How to use DigiBase and the Workspace Browser in Pro Tools
Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
Importing files into an existing Pro Tools session is a feature that many use on a regular basis, whether it's to import a drum loop or find that perfect sound effect for a scene. Pro Tools enables you to import a wide variety of files using DigiBase and the Workspace browsers. Now DigiBase is Pro Tools built-in file management and database program consisting of two main browsers, the Workspace browser and the Project browser. We can get to those from the Window menu. These browsers enable you to search your computer and attach hard drives for any file that you like to import into a Pro Tools session.
The Project browser looks into the Current Sessions folder regardless of where the sessions associated files are located. So anything associated with this particular session, we can see in this Project browser. Now, there are no associated files, except for this session, so we don't see anything else here, but you would if there were more associated files with this session. Let's go take a look at the Workspace browser. Now the Workspace browser looks into every hard drive that's attached to your system, let's do a search. I'm going to go up to the magnifying glass here, so now we have this Search field, and I'm going to type in techno drums, do a search for some drum loops, and you'll see that it might take a few minutes for you to find all of the loops, but now you can see that the search is complete.
So we'll go down here and look at what we've got. Got a number of drum loop files and we can see this as a WAV file, an audio file, and this is the size of it, and the waveform is shown and we can tell how long it is. It's exactly 4 bars, which is related to this tempo that it conveniently shows at the beginning of it, 138. We can click on this button right here to hear the loop. (Music Playing) Now we have some options for auditioning the loop, and they're all checked off right now.
So we have Loop Preview, which will loop the whole file. Auto Preview means that if we click the name of the file, it will start playing. (Music Playing) So we don't actually have to hit the speaker, we could actually hit the name of the file, and Spacebar Toggles File Preview, so we can use the spacebar to press play and stop for that particular loop. So the easiest way to get the loop into Pro Tools is to simply drag and drop it, and there we go.
And let's check it out in Pro Tools. (Music Playing) Now you'll notice that it's playing back at the same tempo that it was in the Browser window, that's at 138. However this session is at 120bpm. What happens if we actually want to bring this loop in at this session tempo? No problemo. What we can do is click this button right here and that is the audio files conform to session tempo button, so now with that on we can listen to what it sounds like at the session tempo.
(Music Playing) So you note that it's slower. If we turn this back off, it will go back to its original tempo. (Music Playing) So let's put that back on and then drag it into our session. And you'll notice now that it's exactly 4 bars at our 120 beats per minute tempo. Now if we highlight this one, it's less than 4 bars because it's faster than our tempo, and I'll playback both of these.
(Music Playing) That's faster. (Music Playing) That's slower, but it's in time with our tempo. Pro Tools utilizes elastic audio to convert this loop into the right tempo, and we'll cover elastic audio in another video in this course. The Workspace browser is a handy way to find files, audition them and import them into your session, and I'm sure you'll incorporate it into your workflow with Pro Tools.
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