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Welcome to Pro Tools Expert a huge community for users of Avid Pro Tools for both music and post production. With over 3 million visits a year, we’ve grown to be the place to come for training, resources, tips tricks and news. We offer advice for users of all versions of Pro Tools both current and legacy formats. We’re independent and are not affiliated with Avid or their associated companies.

Entries in Pro Tools (411)

Pro Tools 10.3.8 Now Available

Additional to the 11.1 update yesterday Avid also released Pro Tools 10.3.8.

Here are Avid’s release details with links to the readme files for sepecific bug fix details, along with the download link for the Mac OSX version (Windows version to follow).    

Version 10.3.8 is officially qualified and recommended for:
  • Pro Tools|HDX systems on Mac OS X 10.7-10.7.5, 10.8, 10.8.2 to 10.8.5 or Windows 7 SP1 (details)
  • Pro Tools|HD Native systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8, 10.8.2 to 10.8.5, or Windows 7 SP1 (details)
  • Pro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt systems on Mac OS X 10.7.5, 10.8, 10.8.2 to 10.8.5 (details)
  • Pro Tools|HD Accel systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8, 10.8.2 to 10.8.5 or Windows 7 SP1
  • Pro Tools systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8, 10.8.2 to 10.8.5 or Windows 7 SP1
Note:  Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) is NOT supported with Pro Tools 10.3.x co-install.  There are known issues  (details)

*For Mac Pro computer support with Mountain Lion a Nehalem (4,1) or later is required.  Click here for a full list of Qualified Apple computers with Pro Tools.  Click here for more info on Mountain Lion OS compatibility.


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5 Vocal Video Tutorials For Pro Tools You May Have Missed

We often joke on the Pro Tools Expert team that we’ve made so many Pro Tools video tutorials that sometimes we forget what videos we have. We’re not surprised we have over 1,000 videos on Pro Tools Expert, many of them free Pro Tools video tutorials.

Here are 5 FREE Pro Tools video tutorials on vocals… enjoy!

Get The Perfect Vocal Sound

In this video Russ shows the cool trick of comping vocals. How to get a perfect vocal without a single auto-tune in sight!

How To Sit Vocals In A Mix In Pro Tools

In this video Russ shows some work flows for getting a vocal to sit better in a mix using Pro Tools.

Create Stutter And Pitch Shift Vocals

Russ shows how to create stutter and pitch shift vocal effects.

Create Great Backing Vocals In Pro Tools

In this session Russ shows you how he create both simple double tracked and complex harmonies.
He also shows how to group and mix the backing vocals.
Find out how you can create an exciter effect in Pro Tools and add sheen and air to vocals and other tracks.

Understanding Pro Tools Instrument Tracks

If you are new to Pro Tools the different kind of track options available can sometimes be daunting, in fact sometimes even seasoned professionals are not entirely sure of the benefits of using different track types. 

We will take a look at each type of Pro Tools track in detail, explaining each section to the Pro Tools track type and how to use them. In this post we are looking at the Pro Tools instrument track.

Instrument tracks were introduced into Pro Tools in version 7.0. Previously to use either a software or hardware instrument in a Pro Tools session the user had to create a MIDI track for recording MIDI and an AUX track for routing the audio for playback in Pro Tools - an instrument track is a combination of both, simplifying the Pro Tools workflow. Let’s take a look at each section.

Moving from left to right you can see the colour bar first as a solid strip of colour. In the image above the instrument track has defaulted to the mustard colour, however double clicking on the colour bar will open the colour picker where you can change the colour of the track. Double clicking when multiple Pro Tools tracks are open enables the user to recolour groups of tracsk.

Next you see the track name (changed by double clicking on the text) the record arm button, the (S) solo and (M) mute buttons. Below these you see the small metronome icon which allows the user to select between sample and tick based operation, this changes how the Pro Tools track responds to timing information. The next button (CLPS in this image) determines what information will be displayed in the Pro Tools track timeline. The image below shows the selection extended. In the top half of the list are the types of information to show, int eh bottom half are the automation options available in the present track, these differ depending on user customisation.


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25 Top Pro Tools, Recording And Business Tips You May Have Missed

We often run a ‘5 Ways’ article filled with tips for either getting the besy from Pro Tools, general recording advice, or business tips, after all there’s a lot of money to be made AND lost if you don’t take care of business.

Here are 5 articles that we ran and that got a lot of interest in the early part of 2013.

5 Ways To Better Loops That Will Cost You Nothing

Loops are a two sided coin, one side inspiration and hit making, the other side derivative and over-used. So how can you make sure that when you use loops your coin lands on the right side?

Here are our top 5 tricks that will cost you nothing…

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6 Things To Consider When Buying A Pro Tools System

At Pro Tools Expert we get a lot of emails to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast each week from users asking us to advise them on buying a Pro Tools system - this often includes what computer and what interface to buy. Here are our 6 top tips to consider when buying a Pro Tools system.

Buy The Pro Tools System You Need Tomorrow Not The One You Need Today

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying a Pro Tools system is to buy it for the needs you have now, if you do this and don’t account for any growth then you will soon be thinking about upgrading the interface, the computer, the memory or your hard drive, if not all of them.

So you need to think carefully about what you think you will need in the future. If you are a singer songwriter and buy a Pro Tools audio interface with just an input for your guitar and your vocal microphone, then you’ll kicking yourself if you join a band, or if your local church or school wants to record their event on your Pro Tools system. You can even consider how buying a better system could help pay for itself, by offering to hire yourself out for recording bands and other local events.

This thinking extends to every part of the Pro Tools system you buy, now that Pro Tools 11 is 64 bit it can take advantage of the extra memory for plug-ins and especially virtual instruments, so max out the RAM. One thing to be careful of is that some vendors, including Apple will charge a premium for things like extra memory, so shop around and visit some online vendors like Crucial, you could save a packet. The same applies to hard drives, which in most cases are easy to retrofit and there are plenty of online tutorials to show you how if you are not sure.

Find A Good Dealer Who Understands What You Are Looking For And Who Will Look After You

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Source Elements Announce Source-Nexus

We have looked at a number of different ways of getting audio in and out of Pro Tools to and from other applications. Check Source-Nexus out from Source Elements.

Source-Nexus is an audio application router. For example, you can record remote voiceover from Source-Connect directly in Final Cut or Media Composer, or even better playback iTunes to Pro Tools, even patch Pro Tools to and from Nuendo. All at the same time!

With Pro Tools, Nexus allows Pro Tools users to directly integrate virtually any application without using external cables using the AAX plug-in, and allows all CoreAudio audio applications to record and be recorded from your Pro Tools timeline.

As ‘Mr RX It’, Mike will be using this to route iZotope’s RX3 through into Pro tools, so he can always use the high quality audio interfaces with Pro Tools HDX rather than the Mac audio output.

Not All Pro Tools Plug-Ins Are Created Equal

Have you even ran out of power when using plug-ins on a mix in Pro Tools… in most cases the answer is probably yes. 

However depending on what system you have and your selection of plug-ins then you might have some extra sources of horsepower at your disposal.

Let’s look at the four ways to host a plug-in in Pro Tools, some from Avid and some from third parties:

Host based native Pro Tools plug-in processing

This is where your computer does all the work, so the resources running the plug-ins are the same ones running your DAW and the rest of the show too. For the sake of argument we will include Pro Tools HD Native in this bunch.


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Westlake Pro Extend $10K Studio Giveaway To US, Canada, EU, or UK

A second chance to win $10K worth of studio gear is now open to those beyond the US, Westlake Pro have now opened this up to those from US, Canada, EU, or UK.


The contest to win pro recording equipment includes a MacBook Pro, Avid HD system including an Avid Omni, a UAD Satellite, Line 6 Pod, Waves Gold Bundle and JBL speakers, with a value of around $10,000. It runs until January 15th 2014.

If you are resident in the US, Canada, EU or UK then go here for a chance to win.

5 Ways To Get Great Timing In Pro Tools

One of the great things about Pro Tools is that when it comes to getting great timing there is more than one way to skin a cat. Here are 5 ways:

1. Use Elastic Audio

Pro Tools Elastic Audio

On any audio track you can apply elastic audio, this then allows you to quantize, warp and move around in time the audio. It fatures several algortihms designed to match the audio content. It is well worth understanding how the audio is analyised otherwise you may get unsatisfactory results. Check our Pro Tools video tutorial here on Getting Elastic Audio In Pro Tools Without Artefacts.

2. Use Beat Detective

Pro Tools Beat Detective


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Great Books Every Audio Engineer Should Have On Their Christmas List

 Great Books Every Audio Engineer Should Have On Their Christmas List

If your loved ones are asking you for stocking filler ideas for Christmas then you may have missed this list we compiled from members of the community a couple of years ago. It has some great books on their including some of my favourites. If you have read any of them then please feel free to add you

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Would You Rent Pro Tools On A Monthly Plan? Poll

I was just about to go and buy a new copy of Adobe Photoshop and as I always do I scanned the internet for the best price, the cost varied widely with the lowest being £329 and the highest over £1000. Then I went to Adobe to check the features and saw an advert offering me both Photoshop and Lightroom for around £8 per month, 30 days to cancel on a 12 month rolling contract. I thought this must be a mistake, it must be a version with limited features, but no, what it is as far as I can tell is pretty awesome.

It’s a paradigm shift from the old buy the product, own it (you never did, you licensed it, but who is splitting hairs?), you then wait for it to devalue and then get stung when a new version is released with a costly upgrade fee. I think it’s a smart idea and I think people would be less likely to be tempted to pirate software only costing £8 a month than several hundred or thousands of pounds.

Even better the cloud app gives you all you need in one place.

It got me thinking, what if Avid did the same thing and offered Pro Tools on a monthly plan, as well as what you could see below, just imagine… Pro Tools, plug-ins, storage and a place to showcase your work all in one place, Adobe have done it - which DAW will be first to go this way, perhaps one of them already offers this? I for one hope there’s a Pro Tools monthly plan in the future. I hope this is part of the Avid Everywhere strategy, if so it could be very good for all of us.

So take our poll, would you rent Pro Tools on a monthly plan if you were not penalised in any way?

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How To Create Your Own Custom Plug-in Menus In Pro Tools

How To Create Your Own Custom Plug-in Menus In Pro Tools

In this Pro Tools video Russ shows that it is possible to create your own custom plug-in menus in Pro Tools.

If you are a Pro Tools user with lots of plug-ins then this is a must watch video. 

Join today and get everything

Get Some Of The Production Tricks From 'Look Right Through' 

In our series of FREE Pro Tools video tutorials Russ takes a look at another chart hit and shows some of the production tricks used to get the sound.

Moby Offers 'The Perfect Life' FREE As Pro Tools Session

Moby is offering a track from his album ‘Innocents’ as a Pro Tools session via blend.io

‘The Perfect Life’ features Wayne Coyne and you can download it and open the entire session up in Pro Tools.

Members of blend.io can download it for FREE.

Find out more here

Use Playlists In Pro Tools To Test Out Hardware Synth Sounds

Russ shows a workflow he uses when wanting to test out sounds from hardware analogue synths that have no presets.

Join now it’s quick and easy and gives you access to the entire site

5 Dumb Mistakes I Often Repeat In Pro Tools

It doesn’t matter how long one uses Pro Tools for, it seems there are some mistakes one can keep making, they fall in the really dumb category, these are my 5:

  • Creating a mono track instead of a stereo one and vice versa.
  • Hitting record and forgetting to arm the track and then getting the message that seems to have the same voice that my wife uses when I miss a turn when driving.
  • During high speed editing hitting the ‘W’ instead of the ‘E’ key and finding the window disappears rather than an edit occurring. No I don’t use focus I use CMD, old habits die hard.
  • Hitting the wrong keyboard combo when consolidating regions and ending up with a screen shot… or 10 if I think it isn’t working!
  • Creating my third click track after forgetting I already have two inactive and hidden.

So those are my 5 face palms, what are your recurring moments of stupidity?

Set Up Maschine Studio Hardware With Pro Tools 

Russ shows how to set up Maschine Studio to control plug-ins in Pro Tools.

How To Use Warp Audio In Pro Tools

Russ shows how to use Warp audio to get timing right in the pocket.

Join today it’s quick and easy.

Strategising For The Future – How Does A Producer Become Unique In 2013? (Part 1)

Like any other global industry, the music industry is essentially its own functioning micro economy. Affected by supply, demand, costs, laws and regulation, the music industry changes its face constantly, based on cultural, financial and societal trends. In recent decades the proliferation of the Internet and mass access to technologies like virtual instruments, sound libraries, and budget recording gear has enabled a much larger number of musically minded people to participate in the music industry.

There is split opinion as to whether this easy access is a positive or negative development, but regardless of this debate, numerically speaking the industry is now hugely saturated. So in a situation like this how do we, not as artists, but as producers go about marketing ourselves in a meaningful and memorable fashion? Here are a few important points to consider:

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Pro Tools 11.0.3 - Proceed With Caution

Not wishing to pee on anyone’s Mavericks Pro Tools fireworks, it is worth noting some matters which Avid make very clear in the release notes of Pro Tools 11.0.3 (in red ink), for those who may not read the notes and then find out to their peril too late.

So here are things to note if you are considering installing Mavericks and Pro Tools 11.0.3:

  • OS X Mavericks Earlier versions of Mac OS X are not supported
  • Co-install of Pro Tools 11.0.3 with Pro Tools 10.3.x is not supported on Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks
  • Pro Tools 10.3.x: The uninstaller for Pro Tools 10.3.x will not work using Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks

These are pretty important notes that Avid have clearly stated, so please proceed with caution. You might be lucky, but if you install and want to complain that some or all of the above screw up your system/workflow then I don’t think you are going to get a sympathetic ear.

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