Introduction. Welcome to the World of Audio Getting Started in Audio Production Who Should Read This Book What Is Pro Tools | First? About This Book Requirements and Prerequisites Media Files Course Organization and Sequence Conventions and Symbols Used in This Book Keyboard Shortcuts and Modifiers Icons Chapter 1. Computer Concepts Selecting a Computer Mac Versus Windows Considerations The Importance of RAM Processing Power Storage Space Storage Options Onboard Sound Options (Audio In and Out) Other Options to Consider Working with Your Computer File Management Launching Applications Saving Files Working with an Application Menus Keyboard Shortcuts Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 1. Exploring Audio on the Computer Chapter 2. DAW Concepts Functions of a DAW What Can a DAW Do? Common DAWs Plug-In Formats What Is a Plug-In? Common Plug-In Formats Pro Tools Pro Tools Software Options Pro Tools Hardware Options Pro Tools | HDX Versus Pro Tools | HD Native Downloading and Installing Pro Tools | First Accessing the Installer Installation Steps Launching Pro Tools | First for the First Time Important Concepts in Pro Tools | First Project Files Versus Audio Files Audio Versus MIDI Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 2. Setting Up a Multi-Track Project Chapter 3. Audio Recording Concepts The Basics of Audio Frequency Amplitude Microphones Traditional Microphones USB Microphones Other Considerations Basic Miking Techniques Multi-Tracking and Signal Flow What Is Multi-Track Recording? Recording Signal Flow Moving Audio from Analog to Digital Analog Versus Digital Audio The Analog-to-Digital Conversion Process The Audio Interface Audio Interface Considerations Working Without an Audio Interface Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 3. Selecting Your Audio Production Gear Chapter 4. MIDI Recording Concepts A Brief History of MIDI Digital Control The Birth of MIDI The MIDI Protocol MIDI Notes Program Changes Controller Messages MIDI Controllers Digital Pianos and Synthesizers Keyboard Controllers Drumpad Controllers Grid Controllers Alternate Controllers What to Look for in a MIDI Controller Purchasing a Keyboard Controller Setup and Signal Flow Plug-and-Play Setup MIDI Cables and Jacks Using a MIDI interface Considerations for Using Multiple MIDI Devices MIDI Versus Audio What Is MIDI? Monitoring with Onboard Sound Versus Virtual Instruments Tracking with Virtual Instruments Creating Tracks for Virtual Instruments Summary Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 4. Selecting Your MIDI Production Gear Chapter 5. Pro Tools Concepts, Part 1 Creating a Session or Project Main Windows Edit Window Mix Window Transport Window Working with Tracks Adding Tracks Mono Versus Stereo Tracks MIDI Versus Instrument Tracks Click Tracks Clips Versus Files Basic Navigation Using the Transport Controls Zooming and Scrolling in the Edit Window Controlling Playback Behavior Monitoring Your Timeline Location Selections Timeline Selections Versus Edit Selections Selection Scenarios Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 5. Configuring and Working on a Project Chapter 6. Pro Tools Concepts, Part 2 Setting Up for Recording Recording Audio Making a Record Selection Record-Enabling Audio Tracks Monitoring Record-Enabled Audio Tracks Initiating a Record Take Stopping a Record Take Recording MIDI Monitoring a MIDI Controller Record-Enabling MIDI and Instrument Tracks Using Wait for Note Using MIDI Merge Mode Importing Audio and MIDI Supported Audio Files Importing from the Desktop Importing from Soundbase File Drag and Drop Locations Using the Import Command Edit Modes and the Grid The Edit Modes Setting the Grid Value Working with Clips and Selections Selecting an Edit Tool Basic Editing Techniques Advanced Editing Techniques Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 6. Importing and Editing Clips Chapter 7. Mixing Concepts Basic Mixing Setting Levels Panning Processing Options and Techniques Gain-Based Processing Time-Based Processing and Effects Inserts Versus Sends Processing with External Gear Mixing in the Box Advantages of In-the-Box Mixing Getting the Most Out of an In-the-Box Mix Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 7. Creating a Basic Mix Chapter 8. Signal Processing Plug-In Basics Viewing Inserts on Tracks Inserting Plug-Ins on Tracks Moving and Duplicating Plug-Ins Displaying Plug-In Windows Common Plug-In Controls Adjusting Plug-In Parameters Adjusting Plug-In Parameters with the Mouse Adjusting Plug-In Parameters with the Computer Keyboard EQ Processing Types of EQ Basic EQ Parameters EQ Plug-Ins in Pro Tools | First Strategies for Using EQ Dynamics Processing Types of Dynamics Processors Basic Dynamics Parameters Dynamics Plug-Ins in Pro Tools | First Strategies for Using Compression Strategies for Using a De-Esser Reverb and Delay Effects What Is Reverb? Reverb in Pro Tools | First Applications for Reverb Processors What Is Delay? Delay in Pro Tools | First Applications for Delay Processors Wet Versus Dry Signals Using Time-Based Effects as Inserts on Tracks Using Send-and-Return Configurations Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 8. Optimizing Tracks with Signal Processing Chapter 9. Finishing a Project Recalling a Saved Mix Using Automation Selecting an Automation Mode Writing Real-Time Automation Viewing Automation Graphs Editing Automation Breakpoints Creating a Mixdown Adding Processing on the Master Fader Considerations for Bouncing Audio Exporting an Audio Mix Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 9. Preparing the Final Mix Chapter 10. Beyond the Basics Elastic Audio Enabling Elastic Audio Warping Audio Automatically Warping Audio with Tempo Changes MIDI Editing Techniques MIDI Track Views Editing MIDI Data Working with Velocity Real-Time Properties Using the MIDI Editor Submixing Simplifying a Mix Creating Stems Keyboard Shortcuts . Function Keys Commands Keyboard Focus Keys Track Commands Review/Discussion Questions Exercise 10. Finalizing a Project Index About the Authors
FRANK D. COOK (Sacramento, CA) is President of NextPoint Training, Inc., a Pro Tools Author, an Avid Master Instructor, and an Adjunct Professor at Sacramento City College and American River College in Sacramento, California. Cook writes Pro Tools books for the Avid Learning Series. He also teaches all levels of Pro Tools certification to students in the Sacramento region and to educators worldwide who aspire to become Avid Certified Instructors. His company, NextPoint Training, Inc., provides tools and technology to empower students and educators, including the Elements ED online learning environment (ElementsED.com). ERIC KUEHNL (Berkeley, CA) is a Director of Partner Programs at NextPoint Training, Inc., an Avid Master Instructor, and Co-Director of the Music Technology Program at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. Kuehnl is a composer, sound designer, and educator. Previously, he was an Audio Training Strategist in the Avid Education Department, and a Senior House Engineer for Sony Computer Entertainment America. He holds a Master s degree from California Institute of the Arts, a Bachelor s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and studied composition at the Centre Iannis Xenakis in Paris.