Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Composing with virtual instruments, part of Pro Tools 9 Essential Training.
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In this session, I've used Xpand2, Boom, Vacuum, Mini Grand, DB-33, and Structure Free as my only instruments. All of these come for free in Pro Tools 9. Let's play a little bit of this. (Music playing.) That gives you just a quick tease of what this song is all about.
As you can see, I've got a four-minute song based around some of the ideas that you heard in that section there. So I'm going to switch over to the Mix window, and I'm going to talk about what I did. I actually recorded all of the MIDI data onto audio tracks as well. And the way that that was done, as you can see here on this instrument track, I set the Output to Bus 5-6, right here and then set the Input of this audio track to receive Bus 5-6.
If you record enable this track and play back this track, it will be recorded as audio on this audio track. So next to each instrument track, there's an audio track that has the audio version of the MIDI data that's on the instrument track. Now why do I do this? Well, I think it's a really good idea to record the audio version of any MIDI or instrument track, so that you always have a hard copy of it. Then if you really need to, you can go back and make edits on the MIDI or instrument track and then re-recorded it as audio if you need to, and you can also make the instrument track inactive.
If you go down to the little icon here, the Track Type icon, and you right-click, you can say Make Inactive, and that makes this entire track inactive, and you're saving all the processing power that was going into this track. Let me tell you, virtual instruments take up a lot of processing power, so in this particular session, I could literally go and make all of these instrument tracks inactive and save a ton of processing power.
So with all the free virtual instruments in Pro Tools 9, plus all of the third-party instruments that are available, you're now completely able to compose in almost any style of music, all within Pro Tools.
- 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