Songwriting in Pro Tools

with David Franz
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Songwriting in Pro Tools
Video duration: 0s 1h 2m Beginner


Everyone writes songs in their own way. Some start with a melody or a beat, some start with a lyric. Whatever your starting point, you need to get your ideas down quickly, and then polish them into demos worth presenting to partners, producers, and record labels. Pro Tools can help. It's one of the programs professional musicians and songwriters turn to for writing, recording, and mixing songs. In this short course, David Franz takes you from an initial seed-idea to a great sounding demo song, showing you how to find the best tempo, meter, and key; add in vocals, drums, and hooks; and put together a dynamic mix using effects like EQ, compression, and reverb and delay. These 10 simple steps can guide anyone with an idea and a little musical ability through the process of capturing a song idea before the inspiration fades.

Look for more courses in our Songwriting series in 2014! We'll cover Logic, GarageBand, and other popular DAWs.

Audio + Music
Pro Tools


(upbeat music) - [Voiceover] Everyone writes songs in their own ways. Inspiration comes from a variety of places and often at seemingly random times. Some songs start with musical elements, like a guitar riff or a beat, and some start with a lyric idea or a melody without lyrics. All of these starting points are valid. There are two groups of techniques that I want to share in this course. Techniques to get your demo ideas down quickly before the inspiration and desire fade, and techniques to make your rough ideas sound good enough to present to your song writing partners, to your producer or a publisher or record label.

I'll start with a blank Pro Tools session, customize it and add my first rough song idea. (guitar music) I'll find the right tempo, meter and key for it, and then re-record it with a click track. (upbeat music) (distant singing) Then I'll add a vocal idea and a drum pattern. Next I'll start adding in other instrumentation and potential musical hooks to fill out the idea. Along the way, I'll demonstrate editing techniques and adding some basic effects to help inspire the sound and performance. Once I've got all the ideas down, I'll create a rough mix balancing the track volumes, panning the tracks, and adding a queue, and maybe even some reverbent delay.

Then I'll add some limiting to the master fader track and bring the output level of the track up, so it's loud enough to compete with professionally mastered tracks. Finally, I'll bounce down the song to share with people and discuss the next steps after completing a demo song. So join me as we delve into songwriting in Pro Tools.

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