Pro Tools Tutorial: Become a Power User – Part 1: Setting Up A Power Session 2

Mike Hillier continues his explanation of the best and most efficient ways to prepare for a power session in Pro Tools…

Track Setup


1: Press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[N] (PC) or [Cmd]+[Shift]+[N] (Mac) to open the New Tracks menu and create two new mono audio tracks, one stereo audio track, one stereo aux track and a stereo master track. Use [Ctrl]+left/right (PC) or [Cmd]+left/right to scroll through the mono, stereo and surround channel types, and [Ctrl]+up/down (PC) or [Cmd]+up/down (Mac) to scroll through the track types.

2: Double-click on the name of the first mono audio channel; in the pop-up menu, rename it ‘Kick’. Use [Ctrl]+right to move to the next track and rename that ‘Snare’. Continue, naming the stereo audio track ‘Overheads’, the aux track ‘Drums’ and the master simply as ‘Master’. In this example we’re keeping it simple and imagining a Glyn Johns-style drum recording.

3: To assign the kick, snare and overheads channels to the drums aux buss, highlight all three channels and, while holding [Shift]+[Alt], click on the output assignment for any one of the three channels. In the pop-up window select Track>Drums and Pro Tools will create a stereo drums buss and assign that as the input for the drums channel – all named and assigned without using the I/O panel.
4: Before we start tracking our drummer we want to provide a click track to play along to. From the Track menu, select Create Click Track. This will create a new mono aux channel with an instance of Click II on it. You can edit the meter and tempo from the Transport window. If you don’t know the tempo of the track, with Conductor mode off, click on the tempo value and tap it out on the [T] key.
5: If the track has meter or tempo changes you will need to draw these out in the appropriate lanes. However, this will require the Conductor to be turned on in the Transport window. Tempo changes can be drawn in just like any automation, using the Trim, Selector, Grabber and Pencil tools.

6: In the Transport window you can give your musicians a count-in, using either the Count Off function (top right) or the Pre-roll. The Count Off will play the click for the specified number of bars before starting playback and recording. Pre-roll will play back the specified number of bars before recording.
We’ll bring you the next part of our Become a Power User of Pro Tools tutorial series soon!