Join Joe Godfrey for an in-depth discussion in this video Essential preferences, part of Pro Tools 7 LE Essential Training.
- [Instructor] So now let's take a look at preferences in Pro Tools. On the Macintosh you will find them in two places. In the Pro Tools menu, you can go to Preferences, second item down. You can also slide over to the Setup menu and you'll see Preferences there at the bottom. On a PC, you'll find them in the Edit menu at the very bottom. So once the Preferences window is open let's start on the left with the Display preferences. These are probably the preferences you have set up from when you installed Pro Tools.
But let's just go through a few of the things that we want to set up for the way we work. And we'll cover these as we go along and our sessions become more complicated. So for now, leave your Tool Tips on, the Function and the Details. If you ever work on, let's say you're a radio engineer, and always create tracks that are 30 or 60 seconds long. And you want your edit window to always be a certain number of seconds long. You could set that here. Because the projects we're going to do are various lengths, we're going to leave it at no default length.
We want to just be able to change it at will depending on how long the audio is that we're working with. Let's leave our Organize Plug-In Menus set by Category. There's a way to get them just to show up as a Flat List or by Manufacturer. But let's go by Category. This is a good way to learn the program. To figure out how the plug-ins are organized. The Meters we want to leave Peak Hold at three seconds. That means for three seconds display how the loudest that you've been in the previous three seconds. So that you can see sort of how loud you're track is getting.
This one's pretty important, Clip Indication. My advise is leave that at Infinite. Because if you looked away for a second and you clipped your audio and it's showing none, or maybe you looked away for four seconds and for three seconds it told you that it had clipped but you didn't catch it. It's nice to have this saying while you were away, while your attention was diverted, you clipped your audio and you probably want to go back and fix that, because there's no way to unclip a clipped audio. So leave that at Infinite. On the right side of this menu, let's leave Track Type in Color Coding and Tracks and MIDI Channels in Default Region Color Coding.
Now let's switch to the Operation part of the Preferences menu. Here we want to roll down to the bottom and there's our friend Auto Backup. And we want to have Auto Backup enabled because we're very good about saving. But every once in awhile we forget. And it's nice to have Pro Tools keep us honest. Keep the 10 most recent backups and backup every, well if you're really scared, backup every one minute. Five is about right. You do something it takes you about five minutes to do something really important and now it's going to back up.
And keep the 10 most recent. Open-Ended Record Allocation. Well that means if you're going to record something that you know to be no more than a minute long, there would be no reason to have this limit to 60 minutes. What it's trying to do is to find available disk space. And it likes to have it be contiguous. So if you're recording something that you know is going to be 48 minutes long, you would want to put a buffer on here and maybe make it 50 or maybe even 60. And so that it can kind of find where it's going to put this giant file.
If you're going to record a really short sound effect that's less than a minute, then let it go find a little piece of hard drive space that it can use that's less than a minute. So this is just making your hard drive work the best that it can for Pro Tools. Let's jump over to Editing now. And we'll leave all these checked in the Regions menu. The list follows, selection. And what we care about on this menu is, there's our friend, Levels of Undo. We have a maximum of 32 and I'm going to set this for the 32.
Because I may have a brilliant project and then I charge off creatively in a weird direction. And I think, you know, what was I thinking? And I want the ability to back up. Now if I was really smart I would save my project before I wandered off in my weird direction. And I'll probably do that anyway. But it's nice to have these levels of undo, so. 32 is your maximum. Go for 32. Another helpful thing is in the Processing sub tab of the Pro Tools preferences, where we can say automatically copy files on import and sample rate conversion quality.
This is funny, TweakHead, right. That means it'll go slow, but it'll do a great job. And so that's what we want to switch to. And automatically copy files on import means, doesn't matter where you found it. It's on your iPod. It's on a network drive that may not be available later. It's on a hard drive that somebody's taking with. It'll automatically copy the files on import and you don't have to worry about those files not being available later. So with that we've set the Pro Tools preferences we need for now.
We'll visit them as we need them, and in MIDI and Synchronization, and as we talk about other things in future titles. But we're good to close the Preferences window. So now that we've set some preferences, in the next chapter we'll actually import some audio and make some noise.
- Understanding the file structure
- Editing a simple sound effect
- Recording and editing an announcer
- Using the grid
- Creating bar- and beat-based markers
- Placing lyrics on a timeline
- Choosing and installing plug-ins
- Tracking and overdubbing
- Recording and modifying MIDI
- Importing visuals into Pro Tools
- Experimenting with automation
- Mixing and saving mixing templates