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Lesson 9 – ProTools Session Basics
Pro Tools is one of the most important things you can learn from our program.
With the Recording Connection Audio Institute, you can learn Pro Tools, and Pro Tools plugins from a professional audio engineer or music producer.
Lesson 9 Synopsis - ProTools Session Basics
Pro Tools™ File Structure
When you establish a Pro Tools™ session, the system creates a hierarchy setup for the session (and all files associated with it) by creating folders for each file type automatically. As you record, import, or edit material, that data will be filed within these respective folders. It is easier to back up and copy sessions between Pro Tools™ systems if you keep all your files arranged together within this hierarchy.
Creating a New Pro Tools™ Session
From the Menu on your program, select File > New Session. This will bring up a new session dialog box, at which time you must make some decisions impacting the rest of your session. These include:
- Audio File Type: You can store your audio as a WAV, AIFF or Sound Designer II (SDII) file. Bear in mind that SDII will not work in a Windows format, should you ever need to use Windows to work with your session.
- I/O Settings: You will decide the default settings for the input/output of your session. You may select from a number of presets, or simply choose the “Last Used” setting.
- Bit Depth: Choose between 16-bit or 24-bit audio resolutions. The 24-bit resolution is dependent on the hardware you are using, and will only be available to select if your hardware supports it.
- Sample Rate: You decide the sample rate for your ProTools session. Again, your options will be regulated by what your hardware supports.
It is time to name your session. Always try to give your session a name you will easily remember, and put it into a folder where you can easily locate it again. Over time (and perhaps by trial and error), you’ll come up with an organization system that works for you.
A simple method of organizing your sessions is to make a folder with the artist’s name, then sub-folders with individual song titles. You can even include the date in the file name to store different versions of the same song. This is just one way to organize; the most important thing is to manage your files in a way that makes you comfortable and makes your files readily accessible.
Now your open session is ready for the following steps.
- Creating and Naming Tracks
- Viewing Tracks (Mix and Edit Views)
- Setting Inputs /Outputs for Your Tracks
- Record Enabling Your Track
- Record Audio into Pro Tools
Save your Session:
After your ProTools session is configured to your preferences, and after you have set up the tracks you need, you can select “Save session as” and included the word “template” in the name so as to keep it separate from your other sessions. When you “Save session as,” Pro Tools will close your current session and open the session that you “Save as” under its new name. At this point, you can navigate to your session folder and locate that particular session file. Right click (Windows) or control click (Mac), open the file properties, and make sure “stationery pad” is checked. Taking this extra step ensures that the next time you open the file, you will be given the choice of renaming the file or editing the original. This procedure essentially locks off your template so you don’t have to make adjustments or modify it every time you need it.
Supplemental Videos for Lesson 9
Studio Tip 9A
Studio Tip 9B