The MIDI transport control in Pro Tools is filled with hidden gems that help make your life easier when you’re using Pro Tools to compose ideas. Here is our 7 step guide.
- Count Off
- Not as some think, a vampire from a children’s TV show, but the option to have a count off before recording starts after you have pressed record. Unless you’re as fast as lizard falling down a greasy drain, then we suggest you use count off when recording.
- Wait For Note
- A nice feature which is an alternative to using count off, simply choose this, press record and then Pro Tools will record the minute you play your first note. In theory it sounds cool, but in practice it can seem a bit odd when it all jumps into record as you start to play. Also note that often sounds such as pads start before the bar, so wait for note may not be suitable on such occasions.
- If you need a metronome then choose click. Double clicking on it will open up a preference dialogue box that enables you to set it just how you like, you can even use your own custom sounds. Watch this video here to see how.
- MIDI Merge
- A great way to create over dubbed parts - if you use in conjunction with loop record, then you can create cool rhythms as it passed around the loop each time. Even better, if you set up all your MIDI tracks beforehand then you can keep Pro Tools in record and move between tracks to get an idea down fast.
- Double click on meter to change the meter and resolution of your project. Please note this is position specific so make sure you have your timeline set to the position you wish when making any changes.
- Tempo Resolution
- You can use tempo resolution to adjust the rate of the metronome, a cool trick a drummer showed me, often a 4 beat to the bar metronome may not give as tight a performance than working with an 8 beat to the bar metronome - adjust this to try. Remember if the Tempo Ruler is enabled then you need to double click the red diamond at the start of the timeline to adjust this.
- Tempo Ruler Enable
- Perhaps the thing that causes most confusion is Tempo Ruler Enable. If you have it engaged (blue) then Pro Tools sets tempo based data in the timeline and many time based features such as Identify Beat, require this to be switched on to work. If you need to change tempo using the tempo ruler, then simply double click on the red diamond at the start of the time-line. Remember, if you make tempo changes in your track then many more tempo markers will appear across the timeline to show each tempo entry. Double click on any of them to adjust settings. (see below)
Tempo Ruler Enabled Timeline
Manual Tempo Enabled TimelineWe’ll look at tempo and meter settings in another article and outline how these can help add more variety to your performance.