Mike Slinn

Pro Tools Recording

Published 2020-03-01. Last modified 2023-12-05.
Time to read: 4 minutes.

This page is part of the av_studio collection.

These instructions are for members of the World Peace Musical Collective. It may be of interest to others as well.

New Pro Tools Recording

  1. File / New (CTRL-N), ensure that Create from Template is enabled, and select the Default template, which Mike made.
  2. Name the song. The image above shows that the new song will called My New Song.
  3. Ensure Interleaved is enabled.
  4. Ensure Location... is set it to E:\media\proTools\.
  5. Click on Create. This makes a new directory of that name, and within it, a file of that name with the .ptx file type.

Visibility Settings

  1. Display the clip list, and perhaps the MIDI editor if you are working a lot with MIDI data:

Make A PlayAlong Project

  1. Copy from template as above. The template must be set to 48 kHz, or the MP3 will play back too fast!!!
  2. Drag an MP3 into blank space at the bottom of the Pro Tools menu.

Add MP3

The template must be set to 48 kHz, or the MP3 will play back too fast!!!

  1. Drag from Windows File Explorer or from MusicBee into the Track panel (left-most panel)
  2. Move the new track to the top
  3. Click in a blank area to the left of the track. You will know that you are in the right area because the Current Elastic Audio or ARA Plug-in tooltip will appear as you hover over the area:
  4. You now have several choices. Try the Rhythmic option.
  5. Right-click on the track and select Conform to Tempo and Remove Warp, if enabled, or the clip will play back too fast.

Record Track

  1. Take safety off (green I)
  2. Record arm the track (Audix, for example)
  3. Record arm the project
  4. Play to record (or space bar)

Multiple Takes

Use playlists for multiple takes. To add new playlist(s) to selected tracks:

  1. Select the track by clicking on the track names in the edit window. Use the normal Windows Shift-click and Control-click to extend the selection.
  2. Use Win-\ to move the current waveform into a new playlist entry. As always in Pro Tools, the ALT key means “do this to all”, and Shift means “do this to selected”, so:
    1. Win-ALT-\ creates a new Pro Tools playlist on all tracks (including inactive ones).
    2. Win-ALT-Shift-\ creates new playlists only on selected tracks.
  3. Once there are multiple takes, listen to them one at a time by soloing any given take.
  4. To copy a selected portion of a solo’d take into the waveform, click the up arrow for that take.
  5. Use Win-\ to make a new take from the waveform, and name it with .c (consolidated) suffix.

Loop Recording

Looping over a portion of a song while recording take after take is a good way to finally get a difficult passage.

ALT-L toggles loop recording. You can also right-click on the recording button to enable loop recording.

Other important settings to make this work property are:

  • Grid mode
  • Selector tool
  • Main counter set to Bars | Beats
  • Grid is active (solid green) and set to 1 bar
  • Enable count off (2 bars, for recording)

Now that everything is set for loop recording:

  • Select the track(s) to record on (Control-click on the track names)
  • Make a new take for the selected tracks (Win-ALT-Shift-\)
  • Record-arm the track(s) to record on
  • Select some bars, anywhere on the edit area, to record into.
  • Control-space to start loop recording.
  • Space when you have enough loops recorded

Modify Group of Tracks

  1. Right-click on the group to modify
  2. Click on Modify…
  3. Select the tracks to add / remove to / from the group:
  4. Click the Add >> or << Remove buttons, as appropriate.

Audio Clips

The audio clips for a project can be displayed by enabling View / Other Displays / Clip List.

This is what the clip list might look like:

Double-click on an item in the clip list to see the click menu, which allows you to rename the clip, or the clip and the file it is stored in, and to view information about the clip.

Right-click on an item in the clip list to see the click context menu.

Reset Song Start

When tick-based tracks are moved, any associated tick-based markers will follow, but markers referencing absolute timebases (like sample-based tracks) will be unaffected.

Pro Tools: Losing Time has a good in-depth explanation of defining the start of a song. Following is an abbreviated set of directions:

The Song Start marker is a red diamond, which is usually only half-visible on the extreme left of the Tempo ruler. Use the View / Rules / Tempo menu to toggle visibility of the Tempo ruler.

You can move the Song Start marker without moving markers, tempo data, etc. For Windows, hold Win-Shift while dragging the Song Start marker; for Mac, hold CTRL-Shift while dragging the Song Start marker.

Another way is to use the Event / Time Operations / Move Song Start ... menu item to reset the start of the song to the cursor location.

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