Pro Tools All-in-One For Dummies - Jeff Strong - ebook

Pro Tools All-in-One For Dummies ebook

Jeff Strong

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A professional musician guides serious hobbyists through ProTool Pro Tools puts professional recording and music productionsoftware in the hands of anyone with the appropriate hardware andthe knowledge to use it. Musician and recording engineer JeffStrong guides you through the latest version of this complexprogram, offering twice the content of the official guide at alower price. Eight minibooks cover recording basics, gettingstarted with Pro Tools, recording audio, editing audio, managingMIDI, mixing, mastering, and getting your music to the masses. * The latest version of Pro Tools offers a whole range of newpossibilities for the recording artist; this soup-to-nuts guideexplains everything you need to know to take full advantage ofit * Written by a professional musician and recording engineer whohas authored two previous editions of this book as well as HomeRecording For Musicians For Dummies and Drums For Dummies * Eight minibooks cover recording basics, getting started withPro Tools, recording audio, editing audio, managing MIDI, mixing,mastering, and distributing your music * Explains how to configure your computer and attach hardware,proper microphone settings, steps for getting your music to soundthe way you want, tips on putting your tracks togetherprofessionally, and much more If making music is your passion, Pro Tools All-in-One ForDummies, 3rd Edition is exactly what you need to start sharingyour sounds with the world.

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Pro Tools®All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition

Visit www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/protoolsaio to view this books’ cheat sheet.

Table of Contents

Introduction
About This Book
Not-So-Foolish Assumptions
Conventions Used in This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Book I: Home Recording Basics
Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools
Book III: Recording Audio
Book IV: Editing Audio
Book V: Managing MIDI
Book VI: Mixing In Pro Tools
Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools
Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Book I: Home Recording Basics
Book I: Chapter 1: Discovering What You Need
Eyeing the Big Picture
Piping the Music into Pro Tools
Interpreting input devices
Deciphering direct boxes
Perusing the preamp
Meeting the Mixer
Managing the MIDI Controller
Recognizing the Recorder
Digital recorders
The computer
Signing On to Signal Processors
Equalizers (EQ)
Dynamic processors
Effects processors
Making Sense of Monitors
Headphones
Speakers
Mastering Media
CD
Computer files
Book I: Chapter 2: Getting Connected: Setting Up Your Studio
Understanding Analog Connections
The 1⁄4-inch analog plug
XLR
RCA
Delving In to Digital Connections
MIDI
AES/EBU
S/PDIF
ADAT Lightpipe
TDIF
USB
FireWire
Thunderbolt
Working Efficiently in Your Studio
Setting up your studio for comfort and efficiency
Taming heat and dust
Monitoring your monitors
Optimizing Your Studio
Sound isolation
Sound control
Book I: Chapter 3: Meeting the Mixing Board
Meeting the Many Mixer Types
Analog mixer
Digital mixer
The computer control surface
Understanding Mixer Basics
Channel strip
Input jack
Insert jack
Trim knob
Equalization
Channel Auxiliary (Aux) Send knobs
Pre/Post switch
Pan knob
Mute switch
Solo switch
Assign switches
Faders
Routing/Busing Signals
Master fader
Sub (submix) faders
Solo/Mute switches
Control Room level knob
Phones knob
Auxiliary (Aux) Send knobs
Auxiliary (Aux) Return knobs
Aux Assign
Master Level meters
Deciphering Output Jacks
Master Out jack
Phones jack
Monitors jack
Direct Out jacks
Aux Return jacks
Making Life Easier with a Patch Bay
Book I: Chapter 4: MIDI and Electronic Instruments
Meeting MIDI
Perusing MIDI ports
Understanding MIDI channels
Appreciating MIDI messages
Managing modes
General MIDI
Getting Started with MIDI
Sound generators
Samplers
Book I: Chapter 5: Understanding Microphones
Meeting the Many Microphone Types
Construction types
Polarity patterns
Buying the Right Microphone for You
How many, what kind
Detailing applications
Partnering with preamps
Considering compressors
Preamp, compressor, and equalizer combos
Analyzing some microphone accessories
Caring for Your Microphones
Daily care for your mics
Storing your mics
Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools
Book II: Chapter 1: Configuring Your Computer
Using Pro Tools on a Mac
Understanding Mac system requirements
Setting system settings
Installing the program
Using Pro Tools on a PC
Understanding PC system requirements
Preparing to install Pro Tools software
Connecting your hardware
Installing the program
Keeping Bugs at Bay: Good Habits to Get Into
Back up your data often
Back up your system drive
Book II: Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Hardware
Making Sense of the Mbox Series
Mbox Mini
Mbox
Mbox Pro
Exploring the Eleven Rack
Discovering the Eleven Rack input and outputs
Examining Eleven Rack’s guitar-processing features
M-Audio Interfaces
Book II: Chapter 3: Examining Software Basics
Keeping Software Straight
Looking at Pro Tools versions
Differences between Macs and PCs
Getting Set Up
Setting hardware settings
Playing with the Playback Engine settings
The ins and outs of inputs and outputs
Dealing with Sessions
Creating a new session
Opening sessions
Saving sessions
Creating a session template
Getting to Know Audio and MIDI Files
Understanding audio files
Meeting MIDI files
Finding your session files
Book II: Chapter 4: Understanding the Pro Tools Windows
Tackling the Transport Window
Adjusting the Transport window
Basic controls
Counters
Expanded
MIDI controls
Examining the Edit Window
Taking a look at track controls
Examining edit modes
Zeroing in on Zoom controls
Elucidating edit tools
Looking at counter displays
Evaluating the Event Edit area
Additional Navigation Controls
Looking at lists
Rulers rule!
Managing the Mix Window
Checking out channel strips
Expanding the channel strips view
Looking at lists: The Mix Window variant
Working with Window Configurations
Creating window configurations
Recalling window configurations
Managing window configurations
Editing window configurations
Updating window configurations
Deleting window configurations
Book II: Chapter 5: Importing and Exporting Files
Importing into a Session
Importing audio files
Importing MIDI files
Importing tracks
Exporting from a Session
Exporting audio
Exporting MIDI
Managing Files
Compacting files
Deleting unwanted files
Backing up data
Book III: Recording Audio
Book III: Chapter 1: Taking Care of Tracks
Understanding Tracks in Pro Tools
Track types
Track formats
Setting Up Tracks
Creating new tracks
Duplicating tracks
Naming tracks
Assigning inputs and outputs
Altering Your View of Tracks
Showing and hiding tracks
Assigning track color
Changing track size
Moving tracks around
Deleting tracks
Grouping Tracks
Keeping track of grouped track parameters
Creating groups
Enabling groups
Editing groups
Linking edit and mix groups
Soloing and Muting
Managing Track Voices
Assigning voices
Setting voice priority
Freeing up a voice from a track
Book III: Chapter 2: Miking: Getting a Great Source Sound
Tracing Typical Microphone Techniques
Spot miking
Distant miking
Ambient miking
Stereo miking
Mic combinations
Taming Transients
Setting your levels properly
Placing mics properly
Compressing carefully
Setting Up Your Mics: Some Suggestions
Vocals
Backup vocals
Electric guitar
Electric bass
Acoustic guitars and such
Drum set
Hand drums
Percussion
Book III: Chapter 3: Preparing to Record
Recognizing Record Modes
Non-Destructive Record mode
Destructive Record mode
Loop Record mode
QuickPunch Record mode
Dealing with Disk Allocation
Allocating hard drive space
Using multiple hard drives for audio
Enabling Recording
Record-enabling
Using Latch Record Enable mode
Running Record Safe mode
Setting Levels
Setting a Record Range
Monitoring Your Tracks
Setting up monitoring
Choosing a monitor mode
Linking and unlinking Record and Playback faders
Adjusting monitoring latency
Using low-latency monitoring
Creating a Click Track
Getting a click track the easy way
Getting a click track the hard way
Setting the tempo
Choosing the meter
Enabling a click track
Setting up tempo and meter events
Book III: Chapter 4: Recording Audio
Recording Tracks
Recording a single track
Managing multiple tracks
Using pre- and post-rolls
Playing Back Your Tracks
Playing recorded tracks
Setting scrolling options
Listening to playback loops
Using the Scrub feature
Doing Additional Takes
Starting over from scratch
Punching in and out
Loop recording
Using QuickPunch
Overdubbing: Recording additional tracks
Recording to playlists
Auditioning takes
Getting Rid of Unwanted Takes
Canceling your performance
Undoing your take
Clearing the file from the Audio Clips list
Book IV: Editing Audio
Book IV: Chapter 1: Audio Editing Basics
Understanding Pro Tools Editing
Nondestructive editing
Editing during playback
Getting to Know Clip Types
Viewing Clips
Selecting the track view
Adjusting the track height
Assigning clip-name and time-location displays
Zooming in and out
Understanding Edit Modes
Setting grid resolution
Displaying grid lines
Working (Okay, Playing) with Playlists
Creating a new playlist
Duplicating a playlist
Deleting a playlist
Renaming playlists
Choosing playlists
Using the Audio Clips List
Selecting clips
Using the Audio Clips list drop-down menu
Displaying clip information
Managing Undos
Setting levels of Undo
Performing Undos
Knowing when you can no longer Undo
Book IV: Chapter 2: Selecting Material to Edit
Selecting Track Material
Selecting part of a clip
Selecting across multiple tracks
Selecting an entire clip
Selecting two clips and any space between them
Selecting an entire track
Selecting all clips in all tracks
Selecting on the fly
Selecting with the Selection Indicator fields
Selecting objects using the Object Grabber tool
Making a selection with the Tab to Transients function
Making Changes to Your Selection
Changing a selection’s length
Nudging selections
Extending selection lengths
Moving and extending selections between tracks
Managing Memory Locations
Dealing with the New Memory Location dialog box
Creating memory locations
Getting to know the Memory Locations window
Recalling memory locations
Editing memory locations
Playing Selected Material
Playing your selection
Using pre- and post-rolls
Auditioning start and end points
Looping your selection’s playback
Book IV: Chapter 3: Getting into Editing
Editing Clips
Creating clips
Healing clips
Placing clips in tracks
Using clip synch points
Aligning clips
Trimming clips
Moving clips
Locking clips
Quantizing clips
Muting/unmuting clips
Splitting stereo tracks
Examining Edit Commands
Using the Cut command
Using the Copy command
Clearing selections
Performing a paste
Using the Duplicate command
Performing a repeat
Book IV: Chapter 4: Adding to Your Editing Palette
Signing On to the Smart Tool
Using the Smart tool in Waveform view
Using the Smart tool in Automation view
Perusing the Pencil Tool
Creating a copy of the original file
Using the Pencil tool to redraw a waveform
Silencing Selections
Stripping silence
Inserting silence
Performing Fades and Crossfades
Dealing with the Fades dialog box
Creating crossfades
Fading in and out
Creating batch fades
Cleaning Up Your Session
Consolidating selections
Removing unused clips
Compacting a file
Book V: Managing MIDI
Book V: Chapter 1: Preparing to Record MIDI
Setting Up Your MIDI Devices
Enabling MIDI devices in Mac OS X
Enabling MIDI devices in Windows 7
Running MIDI Thru
Managing the MIDI Input filter
Quantizing your inputs
Offsetting MIDI tracks
Getting Ready to Record
Creating MIDI and instrument tracks
Setting inputs, outputs, and MIDI channels
Creating a click track
Book V: Chapter 2: Recording MIDI
Recording MIDI Performances
Enabling recording for MIDI and instrument tracks
Setting the Wait for Note option
Monitoring MIDI inputs
Hearing instrument tracks
Recording MIDI and instrument tracks
Playing Back Your Tracks
Playing recorded tracks
Setting scrolling options
Changing sounds
Getting Rid of Unwanted Takes
Canceling your performance
Undoing your take
Clearing the file from the Clips list
Overdubbing MIDI Performances
Using MIDI Merge/Replace
Punching in and out
Punching MIDI on the fly
Loop recording
Recording System-Exclusive Data
Book V: Chapter 3: Editing MIDI Data
Working with MIDI and Instrument Tracks
Taking a look at track views
Selecting track material
Recognizing clips
Setting MIDI patches on tracks
Dealing with Note Chasing
Editing MIDI in the Edit Window
Perusing the Pencil tools
Custom note duration
Adding MIDI events
Deleting MIDI data
Changing MIDI events
Editing program data
Changing continuous controller data
Using the Smart tool
Exploring MIDI Events
Exploring the MIDI Event List window
Editing in the MIDI Event List
Book V: Chapter 4: Performing MIDI Operations
Getting Used to the MIDI Operations Window
Performing MIDI Event Operations
Grid/Groove Quantize
Change Velocity
Change Duration
Transpose
Select/Split Notes
Input Quantize
Step Input
Restore Performance
Flatten Performance
Recognizing MIDI Real-Time Properties
Book VI: Mixing In Pro Tools
Book VI: Chapter 1: Mixing Basics
Understanding Mixing
Managing Levels as You Work
Getting Started Mixing Your Song
Mixing In Pro Tools
Using a control surface
Using a MIDI controller
Using a digital mixer
Using an analog mixer
Using the Stereo Field
Left or right
Front or back
Adjusting Levels: Enhancing the Emotion of the Song
Dynamics
The arrangement
Tuning Your Ears
Listening critically
Choosing reference CDs
Dealing with ear fatigue
Making several versions
Book VI: Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Mix
Revisiting the Mix Window
Getting to Know Signal Flow
Rounding Out Your Routing
Using a Master fader
Adding auxiliary inputs
Inserting inserts
Setting up sends
Accessing Output Windows
Tackling Track Output windows
Setting up the Send Output window
Playing with Plug-ins
Real Time Plug-ins
Using AudioSuite offline plug-ins
Using AudioSuite plug-ins to process an audio clip
Processing with External Effects
Creating a hardware insert
Connecting your external device
Routing your track
Book VI: Chapter 3: Using Equalization
Exploring Equalization
Parametric
Low-shelf/high-shelf
Low-pass/high-pass
Dialing In EQ
Inserting an EQ plug-in in a track
Perusing Pro Tools EQ options
Equalizing Your Tracks
General EQ guidelines
Equalizing vocals
Equalizing guitar
Equalizing bass
Equalizing drums
Equalizing percussion
Equalizing piano
Book VI: Chapter 4: Digging into Dynamics Processors
Connecting Dynamics Processors
Introducing Compressors
Getting to know compressor parameters
Getting started using compression
Using compression
Looking into Limiters
Understanding limiter settings
Setting limits with the BF76 limiter
Introducing Gates and Expanders
Getting to know gate parameters
Getting started using gates
Getting started using an expander
Detailing the De-Esser
Setting Up Side Chains
Setting up a side chain
Using a side chain
Book VI: Chapter 5: Singling Out Signal Processors
Routing Your Effects
Inserting effects
Sending signals to effects
Rolling Out the Reverb
Seeing reverb settings
Getting started using reverb
Detailing Delay
Digging into delay settings
Getting started using delay
Creating Chorus Effects
Book VI: Chapter 6: Automating Your Mix
Understanding Automation
Audio tracks
Auxiliary input tracks
Instrument tracks
Master fader tracks
MIDI tracks
Accessing Automation Modes
Setting Automation Preferences
Enabling Automation
Suspending or enabling automation across all tracks
Suspending automation for an individual track
Writing Automation
Writing automation on a track
Writing plug-in automation
Writing send automation
Viewing Automation
Drawing Automation
Thinning Automation
Automatically thinning data
Using the Thin command
Editing Automation Data
Using editing commands
Editing with (surprise!) the edit tools
Book VI: Chapter 7: Making Your Mix
Submixing by Recording to Tracks
Mixing in-the-Box
Examining bounce options
Performing the bounce
Using an External Master Deck
Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools
Book VII: Chapter 1: Mastering Basics
Demystifying Mastering
Processing
Sequencing
Leveling
Getting Ready to Master
Paying a Pro, or Doing It Yourself
Hiring a Professional Mastering Engineer
Book VII: Chapter 2: Mastering Your Music
Considering General Guidelines
Setting Up a Mastering Session
Optimizing Dynamics
Perfecting Tonal Balance
Balancing Levels
Mastering Your Mix
Making the most of your bits
Settling on a sample rate
Sequencing Your Songs
Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses
Book VIII: Chapter 1: Putting Your Music on CD and Vinyl
Getting into CD Burning
Purchasing CD-Rs
Recording Your Music to CD-R
Dealing with diversity: Using different CD recorders
Burning for mass production
Making Multiple Copies
Making copies yourself
Having someone else making copies
Pressing Vinyl
Promoting Your Music
Book VIII: Chapter 2: Getting Your Music on the Internet
Understanding Downloadable Music Files
Bit rate
Mode
Creating MP3 Files
Choosing encoding software
Encoding your music
Setting Up Your Own Music Website
Checking out musician-friendly hosting services
Designing your site
Putting Your Music on a Music Host Site
Engaging in Social Media Networking
Offering Free Downloads
Selling Downloads
Streaming Audio
Podcasting
Selling Your CDs
Promoting Your Music
Connecting with an E-Mail Newsletter
Cheat Sheet

Pro Tools®All-in-One For Dummies®, 3RD EDITION

by Jeff Strong

Pro Tools® All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

www.wiley.com

Copyright © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

Published simultaneously in Canada

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.

Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com, Making Everything Easier, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Pro Tools is a registered trademark of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.

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Library of Congress Control Number: 2012940027

ISBN 978-1-118-27783-6 (pbk); ISBN 978-1-118-33344-0 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-33062-3 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-33460-7 (ebk)

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

About the Author

Jeff Strong, the author of Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies, is President of the Strong Institute (www.stronginstitute.com) and founder of Brain Shift Radio (www.brainshiftradio.com). Jeff graduated from the Percussion Institute of Technology at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles in 1983, and has worked in or owned a recording studio since 1985. He has released over three dozen commercially available CDs and recorded hundreds of tracks for Brain Shift Radio using the techniques found this in book.

Dedication

I am especially grateful for the love and support of my wife Beth and my daughter Tovah, who never cease to amaze me with their capacity to endure non-stop recording talk.

Author’s Acknowledgments

This book wouldn’t have happened without the inspiration and vision of executive editor Steve Hayes. This is my fifth book with Steve; this one was just as much fun to do as the others.

Books, by nature, are a team effort and this book is the result of an extremely talented and dedicated team of professionals: project editor Blair Pottenger, who kept this book on track with his attention to detail and exceptional editorial skills; copy editor Barry Childs-Helton, who cleaned up my writing and helped me look like I actually know how to write; and technical editor Chris Cosgrove, who offered many excellent insights and ideas to improve this book. I’m indebted to you all.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

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Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

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Project Editor: Blair J. Pottenger

Executive Editor: Steve Hayes

Senior Copy Editor: Barry Childs-Helton

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Cover Photo: © iStockphoto.com / Chris Schmidt

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Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

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Introduction

C hances are that after you became interested in recording some music, you started hearing about a great software program — Pro Tools. Maybe you read an article in which an artist said that she records with Pro Tools, or you heard that such-and-such major recording studio uses Pro Tools, or a friend told you that you need Pro Tools to record professional-quality music. Of the many great recording programs that are available, the most popular — and one of the most powerful — is Pro Tools.

Pro Tools is an audio and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) recording program. Aside from recording audio and MIDI tracks, Pro Tools offers some of the most powerful editing functions available, allowing you to tweak your recordings to a high level of detail, clarity, and accuracy. You also get excellent mixing abilities that help you mix your tracks together, EQ (equalize) them, and apply effects. Pro Tools is a comprehensive, all-in-one program you can use to control your music from start to finish.

About This Book

Pro Tools All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition, not only introduces you to Pro Tools 10 audio- and MIDI-recording software, but it also presents basic multitrack recording techniques. You find out about the many Pro Tools features and functions and ways to use this program to create the best possible recordings of your music.

This book also acquaints you with the basic audio-engineering skills needed to make high-quality recordings. These skills can save you countless hours of experimenting and give you more time to actually record your music. (What a concept!)

In this book, you can

Explore the Pro Tools windows and menus.

Get a handle on all the useful functions within Pro Tools.

Discover the ins and outs of using the various pieces of equipment in your studio.

Explore tried-and-true engineering techniques, such as microphone choice and placement.

Find out about multitracking, mixing, and mastering.

Get a chance to turn your music into complete songs and also discover how to assemble and release an album.

With this book in hand, you’re on the fast track toward creating great-sounding CDs. I cut to the chase, showing you skills you can use right away. I don’t bother you with tons of technical jargon or useless facts.

Not-So-Foolish Assumptions

I have to admit that when I wrote this book, I made a couple of assumptions about you, the reader. (And we all know what happens when you ASSume anything.) But what the heck, I did it anyway. First, I assume that you’re interested in recording your music (or someone else’s) with Pro Tools 10 software.

I also assume that you’re relatively new at the recording game and not yet a seasoned professional. Of course, if you are an audio engineer — maybe making the leap from analog to digital — this book offers a great brush-up on many audio-engineering fundamentals and how they apply to the basic functions of Pro Tools. Oh, and I assume that you play a musical instrument or sing — or are at least familiar with how instruments function and how sound is produced, as well as understand some of the basics of music theory such as tempo, meter, measures, and time signature. Finally, I assume that you have some basic computer skills and know how to navigate menus, and work a mouse and qwerty keyboard.

Other than these things, I don’t assume that you play a certain type of music or that you ever intend to try to make it in the music business (or even that you want to treat it as a business at all).

Conventions Used in This Book

I use certain conventions in this book to explain how to use the Pro Tools program. For example, when you choose items from the main menu, I indicate this with arrows, as in “Choose Options⇒Scrolling⇒No Scrolling.” This is shorthand for “Click the Options menu on the main menu, mouse over the Scrolling option, and finally, click No Scrolling on the submenu.”

When you need to type a number or text, I indicate this with bold: For example, type Larry in the Name field. I make web sites stand out a bit from the rest of the text with a monospace font, such as www.dummies.com.

Because Pro Tools is available for both Macs and PCs, I include the commands or shortcut keys for both Mac and PC when they differ. For example, press ⌘+N (Mac) or Ctrl+N (PC).

Finally, the Windows keyis the key on a PC’s keyboard (just outward from each Alt key on the bottom key row) that is labeled only with a Windows logo. This key can activate various Pro Tools features, but some older non-Microsoft keyboards don’t have it. If you have a PC without a Microsoft-style keyboard and it doesn’t have that pesky Windows key, don’t worry: I show you other possible ways to activate the same features.

How This Book Is Organized

This desk reference is organized so that you can find the information you want quickly and easily. Each mini-book contains chapters that cover a specific part of the recording process, and I briefly describe each mini-book in the following sections.

Book I: Home Recording Basics

Book I introduces you to the basics of home recording. Chapter 1 introduces you to the components of a home studio, explaining what everything is for. Chapter 2 shows you how to make the connections — both analog and digital — that you need when you’re trying to get sound from one place to another.

Chapter 3 acquaints you with the mixing board, introducing you to its many functions. Chapter 4 demystifies MIDI and gives you practical advice on how to use this powerful communication tool to enhance your music. Chapter 5 puts you inside the world of microphones. You get a chance to understand what kinds of mics are available, how they work, and which ones work best for different situations.

Book II: Getting Started Using Pro Tools

Book II leads you into the Pro Tools world, examining the software and the Avid hardware that you need in order to run it. Chapter 1 helps you configure your computer to run Pro Tools and walks you through installing the software on a Mac or a PC. Chapter 2 introduces you to the available Avid hardware options, provides a basic overview of many of the compatible interfaces made by M-Audio (owned by Avid), and shows you where and how to plug in everything.

Chapter 3 helps you make your hardware and software work together and introduces you to sessions, which are the standard building blocks of the Pro Tools song-file system. In Chapter 4, you examine the three windows in Pro Tools — Transport, Edit, and Mix — where you do most of your work. Book II finishes off with Chapter 5, which gets you up to speed on file formats and compatibility in Pro Tools. You discover ways to import and export various file types.

Book III: Recording Audio

Book III gets into the meat of actually recording music. Chapter 1 explains tracks in Pro Tools and discusses setting them up properly. Chapter 2 explores the fundamentals of getting a good source sound from microphones. You discover which mics work best for certain instruments and how to place those microphones for the best sound.

Chapter 3 helps you get ready to record your first track. You discover how to set levels, enable recording, and monitor your input signals so that you can hear yourself. This book ends with Chapter 4, in which you begin the process of recording single or multiple tracks in Pro Tools. Chapter 4 also shows you how to listen critically (but practically) to those tracks when you play them back.

Book IV: Editing Audio

Book IV is all about editing the audio tracks that you record. Chapter 1 explains the basics of editing audio in Pro Tools, from knowing which of the four edit modes to use on your music to using the Audio Clip list and playlists to find the material to edit. Chapter 2 gets you comfortable with selecting the material you want to edit. You find out how to change a selection and hear it before you edit it as well as how to use memory locators to move quickly from one part of your session to another.

Chapter 3 gets to the heart of editing in Pro Tools. You get used to working with clips (the standard onscreen representations of the music you recorded in Pro Tools), using the editing commands, and using looped material to turn your raw tracks into usable pieces. This book ends with Chapter 4, in which you step up your editing prowess by exploring the Smart tool and other advanced editing features.

Book V: Managing MIDI

Pro Tools offers full-featured MIDI functionality. In this mini-book, you get up to speed on recording and editing MIDI data in your sessions. Chapter 1 helps you set up your MIDI devices. Chapter 2 gets you started capturing MIDI data by showing you how to create MIDI and instrument tracks and then record your performance. Chapter 3 presents the many Pro Tools editing functions that you can use to improve on your performance. Chapter 4 explores MIDI operations, those specialized commands that you can use to transform your MIDI data in numerous ways.

Book VI: Mixing In Pro Tools

Book VI helps you take your tracks and blend them to create a finished song. Chapter 1 introduces you to the process of multitrack mixing and helps you prepare yourself to mix. Chapter 2 walks you through the process of setting up your Pro Tools session for mixing. Chapter 3 details equalization (EQ) and how you can use it to make all your instruments fit together well.

Chapter 4 examines four types of dynamics processors: compressors, limiters, gates, and expanders. These processors are essential to getting your instruments to sit in the mix (sound good together), and this chapter helps you use them properly. Chapter 5 guides you into the world of effect processors, such as reverb and delay. These effects are useful for adding life to your productions, and this chapter shows you some ways to use them effectively.

Chapter 6 covers one of the most useful things about recording with Pro Tools: automating the elements of your mix, such as levels, panning, effects, and so on. Chapter 7 finishes off Book VI by showing you how to mix to a stereo file.

Book VII: Mastering with Pro Tools

Book VII focuses on the often-misunderstood process of mastering music. Chapter 1 details what mastering is and helps you determine whether you want to give it a try or let a professional do it for you. Chapter 2 provides a step-by-step plan to help you in the event that you want to try your hand at the mastering game.

Book VIII: Getting Your Music to the Masses

Book VIII helps you break out of your cocoon so that you can share your finished music with others. Chapter 1 covers how to choose CD-Rs and burn your music to them. You also explore the best ways to make copies of your CDs. If you’re looking to cultivate an audience in cyberspace, Chapter 2 helps you make your music available on the Internet. You get a chance to format your music for Internet distribution and discover some ways to promote your band.

Icons Used in This Book

Like all For Dummies authors, I use a few icons to help you along your way.

This icon highlights expert advice and ideas that can help you produce better recordings.

Certain techniques are very important and deserve remembering. This icon gives you a gentle nudge to keep you on track.

This icon warns you ahead of time about instances when you could damage your equipment, your ears, or your song.

Throughout the book, this icon shows up in instances where I include technical background on certain subjects. When you see this icon, brace yourself for some dense information. Skip these if you want.

Where to Go from Here

This book is set up so that you can read it cover to cover (and progressively build on your knowledge). Or be a free spirit and jump around to read only those parts that interest you at the time. For instance, if you’re getting ready to record a mix of your song and need some ideas on how to use equalization (EQ), go to Book VI, Chapter 3. If you’re new to recording with Pro Tools and want to know how to set up a session, check out Book II, Chapter 3. And if you’re completely new to the whole concept of home recording, start at the beginning with Book I, Chapter 1.

You know, that’s not a bad idea. Starting at the beginning, I mean. That way, you can get yourself up to speed on my way of thinking. Book I, Chapter 1 can also help you understand some of what I discuss in later chapters. Wherever you start and wherever you want to go, you’re in for an adventure . . .

Please note that some special symbols used in this eBook may not display properly on all eReader devices. If you have trouble determining any symbol, please call Wiley Product Technical Support at 800-762-2974. Outside of the United States, please call 317-572-3993. You can also contact Wiley Product Technical Support at www.wiley.com/techsupport.

Book I

Home Recording Basics

Contents at a Glance

Chapter 1: Discovering What You Need

Eyeing the Big Picture

Piping the Music into Pro Tools

Meeting the Mixer

Managing the MIDI Controller

Recognizing the Recorder

Signing On to Signal Processors

Making Sense of Monitors

Mastering Media

Chapter 2: Getting Connected: Setting Up Your Studio

Understanding Analog Connections

Delving In to Digital Connections

Working Efficiently in Your Studio

Optimizing Your Studio

Chapter 3: Meeting the Mixing Board

Meeting the Many Mixer Types

Understanding Mixer Basics

Routing/Busing Signals

Deciphering Output Jacks

Making Life Easier with a Patch Bay

Chapter 4: MIDI and Electronic Instruments

Meeting MIDI

Getting Started with MIDI

Chapter 5: Understanding Microphones

Meeting the Many Microphone Types

Buying the Right Microphone for You

Caring for Your Microphones

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!