Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a Pro Tools session, part of Pro Tools 9 Essential Training.
Let's create a new Pro Tools session. When you launch Pro Tools or choose New Session from the File menu, the Quick Start dialog opens, offering you a few options. We can create a session from a template. We can choose from a variety of different templates, as well as musical styles, for this. If we go to say Guitar, we can choose Ballads, Metal, Rock Guitar, or we can start with a blank session.
Let's talk about what these Session Parameters are. First, let's talk about Sampling Rate. There are two primary determinants in the accuracy of digital recording: sample rate and bit depth. Photography is a helpful metaphor for discussing sampling rate. Digital recording is like taking pictures of audio waveforms at a speed determined by the sample rate. If the sample rate in your session is 44.1 kHz, Pro Tools takes 44,100 pictures of your audio input every second.
Each picture captures the amplitude, or the level of the audio signal at that moment. The more pictures that you take, the more accurate the representation of the audio waveform is. Thus, the higher the sampling rate in Pro Tools the more accurately Pro Tools can recreate an analog waveform with digital samples. Higher sampling rates also require more hard drive space. For example, audio files recorded at 96 kHz are twice as big as those recorded at 48 kHz--all other factors being equal-- simply because there is twice as much information being recorded.
Moving over to Bit Depth, each sample is digitally mapped to an exact digital amplitude value and converted into binary digits, or bits. The number of bits in a system is referred to as the bit depth. 16-bit recordings offer roughly 66,000 different amplitude levels, while 24-bit recordings offer over 16 million different levels, thus the higher the bit depth, the more accurate the digital representation of the analog sound.
Note that 24-bit recordings take up one and a half times more hard drive space as 16-bit recordings. As a reference, CDs are recorded at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, while DVDs are recorded at 24-bit, 96 kHz for the audio. So choose your bit depth and sample rate wisely when you're creating your new session in Pro Tools. The I/O Settings refer to the signal routing options within Pro Tools, and via the interface that you've connected to Pro Tools, like an Mbox 3 Pro.
You can simply use the last used settings or choose from any settings that you've made previously or some of the default settings that come with Pro Tools. I discuss how to make custom I/O setups in a video later in this course. Finally, we have the Audio File Type and we can choose between .WAV and AIFF. It really doesn't matter which one you choose, as they are both compatible with Macs and PCs. So once you've chosen all of your session parameters, click OK and save the session.
Name it, choose where you want it to go, click Save. When you press Save, Pro Tools opens a new blank session file, and we'll cover the interface and the elements of a Pro Tools session in other videos in this course. Now, you know what all the parameters of a Pro Tools session mean and how to use them effectively when creating a new session.
- 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
Skill Level Beginner
Pro Tools: Music Editing for TV and Filmwith Skye Lewin3h 30m Intermediate
Mixing and Mastering with Pro Toolswith Brian Lee White9h 18m Intermediate
Pro Tools: Audio for Film and Videowith Scott Hirsch5h 9m Intermediate
1. Getting Set Up in Pro Tools 9
2. Learning the Interface
3. Importing into Pro Tools
4. Recording Audio
5. Editing Audio
6. Arranging a Session
7. Recording MIDI Data
8. Editing MIDI
11. Mixing and Mastering
12. Working with Video
Archiving an entire session4m 22s
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