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Writing and editing automation


Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

with David Franz

Video: Writing and editing automation

In Pro Tools, you can automate just about any parameter you want. You can program Pro Tools to remember volume, panning, muting, send levels, send trims, send mute, send panning, as well as any MIDI data, such as velocity, volume, muting, panning, pitch bend, program changes, and a variety of others. In this video, I am going to show you how to create and edit automation data in real-time while the session is playing back.
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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

Writing and editing automation

In Pro Tools, you can automate just about any parameter you want. You can program Pro Tools to remember volume, panning, muting, send levels, send trims, send mute, send panning, as well as any MIDI data, such as velocity, volume, muting, panning, pitch bend, program changes, and a variety of others. In this video, I am going to show you how to create and edit automation data in real-time while the session is playing back.

Automation data is stored on automation playlists in each track. You can view the automation playlists by selecting the automation type from the Track View selector. So, here if I want to choose volume, I can choose that, and the volume line shows up as a straight line before we've added any automation to it. If we adjust this level, the volume goes down. You can also show multiple automation lanes by clicking on the Plus button right over here and adding other lanes of automation.

There are five main automation modes in Pro Tools: automation off, read, touch, latch and write. Touch/latch and trim are two features that are only specific to the Complete Production Toolkit and Pro Tools HD, and we are not going to get into those here. So let's focus on the other five. Auto off turns off the automation on a track. The automation lane names get grayed out and become italicized, as you can see here. Auto read tells Pro Tools to read the automation data that's on the track.

That's the default automation mode. There are three ways that we are going to cover that you can use to create automation data, and that is touch, latch, and write. Auto write is used for the first time you create automation data on a track, or when you want to completely write over a track's existing automation. Auto touch writes automation data only while a fader or switch is touched or clicked with the mouse. Faders and switches return to any previously automated position after they've been released.

Auto latch writes automation data only if you touch or move a fader or switch. However, you don't need to keep touching the controls after you've moved them like you would in auto touch. The control stays in the position where you released it, rather than reverting to previously saved data, and I am going to show you how all of these work here in a second. So, let's create some automation data on this bass track. First, we want to go to Window and choose Automation.

This opens up the Automation window. Here we want to make sure that the automation type that we want to record is armed. When these buttons are red like this, it means they are enabled to record. If we click one, and it turns gray, then that means that it's not armed for recording automation. Now, we should choose an automation mode, and I am going to go to auto write, and I am going to automate the volume, so I am going to open up this right here and use this fader to control the volume.

To create and record automation data, you don't actually have to press Record. You only have to press Play and move the automation controls with your mouse or your control surface. So, now I am going to press Play and move this fader and adjust the volume on the bass track. (Music playing.) All you've got to do is press Stop when you finished, and you've written your automation data.

Now, you notice that Pro Tools automatically switched over to Auto latch mode after writing the automation, and that's because of a preference that you can choose in the Mixing page of the Preferences. If we go to Setup > Preferences > Mixing page > After Write Pass, Switch to Latch. Now, we could also choose Touch or No Change if we want, but we'll keep it as Latch. Now, why do we care about this? Well, let me show you.

If I were to press Play right now, and this were in auto write mode, it would completely write over everything that we just created. However, if the writing mode switches over to latch or touch, then we actually have to move the fader or grab the mouse to actually change this data; thus, we won't overwrite this data by accident. But now I am actually going to overwrite it in latch mode and show you what that looks like. So I am going to switch back to latch mode, and again, I am going to use this fader.

You'll see that if I let go of the mouse while I am writing this automation, the automation will stay at one value and create a solid line until I move it again. So, I am going to press Play and record some automation. (Music playing.) So you can see over here, where I applied the latch automation.

I brought it down to this level and let it go, and it stayed there, and then I moved it up here, and it stayed at that value. Now, I am going to try auto touch, and watch as the automation data reverts back to the prewritten automation data when I let go of the mouse on this Fader. Switch it to touch. (Music playing.) So you can see in these little peaks here, I raised the volume, and Pro Tools automatically brought it back down to this latched value that I'd recorded previously.

Now, when you create automation, you create a series of break points on the automation playlists. Although the automation data may look like a line, it's actually made up of individual points that are finite values for the automation parameter. Let's zoom in and take a look. So you can see the breakpoints right here. One of the limitations of Pro Tools is that all edit playlists on a single audio track share the same automation data.

So if we had multiple playlists of this bass track, which in fact we do, each of the performances share the same automation data. Now, if you want to try out different automation on a track, make a duplicate track using the Track > Duplicate command up here: Track > Duplicate. Creating automation during real- time playback is a lot of fun. It also can add a lot of energy to a mix and can actually turn the mix process into more of a performance. Definitely get to know your automation modes and how to use them.

Your songs will sound better when you utilize them to add dynamic elements to your mixes.

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