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Pro Tools All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Pro Tools All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, 2nd Edition

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by Jeff Strong

8 BOOKS IN 1

Contents at a Glance

Book I: Home Recording Basics
Discovering What You Need
Getting Connected: Setting Up Your Studio
Meeting the Mixing Board
MIDI and Electronic Instruments
Understanding Microphones
Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools
Configuring Your Computer
Setting Up Your Hardware
Examining Software Basics
Understanding the Pro Tools Windows
Importing and Exporting Files
Book III: Recording Audio
Taking Care of Tracks
Miking: Getting a Great Source Sound
Preparing to Record
Recording Audio
Book IV: Editing Audio
Audio Editing Basics
Selecting Material to Edit
Getting into Editing
Adding to Your Editing Palette
Book V: Managing MIDI
Preparing to Record MIDI
Recording MIDI
Editing MIDI Data
Performing MIDI Operations
Book VI: Mixing in Pro Tools
Mixing Basics
Setting Up Your Mix
Using Equalization
Digging into Dynamics Processors
Singling Out Signal Processors
Automating Your Mix
Making Your Mix
Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools
Mastering Basics
Mastering Your Music
Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses
Putting Your Music on CDGetting Your Music on the Internet

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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 747 p
 File Size 
 8,187 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-470-23947-6
 Copyright©   
 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc 

About the Author
Jeff Strong, the author of Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies, is
President of the REI Institute, which is a MusicMedicine research organization
and therapy provider. Jeff graduated from the Percussion Institute of Technology
at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles in 1983, and has worked in or owned a
recording studio since 1985. Every week, he records dozens of custom CDs with
Pro Tools for his clients. He has also released 12 commercially available therapeutic
CDs, 4 of which can be purchased at www.reiinstitute.com. An eight-
CD set focusing on shifting the brain is also available beginning Fall 2008 through
Sounds True (www.soundstrue.com). Pro Tools All-in-One Desk Reference
For Dummies, 2nd Edition is his ninth book.

Introduction
Chances are that after you became interested in recording some music,
you started hearing about a great software program — Pro Tools.

Maybe you read an article in which an artist said that she records with Pro
Tools, or you heard that such-and-such major recording studio uses Pro
Tools, or a friend told you that you need Pro Tools to record professionalquality
music. Of the many great recording programs that are available, the
most popular — and one of the most powerful — is Pro Tools.

Pro Tools is an audio and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) recording
program. Aside from recording audio and MIDI tracks, Pro Tools offers
some of the most powerful editing functions available, allowing you to tweak
your recordings to a high level of detail, clarity, and accuracy. You also get
excellent mixing abilities that help you mix your tracks together, EQ (equalize)
them, and apply effects. Pro Tools is a comprehensive, all-in-one program
you can use to control your music from start to finish.

About This Book
you to Pro Tools audio- and MIDI-recording software, but it also presents
basic multitrack recording techniques. You find out about the many
Pro Tools features and functions and ways to use this program to create the
best possible recordings of your music.

This book also acquaints you with the basic audio-engineering skills needed
to make high-quality recordings. These skills can save you countless hours
of experimenting and give you more time to actually record your music.
(What a concept!)
In this book, you can
✦ Explore the Pro Tools windows and menus.
✦ Get a handle on all the useful functions within Pro Tools.
✦ Discover the ins and outs of using the various pieces of equipment in your studio.
✦ Explore tried-and-true engineering techniques, such as microphone choice and placement.
✦ Find out about multitracking, mixing, and mastering.
✦ Get a chance to turn your music into complete songs and also discover
how to assemble and release an album.
With this book in hand, you’re on the fast track toward creating great-sounding
CDs. I cut to the chase, showing you skills you can use right away. I don’t
bother you with tons of technical jargon or useless facts.

Table of Contents
Introduction..................................................................1
About This Book...............................................................................................1
Not-So-Foolish Assumptions...........................................................................2
Conventions Used in This Book .....................................................................2
How This Book Is Organized...........................................................................3
Book I: Home Recording Basics............................................................3
Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools .............................................3
Book III: Recording Audio......................................................................4
Book IV: Editing Audio ...........................................................................4
Book V: Managing MIDI..........................................................................4
Book VI: Mixing in Pro Tools .................................................................5
Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools......................................................5
Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses......................................5
Icons Used in This Book..................................................................................6
Where to Go from Here....................................................................................6
Book I: Home Recording Basics ......................................7
Chapter 1: Discovering What You Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Eyeing the Big Picture......................................................................................9
Piping the Music into Pro Tools ...................................................................10
Interpreting input devices...................................................................10
Deciphering direct boxes ....................................................................12
Perusing the preamp............................................................................13
Meeting the Mixer ..........................................................................................14
Managing the MIDI Controller ......................................................................15
Recognizing the Recorder.............................................................................16
Digital recorders...................................................................................17
The computer .......................................................................................18
Signing On to Signal Processors...................................................................22
Equalizers (EQ).....................................................................................22
Dynamic processors ............................................................................24
Effects processors................................................................................25
Making Sense of Monitors.............................................................................27
Headphones ..........................................................................................27
Speakers ................................................................................................28
Mastering Media.............................................................................................29
CD...........................................................................................................30
Computer files ......................................................................................30
Chapter 2: Getting Connected: Setting Up Your Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Making Connections ......................................................................................31
Analog ....................................................................................................32
Digital .....................................................................................................36
Working Efficiently in Your Studio ...............................................................39
Setting up your studio for comfort and efficiency ...........................39
Taming heat and dust ..........................................................................39
Monitoring your monitors...................................................................40
Optimizing Your Studio .................................................................................41
Sound isolation .....................................................................................42
Sound control........................................................................................43
Chapter 3: Meeting the Mixing Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Meeting the Many Mixer Types ....................................................................53
Analog mixer .........................................................................................54
Digital mixer ..........................................................................................55
The computer control surface............................................................56
Understanding Mixer Basics.........................................................................57
Channel strip.........................................................................................57
Input jack...............................................................................................58
Insert jack ..............................................................................................58
Trim knob ..............................................................................................60
Equalization ..........................................................................................60
Channel Auxiliary (Aux) Send knobs .................................................60
Pre/Post switch.....................................................................................62
Pan knob................................................................................................62
Mute switch...........................................................................................63
Solo switch ............................................................................................63
Assign switches ....................................................................................63
Faders ....................................................................................................63
Routing/Busing Signals..................................................................................63
Master fader..........................................................................................64
Sub (submix) faders.............................................................................64
Solo/Mute switches..............................................................................66
Control Room level knob.....................................................................66
Phones knob .........................................................................................66
Auxiliary (Aux) Send knobs ................................................................66
Auxiliary (Aux) Return knobs.............................................................66
Aux Assign.............................................................................................66
Master Level meters.............................................................................67
Deciphering Output Jacks.............................................................................67
Master Out jack ....................................................................................67
Phones jack ...........................................................................................67
Monitors jack ........................................................................................67
Direct Out jacks ....................................................................................67
Aux Return jacks...................................................................................69
Making Life Easier with a Patch Bay............................................................69
Chapter 4: MIDI and Electronic Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
Meeting MIDI...................................................................................................72
Perusing MIDI ports .............................................................................72
Understanding MIDI channels.............................................................74
Appreciating MIDI messages...............................................................75
Managing modes...................................................................................76
General MIDI..........................................................................................77
Getting Started with MIDI..............................................................................78
Sound generators .................................................................................79
Samplers ................................................................................................82
Chapter 5: Understanding Microphones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
Meeting the Many Microphone Types.........................................................87
Construction types...............................................................................87
Polarity patterns...................................................................................92
Buying the Right Microphone for You .........................................................96
How many, what kind...........................................................................97
Detailing applications ..........................................................................98
Partnering with preamps...................................................................100
Considering compressors .................................................................102
Preamp, compressor, and equalizer combos..................................103
Analyzing some microphone accessories .......................................103
Caring for Your Microphones .....................................................................104
Daily care for your mics ....................................................................105
Storing your mics ...............................................................................106
Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools .....................109
Chapter 1: Configuring Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
Using Pro Tools on a Mac............................................................................111
Understanding Mac system requirements ......................................111
Setting system settings......................................................................114
Installing the program........................................................................116
Using Pro Tools on a PC ..............................................................................117
Understanding PC system requirements.........................................117
Preparing to install Pro Tools software ...........................................120
Connecting your hardware................................................................126
Installing the program........................................................................127
Keeping Bugs at Bay: Good Habits to Get Into .........................................128
Back up your data often ....................................................................128
Back up your system drive ...............................................................129
Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Making Sense of the Mbox 2 Series............................................................133
Mbox 2 Micro ......................................................................................133
Mbox 2 Mini.........................................................................................135
Mbox 2 .................................................................................................138
Mbox 2 Pro ..........................................................................................141
Digging Into the Digi 003 Interfaces ...........................................................146
Discovering the Digi 003 input and outputs....................................147
Examining the 003 control surface features....................................151
M-Audio Interfaces.......................................................................................155
Chapter 3: Examining Software Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159
Keeping Software Straight...........................................................................159
Looking at Pro Tools versions ..........................................................159
Differences between Macs and PCs .................................................160
Getting Set Up...............................................................................................160
Setting hardware settings..................................................................161
Playing with the Playback Engine settings......................................163
The ins and outs of inputs and outputs ..........................................165
Dealing with Sessions ..................................................................................167
Creating a new session ......................................................................167
Opening sessions................................................................................169
Saving sessions...................................................................................170
Using and creating a session template ............................................172
Getting to Know Audio and MIDI Files.......................................................174
Understanding audio files .................................................................174
Meeting MIDI files ...............................................................................174
Finding your session files..................................................................175
Chapter 4: Understanding the Pro Tools Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
Tackling the Transport Window.................................................................177
Adjusting the Transport window .....................................................177
Basic controls .....................................................................................178
Counters ..............................................................................................180
Expanded.............................................................................................181
MIDI controls.......................................................................................182
Examining the Edit Window........................................................................184
Taking a look at track controls .........................................................185
Examining edit modes........................................................................188
Zeroing in on Zoom controls.............................................................189
Elucidating edit tools .........................................................................189
Looking at counter displays..............................................................191
Evaluating the Event Edit area..........................................................191
The Black Bar hodgepodge ...............................................................192
Looking at lists....................................................................................195
Rulers rule! ..........................................................................................196
Managing the Mix Window..........................................................................199
Checking out channel strips .............................................................200
Expanding the channel strips view ..................................................206
Looking at lists: The Mix Window variant.......................................208
Working with Window Configurations.......................................................210
Creating window configurations ......................................................210
Recalling window configurations .....................................................212
Managing window configurations ....................................................212
Editing window configurations.........................................................215
Updating window configurations .....................................................215
Deleting window configurations.......................................................215
Chapter 5: Importing and Exporting Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217
Importing into a Session .............................................................................217
Importing audio files..........................................................................217
Importing MIDI files............................................................................222
Importing tracks .................................................................................225
Exporting from a Session ............................................................................229
Exporting audio ..................................................................................229
Exporting MIDI ....................................................................................233
Managing Files ..............................................................................................234
Compacting files .................................................................................235
Deleting unwanted files .....................................................................236
Backing up data ..................................................................................237
Book III: Recording Audio..........................................239
Chapter 1: Taking Care of Tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241
Understanding Tracks in Pro Tools ...........................................................241
Track types..........................................................................................241
Track formats......................................................................................242
Setting Up Tracks .........................................................................................242
Creating new tracks............................................................................242
Duplicating tracks ..............................................................................243
Naming tracks .....................................................................................243
Assigning inputs and outputs ...........................................................244
Altering Your View of Tracks ......................................................................245
Showing and hiding tracks ................................................................245
Assigning track color .........................................................................247
Changing track size ............................................................................248
Moving tracks around........................................................................249
Deleting tracks ....................................................................................249
Grouping Tracks...........................................................................................250
Keeping track of grouped track parameters...................................250
Creating groups ..................................................................................251
Enabling groups..................................................................................252
Editing groups.....................................................................................252
Linking edit and mix groups..............................................................254
Soloing and Muting ......................................................................................255
Managing Track Voices................................................................................255
Assigning voices .................................................................................256
Setting voice priority .........................................................................256
Freeing up a voice from a track ........................................................257
Chapter 2: Miking: Getting a Great Source Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .259
Tracing Typical Microphone Techniques .................................................259
Spot miking..........................................................................................260
Distant miking .....................................................................................261
Ambient miking...................................................................................261
Stereo miking ......................................................................................262
Mic combinations...............................................................................265
Taming Transients........................................................................................266
Setting your levels properly..............................................................267
Placing mics properly ........................................................................267
Compressing carefully .......................................................................268
Setting Up Your Mics: Some Suggestions ..................................................270
Vocals...................................................................................................270
Backup vocals.....................................................................................273
Electric guitar .....................................................................................275
Electric bass........................................................................................277
Acoustic guitars and such.................................................................278
Drum set ..............................................................................................280
Hand drums.........................................................................................287
Percussion...........................................................................................287
Chapter 3: Preparing to Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289
Recognizing Record Modes.........................................................................289
Non-Destructive Record mode .........................................................290
Destructive Record mode..................................................................290
Loop Record mode.............................................................................290
QuickPunch Record mode.................................................................291
Dealing with Disk Allocation.......................................................................292
Allocating hard drive space ..............................................................292
Using multiple hard drives for audio ...............................................292
Enabling Recording......................................................................................293
Record-enabling..................................................................................293
Using Latch Record Enable mode ....................................................295
Running Record Safe mode ...............................................................296
Setting Levels................................................................................................296
Setting a Record Range................................................................................298
Monitoring Your Tracks...............................................................................299
Setting up monitoring ........................................................................299
Choosing a monitor mode.................................................................299
Linking and unlinking Record and Playback faders.......................300
Adjusting monitoring latency ...........................................................301
Using low-latency monitoring ...........................................................302
Creating a Click Track..................................................................................303
Getting a click track the easy way....................................................304
Getting a click track the hard way....................................................304
Setting the tempo ...............................................................................306
Choosing the meter............................................................................307
Enabling a click track.........................................................................308
Setting up tempo and meter events.................................................308
Chapter 4: Recording Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .311
Recording Tracks .........................................................................................311
Recording a single track ....................................................................311
Managing multiple tracks ..................................................................313
Using pre- and post-rolls....................................................................314
Playing Back Your Tracks............................................................................316
Playing recorded tracks.....................................................................316
Setting scrolling options....................................................................317
Listening to playback loops ..............................................................318
Using the Scrub feature .....................................................................319
Doing Additional Takes................................................................................320
Starting over from scratch ................................................................320
Punching in and out ...........................................................................321
Loop recording ...................................................................................324
Using QuickPunch ..............................................................................325
Overdubbing: Recording additional tracks.....................................325
Recording to playlists ........................................................................327
Auditioning takes................................................................................328
Getting Rid of Unwanted Takes ..................................................................332
Canceling your performance ............................................................332
Undoing your take..............................................................................333
Clearing the file from the Audio Regions list ..................................333
Book IV: Editing Audio ..............................................335
Chapter 1: Audio Editing Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .337
Understanding Pro Tools Editing ...............................................................337
Nondestructive editing ......................................................................338
Editing during playback.....................................................................338
Getting to Know Region Types ...................................................................338
Viewing Regions ...........................................................................................339
Selecting the track view.....................................................................340
Adjusting the track height.................................................................341
Assigning region-name and time-location displays........................342
Zooming in and out ............................................................................343
Understanding Edit Modes .........................................................................347
Setting grid resolution .......................................................................349
Displaying grid lines...........................................................................349
Working (Okay, Playing) with Playlists......................................................350
Creating a new playlist.......................................................................350
Duplicating a playlist .........................................................................351
Deleting a playlist ...............................................................................351
Renaming playlists .............................................................................352
Choosing playlists ..............................................................................352
Using the Audio Regions List......................................................................352
Selecting regions.................................................................................353
Using the Audio Regions list drop-down menu ..............................354
Displaying region information ..........................................................355
Managing Undos...........................................................................................355
Setting levels of Undo ........................................................................356
Performing Undos ..............................................................................356
Knowing when you can no longer Undo..........................................357
Chapter 2: Selecting Material to Edit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .359
Selecting Track Material..............................................................................359
Selecting part of a region...................................................................360
Selecting across multiple tracks.......................................................362
Selecting an entire region..................................................................362
Selecting two regions and any space between them .....................362
Selecting an entire track ....................................................................363
Selecting all regions in all tracks ......................................................363
Selecting on the fly .............................................................................363
Selecting with the Selection Indicator fields...................................364
Making a selection with the Tab to Transients function ...............365
Making Changes to Your Selection.............................................................365
Changing a selection’s length ...........................................................366
Nudging selections.............................................................................366
Extending selection lengths ..............................................................368
Moving and extending selections between tracks .........................369
Managing Memory Locations .....................................................................370
Dealing with the New Memory Location dialog box......................371
Creating memory locations...............................................................372
Getting to know the Memory Locations window ...........................376
Recalling memory locations..............................................................379
Editing memory locations .................................................................380
Playing Selected Material............................................................................382
Playing your selection .......................................................................382
Using pre- and post-rolls....................................................................382
Auditioning start and end points .....................................................383
Looping your selection’s playback ..................................................384
Chapter 3: Getting into Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .385
Editing Regions.............................................................................................385
Creating regions..................................................................................386
Healing regions ...................................................................................388
Placing regions in tracks ...................................................................390
Using region synch points.................................................................392
Aligning regions ..................................................................................393
Trimming regions ...............................................................................395
Moving regions ...................................................................................399
Locking regions...................................................................................404
Quantizing regions .............................................................................404
Muting/unmuting regions..................................................................405
Splitting stereo tracks........................................................................406
Examining Edit Commands .........................................................................407
Using the Cut command ....................................................................407
Using the Copy command .................................................................408
Clearing selections .............................................................................408
Performing a paste .............................................................................409
Using the Duplicate command..........................................................409
Performing a repeat ...........................................................................410
Chapter 4: Adding to Your Editing Palette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .411
Signing On to the Smart Tool......................................................................411
Using the Smart tool in Waveform view ..........................................412
Using the Smart tool in Automation view .......................................414
Perusing the Pencil Tool .............................................................................416
Creating a copy of the original file ...................................................416
Using the Pencil tool to redraw a waveform...................................417
Silencing Selections .....................................................................................418
Stripping silence .................................................................................418
Inserting silence .................................................................................420
Performing Fades and Crossfades .............................................................421
Dealing with the Fades dialog box ...................................................422
Creating crossfades............................................................................425
Fading in and out................................................................................428
Creating batch fades ..........................................................................430
Cleaning Up Your Session ...........................................................................431
Consolidating selections ...................................................................431
Removing unused regions .................................................................432
Compacting a file................................................................................433
Book V: Managing MIDI ............................................435
Chapter 1: Preparing to Record MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .437
Setting Up Your MIDI Devices .....................................................................437
Enabling MIDI devices in Mac OS X..................................................438
Enabling MIDI devices in Windows XP ............................................440
Running MIDI Thru .............................................................................441
Managing the MIDI Input filter ..........................................................442
Quantizing your inputs ......................................................................443
Offsetting MIDI tracks ........................................................................445
Getting Ready to Record .............................................................................446
Creating MIDI and instrument tracks...............................................447
Setting inputs, outputs, and MIDI channels ....................................447
Creating a click track .........................................................................449
Chapter 2: Recording MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .453
Recording MIDI Performances....................................................................453
Enabling recording for MIDI and instrument tracks ......................453
Setting the Wait for Note option .......................................................454
Monitoring MIDI inputs......................................................................455
Hearing instrument tracks ................................................................455
Recording MIDI and instrument tracks............................................456
Playing Back Your Tracks............................................................................456
Playing recorded tracks.....................................................................457
Setting scrolling options....................................................................457
Changing sounds ................................................................................458
Getting Rid of Unwanted Takes ..................................................................459
Canceling your performance ............................................................459
Undoing your take..............................................................................459
Clearing the file from the Regions list..............................................460
Overdubbing MIDI Performances...............................................................460
Using MIDI Merge/Replace ................................................................461
Punching in and out ...........................................................................462
Punching MIDI on the fly ...................................................................465
Loop recording ...................................................................................466
Recording System-Exclusive Data..............................................................467
Chapter 3: Editing MIDI Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .469
Working with MIDI and Instrument Tracks ...............................................469
Taking a look at track views..............................................................469
Selecting track material .....................................................................472
Recognizing regions ...........................................................................473
Setting MIDI patches on tracks.........................................................474
Dealing with Note Chasing ..........................................................................474
Editing MIDI in the Edit Window ................................................................475
Perusing the Pencil tools...................................................................475
Custom note duration........................................................................478
Adding MIDI events ............................................................................478
Deleting MIDI data ..............................................................................480
Changing MIDI events ........................................................................481
Editing program data .........................................................................484
Changing continuous controller data ..............................................485
Using the Smart tool ..........................................................................487
Exploring MIDI Events .................................................................................488
Exploring the MIDI Event List window.............................................488
Editing in the MIDI Event List ...........................................................492
Chapter 4: Performing MIDI Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .497
Getting Used to the MIDI Operations Window .........................................497
Performing MIDI Operations.......................................................................499
Grid/Groove Quantize........................................................................500
Restore Performance .........................................................................504
Flatten Performance...........................................................................505
Change Velocity ..................................................................................506
Change Duration.................................................................................507
Transpose............................................................................................509
Select/Split Notes ...............................................................................510
Input Quantize ....................................................................................513
Step Input ............................................................................................513
Recognizing MIDI Real-Time Properties ....................................................515
Book VI: Mixing in Pro Tools.......................................521
Chapter 1: Mixing Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .523
Understanding Mixing .................................................................................524
Managing Levels as You Work ....................................................................524
Getting Started Mixing Your Song ..............................................................525
Mixing in Pro Tools ......................................................................................526
Using the 002 or 003 control surface ...............................................526
Using a MIDI controller ......................................................................527
Using a digital mixer ..........................................................................528
Using an analog mixer........................................................................528
Using the Stereo Field..................................................................................529
Left or right .........................................................................................529
Front or back.......................................................................................531
Adjusting Levels: Enhancing the Emotion of the Song............................532
Dynamics .............................................................................................533
The arrangement ................................................................................534
Tuning Your Ears..........................................................................................534
Listening critically..............................................................................535
Choosing reference CDs ....................................................................536
Dealing with ear fatigue .....................................................................537
Making several versions ....................................................................537
Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .539
Revisiting the Mix Window .........................................................................539
Getting to Know Signal Flow .......................................................................541
Rounding Out Your Routing........................................................................542
Using a Master fader ..........................................................................543
Adding auxiliary inputs .....................................................................544
Inserting inserts..................................................................................545
Setting up sends .................................................................................546
Accessing Output Windows........................................................................550
Tackling Track Output windows.......................................................550
Setting up the Send Output window ................................................552
Playing with Plug-ins....................................................................................553
Real Time AudioSuite (RTAS)............................................................554
Using AudioSuite offline plug-ins......................................................557
Using AudioSuite plug-ins to process an audio region ..................560
Processing with External Effects................................................................560
Creating a hardware insert................................................................561
Connecting your external device .....................................................561
Routing your track .............................................................................563
Chapter 3: Using Equalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .565
Exploring Equalization ................................................................................565
Parametric...........................................................................................565
Low-shelf/high-shelf ...........................................................................566
Low-pass/high-pass............................................................................566
Dialing In EQ .................................................................................................567
Inserting an EQ plug-in in a track .....................................................567
Perusing Pro Tools EQ options.........................................................568
Equalizing Your Tracks................................................................................571
General EQ guidelines........................................................................572
Equalizing vocals................................................................................573
Equalizing guitar.................................................................................574
Equalizing bass ...................................................................................574
Equalizing drums................................................................................574
Equalizing percussion........................................................................576
Equalizing piano .................................................................................576
Chapter 4: Digging into Dynamics Processors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .577
Connecting Dynamics Processors .............................................................577
Introducing Compressors ...........................................................................578
Getting to know compressor parameters .......................................579
Getting started using compression..................................................580
Using compression.............................................................................581
Looking into Limiters...................................................................................585
Understanding limiter settings .........................................................586
Setting limits with the BF76 limiter ..................................................587
Introducing Gates and Expanders..............................................................588
Getting to know gate parameters .....................................................588
Getting started using gates ...............................................................590
Getting started using an expander...................................................590
Detailing the De-Esser..................................................................................591
Setting Up Side Chains.................................................................................592
Setting up a side chain.......................................................................593
Using a side chain...............................................................................594
Chapter 5: Singling Out Signal Processors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .597
Routing Your Effects ....................................................................................598
Inserting effects ..................................................................................598
Sending signals to effects ..................................................................599
Rolling Out the Reverb ................................................................................600
Seeing reverb settings........................................................................600
Getting started using reverb.............................................................602
Detailing Delay..............................................................................................603
Digging into delay settings ................................................................603
Getting started using delay ...............................................................604
Creating Chorus Effects...............................................................................605
Chapter 6: Automating Your Mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .607
Understanding Automation ........................................................................608
Audio tracks........................................................................................608
Auxiliary input tracks ........................................................................608
Instrument tracks ...............................................................................608
Master fader tracks ............................................................................609
MIDI tracks ..........................................................................................609
Accessing Automation Modes ....................................................................609
Setting Automation Preferences.................................................................610
Enabling Automation ...................................................................................612
Suspending or enabling automation across all tracks...................612
Suspending automation for an individual track .............................613
Writing Automation......................................................................................614
Writing automation on a track..........................................................614
Writing plug-in automation ...............................................................615
Writing send automation ...................................................................616
Viewing Automation.....................................................................................617
Drawing Automation....................................................................................618
Thinning Automation...................................................................................619
Automatically thinning data..............................................................619
Using the Thin command ..................................................................620
Editing Automation Data .............................................................................620
Using editing commands ...................................................................620
Editing with (surprise!) the edit tools .............................................623
Chapter 7: Making Your Mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .625
Submixing by Recording to Tracks ............................................................625
Mixing in-the-Box..........................................................................................627
Examining bounce options................................................................627
Performing the bounce......................................................................630
Using an External Master Deck...................................................................630
Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools .............................633
Chapter 1: Mastering Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .635
Demystifying Mastering...............................................................................636
Processing ...........................................................................................636
Sequencing ..........................................................................................637
Leveling................................................................................................637
Getting Ready to Master..............................................................................637
Paying a Pro, or Doing It Yourself ..............................................................638
Hiring a Professional Mastering Engineer.................................................639
Chapter 2: Mastering Your Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .641
Considering General Guidelines.................................................................641
Setting Up a Mastering Session ..................................................................642
Optimizing Dynamics...................................................................................644
Perfecting Tonal Balance.............................................................................646
Balancing Levels...........................................................................................648
Mastering Your Mix......................................................................................649
Making the most of your bits............................................................650
Settling on a sample rate ...................................................................652
Sequencing Your Songs ...............................................................................653
Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses ...............655
Chapter 1: Putting Your Music on CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .657
Getting into CD Burning ..............................................................................657
Purchasing CD-Rs .........................................................................................658
Recording Your Music to CD-R ...................................................................658
Dealing with diversity: Using different CD recorders ....................658
Burning for mass production............................................................660
Making Multiple Copies...............................................................................662
Making copies yourself......................................................................662
Having someone else making copies ...............................................662
Promoting Your Music.................................................................................666
Chapter 2: Getting Your Music on the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .669
Understanding MP3 .....................................................................................670
Engine ..................................................................................................671
Bit rate .................................................................................................672
Mode ....................................................................................................673
Creating MP3 Files........................................................................................674
Choosing encoding software.............................................................674
Encoding your music .........................................................................675
Hosting Your Music......................................................................................677
Choosing a host site...........................................................................677
Setting up your own site....................................................................678
Providing Your Music Online......................................................................681
Offering downloads............................................................................682
Streaming audio..................................................................................682
Podcasting...........................................................................................683
Selling Your CDs ...........................................................................................685
Promoting Your Music.................................................................................685
Index........................................................................687


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Not-So-Foolish Assumptions
I have to admit that when I wrote this book, I made a couple of assumptions
about you, the reader. (And we all know what happens when you ASSume
anything.) But what the heck, I did it anyway. First, I assume that you’re
interested in recording your music (or someone else’s) with Pro Tools LE or
M-Powered software.

I also assume that you’re relatively new at the recording game and not yet a
seasoned professional. Of course, if you are an audio engineer — maybe
making the leap from analog to digital — this book offers a great brush-up on
many audio-engineering fundamentals and how they apply to the basic functions
of Pro Tools. Oh, and I assume that you play a musical instrument or
sing — or are at least familiar with how instruments function and how sound
is produced, as well as understand some of the basics of music theory such
as tempo, meter, measures, and time signature. Finally, I assume that you
have some basic computer skills and know how to navigate menus, and work
a mouse and qwerty keyboard.

Other than these things, I don’t assume that you play a certain type of music
or that you ever intend to try to make it in the music business (or even that
you want to treat it as a business at all).

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