Protools an Overview

Much of this is out of date now but I have left it here for the people who havent upgraded

Only just started this. Haven’t really had a chance to put anything of great value here but give me a couple of weeks to put together my scraps of paper and we’ll nail some goodies in here.


Rather than set up a sea of ins and outs for a session each time you have to create a new project, remember  that you can import any data from another session including in and out routing.

This also apples to effects. Sometimes I make a whole template of all the effects I might need in a session and import just the aux from this before I start mixing.

Don’t forget to save the In’s and Out labels from your template so that you can import these prior to importing the auxes. I hope that makes sense. 


If you are going to make any permanent edits to audio such as tuning or anything in audio suite it’s a good idea to make a duplicate playlist first so that you can always revert to your original file. Although it is true that your original region still exists in the region list I find this far faster and easer to A and B edits.

Recording Vocals In Tools

When recording in TDM remember that you can place plugins on your audio channel without recording them. This is very handy when singers require a more vibey compression than you want to record. The only thing to make sure when you do this, is that you use a compressor with a very low hit on sample delay to ensure that the singer is not put off by latency. Version 3 of digidesigns own suite is ideal for this as the URS channel Strip.

If the singer requires reverb this should be placed on an aux rather than an insert and applied via a send. 

Although for this one you should really use the tdm version and not the RTAS. 

This only really applies to those who monitor through tools.

Time Based Effects

When mixing in tools I always start by setting up four auxiliary time based effects. Usually two reverbs and two delays.

One Medium Plate Reverb and One small room reverb.

One Slap delay and a second delay in time with the track.

I find that this is a good starting place for time based effects that place tracks in an environment.

These Fxs should be 100% wet and the amount applied to a track should be decided by the amount sent via the individual track sends.

Some of this will sound very obvious but we all have to start somewhere and you’d be amazed how many people still run out of power by using individual reverbs on every instrument in all platforms.


Delay Compensation 

Be aware that delay compensation is very basic in LE and can get pretty non existant if you start using buses

No longer the case since tools 9 but Im leaving the comment here for 8le and below users. Yes folks not everyone rushes out to buy the new shiny new things :-)


Further to this when you are internally bus bouncing especially using RTAS in native or tdm always make sure that the files line up.

I find when I bounce effected files with in tools depending on the plug in and even with delay compensation on and abiding by all the rules of the plug in in use I often find the file is a few samples out. This varies between systems and versions so it is always best to check despite what the manufactures of these programs tell us about being sample accurate. This is equally true of other DAWs and it only takes a  sec to check


Before final mixing in tdm always check the side chains and the aux effect returns. As they occasionally drop out in certain versions of tools.

The way to check side chains is to solo a channel that is using a side chain post fader. And then solo the side-chain within the effect. IE the compressor. You should be able to here what ever is the source. if not deactivate and reactivate the channel or re open the session. This bug seems more likely in RTAS plug ins.


Oh here’s a quicky if a hard drive wont unmount check that no one else on your network has mounted it. Tis easy to happen in the world of airports and ethernet



If there is anything in tools bugging you feel free to email.

© logictoolbox 2004