In this tutorial, we'll look at how to set up a Pro Tools session, and how to easily start using Pro Tools to record and mix!
When you first start Pro Tools, your first job will be to set up a session file. Session files are the way Pro Tools keeps track of each song you're recording, or what project you're working on.
Opinions vary on whether to start a new session file for every song you're working on or not. Some engineers favor setting up one long session - or "linear" session - where all the songs are laid out on the same session file. This method is preferred by engineers used to working in linear environments like ADAT and Radar. This is a good idea if you're not putting a whole lot of work into mixing the individual songs; this way, you can apply the same plug-in settings to everything you do.
A lot of engineers, myself included, go for a new session file for each song you're working on. I prefer this method because, generally, I'm using several different effects and various overdub tracks that might eat up valuable system resources if they're not needed. So let's get started in setting up Pro Tools session! For this tutorial, I'm in Pro Tools 7 for Mac. If you're using an older version, your dialog boxes might be different, but the
If you're looking for a shortcut, here's a session file ready to go! Download for Pro Tools 7 or download for Pro Tools 5 through 6.9.
Let's get started!
When you open Pro Tools, you'll be presented with a blank screen. Click on File, then click "New Session". You'll be presented with a dialog box for the basic session file setup. Let's look at those options next.