Explore how the channels on an audio interface relate to a session's I/O setup and how to create a session with I/O settings that match the connected interface.
- [Instructor] Before we get started working in Pro Tools, let's review a few things you'll want to take into consideration to control the routing options available in your session. This will ensure that your recording and playback capabilities match your available hardware and allow you to use customized signal paths for buses. Now prior to creating a session for a new recording project, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the correct input and output paths are included. First, make sure that your audio interface is connected, and then make sure that it's active in Pro Tools, which you can do by choosing Setup, Playback Engine here.
And you can do this with no session open. Now in the Playback Engine dialog box you can use this Playback Engine popup menu to verify that your audio engine is connected. This is the audio interface that you want to use. In my case, that's the Fireface, which is currently connected, so I'm ready to go. When you're done, just click OK to close the Playback Engine. At this point, you can optionally configure the I/O settings for the interface in the I/O setup dialog box, which you can access under the Setup menu by choosing I/O.
Now the I/O settings are going to include the inputs, outputs, and buses available for your system, which are based, in part, on your currently connected hardware. So let's review an example. Here we see the available hardware inputs on an Mbox Pro audio interface. These include two microphone inputs on the front panel and two additional microphone inputs on the back panel. These first four input channels are also available as line inputs one through four, using 1/4-inch jacks on the back panel.
The back panel also provides access to auxiliary audio inputs for channels five and six, and a stereo S/PDIF digital input available through a breakout connector on the back panel. And that corresponds to inputs seven and eight. And here's what those inputs look like in Pro Tools. By selecting the Input tab in the I/O Setup dialog box, we can verify that our hardware inputs are available in Pro Tools, and see the names of each input path. In our example here, our paths include analog one and two, analog three, four, analog five, six, and then the S/PDIF stereo left and right inputs, giving us a total of eight available hardware inputs.
This illustration shows the hardware outputs available with the Mbox Pro. All of the outputs are accessed on the back panel. Analog outs one through six are available through 1/4-inch jacks on the back panel, so you might use these for stereo outputs to your main monitor speakers, a secondary pair of outputs for reference speakers, and perhaps even a pair of outputs to an analog two track tape machine, as an example. Now the back panel also provides access to digital outputs via a stereo S/PDIF connector on the breakout cable.
By displaying the output tab in Pro Tools I/O setup, we can see these output paths in the software. And again, we can verify that the hardware options are showing up in Pro Tools and see the names of each output path. Here we have analog one and two, analog three and four, analog five, six, and the S/PDIF stereo outputs left and right, giving us a total of eight available hardware outputs. Now let's create a session in Pro Tools. The Pro Tools Dashboard displays options for setting the I/O when you create a session, using I/O settings popup menu here.
In this selector, you can choose Stereo Mix to reset the I/O options to match your current hardware, or you can leave it set to Last Used to preserve any customizations you may have made previously. All right, before we create, let's give this session a name. And we'll call it IO Example. Then I'm going to click Create to create a brand new session. Once you've created a session, you can select Setup and then choose I/O to display the I/O Setup dialog box and view available signal paths.
Click the tabs at the top of the I/O Setup dialog box to access inputs, outputs, and buses for your session. Now you want your inputs and outputs to match the available I/O channels on your audio interface. And note that these are system-specific under the Input tab and the Output tab. Your buses provide routing options for the session, and these are session-specific. The bus tab provides two different types of bus paths. Output buses, such as analog one, two, are buses that route to a specific hardware output on your system, which you can see in the right hand column.
Internal mix buses, such a bus one and two, are available for routing signals internally within your session. So that's a brief overview of the I/O settings in Pro Tools. I/O settings are used to define the available input/output and bus paths for your system. The inputs and outputs should match your hardware interface. When you create a session, you can select the I/O settings for the session from the dashboard, and you can also view your I/O settings at any time and make changes using the I/O Setup dialog box.
I'll discuss details on customizing I/O settings next.
- Starting a new session
- Customizing settings
- Optimizing the performance of Pro Tools
- Importing loops and tracks
- Working with meter changes
- Recording multiple takes
- Changing the track timebase
- Editing MIDI clips
- Warping sound and tightening rhythm with Elastic Audio
- Using the Smart Tool
- Color coding tracks
- Editing on the grid
- Working with AudioSuite plug-ins
- Working with sends, plug-ins, and master faders
- Working with track subsets
- Finalizing and exporting media