Avid Pro Tools: Audio Recording For Beginners In ProTools | Will Bartlett | Skillshare

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Avid Pro Tools: Audio Recording For Beginners In ProTools

teacher avatar Will Bartlett, Video Creator & Entrepreneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      00 Pro Tools PROMO


    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Creating A New Pro Tools Project


    • 4.

      Panel Windows


    • 5.

      Creating Tracks


    • 6.

      Working With The Grid


    • 7.

      Working With Tracks


    • 8.

      Mix Window Explained


    • 9.

      Recording Audio


    • 10.

      Tools and Fades


    • 11.

      Keyboard Shortcuts


    • 12.

      Bussing Tracks


    • 13.



    • 14.

      Working with the Click Track


    • 15.

      Working with MIDI


    • 16.

      Working with MIDI Part 2


    • 17.

      Making MIDI sound more realistic


    • 18.

      What Is Mixing


    • 19.

      Working With An EQ


    • 20.

      Intro To Compression


    • 21.

      Working With Reverb


    • 22.

      Aux Tracks and Creating A Submix


    • 23.

      Aux Track For Controlling Drum Channels


    • 24.

      What Is Mastering


    • 25.

      Audio Mastering Basics


    • 26.

      Pro Tools Tips


    • 27.

      Bouncing Audio


    • 28.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Welcome to our Pro Tools Audio Recording And Music Production For Beginners Class! You can expect to learn the audio recording software Pro Tools from the very beginning of creating a new project all the way to exporting a finished music track.

No prior knowledge of audio production or the software is required for this beginners class! You will receive to the point instruction in every lesson and will be provided with a full overview of Pro Tools!

Once this class has been completed, you'll have the skillset and knowledge to:

  • Create new Pro Tools projects
  • Record audio and utilize multiple tracks
  • Work with midi
  • Utilize different virtual instruments within your audio projects
  • Apply insert audio plugins such as reverb, EQ and compression
  • Complete basic mixing and mastering
  • Exporting finished audio recordings

There's a ton of other information shared in this class as well such as: creating and working with a click track at different tempos, bussing audio to other tracks, keyboard shortcuts, understanding inputs and outputs and the differences between the various types of recording tracks.

Your instructor is Will Bartlett who is the founder of an established media production company in Toronto. He has been using Pro Tools since 2009 and has been involved in audio production since 2004 recording bands, creating stock music for sale and mixing and mastering the audio of hundreds of video projects.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Will Bartlett

Video Creator & Entrepreneur


Connect with me:

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube youtube.com/alliandwill FOLLOW on Insta instagram.com/alliandwill

About me:

I've been a professional Cinematographer & Editor for 10+ years and a Content Creator for 15. Over the years, I've worked with dozens of production companies and hundreds of clients from Canada and the United States. I run several media businesses including a Toronto based video production company, an online brand that's trained over 350,000 students, and a Filmmaking YouTube channel called Alli and Will.

Categories I specialize in: Video Production (Filming, Editing, Visual Effects), Entrepreneurship/Business, Investing, Marketing and Branding.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. 00 Pro Tools PROMO: welcome to this pro tools audio recording course for beginners. My name's will and I've been using pro tools for over 10 years now and have recorded and mixed hundreds of projects in this course will cover everything from starting a brand new pro tools project, discussing the various panel windows and options available, creating audio tracks, recording and editing audio. Two more intermediate skills, like utilizing insert plug ins, working with many tracks, basic mixing and mastering and exporting our final audio. This is a pretty powerful plugging. You have a, B, C and D. Those could be completely different sounds that will trigger from the same midi track. So now we have our sub mix set up. We can see the audio level of it, so we're roughly around 96 in minus 10 on average. So at this stage, knowing that we can start adjusting level beyond that throat, each lesson will provide you with additional to the point information to explain each step of the way. So you know exactly what I'm doing as you follow along. Keep in mind this isn't a mixing and mastering course. However, By the end of this course, you will be familiar enough with pro tools to be able to start your own project, set up your tracks like the pros do record audio, build songs made with MIDI and complete mixing and mastering to finish your music or voice over recordings. This course is intended for people who want to learn how to record music and pro tools or, if you already know how to record music. But in another program, this course will allow you to make a seamless transition into pro tools. Thanks for checking this course out on pro tools for beginners, and I hope to see you in there. 2. Getting Started: Hello and welcome to our Pro Tools audio recording course for beginners. First off, I'd like to take a moment to discuss a few things before we get started with pro tools. In the world of audio recording, it is incredibly important that you monitor your audio using at least good quality headphones for studio monitors. Mixing and mastering with average desktop speakers or in ear type headphones will result in your finished audio sounding nowhere near as good in comparison to the same finished audio that was mixing mastered. Using good quality headphones or studio monitors. I would even go as far as saying even good quality headphones won't provide a true sound toe work with compared to studio monitors. Basically, it's all about what you can hear. If you can't hear the low end sounds in your mix because you're using in your headphones, chances are your track won't sound good played on other systems. Okay, so now that that's out of the way, the next thing is talking about an interface. Now there are tons of different recording interfaces out there. Typically, you will have one that has at least one input and a left and right out, put on the back, the left and right. Oh, put on the back represents the outputs that you would send to your studio monitors on the front or the back. You should also have an area where you can plug in your headphones. You should have an input volume control, and you should also have a monitoring level or mixed level control. There are a ton of other features that interfaces can come with, but that's basically the standard and all you'll need to get started in audio production. Basically, an interface is a sound card that captures the audio year recording. It processes it and sends it to your computer so that you can start creating your own music . Okay, so in the next lesson, we will get started in pro tools. 3. Creating A New Pro Tools Project: Okay, guys, welcome to the next lesson. Once you have pro tools installed and you have the license from pro tools attached to your eye lock, go ahead and plug in your eye, lock into a USB slot on your computer, turn on your recording interface, and from there we can open up pro tools. So let's go ahead and do that. Now I'm working in pro tools. 12. You may have a different version, and that's fine. Pro Tools has been great throughout the years. In keeping things pretty similar in terms of where different features are located within the program, you should be on the follow along regardless of the version you are working in. Okay, so the first thing we see is a window. This window is the dashboard for pro tools. This is how you can start creating a new project. This is where you can name the project. We can select the file type now wave or a FF will work. I tend to use a I F f for the sample rate. I tend to work with 48 kilohertz. You can choose any of these, for example, if you know you're going to see D, you can record to 44.1, as that's what CDs can handle. Or you could record at 96 kilohertz. It's up to you. I tend the work with 48 for the bit depth. Right now we're at 24. That's what we want. We can choose 16 or 32. It's really up to you. But you can work with whatever you want, but I normally work with 24 48. Okay, so the location. This is where the project will be saved. In here we have on my desktop a folder called Pro Tools Course that I created. Let's create a folder for this project to be saved in. We'll call it reporting course, go to create and then in there, then click open. We will name it recording course. They will click, create 4. Panel Windows: Okay, so now pro Tools is open. We can stretch this to where we want. Now, this is your main window inside pro tools. We have our bars and beats counting up from zero. We have time code. We have our tempo, our meter. This is where the audio tracks will be set up. We have our record. Enable button our playback button or stop button. We can change grid settings for a different grid size. Now we will get more into that. As we go on, we have our tools over here. At the bottom, we have a scroll bar on the right side. Here we have a clips section. This is where the clips will be stored. When you record audio at the very top, we have a whole bunch of different drop down menus. We have pro tools, preferences and just like other programs, you could go into the window, dropped down, and you can open up other panel windows that you would find helpful. For example, it's open up the transport. Now. This transport panel window is pretty much the same as all the features up here. However, it's useful for if you have a second monitor. If you're using dual screens, you could keep this on the other monitor or, if you keep this in a different spot that you prefer. All right, let's go back up to window. Now we can open up the big counter. Now. This counter is essentially this again. But it's nice because we can keep this one on minutes and seconds, and then it will tell us very quickly what the length of our track is. And also, this will count up in a much larger view while you're recording or playing back, which is nice visually. Okay, The next thing we'll do is if you got a window, you can see that this has a check mark. That's because this is our edit window and mix has a dash. So if we were to click mix, then that will show up as a check mark, and this will be now a dash. That's because now we have our mixed window open. This is a larger representation of what you'll see on the side here in our edit window. Only it makes things a lot easier because when you start creating tracks, you'll see a much better visual representation of each audio track. You'll see the audio failures. You can add inserts and sends, and we'll get into that in a bit. Now, another way, you can go in between the mixed window and the edit window is by using command and then the button beside the delete, the equal or plus sign, and I'll just cycle through each one. Okay, for now, we'll go back to our edit window Now. In music, you typically will be working with a 44 time signature, and then you'll have a tempo that's unique to your song. Depending on the speed, you want to play the song, and the 44 time signature is known as your meter and how fast you want to play. The song at is known as your tempo. You're minutes and seconds are how long your song is, and then four bars and beets that's represented as what you have set up here. So you're meters 44 and that's represented as beats per bar. So let's say, at the 17th bar with the tempo 120 it's roughly at 32 seconds 5. Creating Tracks: Okay, guys, welcome back. And in this lesson, we will start creating some audio tracks. There are a couple different ways we can create some audio tracks and I will show you those now. So the first way is shift command n and then that will bring this up. Or we can go to track new. This is the new tracks panel. On the right hand side, we have a plus symbol. We can click that to create different track types all at once. For example, if we wanted to create four mono audio tracks and then to stereo box tracks and one motto instrument, truck, and then the last one would be one stereo Master Fader. Okay, And now for samples for audio ox and your master, keep it, it samples. And you've noticed that this has changed. You takes by default when working with an instrument track. And that is because you'd be working with an instrument track that uses insert plug ins and deals with MIDI. Okay, so it's click create, and you'll notice that it's created a whole bunch of different tracks. We have our master track instrument, track box tracks and our four audio tracks. 6. Working With The Grid: so you'll notice. Now we have a grid. Now. This grid is represented up here so we can turn the grid off or back on and in this section right here. If you click it, you'll get half notes. Quarter notes. Eighths notes 16th and so on. Now this is represented by all the lines here. So, for example, if you go half notes, you'll have fewer lines here, which means you will only see half notes being represented in your grid. If you got 1/4 note, then you'll have quarter notes being represented in your grid. Now to zoom in and out. You go down here and you can click on the plus, and that will scale in. And then from here you'll understand a little better how this works. So let's go up to 16th notes. You can see that there are many, many more lines here represented between each bar and again 64. So this could be very useful if you were working with faster tempos or if you want to have very precise changes in your music. I normally keep this at 16th notes. If you hit return on your keyboard, that'll bring you back to this start 7. Working With Tracks: okay. And then what we want to do is being our master track up to the top. So what we'll do is we'll hold command, we'll click that, and then we will only click that so that these aren't selected anymore. Then we will click and drag our master track and leave it at the top. Now, we don't need our master track to be this large. So what we can do is click here and we go to small. If we preferred it to be even smaller, we could go to here and micro, for example, or if we wanted a very large with jumbo or bigger for now, we'll set it too small. And just like our Master Trek will actually make all of these the same height as our master track. Okay, so for now, we don't need the ox track so we can right click it and go to delete. And we also don't need the instrument track. So it's right. Click and go to delete as well. Another way we can zoom in and out is by hitting command on her keyboard and using the right bracket or left bracket. Okay, so now we have a master truck and for audio tracks. Now, audio tracks are for any audio that is recorded through your interface. Auxiliary tracks are used. If you want to send all of your audio tracks into, let's say, a stereo track so that could be an auxiliary truck. And then all the retracts will be sent to one main channel for processing. And an instrument track like I said before is when you're working with virtual instruments and working with MIDI now, your master track is very important. This is your main master audio track. This is where all of your audio is sent so that it can be played through your left and right main outputs. In other words, you have four audio tracks here. If we were to record audio on all of these tracks, we have four channels of audio. Each of them is a model signal, and our master track is a stereo signal, which is a left model track in a right model track. And to get all of these tracks to compress into two channels, we need to send all of these tracks to a stereo master track. Okay, so that will make a little more sense as we go on. So for now, let's go to our mixed window 8. Mix Window Explained: Now you'll see that we now have four tracks and a master track. This is the exact same thing is over here. Only have a few more options, and it makes things a lot easier. We have inserts. Sends are in and outs. We have our panning. We have the volume levels or fade er's of each track, including the master track, and you'll notice that the master track doesn't have any sends. That is because it is the master track. You can add inserts, but you cannot send it anywhere because it is only being sent to your main left in right outputs, or one and two at the bottom. Here we have the names of each track. If you double click it, you can actually change the name and add a comment. So if we call this Guitar one and, for example, if this guitar was just being plugged straight in, there was no distortion would call it clean guitar one. Then, if we click OK, you'll notice that in the notes section of the bottom we have our description, and then we've changed the name to Guitar One, and I would highly suggest you keep things organized by naming and giving things descriptions because in a very large project with dozens of audio tracks, it could be very hard to find the track that you want to adjust the level of or the panning of or the insert. Okay, so the other things we have our we can mute the track. If we don't want it on, we can solo the track. If we only want this track to be heard, and then we have our track input monitor. But because this is a beginner's course, we don't really need to worry about that. We then have our track record enable Button. This means that the truck is armed and ready to start record. We have our panting. So if we click and drag this all the way to the left, what that does is it takes our track and it sends it to our master track in on Lee the Left Channel. If we did the right side, then it would only be on the right side, okay, And then if we hold option on our keyboard and click, that'll reset it to zero. And that works the same for pretty much everything in pro tools that we can adjust. So if we were to move this, for example, we can hold option and click, and it will reset the zero up here we have our in and out our top when these are ends and the bottom is our EPS. Right now all our mono audio tracks are being sent to our master track, which is a put one and two and this is being used as open one and two. Now, I have all of these outputs. Because of my interface, you may only have the one or two or 12 and three and four, depending on the interface that you're using. Okay, So if we go to our input section now because of my interface, once again, these are all the options that I see. Yours may be different if you have ah, smaller unit. You may only have Mike line one or two or it might even say something different, such as, like input one. And basically what you want to do is if you're recording a guitar, for example, plug it into your input one nor input to and then select the appropriate input. Now let's say you had another player playing in a different guitar. So in this case, on our second audio truck that we created under input, we would select our second input and the guitar player would be plugged into the second input on our interface. Now this could be done for as many different players as you have. Assuming that you have enough inputs in your audio interface, the next thing we have is our inserts. Inserts are basically plug ins that we can add onto a track. For example, play around with the e que. We can compress it. We can add reverb, delay and so on. Sends are, for example, if we have this set up to our main output, but we also want to send it to a separate output or bus it, which is rooting it as well to somewhere else. 9. Recording Audio: Okay, Welcome back. And in this lesson, we will arm a track and start recording. So in order to Army track, you need to create an audio track, which is what we've done. We haven't labeled as a guitar one. We have the input selected. So this isn't the one that I actually want to use. So for me, I'm going to be using aid at one, and output will be the same. And then what we need to do next is arm the track. So we want to recording this track, and we also want to arm our main recording over here. Okay, So once we have our record enabled, as well as our track enabled, then all we need to do is hit play, and it will start recording on that track alone. Okay, Now, I haven't started playing anything yet, so we aren't seeing away form. But if I were to play something, you will see it here. So let's turn up the volume on my guitar. Okay. Right here. You can see that there was something recorded. Let's zoom out a bit. I can see right off the bat that this wasn't a very loud recording. input. So what we can do is go to our mixed window. We can strum the guitar again and we can see that we're only at about minus 18 or minus 20 . So our goal is to record audio just before zero minus three is safe. Minus six is safe to somewhere between minus 10. So that's kind of a range. Okay, so I've now turned up the input level on my interface, and we should now have a much stronger signal coming through. So with that, let's go to our edit window. We can click this hit Delete will hit, return on our keyboard and make sure that we're at the beginning of our track. Let's record enable we also have our track enabled and we will hit play. We are now recording, and I can start playing guitar. Okay, so just something simple with the guitar plugs straight in, Let's hit space bar to stop or we can hit the square. Here we now have a guitar truck recorded and in pro tools. That's pretty much as simple as it gets. That's one track of guitar recorded onto one audio mono track. Now we can repeat this process as many times as we'd like. So we could record, enable turn this one off to in this went on and then record again and then do the same thing again and the same thing again until we had four audio tracks. You know, this is the first guitar player. This is maybe a rhythm part. This is a solo, and this is more of a backing track, and that's essentially it. You just layer a whole bunch of different instruments together. This could be guitar guitar, bass drums, and you could make more tracks that have vocals. And then, essentially, they're all fed to your master track. And then, from there you can go to your mixed window. You can level them, add effects. And then from there you can do some mastering and apply some effects on the Master Channel and kind of glue all the tracks together so they sound good as a stereo mix, all being played together. Another useful tip would be if you plan on recording voiceovers or podcasts, and you choose to use pro tools to do that. It's the same process as recording guitar. You record enable you create an audio truck and enable that track to record and then in your mixed window, you select the appropriate input where your microphone is connected. You set the level of the input on your interface, and then you simply start recording your voice as it goes. Now I should note that sometimes certain microphones require what's known as phantom power or plus 48 now. What this means is the microphone requires extra power for it to work. If that's the case, then on your recording interface on the front or maybe on the back there should be an area that says Phantom Power or a little text area that says Plus 48. So if your microphone does need fans and power, then you'd push that little button in so that it feeds the microphone. Extra power Now. Also, keep in mind that when recording, you can also use your counter so you can record enable it play. Stop fast forward and so on. 10. Tools and Fades: All right. So moving on, we have one guitar track recorded and just a blank test recording We did when talking about the voiceover work. OK, so if we move our cursor onto the audio, you can see that you get a different symbol up here, and you also get a different symbol down here. That is because we have three tools selected using this piece up here. So, for example, if we were to just like that, then we'd only be working with the zoom tool. If we click this that we just be working with this, we could also just use that, just that just that. But I highly suggest working with this because you get three tools and one and that speeds things up. If we go to the top here, we can select where we want the timeline cursor to be okay. At the bottom, we can select different audio tracks, and at the end, if we move it just to the end, you can see on this one to it changes to this right trimming option. And if we click and hold, we can actually trim the track. Okay, let's bring you back out and the same thing at the beginning and same thing go down here. Okay, so let's bring those back. So another thing we can do is at a fade. Let's bring the cursor up here. It'll turn to a box from here, you can click and hold. And that means that this audio will now have a fade at the end. Okay. From there we can grab the fate itself and bring it more. You can see what it's actually doing. The audio as we drag it. We can add one at the beginning by going to the top again. And we can also trim the track to increase the fate. We could do the same at the end here. So now there's a fade up and then a fade out. Let's select this track one of the bottom where the hand symbol shows up. Click it well hit delete on our keyboard, and that will wipe it from our track. So it's bring our fades back to just the beginning. Okay. And then to move clips around you just basically select the clip, click and hold, and then you can move it to wherever you'd like. Okay, you can also move them to different audio tracks if you prefer. So for now we'll take off the record, enable buttons. We can also cut the audio, and to do that we find a place where we'd like to cut. Let's try there we'd click on the top. This is where the timeline cursor is placed, and then we can either hit Command E for on Do That. Or we could go to edit separate clip at Selection and that there's the same thing now if we click here, you can see that those air two separate audio files now and once again we can't a fade to that one and a fade to that one, and then we could move them back together. Okay, let's click right here, and we'll zoom in a bit. Now you'll notice that when I select the right side here and move it, it's actually snapping to the grid as I move it. That is because we have the grid function selected. Okay, now, the only two functions I use in pro tools when moving clips around are the slip and the grid. So the grid is what we just explained. It snaps to the grid and the slip means that it can actually slip between the grid, and you can place the audio wherever you'd like. All right, so let's go back to grid and will snap it back. Let's zoom back out now to get back to the original audio file. If this is not what we wanted, we can click this. We can hit delete. We can also do the same with fades. We click, highlight it, breast a lead on our keyboard and that will remove the fade. And then we'll take our cursor and we'll trim or expand the audio back. Oh, to get okay, So now we'll add a fade again. And I opened it up a little too far, so we'll take this and move it to right there. 11. Keyboard Shortcuts: there are a few useful keyboard shortcuts that I'd like to share the 1st 1 being instead of clicking this and pressing the play button every time you want to record, all you need to do is creating audio track record enable on the audio track without this enabled. So I mean hit three on the number pad without this selected and without hitting play. And then I'll hit space Bar and there isn't any audio. But using the number pad three is a much more convenient way of recording. Okay, let's click this highlight it hit delete on the keyboard. The next thing is, if we want to make duplicates of certain audio, we can select it, hold option on our keyboard and then click and drag, and that will make a copy. We can also select it Press Command, see, and then at the beginning, by pressing return on our timeline, we can select a different track and press command V, and then, because this truck was selected, we've copied and pasted it to this track. Okay, Another useful command is the duplicate. If we click on this track, for example, or we can also click multiple tracks now. I did that by holding shift before I clicked in. That adds to the selection. So let's select the 3rd 1 And then if we press command de on the keyboard, it will duplicate them and add it after this election. Okay, so if we zoom out a bit, we could do this a Z many times. Is it we'd like You'll just keep pacing it at the end. So that could be very useful if you've recorded one bar of music and you want to keep looping the same piece of music over again so you'd simply trim the track to year One bar and in command D for as many times as you'd like that music to be played also in pro tools using shift can also help you out a lot. So, for example, if we click down here and then also click up here and hold shift, then it selected between that range. So from here to here, and selected all of the audio on that track and all of the audio on this track, then all we need to do is again hold shift. And then we've selected all of those in a few clicks. We can also click in drag and then select all the audio that way as well. But if we were to do this because we've also selected past the audio, if we were toe command D, then it would paste it passed the selection. So just keep that in mind, all right? I'm gonna hit delete to get back to where we were and return on our keyboard to go to the beginning. Okay? And we don't need the extra audio here, so I'm gonna click this hold shift Click here. Hit, delete. And then I will click this hold shift to here it delete. And also, when zooming, it'll zoom in tow where your timeline cursor is. So if we wanted to zoom in here, it was human too. That spot. Okay, so if we wanted to zoom in at the very end, we can go there. And also Zuman 12. Bussing Tracks: in this lesson will talk about busing tracks. Busing tracks is a useful way of sending tracks a second time. So to give you an example, let's option click and drag to make a second copy of our audio. Let's go to our mixed window. So right now, if we move this over, we have audio on Guitar one, and we have audio on another track called Audio, too. Okay, so it's double click this one and name it guitar to Over here. We have Guitar One, which represents this, and we have guitar to which represents this on guitar Track one in our send section Doesn't matter which one, as long as it's on our audio track, will click Go to Bus and because it's a model track will select one of the mono sends as opposed to the stereo. So for this one week ago, nine or we can actually use anyone we want. So for this will disused Bus nine okay, and then this pops up. So we want to do is hold option and click here, which brings it to zero. We want to click on pre. All right, so let's close that now we're sending this Channel two bus nine. So on this other track, which is audio three. That doesn't have anything on it. We can actually set the input to bus nine. So that means on guitar Track One, we've recorded audio using infra one on our interface, and we have that here. Then from there we are out putting it to our master track. But we are also sending it or busing it to bus nine. And then on this track, we have the input selected to bus nine, So we're sending it to this track. 13. Peaking: we have our audio bust to nine. And then on audio three, we have the input selected as bus nine. So we have the record enabled here on audio track three. Well, hit number pad three on our keyboard. Okay. And then I'll stop that having all three of these playback at once creates on the master track a peaked signal. And that's not what we want, because that'll introduce audio. That's just too loud. And basically, we'll just It won't sound good to solve that. We can click any one of these that will reset it. What we can do is turn down our audio. We'll delete what we just recorded. Go back to the mixed window and we'll try it again. Okay, So you notice this time it didn't peak. And that's because we turned down the master volume. Now, I also want to point out that this right here is not the record volume. This is just the playback volume. Same with this. Okay, so when you're recording audio, you want on your interface to set it so it doesn't peak. And in here you could have this set to zero, and you'll still receive a signal from your interface, okay? And you could also boost it to plus 12 and you still see a signal. This is just the volume it's played back out as well as on the master track. Okay, now, because you have so many tracks being fed to the master track, that's why we had to turn this down because they were essentially three different tracks going to the master track that all had a volume at close to minus three area. That's a lot of audio to be compressed into two tracks. So we need to turn that down in the river to not peak now, just like the Peking showed up here, it can show up also on the individual track while you're recording. If you set your input volume level on your interface too loud than you will get peaking here regardless of what you do with this 14. Working with the Click Track: in this lesson, we will talk about the tempo and creating a click track. So the tempo is how fast you play the song or how fast the song is. So in this project we have it set up to 120 that means nothing unless you were working with a click track or working with the grid itself. But, you know, earlier lessons, we simply just hit record kind of anywhere in the timeline and just started recording, and we didn't really use the tempo or the big read at all. I would say that about 95% or higher of professional recordings use a click track. Now it's OK not to use a click track. For example, if you're a recording vocals and a piano part, sometimes it sounds better if the piano goes a little bit longer at the end of a bar before it starts. The next bar and the vocals will essentially follow the piano or vice versa. But the majority of the time you would want to work with tempo and record with a click track, especially if you're recording drums or have drums in your song to get started. What we can do is go to track and create click truck. Now what this does is it creates a track for us. And if we go to our mixed window, here it is, and it's added on the plug and click to basically using this click track the plug in inside pro tools. It'll always default toe what your tempo is. A click track is basically a way for you to follow along with something that has a consistent tempo. Basically, it triggers a sound on every beat, and it makes it very easy to stay in tempo. To give you an example of this. I'm going to mute our audio and just keep our click track enabled. And then I will hit the play button. That sound you heard was the click track, following our tempo of 120 beats per minute, okay, And what this represents is the volume of the first beat, which means in our meter of 44 time signature. The first beep that sounds will be this one, and then the three other ones will be this one. So in other words, the first note you hear has a higher pitch and then followed by three lower pitch ones for every bar. Okay, let's hold option on both of those, and it will be a lower volume now so you can change that to taste. You can also go to our mixed window and adjust the volume of the click track by using this . This is separate from the volume you have in your click track plug in. So the next thing we'll do is we'll go to our edit window. We will double click the Red Arrow we have right here, and then we can actually change our tempo. Here. Let's go to 200. We'll click, OK, and you can see that now in our click track plugging it has updated to 200 as well because it follows this and that sounds like this. Okay, so it's much faster now. If you wanted to have a temple change, basically what you do is you set your timeline cursor. Let's say two right here. So at the beginning, up to that point it will be 200 then you hit the plus symbol, and then you can change it to, let's say half of that and then at that point on it will be 100. So, for example, it's played just before it and you'll see that it changes to 100. Okay, so let's close this plug in. Okay, so it zoom in a bit. And over here, where we had the temple change, we can actually hold option, and that will change it to a minus sign, and then we can click it, and that will remove it. Okay, let's hit return in our keyboard to go to the beginning. So essentially, if you wanted to have your audio, follow the click track because you're going to be later placing drums and you have other players playing along with you. It makes it a lot easier if they can follow the click track because it's all in time. And between each bar, you can easily find out where the first riff ends and the chorus starts. And you know, typically you'll have, let's say, the intro to bars and you'll have a refer to bars and you'll have a course for four bars. The intro again for two and the riff. So having all your audio being recorded to a click track is fantastic. Now I should note that the click track doesn't get recorded unless you were to literally bus it to a different auto track and record that track. Basically, it's just a guide of the tempo for you to follow along with When is gonna do it. These when you're starting your new song and you are falling along with a click track, have your recording started The beginning record enable your track start recording and then after two bars, this is where you should start recording your actual music. So, for example, if the song starts with guitar, then after two bars started recording right here that way, when you're recording your next track, you have some time to prepare. So you know when to start so that it matches up with this one. Now you can afterwards move it if it is in the wrong spot. Assuming that you did play along to the grid, However, having the the two bar count at the beginning just makes things a lot easier. So I'd always suggest having to bar count. And what I like to do is actually at the two bar count. So this is our first bar, and this is our second, and you can see that we have the time Wankers air at our third bar because it's showing up right here is third bar first beat. So that's the first beat from the third bar. So if you go all the way to the right side on your keyboard, you'll find the enter, which is beside the number of had If you hit that, a new memory location will show up, and then in this window, we can actually name it. Start. So if we hit okay, you can actually see what it's made here. It's made a marker, and this makes it very easy to find out where your song starts. If we go toe window and we go to memory locations, we can actually see where it is. So, for example, if we had 1234 this is where let's say our course started. We can hit, enter on the far right of our keyboard and type course, then hit. Okay, Now you'll see that this is where our core starts. So we know that our music needs to play the beginning of the song from here, and then we can start recording the course at that point, and having the memory locations is also useful because you can actually go from start, then you go to course and it jumps to those memory locations. 15. Working with MIDI: Okay, guys. And in this lesson, we will talk about working with Midi and other various virtual instruments to get started. I have a project open right now with a whole bunch of different tracks with different MIDI parts to them. We have, as you can see, many, many different tracks in our groups panel window here, we can click on all and then just change anyone, and they will all be changed because our groups all is selected. Then we'll turn that back off and then just to show you, you know, then just this one will be changed. Okay, Put that back too small. Now we can see things a little better. So what we have here is piano. We have strings. We have submitted drums as well as lower bass strings. Now, the plug ins I'm using are from the complete Ultimate 10 pack. They give very realistic sounds, but it isn't quite expensive Pack. So if you aren't interested in purchasing additional plug ins, you could use, for example, vacuum expand too many grand structure free. Those are all the ones that come with pro tools. So those are actually pretty good. For example, expand to it is a really cool plug in. You could get a lot of cool synth sounds from this one, and yet strings, piano guitar, low end and high end sounding stuff many grand is a piano, which is pretty good, and vacuum is more of like, lower and or like weird frequencies. Weird noises, very deep sounds. But also you get some really cool results is a very powerful plugging as well. Now, to get started with a MIDI project, you don't actually need to have a MIDI keyboard. It does help if you do know how to play the piano, because you can play the parts and record what you're playing through MIDI. However, if you don't have a MIDI keyboard, that's still no problem. Because in this project I actually entered in all of the Midi, notes myself manually with the mouse and then just, you know, duplicated them a bunch of times and then, as a bulk selection kind of moved them to different areas. A lot of the time you just need to create one riff, and then you can duplicate that riff and just change the sound to a synth or a piano or you know a drum part, and it will make the sound of your your song much more full because it's essentially the exact same parts played over again, but just with different sounds. You know, high end sound. Ah, lower and sound. And then you could have strings that are set up so that it's a much more smooth sound that has reverb on it, and it just kinda blends and glues everything together for your final result. So to get started, we can create a new track. We will create a stereo instrument truck we'll go to create and then that created this right here. Let's go over to our mixed window and you can see that it has no inserts on it. Solo this track. So all the other ones air muted. We will go to instrument, and we will enable many grand. Okay, and so this is what it looks like as it loads. We have a few different options here We have the main level mixed level, the room, the dynamic response and the style of the piano. You could said to bright or harder dance where all the notes are hit hard, or you could set it to the other side. Too soft. And then all your notes would be a lot more soft. There wouldn't be any hard hitting notes. Okay, so for us, we'll just keep it to Riel now. Right off the bat, there are some cool presets. Now I've created one called Real Piano will 001 And that has these settings to it. Okay, now to if you change all these settings and you actually like the sound of it, then you can go to the preset here, you save as and then give it a name. Go to save, and then you'll be able to find that in this list for later. So how many works is? We can actually close this because we do have it selected on here. Basically, how it works is on our instrument track, which we will call piano many grand. What we need to do is we need to create an area that we can add midi notes to In order to do this, which you want to do is record enable that track in just record an area. And basically, from here, you can either start playing on your keyboard toe produce notes or what you can dio. Let's cause that is, once you've recorded just one area, this works different than the audio tracks we created in earlier lessons. So because it's an instrument track, we can actually stretch it to whatever length we want. There are no notes in it at all. So what you want to do to start entering Midi notes is double click, and then the MIDI editor will open up. So we have our track soloed and we've named it piano mini, grand thes air, the different octaves on your keyboard. The low ends will be zeroing up. Your high ends will be up here so we can go from around the 123 area. Open up your memory locations and because we've created a start like we did in an earlier lesson, you can click that and then your cursor will jump to the very beginning and I will leave you with two bars just before it. So at that point we can zoom in. We can use this to kind of go over just a bit, okay? And now we have a whole bunch of little boxes here. Basically those represent where amity no can can be created. So let's go on this note here and you simply just double click, and then one mini note has been created. If we click and drag, that makes just a longer note. And then if you wanted to do that again for a note up here, okay? And we can also just like we did with the audio, you can hold option, click and drag, and it will make a duplicate. Uh, so if we were to play this, what we do want to do is go back here and hit the play button. Uh, okay, so that's what you do to create many notes. For example, if you wanted a whole bunch of quick notes, you could hold option. So this is what this would sound like, right? So you can select them all to eat them. Hold option, select the mall. Full adoption mall adoption. So now that you have the idea of how notes are created, I can show you, uh, let's just like the mall. And now each one represents and you active. So this, too, means that the exact same note at a higher active will exist on the three so lower active of the same note will be one. So if we want to do this and then hold option all those two one and because these air on the same one and two they will share the same No, just a different octaves. And the same with these. So this sounds like this. Okay, so that already sounds a lot better than, uh, just the single. So by layering midi notes, as well as having many different track set up with different sounds using different plug ins, you can very quickly create a great sounding song inside pro tools without actually owning an instrument or a microphone, for that matter. 16. Working with MIDI Part 2: right now, we have the original song that I created, so this is basically what it does. Uh, - okay , okay. So I'm just going to move my cursor to the end here and just give you another example of what the ending sounds like. Okay, you're probably wondering why all of these air moving down? So what's happening is, let's say we go to this track here. If we click on the drop down arrow, I have the audio fading out, and that's why the fader levels are slowly going down as a planet. However, you'll notice that I'm not using a fade on many tracks you can't add fades as you can see here, the symbol for fades is not showing up. So to get around that what you want to do is drop down right here on whatever track you want to effect, and make sure you change this from many volume two audio volume and then on the line that you see, you want to make key frames, and then you will adjust the key frame from its original level to a lower level, and basically, over time the volume will drop. So how you do that is I'm going to option and remove it, and we will create it again. OK, so on this line, let's click here with zoom in a bit. So from this point to this point, we wanted to gradually fall off in volume. So what we want to do is we will hold command and then click here and that will create one key frame. Then at the end again, we will fold command and click there. Now we could have clicked, for example here. That doesn't matter. It all depends on where you want it to fade out. And at what volume level. Okay, so now that we have two key for him set up weaken, take this and simply drag it down. Rate to zero. Okay, so now, gradually, over time, this audio fades out. So if you wanted to make it more of a slope at the beginning, and then more gradually fade out the end and you could create another key frame, for example, and, you know, do something more like that and you can do that as many times as you want. You can also do this to increase the volume of something. So he wanted just that part of the song to be louder, you could create three points and then lift up this one and then just that part will get louder. Okay, so I'm going to undo this and undo that Once again, I was holding option, which shows the minus simple. Okay, so it's old command right at the end. Drink it all the way down, and then that's what we wanna do. Bring a zoom back out and close up that window to show you a different instrument than the mini grand. Let's create another stereo instrument track on that track. We will go to instrument. We'll put in expand, too. Okay, now expand to has opened up. This is a pretty powerful plug in, as I said before, So you have a, B, C and D those congee completely different sounds that will trigger from the same midi truck , which is kind of cool. You have your attack decay released, cut off, and so on. For every channel you have, the level you're panning and affects one in two levels. Then at the bottom, you have some additional options, such as the course effect or adding, I believe some reverb the size of it in the shape, and then you have your master volume of the plug in for everything. Now again, that is separate from your track volume, so you can boost the volume here, and you can also boost the volume here. Right now, we have brake pads, one. If you click on it, you have many, many different options. Self pads, brake pads, soft leads, hard leads, electric piano QC, guitar strings, some drums basis synth bases. So I typically work with the synth bases, the soft hard leads, the soft pads, brake pads and action pads and as well as the strings. Just by using this plugging alone, you can get some really powerful sounds. And again, all you need to do is on this instrument track record. Enable it record for a second, and then just click and drag double click it, and then you can start making your notes wherever you want them right away, because we have expand to on with this. We close that and then open up this track right away. We can start hearing what it's doing so pretty cool 17. Making MIDI sound more realistic: Okay, so the next thing is the velocity of your midi note. So right here we have velocity and that is represented in each one of these. So each one of these is basically the note, and right now they're set to probably 75 or 80%. So if we wanted to bring those ladder with all the way up and now those will be a little louder than before. Let's say you had hundreds of midi notes all the way throughout your song on this one track . So what you want to do is select all of your notes down here in the velocity section. Then you'd go to event event operations, change velocity. Okay. Now, in this section, the idea is were going to change the velocity and randomize it by a certain amount so that each notice slightly louder or quieter than the last. And basically, what that does is create a much more realistic overall track sound. To give you an example of that, let's select our three notes. From there, we will hit command D to duplicate it. We will drag that over and then do the same process again. Now, I did that without aligning into the grid just to show you a whole bunch of notes. Okay, so then we will select all of our notes. We will go to event event operations, change velocity, and then we can set this to a random number that we think will work well for what we're trying to do. Um, I typically would change it to about 10 or 15 but for this one will set it to 30. Just so you get the idea Well hit, apply. And then you can see that it randomized all the notes as if someone was actually playing the song on a keyboard with their fingers where different parts would be louder than other parts. Let's hit command said, and undo that. We'll go back, will change this to 10. Okay, And then up here, it's has set all too. So what we'll do is we'll make this rated the top because we want him as loud as possible within 10. Okay, and then we'll apply. And then it will slightly change all of them. But it will stay at the highest volume it possibly can be or the highest velocity. What's that? Apply it. Apply again and you can see it kind of randomly changing them up. That's great. The next thing is we can do the same thing with where the notes are actually positioned. So if you align every single MIDI note to the grid, the song will be absolutely perfect. And because we're human, we tend to not want things in music to be exactly perfect. It'll sound too robotic now. It's such a subtle difference between right on the grid and slightly off, but it does make a big difference. So, for example, let's delete all those zoom in. Would set these all the way to each bar. We'll make one more okay, then we'll select those all command d. And now because I created four, it duplicated to the right spots. If we did that again, all the way like that. Okay, now, if you zoom in on any single one, you can see that it's perfectly lined up to the beginning on any single one. Okay, so it's select all of them, go to event event operations, and then we will Kwan ties. So what we want to do here is we have this set up here as 1/8 notes. What we want to do is Quan ties to 1/8 notes and then randomised by 10%. Now we can change this to it's a 5% if it's too far off. So let's try five. Actually, let's go to apply and let's see what it actually did. So if we zoom in all the way in on, let's say this one or, you know, let's try this, this one, you can see that it's slightly off, and that's because we randomized it by 5%. So to exaggerate, let's command A to select all the notes. Let's go to event event operations. Kwan ties. Let's change this to 25%. Okay, let's go to apply, and you can see actually what it does. It's moving all the notes slightly in a random order to exaggerate. That's go to beauty. Okay, no, if you do this too much, if you you know if it's let's say above 10% it may sound like your next note is too late or too early. That's why it's best to keep this around, you know, 5% or so to get the most realistic results. Keep in mind if you do change it to 80%. How I just did. You'll have to undo it back to the original settings because if you were to try to do 5% right now, it would change it and randomize it 5% based on where everything is right now. So that's not what we want to do. So let's hit the X and then we can just undo a whole bunch of times Great. And then, if you hold command, Shifted said, it will redo and commands that is undo. Okay, so let's redo that. So we're now we're back at the same will. Select all the notes. Kwan ties by 5%. Or let's try, you know, 8% it apply, and that's all we want to do. So you should. Kwan ties every single section you have, as well as the change velocity by about 10 15% for every single track as well. Every mini note 18. What Is Mixing: So what is mixing? Audio mixing is a very important part of audio recording, and it is where all of the sounds recorded. Start working together to create a final peace, such as a song or the dialogue audio in a movie scene. The process of levelling the volume of all the audio tracks you're working with is called mixing. Typically, mixing is done before the mastering stage and can consist of, but not limited to panning tracks, adding fades, adjusting levels and adding effects. Subtle changes to tracks during the mixed age can play a large role in how the final make sounds. In other words and inexperience. Mixer can result in having your song sound nowhere near as good as if a professional mixer worked on the exact same audio files. 19. Working With An EQ: in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about E cues. What is an equalizer to get started? Let's open up our mixed window on every track. Here we have the ability to add an insert. For example, let's go to this track. Let's solo it. So in the insert section, let's go to multi channel plug in and then eat you. Now you may have a smaller list than me, depending on the plug ins you have installed. So for this example, we will use the ones that are built in. So we can either use a one band or seven band to help explain what any Q is. I think the seven band will be better, so let's choose that. Okay, so now we have our seven band equalizer open. We have a graph here. We have our input level. We have our output level. We can adjust them here. We have different frequency controls as well as, ah, high pass and a low pass filter. In our graph section. On the left hand side, you can see minus 18 to plus 18. That is our volume in decibels and then on the bottom. Here we have 20 hertz all the way to 20 kilohertz or 20,000 hertz. We can see that just below it. We have the different colors that represent all the different frequency bands. So, for example, on the red here we can either visually maneuver all of the points in this one, and you can see in this section as I move it. These get changed, so we can also do the same thing by adjusting the knobs. So that goes along the frequency. This goes along the volume or gain and misrepresents how wide or narrow that frequency is. So, for example, let's go to the high medium frequency and let's adjust the gain all the way to the top, and then we can change the width of it. We can also move it around, left and right through the frequencies. Okay, so let's go back to factory default. Now. The most common way to use an equalizer is to either boost the frequency that you want more of, or limit or remove a frequency that you don't want in your mix. Later, we'll talk a bit about low and high passes, but that will be during the mastering stage 20. Intro To Compression: in this lesson, we'll talk about compression and why it's important. And how can improve your mixes. So again, on the same truck, we will go to multi channel plug in dynamics and then we could go to compressor limiter. Okay, this is a standard plugging that comes with pro tools. We have our in our output level. We have a whole bunch of options at the bottom here, such as knee attack, gained, thrush release and ratio. So basically what a compressor does is it takes all the sounds at the very top that are very loud and squashes them so that all the sounds below it have more headroom to be moved louder. And this could be a really great way to emphasize certain parts. And typically, a compressor is used on many, many different tracks. It could be used on vocals. It could be used on drums, could be used on guitars. It could be used on anything where you want to crush a bit of the loud notes to bring up the overall volume of your whole audio track. The goal for the compressor is that once you're done with it, the volume should be the same as before. You used it. So basically, using the gain control, you can make up for the volume lost. When you limited some of the audio By going to the preset section, you can get a better understanding of what's happening to your audio. So to do that, let's go up to the preset section. And, for example, let's choose accused of guitar. So you can see here that at 1.621 it's really not doing too much. I should note that the gain and threshold is dependent on the audio you have, and this will always be different, depending on the volume of your track. So these will have to be adjusted all the time. Even though you're using a preset, you'll notice that in the graph here, it's really not doing that much to the audio. If we were to go to hard limiting, you'll see that the ratio is 100 to 1, and therefore it is chopping off everything above, let's say, four decibels, just squashing it completely. So this is gonna be pretty extreme, and you'd probably never, ever do this, even with drums, I said I'd never go more than like eight toe one, but you get the idea 21. Working With Reverb: in this lesson will talk about reverb and reverb is basically an echo. If you're in a large room, you're gonna have more eco. If you're in a sound proof studio, you're not gonna have any eco. Okay, so let's add a reverb Plug in to this track. Let's go to our inserts. Multi channel plug in. Go to reverb Now I would recommend you sign into your pro tools account and install the air plug ins as there are a lot higher quality and they're easier to use. So let's apply the air reverb. So now we have the Aare River panel open. We have a bunch of different options. Here we have our mix, the room size, pre delay, reverb time and so on. Typically, all I do is change the room size and how much of it shows up in the mix. So I 100% it's gonna be pure reverb. At 10 to 30% it will just play a little bit into the mix and your room sizes. Basically, if it's at zero, it's gonna be a very, very small room, not all that much reverb. And if you have it set to where it's 100. It's gonna be a very, very large room, like a church where there's a lot of reverb and it lasts for a while. So what I normally do is set that to about 40 or 50% and the mix at around 30%. Then I listened to it and this is all to taste. So if you feel like the rooms, I should be bigger, you know, Move that up. And if you want it more in the mix, turn it up Or, if you want it less, turn it lower. With this track soloed, I will show you what this sounds like at 100% room size and 100% in the mix. Okay. And that compared to this, so it makes a pretty big difference. 22. Aux Tracks and Creating A Submix: in this lesson will talk about stereo, ox tracks and sub mixes. The majority of mixing and mastering engineers tend to export all of their audio to a stereo, unmasked, erred, audiophile and then imported back into a brand new pro tools session. And then that's where they start doing their mastering. Now. Because I'm not recording audio and perfect soundproofed rooms, I choose to not send out everything to a stereo track and then reimport for mastering instead. What I do is I send all my audio to a separate bus such as Bus 1920 I do that to all of these. So to do that, let's click this. Let's hold shift and with them all selected, let's hold shift an option and then choose the same bus, and then they will all be changed. Now, I won't have any audio going to my master track, which is what we want, because we're going to be standing all of these to its own sub makes track, and the sub mix track will be sent to our master track for mastering. Let's create a stereo ox track. Let's move this right beside our master track. We'll call this sub mix it okay. And then from in here, the input will select 19 and 20. So what's happening is all over audio is being sent to 19 and 20 and then on our sub makes track, were selecting the input of 1920 then the output of the sub mix track shows up here. If we were to change this to something else, then we would not hear anything in our master track because our interfaces using outputs one and two going to our speakers. So therefore we need to use one and two. Okay, so let's make sure nothing else is muted or soloed. And now let's go back to our edit window, okay? And just a quick tip. If you right, click the play button. That's how I got a to show up as the loop. So just make sure that that is selected. And then what that does is when you highlight a certain area such as that, or, you know, just that Or could be. That doesn't matter where you do it. As long as you're selecting an area when you hit play because the loop feature is enabled, it'll just keep looping. That one area, so that's useful in the mixing and mastering stage. So with this set toe loop, let's hit play. And just to give you an example, if I hit mute on the subjects, nothing will be heard because everything is being sent to this and this is the only thing playing music. And also, if I sold this, nothing will be heard as well. Because all of this is sending music to this track. And that means if I solo it, then it's not receiving anything else but this track. So now we have our sub mix set up. We can see the audio level of it. So we're roughly around 96 minus 10 on average. So at this stage, knowing that we can start adjusting levels we can raise or lower, or we can simply go up with this. So what I want to do is actually just raise the volume of this by about four decibels. Okay, so now we're about minus six on average, which is a good level to be at before going into the mastering stage, because then during the mastering stage will apply a limiter and will boost the overall volume by a few decibels so that it's closer to zero. So on our sub mix track, we can apply effects such as another seven band EQ You in this? If we think it needs a little more low end weaken, boost it. If it has too much low end, we can cut it a bit. Same with the high end or any other frequencies. So, for example, if this is the settings that sound best to us, then we'd keep it like that. And this affects all the other tracks at once, just from doing it on one track. Same thing for any reverb delay. Compressing anything you want can be done to this track, and it will affect everything all at once. 23. Aux Track For Controlling Drum Channels: in this lesson will talk about creating a stereo ox track in order to control the whole bunch of different drum tracks. So the idea here is, Let's say we had eight different tracks. There were all mono audio tracks. Okay, Each one represented a different part of the drum kit. Okay, so we have a kick track snare. Hi, hat. Hi, Tom. Floor Tom or red symbol One overhead Cymbal two and a room. Mike. So all of these make up our drum kit recordings. So the idea here is, you know, you'd have your snare panned a little bit. You have your high hat panned a little bit. You have your high Tom panned your floor the other way, your overheads could be a little bit. And from there you have a basic panning set up for your drum kit. Now, the problem is, all of these all go to hell. Put one and two. But what if you wanted to compress all of them together or add reverb hall of them, or even control the overall volume of everything without adjusting every single track? So the way we do that is we create a stereo box track we can call it drums. And then we will send all of these through a bus to the input of the drum track. Okay, so it's hold shift option. We'll choose a different bus this time. Well, we'll try 27 28. Okay, then you can see that only the ones we selected were changed because we held shifting option while we changed one of the sentence. Okay. From there, we want to go to our input. It was like the bus 27 28. And that means that all of these are now going to this auxiliary drum track. So this is great, because let's say we had our snare are high heads are Tom's at that level. Overheads in a room make All those levels are set based on the other sounds around them. So the snare drum is set up because of the volume of the kick. The high hat works in the mix with the levels of the other tracks. So if all of a sudden we decided we wanted the drums to be up in the mix a little more or quieter, it would be challenging to try Teoh, adjust each one by one or two decibels, and also it would take a little bit to do it. So if we haven't set up this way where everything's going to this track, then it works a lot better. Because now on this track, we literally just do that or do that to adjust all of them at once. Let's hold option said it back to zero. We can also add plug ins to this one track that will affect Onley these tracks. Okay, so let's go to dynamics compressor limiter. Then, on this one, we can choose a preset, for example, drum compression. And then, based on the input level of our drums, we can adjust the gaining threshold so that it doesn't peak. And then the idea is to turn it off and on, so that with it off with it bypassed. The volume is the same as when it's turned on. The only difference is it'll sound a little more compressed, or we could you know, e que and increase the overall symbols of everything and remove some of the mids of the drums. You know, we can add some reverb and just make it really subtle, like 10 or 11% and the other benefit to doing it this way is you have only three plug ins that are working with all of your drum tracks altogether. You could take all of these and put him on all of them. But then your computer has to process a lot more. So this is efficient for processing power, and it allows you to control everything a lot quicker. Now you can copy a plug in from Let's Say this track to this track because it's mano or let's say, from this truck, this truck because their stereo. So let's say we created a compressor on this model track, and we wanted it on all of those as well. What you do is you hold option just like we did earlier with the actual audio in our track . Click and hold, click and hold, click and hold all while holding option, and you'll just copy them off and you can do this to wherever you like to remove a plug in . You simply just go no insert 24. What Is Mastering: what is mastering audio mastering is the final stage in the audio recording process. It can involve, but not limited to, raising the overall volume of the track, adding or removing frequencies, widening the stereo image and maintaining consistency across all songs on an album. Mastering takes many years to learn and requires critical listening. In this course, we will only be touching the surface of mastering because mastering really does take a very long time to learn. You basically need to train your ears in order to listen to certain frequencies levels. You also need pretty good headphones or studio monitors to pull it off. You can not master audio on desktop speakers or in ear headphones, for example. 25. Audio Mastering Basics: in this lesson will talk about mastering and how to use different plug ins to achieve a more mastered sound. Overall. So we have a pro tool session created with a whole bunch of different MIDI tracks. We go to our mixed window. They all have different levels. They have different plug ins for different sounds. Some of them have reverb on it. We've sent them all to a sub mix. And then we may have done some different. You know, sounds during the mixing stage to affect the overall sound of all the tracks, and now we'll get into mastering. So on our master track, we can start adding some plug ins to give off um, or high end richer, feel a more master and feel OK so we can start by adding what's called a high and low pass . Let's go to E que seven band. Okay, now we have our seven band equalizer open on the side. Here we have our high Pasfield during low pass filter. So on the high pass filter will enable the in and we'll do the same on the low pass filter . Okay, you can see it's starting to dip off at the end. So basically what ah high and low pass filter does is it removes frequencies in the high and low ends that may not be needed in the mix. So what we can actually do is bring this all the way up as well as this one, and then we can roll off all frequencies after around 35 then on this one will do the same at around 11 killers. Now this will be slightly different for different music genres, such as If you're creating a heavy Bassong, you might want to bring in more like that. Or if there's something with a lot of symbols in it, maybe that's better. Okay, The next thing is we will add air reverb. Now. The point of reverb in the mastering process is you don't really want to hear what it's doing. You want to add such a subtle amount of reverb that all it's doing is simply blending all the audio frequencies and tracks so that they fit a little more nicely together. So room size something, you know, small and then in the mix again. Nothing major like 5 to 10%. So if you hear it in the mix than Lord even less, and you can listen to it by bypassing the plug in as you're playing back your audio. I wouldn't really worry about any of this other stuff. You can play around with it if you want, but the defaults are pretty good. Okay, The next thing is widening your stereo image. So to do that, we go into sound field. And again, If you don't have the air plug ins, I would highly suggest you install them. They're free. Just go on to your pro tools account and find them that installed him. Put that on. So this stereo with plug in is a cool way to wide in your stereo image. And basically, what that means is it takes your stereo track, these two right here, and it basically pushes the left further and spreads it out over the left 50% and does the same with your right. So the result is a much more full mastered sound. So basically, what I do is I normally set this to around 1 40 and I'll go as high as maybe 1 50 So I'll give you an example of what this sounds like now. So again we have this looped, so we'll play this. Okay, so it really pushes everything and makes it sound really, really full. Now, at 1 87 I think it pumps it too much. So that's why leave it more around like 1 40 or so. Okay, let's close that. Let's go back to our mix window. The next thing we'll do is if you're working with, let's say, a rock song it and you have a lot of Mike two guitar recordings. You'll probably end up with what's known as a mud sound in your mix. So in order to remove that mud sound, let's go to E. Que will play another seven Bandy Cube. And once that's open, the mud sound confessed. Be described by certain frequencies in your mix somewhere between the 203 100 hertz, where that frequency was removed, your song would sound more clear, more crisp, and Maura polished. The idea is to take this frequency and drop it to about, you know, minus six minus eight, something like that, and you put it around 200 to 300 you make it a little thin because you don't want to remove too many frequencies. You just want to find that mud sound. So you'd set it to roughly something like that to remove the mud, not to find the mud. What you want to do is you want to boost this all the way up, and then what you're gonna do is your gonna take this while listening to your music very slowly until you find a really harsh, annoying sound. And if you can't find it, then you don't need to do this process. But basically, in most mixes you will hear a very harsh sound. And when you find it, let's say it's at, you know to 39 that's where you'd want to drop it down. So that part will just bring that part down to, let's say, minus 7.5 or so. So another thing we can do is play around with the panning of the tracks. Now this could be done during the mixing stage, but I like to do it during the mastering stage. So what we want to do is establish which tracks are lead tracks, which tracks are just there to Adam or full Sound, which tracks are based tracks are duplicates and get a clear understanding of all of them and how they sit together and then on the tracks that are duplicates or anyone's that are secondary on those ones. We can start messing around with the panning to try toe clear up the mix. So, for example, if we wanted this fast strings the track to appear more on the Left Channel, we would just take that so that this track only appears in the Left Channel on our master track. And then we'll go to our, you know, drums duplicate, and we'll do the same if it sounds better with certain tracks panned hard left or panned hard, right? I would suggest doing that because you'll get amore wider sound. And it will also help with your stereo with plugging that we applied earlier. Okay, so that brings us to the last and final stage of mastering. Now again, this is a very quick way to master. Mastering takes years to be good at. So the last thing is limiting your sound. So in pro tools, it comes with a maxim plug in. And if you don't have this, I'm sure you could find a free limiter on Google and then just install that into your V S T folder, I believe, and then it'll show up inside pro tools. So now that we have the maxim plug in open, we have a few different things. Here we have the threshold, the ceiling, the release and a few other options. Here, this is known as a hard limiter, which is it sets a ceiling, and when this is set below zero, your audio will never go above this and the threshold. Think of it as gain in a limiter. So the lower you bring it, the louder your overall volume will be. If you go too much, you will start adding some distortion, and it just will not sound that great. So I wouldn't boost by more than six or seven at the very most. Normally I tend the boost around 4 to 5 because based on all of these tracks, I've leveled them to a certain point. And then in the sub mix. I've brought them up again so that they sit around there and then in the master tracks through the limiter. I boost them up just around zero and then I hard limited with the ceiling at around minus points. 3.2 point one The release. I tend to keep around minus 40 or so. I find that this results in a cleaner, richer limit. OK, now for the dither with that turned on, this is basically if you are sending your tracks and bouncing them out to 44.1 at 16 bit, then you definitely need to have this enabled. Without it, you get some weird sounds or errors in your export when converting from 48 24 to 44.1 16. So for us, we're gonna be exporting in a bit at 48 24. So we do not need to worry about that. So to give you an idea of what a limiter does, what we'll do is we'll set those all the way to zero, will listen to our audio at our loop section. Okay, so renounce at minus 6.5 under master, let's hold option to bring that up to zero and that will try. OK, so you'll notice it's sitting around minus two or minus three and we have some Peking going on, which is not good. So let's check that to reset it. And then let's bring the threshold down. Tu minus five and our audio will be sitting straight. It zero and it'll still peak because we're doing nothing with ceiling way more. We bring it, the lottery will get. And then let's set this to minus point to, and now we'll set this to, let's say, minus 10. It started to sound pretty distorted, but it did not peek. Now that's a great way to boost your audio up so that it competes with professional recordings. However, remember not to go this high, so we'll set this to about, you know, minus 4.5. And this is a pretty good volume for what we're, If you like a little bit of the distorted sound you're getting. Well, then you can add some more if you want. For me, that might even be a little less in this song, but that's the idea. So the brick wall limiter essentially doesn't allow your track to peak so that you can make everything else much louder. So essentially it is a compressor, but it has a brick wall limiter built in 26. Pro Tools Tips: Welcome back, guys. In this lesson, I'll show you some tips in pro tools. So let's say on our first piano track here we like that take. But we'd prefer to have a second take just a safety. We can do that. And how we do that is, instead of creating a second track and recording a second take on it, we can actually create playlists and they're stored within the same track. So to do that, we go to the piano right here and go to New and then name for new playlist. Piano One in this case will call it to. And then now we're on piano, too. So if you click here, Piano One is our original piano to is our second. So in this one weekend arm, the track do an entire recording again. And then once that's done, we can cycle between that one or this one. And if we select this part or any part in our recording, we can actually command seeing copy it, go to our other one, and because it was highlighted, if we command v paste it, it'll pace that part right there so we can actually mix and match all of our different playlists into one main playlist. And when you're recording more technical guitar parts, for example, this could really save you because you can take the best part from the beginning and put it in with the best parts from the end. The next thing I want to show you is how to utilize track colors. So if we go to our mixed window at the bottom here, you can see that we have two different colors and then a whole bunch of tracks that air the same color. So let's say we wanted just our piano tracks to be one color, and then we wanted all our strings to be a different color. Well, we'd select all of them like that double click, and then we can actually change the color. Let's save blue, and then, visually, it makes it very easy to see which tracks or which. So then, for example, all their drum tracks, those could be a different color, and this makes things a lot easier and keeps things organized. The next thing is something called Leighton See, And basically Lane see is how fast the computer can keep up with what you're trying to do. If you go up to set up and then go to playback engine, you can see here that we have a buffer size of 512 samples if we were to change this to 1024. So if we plugged in a guitar, made an audio track and tried to record, there would definitely be a delay in from when I strum the guitar and when it plays back to me. So that could be very distracting, and it could make you not follow the temple track. It's important to know that setting it this high means that your computer can process things easier. But when you're recording audio, you need to record lower to avoid any laden see issues. So when you're recording, I would highly suggest setting into 64 1 28 or at 32 if you can do that. So basically, at 32 if you have too many tracks in too many plug ins and basically too many things for your computer to process all at once, it'll stop your recording and say it can't keep up. So while you won't get an error message playing with this you will get Lane See issues. So in other words, if you are recording audio tracks like vocals, guitar riel, drums with microphones, then what you want to do It said it as low as possible. And then, once you're done recording all of your audio tracks, set it to something higher. This way your computer can process things a lot more efficiently, and it doesn't have to worry about late and see, because you've already done all your recording. All that needs to do is play back. Now if you find you've deleted a lot of audio file since you've started the project and you're only left with a few, let's say all of them are still stored on your computer and in your pro Tools project, and they're over here in the clips panel. So over here you can see that these three clips they don't exist in our project because they're darker. So if you select those and right, click and go to clear, you can choose to remove selected clips from this session, moved to trash or delete selected source permanently. What I normally do is I simply just remove them from the project, and I don't delete them off my computer. Just in case. Then this basically cleans up the project and that means that you are using all of these. 27. Bouncing Audio: Okay, Welcome back. And in this lesson, we will talk about how to export audio outside of pro tools in pro tools, much like any other media program we need to set in a note in order to tell pro tools what portion of our project we want export. So in this case, we've already created a start memory location, and we've created an end memory location. So if we go toe window memory locations, we can see that here we have a start and we have an end. Okay. If you select both of those, it'll actually select the area in between. And the reason we want to do that is because we have our start selection, which is where we want our songs start. And our end selection is exactly at the end of our song right after the fatal. So this is the portion of the song that we want export. We actually don't need this extra part. We do not need to select every track because anything within this selection that isn't a muted will export. So with this selected go to file, bounce to and then go to disk from here we have a few different options. We have file type so we can bounce to wave a f f. And if you have a newer version of pro tools, you can actually bounced MP three. Now, if you do wanna bounced MP three and you don't have the option here exported as a wave and then you can actually in Google, just type in wave to MP three converter and then upload your way file, and then it'll convert the and be three for you. So for us, let's choose a FF the format we want inter leaved. What that means is you'll export one single stereo file. If we were exported at multiple mono, it would export all of these tracks out as model tracks so you'd have a bunch of different files. If you exported at Mono summed, then it would create two files, each a mono track that represents together being the stereo track for us. We want to create a stereo track so we'll leave that inter leaved our bit depth. We recorded a 24 bits, so we want to keep it at that and same goes with their sample rate. We recorded everything at 48 so we want to keep it at that. Now, if you are going to CD, then said it toe wave into relieved 16 bit and set it to 44. Okay. Now, if you are doing this, what you'll need to do is inside the mixed window in your maxim Plug in. This is where you need to turn dither on. And then I just always said of the 20 and this will convert 48 24 down to 44.1 16 a lot better than if you left it off. Okay for us, we won't be doing that. So we get off. Okay, so let's go back to you. Bounce to disk A I F f inner leave 24 48 File name. This is what you name. It will call this so one. In an older version of pro tools, they didn't have this option. And basically, what it means is, if it's selected, you can actually export faster than real time. In older versions, when you bounced audio to pro tools, you would have to listen to the whole thing and it would actually export at real time. So that is good. In some ways, in the sense of, If you're working on a feature film audio project and you're going through an hour and 1/2 of audio stuff, it's actually good to sit there and listen entirely to your 1.5 hour audio export because you want to listen to if there's any mistakes. But if you're constantly exporting a ton of stuff and basically what you did has just made a quick change, then offline is the way to go. In most cases nowadays, I just keep it is offline because I've never heard a mistake with it on then the directory . This is where the file will open to so in this case will create a folder called Finals. And that's where I'll save this truck that will go to bounce and you'll see that it's that much faster than real time. Depending on the computer you have, it might be faster or slower than this, and also by how maney plug ins you are using. So for me, I'm actually using quite a bit of plug in, so that's why it's not really fast. If I was only using one plug in, then this would be much, much faster. Okay, so now we have that exported. If we wanted to export to an MP three, we would go to file bounce to disk. You would change this to MP three. Okay, we would keep it at sample rate 48 file, name, song, one directory, Same thing into finals. They would click bounce, and then we're going to get a whole bunch of other options. Okay, So encoding speed. We want the highest quality. So we'll click this. We want the highest kilobits per second. Then we can enter in some extra info that it is gonna be stored within the MP three file. So the song, the artist album, comments, genre, and the track in the year, and then we can hit. Okay, and then it will export an MP three file for us. 28. Final Thoughts: audio recording has many different uses, from music and podcasts to feature films and video games. No matter what you're working on, it's important to understand it doesn't matter how many plug ins you use or how many tracks you use, because a great song can simply be just a vocal track and a piano track. It all depends on the type of music you're creating and what it's for. So that's it, guys, Thanks for taking a long and I hope you've learned what you wanted to learn. If you need to replay parts, feel free and, as always, from everyone here it OVC masters. Thanks for enrolling in our course and check back monthly for new courses.