Learn about the multiple functions available in the Pro Tools dashboard and when to use each.
- [Instructor] When you launch Pro Tools, the first thing you'll see after startup is the Dashboard. This is your launching point for opening or creating a Pro Tools file. There are a few things to watch out for if you're not familiar with Pro Tools, or even if you've been using an older version and have recently updated. Let's take a look at the choices available in the Dashboard, and I'll give you some tips and suggestions along the way. In the top right is a Sign In button, available in Pro Tools 12.5 and later. Click here to sign into your Avid Master Account for cloud storage options.
To create a session without signing in, choose Session from the Type pop-up menu. In order to take advantage of cloud storage, you will need to sign in first. So let's take a look at how that will work. I'm going to sign in to my Avid Master Account for demonstration purposes. Once you've signed in, you will have options for Projects and Sessions. Now these are functionally the same, the difference is in where they're stored. Projects are cloud-based, meaning they're saved in the cloud storage associated with your Avid Master Account.
Sessions are stored locally on your computer system drive, another internal drive, or a connected external drive. Now again, you do not need to sign in to create or open a session. The left side column provides available actions. Create a new project or session, access a recent project or session for the system, or open one of the projects in your Avid Master Account. The button at the bottom of the dialog box allows you to open a session that's not in the recent list, for example from a connected portable external drive.
When creating a new project or session, you can optionally choose to start from a template using this check box. I don't recommend using these templates when you're first starting out with Pro Tools as they may involve more complexity than you really need. The next thing you'll need to do when creating a session is to select the parameters down at the bottom of the dialog box. We're going to cover this in detail in a separate video. Now when you create a session, Pro Tools stores the session in your User Documents folder by default.
Now that's not necessarily a good location. I highly recommend storing your sessions on a dedicated audio drive. You have two options to change the location. The first is to click the Location button here and select your desired storage location such as your dedicated audio drive. Doing so will reconfigure the default location for all sessions going forward. Another method is to enable the Prompt for location option, and then click Create, in which case Pro Tools will display a Save dialog box where you can choose your destination.
So those are your basic choices when using the Dashboard. Sign in for access to projects, create a new project or session, open a recent project or session, or open a session from a local drive. Be sure to check your save location when creating local sessions and don't necessarily accept the default location. With these tips in mind, you'll keep your Pro Tools work organized and easily accessible in the future.
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
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