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How To Create Super Tight Synth Parts In Pro Tools

Russ shows the trick for creating super tight synths in Pro Tools.

He also shows how this trick can be used to tighten up other instruments in Pro Tools.

All plug-ins used are part of Pro Tools.

Watch it here

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How To Tighten Vocal Stacks In Pro Tools

Russ shows how to tighten up vocal stacks using some of the standard features in Pro Tools.

In this video you will learn several techniques and keyboard shortcuts that will be useful for editing audio in Pro Tools including tab to transient, strip silence, audio warp and more.

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To Edit Or Not To Edit? - That Is The Question - Part 1

In another article submitted by a community member, Niklas Blixt will be considering when we should edit and in the next part of this two part series will consider when we shouldn’t edit but leave well alone.  Over to you Niklas…

Two Reasons Why You Should Edit In Pro Tools

Pro Tools has some of the  best editing tools out there. You have Elastic Time, Pitch Shift, etc. Tools that weren’t even thought of back in the days of tape recording. Using Pro Tools as your DAW of choice you have one of the best set of tools to make a production theoretical perfect. So here are 2 reasons I think you should edit your audio…

Noise And Unwanted Sounds

To remove unwanted noise from your recorded material is probably the number one reason to grab your editing tools and start editing. Compared to back in the days where music was recorded onto tape, the computer based recording studio gives you far more options to edit out sounds that you don’t want. However it is easy to go over board and edit out every little noise that you can hear that’s not supposed to be there, like breaths from a singer, guitars strings squealing, etc. In my opinion sometimes editing all of that out can some times kill the vibe of the song. Depending on what style of music you’re dealing with you want to edit out anything that’s distracting. Sometimes a breath or nose from the guitarist moving his fingers on the strings can be noise you want to make it feel more alive. My rule of thumb is if the noise distracts you from hearing the music it has to go.

Pocketing and Pitch Correction

Pocketing is a technique referred to as adjusting and aligning recorded parts so that they’re lined up in time, so it sounds like the band is playing tight. Some people think this is cheating. I’d say it depends on what music style is and what feel you are after. I also know as a session drummer that it’s harder to play tight when recording overdubbing afterwards, compared to being able to play live together with the rest of the band. 

A lot of people also look at pitch correction as cheating. Again I’d say it depends on what style you’re working with, your personal taste, and what the client wants. As a producer or sound engineer you’re there to make the client happy and it is possible to pitch correct without it being audible, again it is about resolving issues that would be distracting. 

It’s all about the music

How much you should edit is ultimately for you to decide. You can go all crazy and edit out every little noise you can hear, quantise everything to the grid and make every note perfectly in tune. Personally I try to edit as little as possible. My rule of thumb is, if it distracts the listener from hearing the music I’ll edit. 

In part 2 we will look at reasons why we should not edit.

How To Create The Glitch Effect In Pro Tools

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In this video tutorial, Russ shows how glitch effects in Pro Tools are just 2 keyboard shortcuts away.

No plug-ins to buy, simply this nifty editing trick.

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How To Add Drums To Existing Tracks And Keep Them In Phase

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In this video tutorial Russ shows how you can add additional drums sounds to existing ones in Pro Tools and get them in phase. This is essential when adding other sounds to existing drums.

He uses two cool features in Pro Tools to get the same results in seconds.

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Video Tutorial - Take A Brass Performance From Good To Great 

In this free Pro Tools video tutorial Russ shows how to take a brass performance from good to great. 

In this tutorial you can learn Pro Tools techniques on tuning instruments, editing audio using tab to transients and separate at transients, time correction using quantise audio to grid as well as using Beat Detective to smooth edits. Finally you can see how augmenting with VIs can enhance an existing performance.

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Pro Tools - Staying Organized: Labelling Tracks And Clips Video

We are thrilled to welcome lynda.com as a new partner with Pro Tools Expert.

We have spoken a lot recently about some Pro Tools basics that every Pro Tools user should know about. In this FREE Pro Tools video tutorial Brian Lee White explains how essential it is to organise a Pro Tools session.

This video is a part of the entire series ‘Pro Tools Mixing and Mastering’ one of the many training series for Pro Tools from lynda.com

You can try out lynda.com for 7 days, just click the banner on the right or the link below.

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8 Pro Tools Basics You Can't Afford To Ignore

We get a lot of questions to the Pro Tools Expert podcast every week, many of which fall into the same categories again and again. These can often be solved by knowing some Pro Tools basics, these are 8 Pro Tools basics you can’t afford to ignore.

Some will make your system work better and some will help speed up your workflow, consider them the essentials to having a much more productive life with Pro Tools.

Playback Engine

Knowing how to set-up your audio engine in Pro Tools is the difference between smooth operation with low latency or stuttered playback and cryptic error messages that are going to bring you to tears. Take time to learn how to set this up, this differs between different version numbers and between Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD/HDX systems and different machines. Some of it is down to trial and error, but as a rule of thumb you are aiming to keep your Playback Engine down to the lowest amount of samples possible when recording to reduce latency, without Pro Tools falling over. When you mix you can push your samples up to the max when you need as much power as possible and latency is no longer an issue.

I/O Set-Up

The I/O set-up is where you tell Pro Tools what connections your audio interface has, these directly link to your channel input and outputs. If you get a dialogue telling you that you can’t record because you have no audio inputs, if you get this then make sure you have the right audio interface set in your Audio Engine (see our first point) and then a quick fix is to click the Input Tab and hit Default and then click the Output Tab and click default, in many cases this should get you up and running. Check out our guide here

Track Types

Pro Tools uses different track types that are most approprate for your needs, they are;

  • Audio Tracks - These are for recording audio from mics and line inputs etc.
  • Aux Input - These can be used for effects returns and sub groups internally or for external inputs into Pro Tools from hardware devices that you do not need to record and want to keep live.
  • Master Fader - This is where all the audio ends up in a mix, you can add processing such as compression, dither and of course check your final output is not clipping.
  • VCA Master - HD systems only, VCAs are used to control the volume on a set of tracks
  • MIDI Tracks - Used for recording MIDI information to be sent either to internal instrument plug-ins or external MIDI hardware.
  • Instrument Tracks - A combination of a MIDI track and an AUX Input track allowing the user to record MIDI and playback the audio of a virtual instrument on one track.
  • Video Track - Yep you guessed a track for the playback of video.

Knowing what track to use will help keep your sessions tidy, speed up your workflow and in many cases may also save your system power. Check out our guide to Pro Tools Instrument tracks here and our guide to Aux Tracks here.

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3 Ways To Fix Timing In Pro Tools

In this Pro Tools video tutorial, Russ shows 3 different ways to fix timing in Pro Tools.
He shows how each works and the pros and cons of using each one - all 3 are useful; it’s just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.

Ideas On How To Fix Live Recorded Drums In Pro Tools 

As part of our FREE Pro Tools video tutorials James takes a look back at an older session which was recorded live. He shows you some of his tips and tricks to bring a lifeless drum sound up to date.