Join Frank D. Cook for an in-depth discussion in this video Challenge: Creating an automated mix, part of Pro Tools 12 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] For your final challenge, you'll work with volume automation in the DHY Remix session to add emphasis using reverb and you'll create a stereo bounce. To complete this challenge, you'll first open the DHY Remix 08 session that your previously created. If that's not available you can use the session I've provided for you in the 03 finished solutions folder. Next, complete a save as to create a copy called DHY Remix 09. Then switch to the edit window and listen to the mix to identify phrases that you'd like to emphasize.
Some suggested options include the repeated phrase "I don't want to" that begins at bar five, the same phrase at bar eight that ends with "I don't want to lose you," the phrase starting in the middle of bar 12 and continuing through bar 13 "God help me what have I done", and the phrase in bars 16 and 17 that begins with "You tell me" and continues to the end. Note that I've these examples as suggestions only. Mixing is a subjective art form that has more to do with the impact you're trying to create with the song, than it does with right or wrong choices.
You may decide on different parts to emphasize. So once your plan is in place, switch to the mix window and practice adjusting the volume fader on the Vox Reverb track during playback, adding emphasis to the phrases you've identified. The idea is to raise the fader to between minus five and zero dB during each phrase to increase the reverb and then return the fader to around minus 10 dB after each phrase, but before the start of the next line. This may be a bit of a challenge if you're automating with the mouse, so practice your moves as needed to get comfortable.
Be creative with your choices here and feel free to experiment. When you're ready to being writing automation, start by opening the automation window under the window menu. In the automation window, verify that volume automation is enabled. The volume button should be lit red, as shown here. The status of the other automation parameters in the window is not important for this challenge so they can be either enabled or disabled. Next, place the Vox Reverb track into write mode using the automation mode selector on the track.
Then with the fader starting at minus 10 dB, begin an automation pass and automate the fader moves you practiced to boost the reverb during select areas. If you make a mistake, you can either undo your work and try again, or simply rewrite the automation to replace it. Note that you may need to put the track back into write mode between passes in order to overwrite all of the previous automation. Once you're satisfied with your automation, return the Vox Reverb track to read automation mode.
At this point, you can spend some point experimenting with other mixing and automation options for the tracks in your session, setting levels, adjusting parameters, and so forth. Feel free to go beyond what we've covered in this course. When you're done, create a stereo bounce of the session using the bounce to disk command. This challenge should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete, but feel free to use additional time to experiment with your automation choices. When you're done, make sure to check out my solution video, where I'll show you how I went about using automation in the session and creating a bounce.
Enjoy and have fun mixing.
- Getting started with Pro Tools menus, windows, and edit tools
- Creating a session
- Creating a click track
- Recording audio
- Importing audio and video
- Recording, viewing, and editing MIDI data
- Selecting and navigating within tracks
- Adding markers
- Editing clips
- Creating fade effects
- Mixing tracks and adding automation
- Backing up a session
- Bouncing a mix to disk
Skill Level Beginner
Q. This course was updated on 03/23/2017. What changed?
A. Challenges and solutions were added to chapters 3–10 and three videos were updated in the first couple chapters.