Last modified 2022-08-22.
Time to read: 3 minutes.
Setup For Beats and Bars
Many types of grids and quantizations are available. For looping to work properly, several settings must be set to beats and bars. The process is not obvious.
If you just want the count-in,
A click track must exist before count-in is possible.
Make a Click Track
To make a click track, select the Track / Create Click Track menu, as shown in the image below.
The track will be called Click N, where N starts at 1 for the first click track in the song. The new click track will be selected, and any other previously selected tracks will be deselected.
Click tracks are actually normal tracks that have an AAX plugin called Click II. To learn more about Click II, see Chapter 62 (pages 378–380) of the Pro Tools Audio Plug-ins Guide (PDF). Left-click on the insert, and the Click II settings will appear, as shown below.
You can select different sounds for the click track by clicking on Classic Click and Classic Click Acc. Each of the preset sounds has two versions: the normal version (Classic Click), for Click 1, and the accented version, which is louder (Classic Click Acc), for Click 2. Both sound the same except for volume. Both Click 1 and Click 2 have independent volume sliders.
The following image shows me selecting cowbells for the click sounds.
Another setting for the Click II insert is Follow Meter, in blue. Leave that enabled. In the next step, we will set the meter. The two rows of buttons with notes in them only work when Follow Meter is disabled. Let’s not go there.
Once the click track is configured, you could make it really thin by clicking on the down arrow, then selecting micro or min.
Configure Count In
Right-click anywhere within the red area at the top of the window and enable MIDI Controls.
A new area opens up to the right of where you are working, as shown in the rightmost image above.
You can turn off the click track at any time, even when playing, by clicking on the little blue square with a metronome in it.
The tempo of the song can be set by clicking on the number (120.0000 in the image above right) and typing in a new number, for example, 100 (for 100 beats per minute).
Double-clicking on the value of the Count Off (2 bars in the image above) brings up the Click / Countoff Options dialog, as shown to the right. Here you can establish when the click track can be heard (just for recording, just for playing, or both) and how many bars of lead-in the click track will play when recording.
Double-clicking on the value of the meter (4/4 in the image above right) brings up the Meter Change dialog, shown on the right.
The clicks can be sent to MIDI devices with the Output selector.