Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting essential preferences, part of Pro Tools 8 Essential Training.
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Pro Tools has a huge number of preferences that enable you to customize how you work with Pro Tools. I certainly won't cover them all here but when you are just getting started out using Pro Tools, it's a good idea to setup and confirm that several of the essential preferences are enabled. Choose Setup > Preferences to open up the Preferences window. At the top of the Preferences page, you will see seven different tabs. These represent the difference pages of preferences. We'll start here on the Display page.
When you are starting out, it's a good idea to keep the tool tips shown for the function and the details. Then when you mouse over any little buttons or anything in the Pro Tools window, the little tool tips will pop-up and tell you what those things are if you are not familiar with them. I also like to keep the Meters as they are here. Peak Hold at 3 Seconds will show you how high your recording levels are or your mixing levels are on a track and we'll keep it there for 3 seconds. That's a good setting.
Clip Indication we'll keep at Infinite so that we always know if a track clips, we'll see it and it will stay there. Now you will see the stuff in action when we start recording and mixing in later movies. I also like to Show Send Meters in the Send Views and you also see this in later videos. I like to check off Always Display Marker Colors and Midi Note Color Shows Velocity. We'll see these in later movies as well. Let's move on to the Operation page. In the Operation page, we have the most important preference of all, Auto Backup. Now let's be honest. Computers freeze up and Pro Tools can unexpectedly quit right in the middle of anything.
Now I don't want to say that Pro Tools isn't stable, but computers can do funky things. So let's enable Session File Auto Backup. Now keeping the ten most recent backups is good but I actually like to change the backup to every two minutes because you never know. You can be doing a lot of editing, you can do some recording, and if Pro Tools quits, or your computer dies, or if the power goes out, you want to make sure that you have got your latest stuff saved.
Now I also like to Show the Quick Start dialog when Pro Tools starts, so I'll keep that checked. I let go all the other defaults on this page. So we move on. Let's go to the Editing page. At the bottom of the editing page, we have the Levels of Undo. This allows you to go back in your steps of whatever you have done in Pro Tools up to 32 levels. That is, 32 steps back. We'll keep that at 32. Why not? However, know that the number of levels of undo are kept in your RAM and so if you actually want to save on your processing power in your RAM, you can reduce this number, and then Pro Tools won't have to remember as many levels of undo and that will open up more processing power for plug-ins or virtual instruments. And if you think it about this way, if you setup your Auto Backup to happen every 2 minutes, you are probably not going to do 32 edits in 2 minutes. So you could actually reduce this, if you want to.
Now all of the other default preferences in all of these other pages here are totally fine to start out with. I just wanted to introduce you to the preferences as they are setup now and to a few key ones that you wanted have going for you when you start using Pro Tools. We'll revisit specific preferences in other videos in this course when they are relevant to those topics.
- 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