.

Now I can open the second one and have both of them open at the same time. This also applies to virtual instruments, sends, and output windows. So if I wanted to have this output window open, I would need to also deactivate the target to open up the second one. If you Shift+Click on a plug-in, a virtual instrument, a send, or an output window, it will open with the target already deactivated. So I'm going to press Shift and click on Expand here. You'll see that the Target button is already deactivated.

Close that. If you Option+Click on a Mac or Alt+Click in Windows on the Close button in a plug-in, a virtual instrument, send, or an output window, all of each type will close like this. I am going to go to the Close button and press Option on the Mac or Alt on the PC and both plug-ins close. You can do that also right here. You can click and drag plug-ins, virtual instruments, and sends from one position on a track to another, or from one track to another.

So I can click and drag this and move it, or I can click and drag it over to another track, assuming that it's the same number of channels. So I have two mono tracks here, as you can see by their fader, and thus I can drag from one to the other. If a press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows and then drag, it'll make an exact copy of this plug-in on the other track. Let's open up this plug- in and talk about bypass.

Now bypassing a plug-in takes the plug-in out of the signal path. So if I hit the Bypass button, you see that the plug-in turns dark blue. Now you can use this feature to AB the effect--that is to hear what the track sounds like with and without the effect. But you should note that bypassing a plug-in does not reduce the processing load on your computer. Conversely, making a plug-in in active does take the plug-in out of the signal path and does not take up any processing resources.

The plug-in settings are still saved with the session though, so this is very handy. I am going to go up here to the phaser, and I am going to right-click, and here I I'm going to choose Make Inactive. This is indicated here on the track by italicizing the name of the plug-in and graying it out. So now the plug-in is still on the track, but it's not taking up any processing power, and we can always just right-click again and make it active.

Now it's back on the track, and it's taking up processing power. Now you can bypass or make inactive virtual instruments, sends, and outputs just like you can plug-ins. Now if you don't want to do the right- clicking, you can press command on a Mac, or Ctrl in Windows, to bypass, or you can hold down Ctrl and Command on a Mac, or Ctrl and Start in Windows, while clicking on an insert to make it inactive. Let me show you what an inactive plug- in looks like, if we open up the window.

It just tells you that it's inactive. Use this button pushes and key commands to become more efficient when using plug-ins, virtual instruments, and sends while you're mixing.

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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11368 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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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
      58s
    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
      52s

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