Learn how to estimate file sizes and how to check for available disk space using the Disk Usage window.
- [Instructor] Before starting a recording project, you'll want to make sure that you have adequate disc space available in your record destination to complete the project. Running out of space mid recording will not only interrupt the recording session, but could destabilize your system, especially if you're recording to your system drive. Let's cover some tips for estimating file sizes, and for checking the storage space available on your system. Pro Tools records audio using sample rates ranging from 44.1 kilohertz to 192 kilohertz, with bit depths ranging from 16 bits to 32 bit floating point.
The higher the sample rate and bit depth, the larger the resulting files, and the more disc space you'll be using. A starting point for estimating file sizes is to recognize that at 44.1 and 16 bits, Pro Tools will require approximately five megabytes per minute of mono audio. Recording in stereo will require twice as much disc space, or 10 megabytes per minute, since stereo recording involves two discreet channels of audio information. One channel for the audio going to the left speaker, and the other channel for audio going to the right speaker.
Increasing the sample rate or bit depth will result in corresponding increases in file sizes. For example, doubling the sample rate to 88.2 kilohertz for a 16 bit file will double the storage requirements to 10 megabytes per minute for mono audio, and 20 megabytes per minute for stereo. Similarly, doubling the bit depth from 16 bits to 32 bit floating point will double the storage requirements. At 44.1 kilohertz, mono files will require 10 megabytes per minute of storage space, while stereo files will require 20 megabytes per minute.
At 88.2 kilohertz, those storage requirements go up to 20 megabytes per minute for mono, and 40 megabytes per minute for stereo. As you can see, storage requirements can increase dramatically when using higher sample rates and bit depths. For that reason, you should choose the lowest sample rate and bit depth for your session that will meet your needs and intended purpose. If you have an idea of how many tracks you need in your session, and how long the recording will be, you can estimate the overall amount of storage needed, by doing some simple math, and Pro Tools can help you with this process.
Once you've created the session, specifying the required sample rate and bit depth, you can check the amount of space available in the disc usage window. Choose window, disc usage, to open the window. Now this window shows all of the drives connected to my system, the size of each of those drives, how much space is available on each drive, and the percentage of the drive that's currently available. But more importantly, the final column shows me, at my current sample rate and bit depth, how many track minutes are available on the drive.
So for example, if I plan to create a session with 10 tracks in it, for a 10 minute recording session, that would total to 100 track minutes of mono audio. Now keep in mind you'll need to account for stereo tracks, which will consume twice as much space, and you'll also need to allow some extra for multiple takes. The information in this window verifies that I can create the project I'm looking for within the 10,420 minutes available on my audio to go drive. Verifying the available space on your connected drives, prior to starting a project, will help you record with confidence, and avoid potential issues.
By checking the disc usage window periodically, you can keep an eye on your storage space, and manage your media files to keep your system running smoothly.
- 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.