Pro Tools Aggregate I/O and I/O Setup are a mystery to many. Simply defined, it allows you to configure Pro Tools for use with different Core Audio devices. You may ask yourself: Is it useful to me? Why do I need it? The truth is you may never need it, but that's for discussion on another day. This feature is about using Aggregate I/O and I/O Setup to speed up your workflow.
Who Should Watch This Tutorial?
- Advanced users who jump between multiple systems in their tracking, overdub, mixing, and mastering work
- Beginners who want a deeper understanding of Pro Tools I/O Setup and Playback Engine
- Any user who wants to build a deft I/O setup that can be used to quickly subgroup and stem their tracks when mixing
Aggregate I/O can be used to mock up a large system for use in a template. The advantage is most profound If you find yourself moving from system to system, such as tracking in various studios, moving to a medium sized room for overdubs, and finally back home for mixing. By using the tips in this tutorial, you can create I/O for use in a session template in advance using any Apple computer – even a laptop that has no I/O at all. It's all about saving time and mapping out your audio workflow before you get to the studio, a real time saver and money maker.
I/O setup can also be used to create future-proof workflows such as subgroups and stem paths. These can then be recalled and applied in any other session. The advantage is you don't have to create and name your bus paths every time. They are always there for the taking and organized in a slick way by taking advantage of Pro Tools advanced bus organization. Here's how you do it.
By deleting your inputs, outputs, and buses, in I/O settings you can start with a clean slate and create a system of any size, The key is first setting the playback engine to Aggregate I/O. By choosing this engine you open up Pro Tools to a virtual world right to the edge of system limitations. That's a whopping 64 channels of I/O for a HD Native system, and 192 total channels for HDX.
It's the wide open spaces when you need to build your mocked up system. By using the tools under the Input and Output tabs in I/O Setup, you can set up the ideal I/O for your needs.
You can even plan for the future by building buses for mix grouping and stems into your I/O Setup. This way your I/O Setting becomes a one-stop shop for use when importing needed routing into existing sessions.
The good news about all the techniques mentioned above is that you only need to do it once. By using the Export feature in I/O Setup, you can name and save your mockup into the I/O Settings folder for future use
Watch these tips in action in this free tutorial.