Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying elements in a session folder, part of Pro Tools 8 Essential Training.
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When you work on a session file, Pro Tools actually creates an entire folder containing many sub-folders that contain all of the files related to the session. In this window, we can see the session folder for the Edit_window_overview session. So we can see the .ptf file, which is the Pro Tools session file. We also have the Audio Files folder. You can see all the audio associated with this session. Now note that these audio files are not actually part of the session.
They exist separately in this folder and the session file simply references them to tell the hard drives which pieces it needs from these audio files. The same principle applies to video files. If we had video files in this session, they would be down in this folder. The Fade Files folder also contains files for each fade and cross-fade made in the session. These are saved as WAV form files and are referenced by the session just like the audio files are. However, fade files can be erased and Pro Tools can recreate them, which is not the case for audio files.
The WaveCache file stores all the waveform display data for the session. This allows Pro Tools to open more quickly If you delete this file, Pro Tools can rebuild it. Up here, we have the Session File Backups. When you active the Auto Backup preference in the Operations Preference page, Pro Tools creates backup copies of your sessions automatically. These backups are stored in this folder. You will see that only a certain number are stored according to what you set in the preference and these ones are created every two minutes as we set that in the preference to create the session backups every two minutes.
Finally, we see that there are the Plug- In Settings and Region Groups and if we have plug-in settings or region groups for the session, they will be stored separately in these folders. Now there is two things that you should note by seeing this session folder setup here. First, when you record audio, create fades, etcetera, these files are created in a non-linear fashion. They are not all in a row like if you are recording to an analog tape. For instance, you can record audio files to multiple different hard drives and Pro Tools can still pull all of those various files together into the session and play them back all at once or separately or in succession.
Second, it's important to understand that editing an audio file in Pro Tools is non-destructive. Because the audio files are stored separately from this Pro Tools session, almost anything you do to them in the session file itself will not harm the original audio file. So now you know that a Pro Tools session actually pulls data from multiple sources all contained in separate files and folders within the overall session folder. I recommend keeping these all together within the session folder so that Pro Tools can find them easily.
- Exploring all facets of the Pro Tools interface
- Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
- Recording and editing audio and MIDI
- Comping a track using playlists
- Importing data and working with video
- Working with automation and controller lanes
- Applying dither
- Archiving a session for storage