Learn techniques for specifing session tempo and about options available for setting the tempo.
- [Instructor] When recording music, it can be helpful to set the tempo in Pro Tools to match the tempo of the piece you're recording. This allows the Bars/Beats ruler in Pro Tools to align with the actual bars and beats of the performance. Here, I'll show you how the set the session tempo and how to determine the proper tempo prior to recording. I've got a new session open that I recently created. To get started, I'm going to display the Minutes:Seconds ruler for this session by choosing View, Rulers, and Minutes:Seconds.
I'm also going to display the Tempo ruler the same way. And let's zoom in a bit using zoom preset number two. Now, when you first create a session in Pro Tools, the session tempo defaults to 120 beats per minute which you can see indicated on the Tempo ruler. Now, there's no particular relevance to this tempo other than the fact that it allows the Bars/Beats ruler to line up nicely with the Minutes:Seconds ruler. Here you can see the bars in the session aligning with the numbers on the Minutes:Seconds ruler.
At 120 beats per minute, we have two beats per second, so in a four-beat measure, each measure is two seconds long. Now, we're going to use the Transport window to change the session tempo. You can access the Transport window under the Window menu. So, clicking on the tempo field in the Transport window allows us to type in a new value for our session tempo. We'll enter 150 and press Return or Enter to accept the change. We can also click in the field and drag up or down to change the tempo.
Speeding up the tempo causes the Bars/Beats ruler to compress relative to the Minutes:Seconds ruler. Slowing down the tempo causes the Bar/Beat ruler to expand. But oftentimes, we won't know what tempo we need of hand. In these cases, we can use the Tap Tempo feature in Pro Tools to calculate the tempo. Since we're getting ready for our initial recording, we'll ask the musicians to begin playing the piece as we're setting up. I'll monitor the input on the drums track to hear the live audio. All right, let's hear it. (upbeat drum music) While the musicians are playing, we'll activate the Tempo field in the Transport window and begin tapping along using the t key on our computer keyboard.
Pro Tools adjusts the tempo value to match our average tap speed. Press Return or Enter when finished to accept the Tap Tempo. Okay, we got it. So, that's all we need to do to set a basic tempo for our session. By setting the tempo properly, we can record a musical performance that matches the timing on our Bars/Beats ruler allowing us to easily navigate the session and make meaningful selections in grid mode. We can also create a click track prior to recording to serve as a metronome for the musicians to help them keep a steady pace while tracking.
AuthorFrank D. Cook
- 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.
Music Production Secrets: Larry Crane on Mixingwith Larry Crane1h 51m Intermediate
Mixing Techniques for Pop Music Part 1with Brian Malouf3h 19m Intermediate
Get In the Mix with Pro Toolswith Brian Lee White2h 46m Intermediate
1. Getting to Know Pro Tools
2. Getting inside Pro Tools
3. Creating Your First Session
4. Making Your First Audio Recording
5. Importing and Working with Media in a Session
6. Making Your First MIDI Recording
7. Selecting and Navigating
8. Basic Editing Techniques
9. Basic Mixing Techniques
10. Finishing Your Work
Next steps1m 12s
- Mark as unwatched
- Mark all as unwatched
Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?
This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.Cancel
Take notes with your new membership!
Type in the entry box, then click Enter to save your note.
1:30Press on any video thumbnail to jump immediately to the timecode shown.
Notes are saved with you account but can also be exported as plain text, MS Word, PDF, Google Doc, or Evernote.