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Pro Tools 101: Pro Tools Fundamentals I: Lesson 2

Getting Inside Pro Tools

Mark Williams

on 30 January 2017

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Transcript of Pro Tools 101: Pro Tools Fundamentals I: Lesson 2

Lesson 2
Getting Inside Pro Tools
Recognize the basic Pro Tools session file structure
Power up a Pro Tools system
Navigate the Pro Tools menu system to locate common commands
Recognize and work in the main Pro Tools windows
Recognize the Edit tools and Edit modes
Recognize displayed Time Scales and Timebase Rulers
Recognize MIDI controls
Target Systems
This material specifically concerns Pro Tools 12, though most of the concepts will apply to earlier versions.
HD users will have access to additional features.
New features are identified as such.
Screenshots represent Pro Tools 12 running on Windows 7, unless otherwise noted.
Pro Tools File Structure
A Pro Tools recording project is called a session.
Pro Tools stores files that are components of the session separately and keeps track of those files in a session folder.
File Organization
When you create a Pro Tools session, it creates a top-level session folder containing the session file as well as various subfolders (Fig. 2.1).
When you record, convert on import, or edit material, files appear in the subfolders.
Session Components
The following slides describe the types of files Pro Tools creates and stores in each folder.
Most of these are created automatically, though some are only generated on export.
Pro Tools Session File
Pro Tools creates a session file (*.ptx) for every new project inside a session folder with the same name.
The session file contains a map of all the tracks, audio and video files, settings, and edits associated with your session.
You may copy and rename session files to save alternate versions of a session without changing the source audio.
WaveCache File
Each Pro Tools session contains a WaveCache.wfm in the session folder.
This file stores all of the waveform display data for any audio in the session and can be included when a session is transferred to another Pro Tools system.
Pro Tools also maintains a distinct WaveCache file inside the Avid Databases folder on the system drive.
Tip: WaveCache files can be deleted without harming the session or your system. If it's missing Pro Tools will recalculate the data, but the session may open more slowly.
Audio Files
Pro Tools records each take as a separate audio file inside the session folder.
Pro Tools supports both WAV and AIFF formats, but WAV is the default file for both Mac and PC platforms.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Audio is saved
in the Audio Files folder--not the session file. When transferring sessions you must copy over the session folder to include all of the audio and associated files.
MIDI Files
MIDI data is stored within the Pro Tools session.
MIDI files may be exported using the EXPORT > MIDI command.
MIDI files are recognized by their *.mid extensions.
Sibelius Files
If working with musical notation in the SCORE EDITOR, Pro Tools will generate a score file by using the SEND TO SIBELIUS or EXPORT > SIBELIUS commands.
Sibelius files use an *.sib extension.
Clip Groups
The Clip Groups folder is used for any
clip groups exported
from a Pro Tools session.
If you do not export any clip groups, this folder stays empty and will be removed when you close the session.
Rendered Files
When you use rendered Elastic Audio processing, Pro Tools creates temporary files for the audio on the affected tracks.
These files are stored in the Rendered Files folder in the session folder.
If you commit Rendered Elastic Audio processing to a track, a new file is stored in the Audio Files folder and temporary file is deleted.
Session File Backups
If Auto Backup is enabled, the Session File Backups folder will be created automatically.
Auto-saved session files are stored in this folder.
Video Files
The Video Files folder is used when you copy a video from source media into Pro Tools.
If a video is already in digital format, Pro Tools references it from its location on the system.
It does
copy it into the session folder.
Tip: You may want to create a Video Files folder and copy existing movies into it prior to importing them into your session.
Starting Pro Tools
The larger the Pro Tools system, the more important it is to follow a specific startup sequence, especially when made up of both hardware and software.
Powering Up Your Hardware
The recommended sequence for starting a Pro Tools system:
1. Make sure all your equipment is off.
2. Turn on any external hard drives.
3. Turn on any MIDI interfaces and MIDI devices.
4. Turn on your audio interface.
5. Start your computer.
6. Turn on your monitors (if applicable).
Tip: Many audio interfaces run on phantom power from the computer and do not need to be powered up in advance.

Tip: Additional steps may be required to start up a Pro Tools system with HD-series interfaces and peripherals. See Getting Started guide.
Using the PACE iLok System
The iLok (Fig. 2.2) is a USB smart key that contains licenses for protected software products.
Pro Tools 12 requires the 2nd generation iLok (500 licenses).
Launching Pro Tools
To launch Pro Tools double-click on the application icon (Fig. 2.3) on the system's internal drive or on a short cut to the application.
On PCs, it is usually installed under C:\Program Files\Avid\Pro Tools\ProTools.exe; on Macs, under Applications\Pro Tools.app.
The application starts with no session open. From this point you can change settings that affect performance.
You might have to dismiss the Dashboard first.
Tip: On Windows, Pro Tools may also be available from the Start menu at the lower-left of the display. Mac users may want to create a short cut on the Dock by dragging the application icon onto the Dock.
Optimizing Host-Based Pro Tools Performance
Pro Tools' systems (without DSP cards) use the computer's processing capacity (host-based processing).
Pro Tools|HD and HDX systems use DSP cards for most of their processing power.
Pro Tools lets you adjust performance by changing settings that affect host-based processing capacity. (H/W Buffer Size and Dynamic Plug-In Processing settings)
Hardware Buffer Size
The Avid Audio Engine splits plug-in processing into 2 domains: the low-latency domain (user-selected hardware buffer size), and the high-latency domain (fixed, high buffer size).
The H/W Buffer Size setting controls the size of the low-latency hardware cache used to handle host-based tasks.
Lower Hardware Buffer Size settings reduce monitoring latency and are useful when recording live input.
Higher Hardware Buffer Size settings allow for more audio processing and effects and are useful when you are mixing and using more Native plug-ins.
Tip: The H/W Buffer Size setting does not affect DSP processing on Pro Tools|HD and HDX systems. Set it as low as your system/session will allow.
Dynamic Plug-In Processing
This option in the Playback Engine dialog box maximizes plug-in counts by dynamically reallocating host-based processing resources as needed.
Allows the Avid Audio Engine to take some plug-ins offline, thus reducing CPU usage.
As a general rule, should be enabled to ensure optimal performance.
Modifying Hardware Buffer Size &
Dynamic Plug-In Processing Settings
2. From the H/W Buffer Size pop-up menu, select the audio buffer size in samples--lower to reduce latency, raise to increase processing power.
3. Next to Host Engine, enable the checkbox for DYNAMIC PLUG-IN PROCESSING.
4. Click OK.
The Pro Tools Software Interface
The software interface is displayed once you create or open a session by choosing FILE > NEW SESSION, FILE > OPEN SESSION, or FILE > OPEN RECENT.
The Menu Structure
Across the top of the screen is the menu system for Pro Tools.
The following slides provide a brief description of each menu:
File Menu
File menu commands create and maintain Pro Tools sessions.
There are options for opening, creating, and saving sessions; bouncing tracks; and importing and exporting session components.
Edit Menu
Edit menu commands let you edit and manipulate the media in the current selection and affect data in the Timeline.
There are options for copying and pasting; duplicating, repeating, and shifting selections; trimming, separating, and healing clips, etc.
View Menu
Track Menu
Clip Menu
Event Menu
AudioSuite Menu
Options Menu
Setup Menu
Window Menu
Marketplace Menu
Help Menu
View menu commands control how Pro Tools windows, tracks, and track data are displayed.
Some commands toggle the display of various component parts of Pro Tools windows.
Select or deselect these commands as needed.
Track menu commands let you set up and maintain tracks.
There are options for creating, duplicating, grouping, deleting, and modifying tracks and track settings.
Tip: Though commonly confused, the View menu and the Window menu serve distinctly different functions. Commands in the View menu affect parts of a window. Commands in the Window menu affect entire windows.
Clip menu commands are for Pro Tools clips.
Clips point to available audio or MIDI files or file segments.
Includes options for arranging, grouping, looping, quantizing, warping, modifying clips, and clip settings.
TIP: In Pro Tools HD software, certain Clip menu commands are also available for video clips.

TIP: Clips were known as
in Pro Tools 9.0 and earlier.
The Event menu contains commands for modifying the time and tempo settings of your session.
It allows you to work with MIDI and audio events and operations, and adjust various properties of MIDI recordings.
The AudioSuite Menu allows you to access all AudioSuite plug-ins in your system's Plug-Ins folder.
They apply non-real-time, file-based processing to selections.
This effects the audio file permanently, replacing a selection with a newly rendered audio file.
The Options Menu commands lets you select several editing, recording, monitoring, playback, and display options.
You can enable loop recording, turn on pre- and post-roll, engage Dynamic Transport mode, set scrolling options, et al.
TIP: The Options menu displays functions that toggle on or off. Menu items with a check are enabled, items without a check are disabled.
The Setup menu lets you configure Pro Tools parameters.
It includes options to configure audio interfaces, host-based processing options, setting disk allocations, mapping I/O settings, configuring session and MIDI settings, configuring Click/Countoff, and modifying Pro Tools preferences.
TIP: All items under the Setup menu display a dialog box when selected allowing you to configure functions or operations with multiple settings.
Window menu commands allow you to display various windows and palettes.
Includes commands for displaying the Edit, Mix, and Transport windows; the Workspace browser; and the Automation window, Memory Locations window, Video window, Color Palette, Undo History window, and others.
Provides easy access to your Avid account, the Avid Support Center, and the plug-in marketplace.
Plug-ins acquired through the Marketplace are installed silently and are available for use without having to restart Pro Tools.
The Help menu provides links to important documentation and online resources.
These include: Pro Tools online help system, Knowledge Base, Avid Audio Forums, Pro Tools Reference Guide, and other documentation.
Main Pro Tools Windows
The three main windows to be familiar with to begin working in Pro Tools are the Edit window, the Mix window, and the Transport window.
Two additional important windows: the MIDI Editor window and the Score Editor window.
Edit Window
Provides a timeline display of audio, MIDI data, video, and mixer automation for recording, editing and arranging tracks.
Displays audio waveforms and is where you will work with audio, MIDI, and video files.
Fig. 2.5 Pro Tools Edit window
Edit Tools
Edit tools are used to select, move, trim, and otherwise modify clips.
These will be described later in the Edit Tools Functions section.
Fig. 2.7. Edit tool buttons
Edit Mode Buttons
Selector buttons in the top left of the toolbar activate the four Edit modes (Shuffle, Spot, Slip, and Grid).
These affect the movement and placement of audio and MIDI clips (and notes).
The modes affect how commands and tools function.
These will be described later in the Edit Mode Features section.
Fig. 2.6.
Edit mode buttons
Edit Window
Side Columns
Along the left side of the Edit window are the Track List and Edit Group List.
The Track List is at the top and has a pop-up menu for displaying and sorting tracks.
Below it is the Edit Group List where track grouping is displayed. (Covered in the 110 course.)
Along the right side of the Edit window is the Clip list.
It includes a pop-up menu and display area for the audio, and MIDI files and file segments (clips) in the session.
Timeline Display
Rulers are horizontal displays that are in the Timeline area of the Edit window.
--for music editors, composers, and musicians.
--for radio and measuring in absolute time.
Time Code
-- for video and film post-production and some music applications.
--for tempo changes.
--for meter changes.
--allows you to create markers for specific locations.
the Toolbar
The Edit Window Toolbar menu (Fig. 2.11)

in the upper-right corner allows you to customize the toolbar by showing or hiding controls and displays in the toolbar.
Tip: This also works for the MIDI and Score Editors.
Zoom controls.
MIDI controls.
Figure 2.12 Available toolbar options: Zoom controls (left), Transport controls (middle), and MIDI controls (right)
When selected these controls are displayed in the Edit window toolbar.
To move a set of controls in the toolbar, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac) on the controls and drag to a new area of the toolbar.
Mix Window
Provides a mixer-like environment for recording and mixing audio.
Tracks appear as mixer (or channel) strips.
Has controls for inserts, sends, input and output assignments, Automation mode selection, panning, and volume.
Provides buttons for record enable, solo, mute, selecting voice assignments, and mix groups.
Signal Routing
Record and Playback
Mix Window Side
The top portion of each channel strip provides signal routing controls (Fig. 2.17) including Insert selectors, Send selectors, Input selectors, and Output selectors for routing signals into and out of the track.
Insert selectors can add real-time effects processing; Send selectors can route signal to a bus or output path.
Input and Output selectors route signal from your audio interface for recording or playback.
Beneath the signal routing controls are the record and playback controls (Fig. 2.17) including the Automation mode selector; pan controls; Track Record enable; Solo and Mute buttons; and the Volume Fader for each track.
The Automation mode selector enables automatable parameters.
The Pan controls position output within a stereo field.
The buttons for Track Enable, Solo, and Mute activate or deactivate those functions during recording or playback.
Volume Faders adjust playback or monitoring levels.
The Mix window includes a side column on the left that provides additional view and display options including the Track List and the Mix Group List. (Fig. 2.19)
The Track List at the top displays and sorts tracks.
The Mix Group List displays track grouping status.
This can be customized as needed.
Transport Window
The Transport window provides buttons similar to controls on a CD or DVD player. (These may be displayed in the Edit window toolbar.)
It can be set to display counters and MIDI controls.
Fig. 2.20. The Transport window
MIDI Controls
Enabling the counters in the Transport window displays the Location Indicators to the right of the Transport controls.
The Main and Sub Location Indicators provide information for navigation and editing and can be set for different Time Scale formats.
To navigate with the Main Location Indicator, click inside it, type a location, and press ENTER or RETURN.
The MIDI controls provide options for playing and recording MIDI data, playing metronome clicks, overdubbing MIDI, using tempo maps, and setting tempo and meter.
These functions are described in more detail later in the MIDI Control Features section.
Additional Editor Windows
Two additional editor windows that focus on specific editing and presentation tasks are the MIDI Editor window and the Score Editor window.
MIDI Editor Window
The MIDI Editor window (Fig. 2.21) allows detailed MIDI composition and editing.
It can show MIDI data and automation data for Auxiliary Input, Instrument, and MIDI tracks.
Several separate MIDI Editor windows may be opened simultaneously providing different views of MIDI data.
You may also display a "docked" MIDI Editor window (aka the MIDI Editor view) at the bottom of the primary Edit window.
When displaying multiple tracks, it superimposes the notes from each of the tracks.
It can also display automation and controller lanes for velocity stalks, volume automation playlists, and other continuous controller and automation data.
Score Editor
The Score Editor window (Fig. 2.22) lets you view, edit, arrange, and print MIDI data as music notation.
It provides Notation Display Track settings to specify how MIDI and Instrument tracks appear in the Score Editor.
Tool Tips
The user interface provides Tool Tips in all main windows by parking the cursor over an abbreviated name or unlabeled icon or tool.
Tool Tips can be controlled by the Tool Tips Display options (Fig. 2.23) in the Display Preferences pane (SETUP > PREFERENCES, DISPLAY tab). Two options are available: Function and Details. Either or both may be displayed or turned off.
Edit Tool Functions
The Edit tools in the toolbar allow for audio and MIDI editing functions.
The Edit tools included: the Zoomer tool, the Trim tool, the Selector tool, the Grabber tool, the Scrubber tool, the Pencil tool, and the Smart tool.
Zoomer Tool
Trim Tool
Selector Tool
Grabber Tool
Scrubber Tool
Pencil Tool
Smart Tool
Edit Modes
Shuffle Mode
Slip Mode
Spot Mode
Grid Mode
Time Scales
and Rulers

Main Time Scale
Sub Time Scale
Ruler Display Options
MIDI Control

Wait for Note
Countoff Controls
MIDI Merge Mode
Tempo Ruler Enable
Meter Display
Tempo Field
The Zoomer tool zooms into and out of a track or portion of a track and has two modes:
Normal mode, where the Zoomer tool remains selected after zooming.
Single Zoom mode, where the previously selected tool is reselected after zooming.
You may click to zoom on a specific point or drag the tool over an area you wish to view.
TIP: Marquee zooming allows horizontal and vertical zooming on a waveform. To use, Ctrl-drag (PC) or Command-drag (Mac) with the Zoomer tool.
TIP: Double-click on the ZOOMER tool to get a full track view that fills the Edit window with the longest visible track.
Reverse an Operation with the Alt/Option Key
The Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) modifier provides several functions. Among these is the Reverse Operation function. With the Trim tool it reverses the trim direction; with the Pencil tool when editing MIDI notes, it becomes an eraser.
The Trim tool non-destructively trims excess audio, MIDI, or video from the beginning or end of a clip.
You may quickly crop a clip, or adjust the cropping to re-expose material of the underlying source file.
Pro Tools adds a new item to the Clip list the first time you trim an uncropped clip.
Tip: The Trim tool button also provides access to the Time Compression/Expansion (TCE) Trim tool, the Loop Trim tool, and the Scrub Trim tool (Pro Tools HD only).
Alternate Trim tools are covered in detail in the 200-level Pro Tools courses.
In the Avid
Learning Series
The Selector tool positions the playback cursor or selects an area in a track for playback or editing.
Click with the tool where you want playback to begin.
Drag with the tool across an area on one or more tracks (Fig. 2.27) to select it for playback or editing.
To add or remove from an existing selection hold the Shift key and click (or click and drag).
For a lengthy selection: Click with the SELECTOR tool to position the cursor; Scroll to the desired endpoint with the scroll bar and shift-click.
The Grabber tool selects an entire clip with one mouse click, moves clips along the Timeline, and also between tracks.
To select a clip, click it with the Grabber tool; to move it along the Timeline, click it and drag to the desired location; dragging it vertically moves the clip to another track.
Using the Grabber in Slip mode allows a clip to be moved freely along the Timeline; in Spot mode it may be positioned numerically; in Shuffle mode a clip will snap to other clips; in Grid mode it will snap to the Timeline Grid.
Tip: The Grabber tool button provides access to the Separation Grabber and Object Grabber tools.
In the Avid
Learning Series
Alternate Grabber tools are covered in the Pro Tools 201 course.
The Scrubber tool allows you to find a specific audio or MIDI event by dragging the tool left or right on a track.
Scrubbing originated in tape editing by rocking the tape back and forth past the playhead to locate a precise position.
Tip: Dragging the Scrubber tool between two adjacent mono or stereo Audio tracks allows you to scrub the two tracks together.
The Pencil tool allows you to redraw waveform data most commonly to repair pops and clicks. (The Edit window must be zoomed in to the sample level.)
It also lets you create and edit MIDI data.
The different shapes (Freehand, Line, Triangle, Square, and Random) can be used for drawing and editing automation and MIDI control data--e.g., Line for volume, Triangle for pan, Freehand for pitch bend, and Square or Random for velocity.
The Smart tool provides instant access to the Selector, Grabber, and Trim tools and is useful for fades and crossfades.
It is active when the three tools are all selected (highlighted in blue).
To activate click any of the tools and then Shift-click on another member tool.
To use as a Selector, position it over the middle of the clip; as a Grabber, in the lower half; as a Trimmer, near the start or end of the clip.
In the Avid
Learning Series
The functions of the Smart Tool are covered in detail in the Pro Tools 201 course.
The four Edit Modes (Shuffle, Slip, Spot, and Grid) are selected by clicking the mode buttons on the left side of the toolbar in the Edit window.
The Edit mode affects the movement and placement of clips (also notes in MIDI), how commands such as Copy and Paste function, and how Edit tools work (Trim, Selector, Grabber, and Pencil.
Shortcut: The Edit mode may be set by the function keys: F1 (Shuffle), F2 (Slip), F3 (Spot), and F4 (Grid).
In Shuffle mode, clip movement is determined by other clips. When you move a clip in Shuffle mode, it will snap to the previous or next clip on the track.
Use Shuffle mode to make clips line up next to each other without overlap or silence between them.
In Slip mode you can move, trim, cut, or paste clips without affecting the placement of other clips on the track.
Use Slip mode when you want the Trim, Selector, Grabber, and Pencil tools to work without restrictions to placement in time.
In Spot mode, you can move clips to precise locations by specifying them in a dialog box.
As in Slip mode, edit operations do not affect the placement of other clips.
Use Spot mode when you want to control the placement or duration of a clip with precise numerical values.
In Grid mode, clips and MIDI notes that are moved, trimmed, or inserted will snap to the nearest time increment selected.
Grid mode can be applied using Absolute or Relative positioning. (See Lesson 8.)
Use Grid mode for precise editing, and aligning clips and selections to precise time intervals.
The Main Time Scale is used for Transport functions; selection Start, End, and Length fields; and Grid and Nudge values.
The Sub Time Scale provides additional timing reference and can be displayed in the Counters area.
Rulers can be displayed for a variety of time formats and appear in the Timeline display area at the top of the Edit window.
The Main Time Scale determines the timebase units for the following:
The Main Counter in the Edit window.
The Main Location Indicator in the Transport window.
Selection Start, End, and Length values.
Pre- and Post-Roll amounts.
Initial Grid and Nudge Values.
The Main Time Scale may be set to Bars|Beats, Minutes:
Seconds, Time Code, Feet+Frames, or Samples. To set it:
Select using the VIEW > MAIN COUNTER menu (Fig. 2.33).
Select from the MAIN TIME SCALE pop-up menu for the Main Counter at the top of the Edit Window (Fig. 2.34).
If a Ruler is displayed for the desired Timebase, click on its name to highlight it (Fig. 2.35).
The Sub Time Scale provides a secondary timing reference and is set to Samples by default.
It also can be set to Bars|Beats, Minutes:Seconds, Time Code, and Feet+Frames.
To display it, select SHOW SUB COUNTER from the Main Time Scale pop-up menu.
To set it, select the desired timebase from the Sub Time Scale pop-up menu.
The Pro Tools Timebase Rulers (aka Timelines) include:
Time Code
Time Code 2
The Pro Tools Conductor Rulers include:
To display a Ruler, choose VIEW > RULERS or click the RULER VIEW SELECTOR and select the desired Ruler.
Hide Views with the Alt/Option Key
The Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key allows you to hide various views. Hold Alt/Option and click on the nameplate of a Ruler or Edit window column to hide it.
TIP: The Ruler that corresponds to the session's Main Time Scale cannot be hidden.
The Edit and Transport windows allow for various MIDI control options (Fig. 2.41).
These include: Wait for Note, Metronome, MIDI Merge, Tempo Ruler Enable, Countoff, Meter, and Tempo.
When Wait for Note is selected, recording only begins when a MIDI event is received.
This allows recording to begin when you are ready and for the first MIDI event to be recorded exactly at the beginning of the record range.
Tip: F11 can be set to Wait for Note in the MIDI Preferences (SETUP > PREFERENCES > MIDI).
When the Metronome button is selected, a metronome will sound during playback and recording.
The simplest way to enable metronome playback is to set up a click track (Lesson 4).
To modify the settings select SETUP > CLICK/COUNTOFF or double-click the METRONOME button.
Tip: With the Numeric Keypad mode set to Transport (default), you can press [7] to enable the click.

Tip: To set the mode for the numeric keypad, choose SETUP > PREFERENCES > OPERATION. Select the desired mode under Numeric Keypad in the Transport section.
When Count Off is selected, Pro Tools counts off a specified number of bars before playback or recording.
Choose SETUP > CLICK/COUNTOFF or double-click the Count Off field to change settings.
Tip: With the Numeric Keypad mode set to Transport, you can press [8] to enable the countoff.
When MIDI Merge is selected, recorded MIDI data is merged with existing material. When deselected, recorded MIDI data replaces existing material.
Click on the MIDI Merge button in the Edit or Transport window to engage MIDI Merge. Click again to return to Replace mode.
Tip: With the Numeric Keypad mode set to Transport, you can press [9] to enable MIDI Merge.
When selected, the tempo map defined in the Tempo Ruler controls the tempo during playback and recording.
When deselected, Pro Tools ignores the tempo map and switches to Manual Tempo mode.
In Manual Tempo mode the tempo can be adjusted by typing a value directly into the Tempo field or by tapping in a Tempo. (See Tempo Field.)
The Meter display indicates the session's current meter.
Double-click it to open the Meter Change dialog box.
The Tempo field displays the current tempo.
In Manual Tempo mode, you can enter a beats per minute (BPM) value in the field.
When the Tempo field is selected you can tap a tempo from a MIDI controller or from the keyboard using the "T" key.
Bounced Files
The Bounced Files folder is the default directory for files created using Bounce to Disk.
If you do not use Bounce to Disk, this folder stays empty and is removed when the session is closed.
Fig. 2.2. PACE iLok key (2nd gen.)
Insert your iLok into a USB port before launching Pro Tools.
There are controls for Record Enable, Solo, Mute, and Automation Mode.
Fig. 2.16. Pro Tools Mix Window
Fig. 2.32.
Edit mode buttons
Fig. 2.1 Pro Tools session file hierarchy
TIP: Auto backups are enabled in Pro Tools by default. You can specify the number of backup files to maintain and the backup frequency in the Operation tab of the Preferences dialog box (Setup > Preferences).
TIP: Pro Tools|First software can be authorized to a specific computer and run without requiring an iLok key.
Fig. 2.3. The Pro Tools application icon
Accessing Connected Audio Devices
Pro Tools generally will be configured to use the currently connected audio interface or other available device.
If none is found, Pro Tools will launch using the built-in audio capabilities of your computer.
To configure Pro Tools to use a different audio device, such as a connected USB microphone or a separate audio interface, you will need to change the Playback Engine setting, by choosing SETUP > PLAYBACK ENGINE. (Fig 2.4.)
TIP: If your interface is connected but not recognized by Pro Tools, you may need to install or update the device drivers. Check the manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers.
Fig. 2.4. Pro Tools Playback Engine dialog box
Edit Window

The toolbar area at the top of the Edit window provides many functions, including Edit Mode buttons, Edit tools, the Main Counter, and various optional displays.
The Main Counter is displayed to the right of the Edit tools and provides a numeric display of your current Timeline position.
Main Counter
Fig. 2.8. Main Counter display, indicating a Timeline position at Bar 1, Beat 1
Fig. 2.9. Pro Tools Ruler displays
Fig. 2.10. Pro Tools Edit window columns: Track List and Group List (left) and Clip List (right).
Configuring the Edit Window
Pro Tools lets you customize the display of Edit window to accommodate your needs at any given point in your project.
Customizing the
Side Columns
To show or hide either the left or right side column (Fig. 2.14):
Click the arrow icon located in the bottom corner. The arrow icon will reverse to point in the opposite direction, and the column will slide into or out of view. – Or –
Double-click with the mouse positioned over the column separator (where the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow). The column will slide into or out of view.
1.Position the mouse over the column separator where the cursor changes into a double-headed arrow.
2.Click and drag on the column separator to adjust its position as needed.
To adjust column width or height, follow these steps (Fig. 2.15):
Fig. 2.17. Signal routing controls.
Fig. 2.18. Record and playback controls
Fig. 2.19 Pro Tools Mix window side column
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