A-Z of Pro Tools - I is for I/O, Insertion Follows Playback, Identify Beat, Instrument Track, Import Audio, Import Session Data

01-24-2015 11:00 AM

This week we are spoilt for choice, so many significant parts of Pro Tools relate to the letter I that its a good opportunity to revisit some of the great content already on the site.
I/O Setup

Pro Tools offers flexible, customisable routing and with the addition of of mapped output busses in Pro Tools 9, sessions travel better between systems than they used to. People who work entirely in the box and on their own system can get by without visiting this page often but in my world, constantly moving sessions between systems, I’m in and out of here daily. If you could do with a primer, Mike Thornton offers some resources.
Insertion Follows Playback

Put simply this controls where playback will start from after you press stop. Insertion follows playback and link edit and timeline selections are so important to understanding how playback works in Pro Tools that the first thing which came to mind when I started the Pro Tools Fundamentals series was a tutorial on precisely this.
Identify Beat

Everyone knows how to move audio on the timeline but not everyone knows how to move the timeline to match audio. You don’t have to use Beat Detective to build a tempo map. It all starts with Identify Beat. Here is a video tutorial from Russ.

Members watch here
Instrument Tracks

In the old days (pre Pro Tools 7), to use a software instrument you had to create a midi track for the midi and route that to an instrument inserted on an aux input. Instrument tracks neatly combined both midi and audio into one, far easier format (as long as you know you have to show the instrument section in the mixer to find the midi controls - not at all beginner-friendly). Russ explains all.

Import Audio

Although you can drag and drop audio in to Pro Tools or use the workspace browser, I encourage beginners to use the import audio window as it helps avoid some of the problems waiting to trap the unsuspecting newbie. I wrote a piece on it last year.

Import Session Data

Pro Tools doesn’t allow you to have more than one session open at the same time, neither does it officially support track presets. This might appear restrictive but if you know how to use Import Session Data then most of these restrictions fall away. Its a busy window, it looks complicated but its actually very simple. We have a video tutorial that covers this.

Members watch here