Here is a simple and easy way to save a lot of time in Pro Tools, in fact something it's super simple to do, but something that even professional Pro Tools users often overlook.
It is something that when you are in a rush is easy to ignore but something you may wish you had done later... name your Pro Tools session properly and all the related assets.
Use A Meaningful Name For Your Pro Tools Session
It may sound like an obvious thing but sometimes you have a moment of inspiration and before you know it you are working on a Pro Tools Session called 'Idea' and you never change it. Or you have a client you do a lot of work for and all their Pro Tools session are called 'Apple Job 1', 'Apple Job 2' etc. you get the idea. Leave it a few days, weeks, months or even years and try and find that missing session that did not have a meaningful name associated with it.
Name The Tracks In Your Pro Tools Session
If you mix work for other people then this one is going to drive you crazy. As the session has been created the tracks were not named before hitting record and now the session is full of clips from the Pro Tools session called 'Audio 1 - 99999999' (see the image above). There is a direct relationship between the name of your Pro Tools tracks and the clips that get recorded onto them, the same goes for MIDI files created or dragged onto the timeline, they also need meaningful names.
Avid have worked hard to help with naming conventions such as marking clips that have had AudioSuite applied to them or have been have used the Track Commit feature in Pro Tools 12. But Avid can't help you if you haven't bothered to name the tracks.
If you have Pro Tools Sessions with any audio on the timeline with a vague name then take time to rename it. Take a second now, save hours later.
Name The Clips In The Pro Tools Timeline
Name your Pro Tools clips! When working on complex post production projects that will include ADR and Foley there is a likelihood that it may pass across several mixers before it is finished. Even if it doesn't, if you have a Pro Tools session with lots of clips in the timeline that have specific roles then take time to rename them. You can see the image above from a TV show that Alan Sallabank is working on how specific this can get! It may seem silly but it could make life a lot easier as the session gets more complex and nears completion.
Name Any Plug-in Presets You Create In Pro Tools
Plug-in presets can save you a lot of time, but again only if you give them meaningful names. Spending an hour on a kick drum preset only to call it 'Kick 1' is really not doing yourself any favours.
Opening A Pro Tools Session From A Collaborator
Avid are rolling out Pro Tools collaboration features in Pro Tools 12.5 they realize that more people are collaborating on sessions, often remotely. Some of you are already collaborating without the new features in Pro Tools, so it is good to develop best practise for both yourself and other people who may work on the Pro Tools Session. In addition to the tips shown above you may also want to consider developing a good workflow for different versions - it doesn't matter what that naming convention is as long as everyone who uses it understands - my only tip is never name any kind of file 'FINAL'... it rarely is the case.
Spend Some Time Now To Save A Lot More Later
This Pro Tools tips in this article may seem to be making you more work, but spend a little time now and you could save yourself a lot of time later.