11 Tips for Managing Your Pro Tools Sessions

By posted on May 29, 2020 5:45PM

Before computers were typically visible in recording studios, engineers managed their sessions with a pen. Each channel at the console changed into labeled using tape. Detailed music sheets were stored with each reel of tape, and interns saved remember sheets with tremendous notes in case a combination had to be revised.

In the one’s days, it took a village to make a report, whereas nowadays, many engineers work completely through themselves. Still, it could be overwhelming trying to control all the equipment for recording, modifying, blending, and studying with none assist.

Thankfully, Pro Tools offers a number of beneficial shortcuts that will let you control your sessions without the greater pressure. Today, we’re going to explore some of them.

Use the Workspace Browser
Let’s expect which you already have a strong know-how of the fundamentals of Pro Tools. You should already be the use of consultation templates, however, you may nevertheless find the want to import extra tracks into your session.


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To do that, genuinely pick File > Import and pick to import Audio, MIDI, or Video documents. You’ll navigate through the usual folder hierarchy, which prevents you from deciding on files from more than one locations straight away.

You also have the choice to import tracks from any other consultation. This permits you to import the clips or tracks themselves, as well as session tempo, key signature, markers, and extra.
For a greater integrated workflow, attempt the use of the Workspace Browser by means of choosing Window > New Workspace (or Option+I).

The Workspace Browser helps you to browse thru distinctive places throughout all the extraordinary drives to your gadget. It even helps you to browse from inside the consultation itself. You also can create shortcuts for frequently used places.

Session Data

New Workspace
If you don’t realize in which the report you’re searching out is placed, the Workspace Browser features a built-in seek engine. When surfing, you may even audition documents before importing them. After finding the proper report, simply drag it from the Workspace Browser into the edit window or clips list, and continue browsing.

Get Your Instruments Organized
After all of the documents are imported into the session, it’s time to get prepared. Start by grouping similar gadgets together. Everyone has their personal way of doing matters, however, many engineers follow something much like this layout:

Keyboards / Horns / Strings / Etc.
Start by renaming the tracks so that they make sense to you. “D112 Take.04-Dup2” isn’t exactly useful when trying to find the kick drum. Simply double-click on the track name to rename it something greater legible, like “Kick” or “Kick In.”

To speed up the naming method, honestly push Command + proper arrow to tab to the clip name editor for the adjoining music.

Leave Yourself Track Notes

If you do have relevant music records which you’d like to hold on hand—for instance, what mic turned into used, what preamp, what role, and so forth.—you could leave notes in the tune feedback segment. To permit track feedback in the blend and/or edit home windows, pick out them in the View menu.

Color-Code Your Tracks
Once you have got all of your tracks named properly, strive color-coding them based on which group they fall into. It’s no longer vital which shades you use for which gadgets, just that you broaden a gadget and stay regular.

To alternate, the coloration of a tune, first, make sure Track Color is enabled inside the Mix and/or Edit Window views. Then, either double-click on at the track color tab for the music you want to modify or open the Color Pallet in the Window menu.

The Color Pallet will let you pick the Track Color from a spread of different presets. You can also alter the “saturation,” which controls whether or not the whole channel changes coloration or simply the Track Color tabs.


Clip coloration can also be changed from the Color Pallet window. However, default shade schemes can be set from the Preferences tab (Pro Tools > Preferences), under Display. Default Clip-Color Coding may be-be set to change based totally on the Track Type, Group, or Track Color, which means that it automatically modifications to something shade you pick for the song.

Color Preferences
Use Groups to Edit Multiple Tracks
Now that you have all of your tracks grouped the manner you need them, you’re going to govern the one’s companies. You could create a Mix/Edit organization for each institution of tracks by selecting them and growing a new organization (Track > Group, or Command + G).

Aside from naming the group of decided on tracks, you can pick out whether your actions inside the mix window, edit window, or each will have an effect on the grouped tracks. You can toggle institution controls for Volume, Mute, Pan, Inserts, Sends, Solos, Record Enabling, and greater from the group window.

Group Window
If you need to make an adjustment to a single tune without affecting the other tracks in the group, virtually hold Control earlier than making the adjustment. Groups also can be toggled on and off the use of Command + Shift + G.

Use VCAs for Group Level Control
Once a couple of tracks were grouped together, they may be assigned to a VCA fader, which may be created thru the New Track Window (Track > New, or Shift + Command + N). After a VCA song is created, it can be assigned to a group through the Group Window.


VCA Group Window
VCAs are faders with no inputs or outputs. Rather, they manipulate the extent of any channel assigned to them. Essentially, they’re a set extent controller. This permits you to make changes on individual channels, at the same time as still having a “master quantity fader” for the institution.

No inputs or outputs means no headroom, so you don’t ought to worry about clipping a VCA. However, you can also upload any inserts or use any sends. For that, you’ll need buses.

Use Buses for Group Processing
Buses (or SubGroups) are Aux Tracks used to manipulate the level of more than one channels or upload additional processing to them.

Aux Tracks may be made through the New Track Window (Track > New or Shift + Command N). A less difficult solution, although, is to select the tracks you want to route to the “Bus,” then preserve Shift + Option, click on the output for one of the selected tracks, and choose New Track.

This will bring up a modified New Track Window and permit you to call the Aux Track and correlated Aux Send I/O. This also gets rid of the need to set the input on the newly formed Aux Track.



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