Join Frank D. Cook for an in-depth discussion in this video The Pro Tools main window, part of Pro Tools 12 Essential Training: 101.
- [Narrator] To be able to work effectively in Pro Tools you will need to be comfortable with the software's main windows. This video will give you a high level overview of the parts of the edit window, the mix window, and the transport window, building a solid foundation for your Pro Tools experience. Here I have a session open in the edit window. So as the name implies the edit window is where you will work while editing the media in your session. At the top of the edit window is the edit window tool bar. From left to right, the controls in this tool bar include the edit modes, shuffle, slip, spot, and grid.
We'll spend some time discussing these modes in a later video. Then we have the zoom controls for horizontal and vertical zoom on your tracks, and underneath those are the five zoom presets. Moving to the right, we next have the edit tools. This cluster is covered in more detail later in this chapter. Next we see the counter display. This displays information about the location of our edit cursor onscreen.
To the right of the counter display area we see the grid and nudge values, and right of that we have transport controls, optionally displayed in the edit window tool bar. In this window you can also see the track list on the left hand side, and the clip list on the right hand side. These two columns can be resized by clicking and dragging on the column edge. You just have to be careful to get your cursor positioned right on the edge to where you get the double headed arrow and then you can resize the column so that it's big enough to show you the information that you need to see onscreen.
These left and right columns can also be hidden by clicking on the show hide icons down in the bottom corners next to the column on either side. Switching to the mix window, you can immediately get a sense of the difference between the two windows. The mix window includes mixer strips for the session, allowing you to process tracks and balance their levels. From top to bottom, the controls in this window include inserts for inserting processors into a track's signal, sends for routing a copy of the signal to a parallel destination, the I/O section for setting the track's routing for inputs and outputs, the automation mode selector which we'll use when we get into automating our mix later in this course, the track pan controls for setting the track's position in the stereo field, and the track status buttons such as record enables, input monitoring, solo, and mute.
And lastly, we have our volume fader which we'll use for setting levels. Notice that the mix window also includes a side column on the left showing the track list which is identical to the track list that we see in the edit window and similarly can be resized if needed or shown and hidden using the show hide icon in the bottom corner. Now the vast majority of our time will be spent working in either the mix window or the edit window. To switch between them, we can either use the window menu to select the window that we want to view, or we can simply press Command equals to toggle between the two windows.
Because you will likely be doing this quite often, switching between the mix and edit windows, I recommend learning the keyboard shortcut early on. From time to time we may need to access controls that are not available in either window. These will commonly include the controls in the transport window. Remember that all of our windows are available under the window menu. So here we can choose transport about halfway down. Here we're viewing the expanded transport window with its primary controls showing. To toggle between compact and expanded view in this window you can click on the window's maximize button.
You can also use the transport window pop up menu to configure the display. Here we're showing the counters section, as well as the MIDI controls. So working from left to right the controls include basic transport functions, including rewind, fast forward, go to end, and the RTZ, or return to zero, which takes you to the start of the session. And of course, we also have standard play, stop, and record enable for the session.
Transport window also includes our main counter and a sub counter, and the MIDI controls section at the very end. The MIDI controls include a wait for note button, which is useful when recording MIDI as we'll see in a later video, the metronome button, which is used for toggling the click on and off, the MIDI merge button, which is useful for certain MIDI recording workflows, and the tempo ruler enable button, which is used to enable the tempo ruler for setting tempo changes and creating a tempo map.
Now also in this section we have a count off control up here for enabling the count off, typically used when recording, and also meter and tempo display. These display the meter and tempo at the current cursor location. So that gives you a quick overview of the three main windows in Pro Tools where we'll be spending a lot of our time, the edit window, the mix window, and the transport window. We'll be digging into the functions in each of these windows in more detail throughout the remainder of this course.
- Getting started with Pro Tools menus, windows, and edit tools
- Creating a session
- Creating a click track
- Recording audio
- Importing audio and video
- Recording, viewing, and editing MIDI data
- Selecting and navigating within tracks
- Adding markers
- Editing clips
- Creating fade effects
- Mixing tracks and adding automation
- Backing up a session
- Bouncing a mix to disk
Skill Level Beginner
Q. This course was updated on 03/23/2017. What changed?
A. Challenges and solutions were added to chapters 3–10 and three videos were updated in the first couple chapters.