PRO TOOLS

> make mu­sic now / 250 daw power tips

Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

01Pro Tools has a great fea­ture in its EQ3 1 and 7 EQs which au­to­mat­i­cally trans­forms an EQ band into a band­pass fil­ter, al­low­ing you hear the area in iso­la­tion. Hold Shift-Cmd on Mac or

Win-Shift on PC, then move an EQ node to tem­po­rar­ily switch the EQ band to a band-pass. This al­lows you to find those trou­ble­some fre­quency ar­eas with ease.

02Click tracks can be great for record­ing, but they’re not al­ways wel­come dur­ing play­back. You can set Pro Tools’ click to only sound dur­ing record­ing, which saves you con­stantly click­ing that mute switch. Head to the Setup menu, then Click/Countoff and se­lect Only Dur­ing Record. The click will now au­to­mat­i­cally mute dur­ing play­back, and come on when you’re record­ing.

03We’ve all zoomed in on some au­dio to per­form a tight edit, high­lighted the sec­tion, finely tuned the start and end points, only to click out of the area by mis­take and lose our work. It’s ex­tremely frus­trat­ing – but Pro Tools has you cov­ered. Next time you lose a se­lec­tion, just hit

Op­tion-Com­mand-Z on Mac ( Ctrl-Alt-Z on PC) to re­store the last se­lec­tion.

04For a lot of elec­tronic mu­sic, you’ll of­ten find your­self work­ing in Grid mode – but be­ing 100% locked to the grid doesn’t al­ways bring the right feel. A quick short­cut to turn off grid snap­ping is to hold Com­mand on Mac or

Con­trol on PC as you drag a clip. You’re now free to place your sam­ple off grid to fine tune that groove.

05If you’re for­tu­nate enough to own a Pro Tools HD sys­tem, ver­sion 12.6 brought the new Clip Ef­fects fea­ture – a chan­nel strip plugin which can process each clip in­de­pen­dently. Se­lect the clip and press Op­tion-6 on Mac ( Alt-6 on PC) to bring up the new chan­nel strip and have ac­cess to EQ, com­pres­sion and an ex­pander/gate for each clip dis­cretely.

06By de­fault, the solo mode in Pro Tools latches. How­ever, you can change the mode so that solo­ing one chan­nel un-so­los an­other. This is very handy for quick A/B checks be­tween chan­nels, and is ac­tu­ally the de­fault for sev­eral work­sta­tions. To change the solo op­er­a­tion, head to Op­tions » Solo Mode, then se­lect X-OR.

07Pro Tools’ Tab to Tran­sient func­tion is an in­cred­i­bly fast means of chop­ping up sam­ples. Sim­ply press the Tab key on any au­dio file and you’ll jump to the near­est tran­sient; press it again and you’ll jump to the next. If you skip past the tran­sient you were after, Op­tion-Tab on Mac ( Ctrl-Tab on PC) will hop back to the one be­fore.

08Chop­ping up lots of au­dio on the time­line quickly builds up a large num­ber of clips across sev­eral chan­nels, so it can get fid­dly to move things around as a group. You can link as many clips as you like by high­light­ing and press­ing Con­trol-Op­tion-G on Mac ( Con­trol

Alt-G on PC). All clips can now be dragged around as one for easy trans­porta­tion.

09Pro Tools 12.3 brought bet­ter fade op­tions. High­light a bunch of clips, then hit Com­mand-F on Mac ( Ctrl-F on PC) to bring up the fade di­a­logue. Batch fades al­low for in­de­pen­dent set­tings for cross­fades, fade in and fade out. Also check out the new Fade Pre­set op­tion, which al­lows you to store five set­ups.

11Did you know you can in­crease the width of the me­ters in the mix win­dow? By de­fault, Pro Tools shows the mix win­dow with nar­row me­ters. Hold

Con­trol-Op­tion-Com­mand ( Con­trol-Win-Alt on PC) and click on any chan­nel meter and you’ll swap out to the wide me­ters. This can be very handy if you’ve se­lected the nar­row mix view, but want slightly thicker me­ters.

12Ef­fi­cient nav­i­ga­tion around a ses­sion is es­sen­tial for a pro­duc­tive work­flow. The Ap­ple Magic Mouse han­dles this well, al­low­ing for both ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal scrolling. If your mouse only has a ba­sic scroll wheel, ver­ti­cal scrolling is no prob­lem – but you can also scroll hor­i­zon­tally by hold­ing the Shift key.

13The En­ter key will quickly in­sert a marker wher­ever the play­back cur­sor is po­si­tioned. Th­ese aren’t

just mark­ers; they’re also mem­ory lo­ca­tions which al­low you to store many things like zoom set­tings and track heights. You can eas­ily flick be­tween th­ese po­si­tions by quickly press­ing the . on your numpad, then the num­ber of the lo­ca­tion, then . again.

14Pro Tools has an op­tion which al­lows you to bounce the au­dio up to a point in the ef­fects chain. Right click on an in­sert and se­lect Com­mit-Up to This In­sert. You’ll cre­ate an au­dio file on a new chan­nel and au­to­mat­i­cally hide and de­ac­ti­vate the orig­i­nal, so you can al­ways go back if you want to.

15If you have a fast-paced track with a lot go­ing on, it can be tricky to pick out po­ten­tial flaws with the rhythm. Pro Tools hand­ily pro­vides a short­cut to al­low half-speed play­back, slow­ing ev­ery­thing down to a more man­age­able pace. Hold down the Shift key be­fore you hit Space to play and you’ll have in­stant half-speed play­back.

16Power cuts, hard drive fail­ures and care­less mis­takes can lead to the loss of a ses­sion. Pro Tools has an ul­tra-use­ful Au­to­matic Backup fea­ture which can save your life if the worst was to hap­pen! Head to Setup » Pref­er­ences » Op­er­a­tion, Auto Backup then make sure is checked. This fea­ture is also great for rolling back to pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tions of your track.

17Real-time pro­cess­ing is great, but don’t over­look the Au­dio­suite op­tion, which ren­ders the ef­fect onto the clip. Real-time pro­cess­ing chews up CPU re­sources, which can slow your ses­sion down and in­tro­duce those dreaded clicks and pops. If the ef­fect is static, or only re­quired on a par­tic­u­lar clip, then try us­ing Au­dio­suite pro­cess­ing in­stead to keep things light, clean and tidy.

18When cre­at­ing a send, Pro Tools de­faults the send’s fader to -inf. This is use­ful at times, but if you’re cre­at­ing a lot of sends it can be a pain go­ing through them all and lift­ing the faders up. Head to Setup » Pref­er­ences »

Mix­ing, and uncheck the Sends De­fault to -INF box. Now each time you cre­ate a send, the fader will de­fault to -0dB.

19If you’ve been work­ing on a track for a while, the chances are you’ve got a pile of un­used au­dio sit­ting in your ses­sion’s folder do­ing noth­ing but tak­ing up valu­able disk space. Click on the Clip menu and press Com­mand-Shift-U on Mac ( Con­trol-Shift-U on PC) to se­lect all un­used clips. You can now delete th­ese files, free­ing up disk space and keep­ing things tidy.

Tem­po­rar­ily turn any EQ band into a band-pass fil­ter

Fade mul­ti­ple clips at once and store pre­sets for speed

Not many DAWs have per­ma­nent pro­cess­ing like Pro Tools’ Au­dio­Suite. It can be a life­saver in busy, high-CPU projects

Mark­ers can also be used to save states like zoom­ing

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