Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Investigating Pro Tools menus, part of Pro Tools 8 Essential Training.
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The menus in Pro Tools are very logically organized. In this video, I want to give you a brief overview of what's in each menu and touch on a few key menu items. Let's start with the Pro Tools menu. We can access the Preferences here. We can also hide and quit Pro Tools here. Notice that there is no key command for hiding Pro Tools, so you'll have to get it here in this menu. In the File menu, we have some of the usual suspects, New Open, Close, saving.
We also have the Bounce to Disk command, which you'll see is pretty important later on. The Import and Export functions and also some Scoring functions. In the Edit menu, it's pretty logically organize as well where we have editing functions, cutting, copying, clearing, selecting, duplicating, separating regions, even creating fades. In the View menu, we can customize the way that we look at Pro Tools and what we see in each of the windows. We can check out what we see in the Mix window, in the Edit window, we can choose which rulers to view, we can even turn-on or turn-off whether we see the Universe view, Track List, Regions List or MIDI Editor. We can show what we want to see in each of the regions, we can even change the look of our waveforms. We can choose whether we want to show the assignments for the sends or individual sends. We can show the Track Numbers, what we want to see in the Transport window, the Main Counter or if we want to see the Plug-in Map controls.
In the Track menu, we can create new tracks, duplicate them, make them inactive, delete them. We can choose our monitoring mode as well as creating a click track. The Region menu lets us do anything that you want to do to a region. We can lock it, we can rate it, we can group it, we can loop it, rename it, even apply Elastic Properties which we'll cover in later videos. The Event menu lets us do anything time or event related. So we have Time Operations where we can insert time or change the meter. Tempo Operations where we can alter the tempo, Event Operations where we can quantize or transpose MIDI performances, we can even use Beat Detective here.
The AudioSuite menu shows us a list of the AudioSuite plug-ins. We can apply any of these to any audio region and in non-real time, you can affect those regions. We'll cover more about this in the plug-in videos later. The Options menu gives us all kinds of options for recording, adding Pre/Post-roll, Loop Playback, linking our timeline and edit selection or linking the track and edit selections, activating our Click track, MIDI Thru, Pre-Fader Metering or even turning on Low Latency Monitoring. Many of these topics we'll cover in later movies.
The Setup menu shows us how to set up our hardware, our playback engine, assign our disc allocation, show our I/O settings, our Session settings, our MIDI setups, even our Click and Countoff settings and finally our Preferences. The Window menu shows us our configurations, how to arrange them and individual windows that we want to open. Finally, the Help menu. Access your keyboard shortcuts here or your frequently asked questions about Pro Tools, open up your manuals and even check for updates to Pro Tools.
If you are looking for a menu item but can't remember the name of it just think about what it is that you are working on and go to that menu. For example, if you want to delete a track, go to the Track menu and find Delete. Like any mature software program, there are a lot of menu items to choose from, many of the items are duplicated as buttons in one or more of the windows here and most also have keyboard shortcuts. So there is many ways to get things done in Pro Tools, but knowing the right menu to select from for the command you are looking for, will certainly make you more efficient when using Pro Tools.
- 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