ProTools Recording Software (Tracking)

in ProTools

Before recording a track into ProTools software, you want to make sure you’ve set the appropriate volume on your recoding interface, which is also known as getting ‘levels’.  Adjust the input on your Pro Tools interface while producing sound into the mic, while watching the software so that the green volume levels rise midway up the volume meter (found to the left of the track title and the right of the input/output [i/o] bar).  You can adjust levels later, but you should aim to find recording levels that sound good to you, both in the room and in headphones. Remember, the red ‘R’ (Record) on the track must be highlighted in order to record.
There are two main ways to record in ProTools.  The first is using the transport. The transport is the small bar with numbers and playback commands and is essential for software recording.  Select the record button (red circle), and then select the play button (green triangle).  When you are finished recording, select the stop button (blue square).  
The other way to record is using a ‘shortcut’.  The use of shortcuts in Pro Tools will significantly speed the process of your recording, particularly in tedious scenarios.  The record shortcut (command plus space-bar) is one of the first shortcuts in Pro Tools you should learn.
When you record, your ideal sound waves should occupy roughly one quarter to three-quarters of vertical track space with visible peaks and valleys.  The shape of your sound waves will vary depending on your instrument, the distance from the mic, personal volume.    
While you are listening back to your recording, you can use the transport to scan forward and back linearly.  You can also use your cursor to jump to specific points on the track.  You should also familiarize your self with the ‘zoom’ tools.  On the top bar in the Edit Window of ProTools, there are buttons of arrows, numbers, and to the right of these a magnifying-glass button.  These buttons (particularly the left and right arrow) will allow you to zoom in and out.  There are also keyboard shortcuts (command left bracket/command right bracket, and/or ‘r’/‘t’ depending on your keyboard).
You can make various kinds of edits in ProTools.  The software allows you to record tracks simultaneously: you can record multiple takes on a single track. Select the arrows to the right of the track title (up and down), and scroll up to ‘New…’.  Select ‘OK’ and your track will be clear for another take.  After recording a new take (or more) you can cut and paste sections, just as you would in a word processing program, from each ‘take’ onto one compiled (comp) track.
You can also edit directly onto your main ‘take.’  Using your cursor, highlight the section you wish to replace.  On your transport, you will find two buttons for making a patch.  One is the ‘pre-roll,’ and the other is the ‘post-roll.’ Highlight these buttons (they will turn white) and insert the preferred time (in the green space) that you want played before (pre) and after (post) your to-be edited section.  Now you can hit record and re-record this highlighted section.  Pro Tools software will play the pre-roll, record the highlighted selection, and play the post-roll, while you record in context.

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