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Pro Tools Essentials

Lesson 19 of 31

Segment 19 - Aux Masters and Bus Sends

 

Pro Tools Essentials

Lesson 19 of 31

Segment 19 - Aux Masters and Bus Sends

 

Lesson Info

Segment 19 - Aux Masters and Bus Sends

it's going to go to the mixed window. And I'm also noticing that there's a lot of buses, so I'm gonna look to see what those buses are and where they're being sent. Looks to me like, um, dogs one through four are set up over here on this side of the master. Actually, this is the master. Looks like this is a V C. A. And, um, these four og sends it. Looks like they're being used for, um, re verbs. So we've got to river plug ins and some delay Somebody go in and remove these, and I want to use my own reverb. So we're gonna We're gonna talk about that in a second when you get into plug ins in the next section. But I'm just gonna go in and take off these sends and first before I hear any reverb, um, I'm going to remove the Masters stuff on the master on the reverb sense, and I'm just gonna go ahead and beauties, we're gonna get to that in a second. The other thing I'm noticing is that, uh, the rivers were all sent to themselves as well. Um, so we want to remove those on the OG sense. Those ...

would create feedback, which they're not pulled up right now. But I'm just gonna go ahead and get rid of those You have an important thing to is I want to look, to see there's actually four banks of Inter. There's two banks of inserts into banks of sends in the mix window that I can see and even if they're hidden, they're still active. So I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything. So the first thing I'm gonna do in the mix window is also go up, activate all four of the inserts and sends and just look through. Make sure I'm not missing anything. So it looks to me like inserts after J and sends after J or clear. So I'm gonna go ahead and remove those now or hide them. Since I'm not seeing anything on those and we're getting a little bit closer now, toe kind of ah, cleaner, start the click track. Since we're setting up for mixing, I'm not so much worried about that. Some to go ahead and show the region list here. I'm sorry, the track list here on and I'm going to hide the click track, so we've got just looking through the trackless. There's also a lot of inactive tracks, and this is an important thing to think about. Not only are they hidden, but they're inactive as well. So if I just to show you as an example, if I click on any track and I right click and pull up the track list or the track options, there's hide, which hides the track. But it's still playing, and there's hide and make inactive. Now what happens in pro tools is that there's a couple different reasons for this of why that track might be made inactive approach. Is there something called voices, and every track has to use a voice in order to play in the older versions of pro tools, you could actually manually assign each of the tracks to a specific voice and in pro tools. Ellie, I believe 32 tracks was the maximum of 32 voices, was the maximum, and I think in pro tools HD you can get up to 128 voices. Um, with Nate HD native, you can use 64 voices at any one time so you can have more tracks in that, but you can't have them all playing at the same time. So it might be that some of these tracks exceeded the voice limit for whatever portal system they were using. And they went ahead and made those tracks inactives, and they could save voices. It could also be that they just didn't want to use those tracks anymore, or that they had printed those tracks to a master track and then left the originals. It's still in the session, but not used anymore. So I'm looking through here, and it looks like a base. DE I and based Bridge are active here and here, but we're looking at all these other based tracks, like the Bridge AMP. Based Mike, and it looks like these are old takes or maybe original, um, session files from when the tracks started. So I'm not gonna worry so much about those, and I'm going to assume that there's a reason that they're hidden, that they're not supposed to be used. Let's see some other stuff. Snare, sample, um, snare, top duplicate. Some of these were duplicate a lot of Morris. It looks like there's a reference snare so some of these. It looks like these are actually reference tracks or stuff that was not used in the session but was used as an example or maybe used in tracking for reference some other tracks here. I'm looking at the guitar rooms. Maybe they decided it like the room sound, Um, acoustic vocal. Some solos. This is the important thing is to go through and actually communicate with whoever the producer was to make sure that whatever tracks are hidden are supposed to be hidden and you're not missing anything. A good rule of thumb, if you're starting to mix, is that whatever whenever track has made inactive usually means that it's not supposed to be used. There's usually not a good reason to keep it inactive unless you're not going to use it in the session. So we're gonna go ahead and start arranging these tracks. Um, now that we've kind of gone through and looked at what's missing and what's still there. They've kept really good notes about what pre amps were used. It looks like in the comments section of each of the tracks, so if I look underneath the tracks, there's a comments window and you can hide or show that in the view by going up to mix window views and looking comments. So it looks like they used the need manly combo for the room mikes. And I happen to know the studio. So I know which preempt things we're talking about focused right on the kick. Universal audio in the kick. Um, sometimes that could be helpful information. Um, which mike was used on each of the toms. Um, I'm going to start to arrange these tracks and how I want to see them when I'm mixing. So the first thing I'm gonna do is to slide the kick over. So if he noticed, All right, there's three kick Mike's, which we're gonna talk about in a second. Actually, four kicked likes. Excuse me to snare Mike's. Looks like there's four times. Hi, hat and ride. Now, this TB, I'm guessing, is going to be a talkback mic. But we're gonna go to look at this session and see what that says. I'm guessing this is probably a mike that was used in the room as talk back, cause I'm not seeing any solid of risk that I need to keep their so I'm gonna go ahead and hide and make that inactive. We got the high hat to ride the rooms. I was put the rooms on the other side of the overhead. Um, okay, so there's the drums were looking at, Let's see 16 tracks of drums. Now, this is something interesting. It z e p print, which is this something that they obviously printed a tape, and it's it's used in the session, but I'm not exactly sure what it is. So we're gonna go and pull that up and just try to figure this out. I'm guessing it's some sort of sample. Yeah, So this is Ah, snare sample, which I'm gonna keep it in the session for now. But I might end up actually using a different snare sample to be able to blend in. So I'm gonna put this over with snares. And already, if you see I'm looking at four kick mikes and now four snare or forcing air tracks. Eso If you remember the diagram I started with at the beginning, we're gonna want to bust thes or use a V c a Once we get them mixed on, set them up differently. All four Tom Mike's air there, but looks like looks like they are being used. The high hat is muted, so we'll keep that muted for now and then decide to bring that in later. And then, if you remember, the ride Cymbal was muted except for the chorus, but that was done with the region's instead oven automation. So we'll keep that where it is. And the overheads in the rooms were there, Um, and then it looks like there's a B C A for drums. So this is an overall drums V. C. A. And this is again, This is a good example. This is how I do this differently. I don't use V C. A's for entire instruments. I use them for specific tracks. And then I use a bus for instruments that I could do some sometimes parallel compression or some other stuff that we talked about, um, or that we'll talk about in the next segment. So I'm gonna go and delete this V C. A. Because I don't want to use that it contains automation, but I'm gonna redo most of that automation. It asked me, Do you want to coalesce that automation to its group members. I'm gonna say no, because I don't want to keep that automation. I'm gonna want to do that myself. Own mixing. Then we're looking at base. Um, this is called base de I five old and based bridge old, but those are the ones that are used in the session. So I'm gonna assume that that's what they want kept, um, after that. Looks like we have guitar tracks. Ah, that's a room, Mike. We'll find out where this is, okay? And here we have another V c. A. And this is covering all the rhythm guitar. So I'm going to assume that whatever is a sign of this group is sort of a rhythm guitar, which is really helpful to use something. Look at all these tracks. I'm actually going to see which group they're assigned to and one of the easy ways to pull up and see which tracks were assigned a Which group I'll show you again how to do that as you click this little arrow in the group and say model file groups and it shows you the list of groups. Um, I'm going to pull up the I'm just gonna look really quick, the rhythm guitar is on the O bus or the old group. So I'm gonna see what's assigned to that really quick. So looks like it's Paul to get hard rooms, Boogie one and left and bookie, right, which is these four tracks, So that's perfect. Um, this was session was laid out really easily, so I know that these are basically all rhythm guitar tracks. Um, that's really helpful. That there right before the actual V c A. Um, like I said, I don't usually use VCs for for parts like that. But for now, I'm gonna keep those in the same spot so I can sort of start toe, build everything else around this. Um, looks like these next parts are more lead parts. Looks like these are often that specific part of the song. Okay, so all these guitar parts are basically laid out so that each section of the song has its own set of tracks, which is really helpful. We have sort of the overall master rhythm guitars which are all set up to that V c. A. And then we have these individual sections that are pulled out, and that's really helpful. Is how it's lined up. So I don't really have to do much as far as that as we start to scroll down. Now we look what it looks like. We're looking at a little more, um, a little more vocals. So right after this, we have some vocals. I'm wondering what this August 6 is. So it looks like there's some things being sent to bus nine and 10. This is a martial. Find out where that is here. So this is being sent to a bus that has plug in called Dubler, which is something that waves makes to make the tracks on a little bigger. And one morning, if there's multiple things being sent to bus nine and so it doesn't look like anything else is being sent to bust nine and 10. So we're gonna go ahead and move just for sake of these, we're gonna move this onto that track. Oh, so that's probably why they didn't so doubly requires a stereo track to be able to build a stereo mix. So you can either create a new stereo track and just drag the mono track onto that. But probably easier way is to just bus it to the stereo tracks and that you're looking at that. But now that it's bust, um, I'm gonna Aiken hide this track. I don't need to see what see it anymore. Um, and then just use this track is the actual parts. I'm just gonna call this Marshall knew, and then I'm gonna go ahead and hide this one, so it's kind of fun. It's like, as you're going through and looking at this, you kind of like diving into the brain of whoever produced it and thinking like, What were they thinking? Why did they do this here? And then you sort of figure out I see why they did that. That makes sense. Um, and I know this seems really tedious, but it's really important, because once I get this done, I'm not gonna really have to think much about how things are organized, and I can just totally dive into making the tracks on Awesome, which is way easier. Um, so once we finish those, we've got all the guitars, then basically in that center piece, and now we're looking at vocals, vocals. Whether is this one last little piece here? We're going to see what this is. Thing is a solo. This is important. This is obviously probably a prominent part of the song, and it's called Paul Lamb Solo, which is super easy. So that's gonna be right at the end of a guitar track. So I know that it's there. The next part. We're looking at his vocals. This is getting a little tricky because what's happened here is even just in the vocal part. There's a lot of muted tracks, and I'm wondering what's going on with that. Um, so I know that some I had actually talked with Mark who'd produced this, and he said that what they had done is used an outboard compressor for mixing the vocals. So that could be why there's some multiple tracks that are mixed here so that it was being sent out and then coming back in with the hardware insert. But since we're not gonna be doing that here, we might be able to get rid of some of these and make it a little easier. So let's go through and listen to some of these vocals. So this is the, um, it looks like he printed Malad Ein, which is a plug in that if you don't know Melody in it allows you to automate or tune vocals, so it looks like one of these is printed, and then one is an Auxerre it earn that has automation on it. So since we're not using outboard here, I'm gonna go ahead and hide this track and make it inactive The exam that has the return from the outboard compressor. And then I'm gonna look at each of these vocal tracks and try to figure out which one or which ones I need to keep. So this one has already made inactive, but it's still in the session, and it's called melatonin copy. So I'm not too worried about hiding that. It looks like this one. That is, It got strong. Um, it kind of sounds a little fees down into the jar when I'm playing it with the original down and tools the job. So I'm assuming this is a copy. I probably don't need to keep this, and it was muted. So I'm gonna go ahead and use this as well and our hide and make that an active, ongoing keep the duplicate in there, cause I'm not sure what that's for we might end up using that in the mix session as a double vocal terms of filed out of the cops straw terms, a file that the cops draw. So one thing I'm noticing, too, if I was sending this off to somebody to mix and Mark wasn't sending it off to somebody else to mix, he did it himself, so he didn't need to do this. But if you are, it's also really important to make sure that it's very clear which take you want the vocals to use right now. If I look at the playlists like we talked about yesterday, not only are none of them labeled is the comped vocal, but the one that's pulled up isn't even the last in the playlist, so I don't necessarily know which one they used to comp on. If I look at the track, I could see that this is probably what they used because you can tell that there's some comping going on. There's multiple sections that edited in, but I don't know that for sure. So it might be a little tricky to figure out, and I couldn't abusing the wrong vocal, so make sure that if you are preparing a session to clearly label which playlist you're sending for as the final vocal so that whoever is mixing it knows which ones to use. I've got my lead vocal pretty much set here. And then it looks like I have some double down here, some double parts. Um, What, you're gonna be used in the chorus, so we'll keep those up. Obviously, those are important, and they're only used on the course of, so that's super easy. I don't have to do much automation. Um, and then it looks like I have another V c a master called vocal mix. So when I figure out what this is, um, this is on bus en, so I'm gonna go over the group's again, go to modify groups and find bus en, And it looks like the vocal bus is for the Vieques Melo copy. Vieques Meek and the channel doubles. So we're gonna find those really quick if you notice. No, those are not the tracks that were actually using for vocals. We made those inactive the melody in copies. Those are probably the printed vocals, So we're gonna go ahead and get rid of this V c a bus for now because it's not really being used for the tracks that were mixing. I'm gonna delete that. We see a bus and asked me if I wanted to coalesce that automation again. I don't want to do that. I'm gonna click. No. And then the final part here looks like a bunch of background vocals. So we'll listen to those. We're gonna keep those in there, and then the final thing it looks like the only last thing before we get to the reverb senses. We're looking at the instruments track again. I want to make sure that whatever in virtual incident they were using, I have. So it looks like they had expand, which is the stock plug ins. I'm not too worried about it. It's just a soft pad. So it's not, um, something that's super specific that I might not be able to get it just kind of a low in tad. Um, so we're gonna let that's not labeled right now. So I'm gonna call that, um, low pad, so I know what it is. Um, and then finally a B D v c A. I want to know what this is so I'm gonna do the same thing. It's on the J bus, so I'm gonna go over to modify groups. Look at whatever the J bus is. Um wow, this is a lot. So this has a B D. It has base looks like all of the guitars and all of the vocals and background vocals. So it's like, um, a B D. I'm guessing that may be anything but drums, So this is everything except the drums. I know some people do that. They have the drums mix, and then they put a V C A for everything but the drums. It allows you to make kind of like some last minute mix changes without having to do too much of fine tuning and automation on multiple tracks. And I'm just curious. What if there's anything musical specifically to the song that's written in automation? Looks like there isn't any automation on that track. Sometimes they just use that to bring down, like if they want to a bus like, Hey, can we just bring down the Can we turn up the drums instead of turning up the drums and starting to worry about overreaching your headroom you can put everything but the drums on a bus and bring those down so it looks like they brought everything down. Three db. I'm guessing that's exactly what happened. They probably got to the point in mixing and said, Can we just bring down the drums by, like, three D B or turn up the drums by three db? Instead of doing that, they put everything else on a V C A bus and turn that down by three db, which is the same thing is turning the drums up by three TV. So, um, probably see it's a mixing thing. I'm not sure we're gonna need that. So I'm gonna go ahead and delete that BC a bus as well. And no, I don't want to coalesce that automation. Um, OK, so we're looking pretty good. There some automation on the master. I'm gonna get rid of that to um and automation in general will talk about this a little bit more in the next segment when we get into more automation stuff. But automation in general, you want to try to go through the tracks and make sure that none of the tracks have automation that you need to keep on. Then you want to remove everything because you can actually adjust any of the failures in the mix window when there's automation written in the edit window on, that can be sort of frustrating or sometimes even misleading if you don't have that cleared out.

Class Description

Learn the ins and outs of Avid's Pro Tools HD, the recording industry’s most comprehensive DAW, with Zach Varnell. Zach is an industry veteran, who has worked in dozens of studios throughout Seattle. In this comprehensive guide to Pro Tools, he’ll share the best practices he's picked up over the years.

In Pro Tools Essentials, Zach will walk you through the entire mixing platform including the intricacies of bussing, VCA groups, key input, HD functionality, and notable plug-ins. He’ll also show you how to create custom impulse responses from time-based outboard gear and rooms.

You will learn about Elastic Audio and Beat Detective along with a comprehensive workflow and track management process and how it can be applied to a studio session with a band or film scoring with triple-digit track counts.

If you are ready to take your Pro Tools game to the next level or just want to brush up on some time-saving techniques, don’t miss Pro Tools Essentials with Zach Varnell.  

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