Segment 30 - Pro Tools Collaboration
We're just kind of right at the end here. We've walked through most of stuff in pro tools, and we're gonna talk a little about collaboration. How to use some of the tools approaches was recently integrated to share your sessions with other musicians and to collaborate on sessions using things like Gobbler and Effort everywhere and Dropbox and some really cool opportunities and things just to think about as you're sharing sessions back and forth. Um, we'll talk about collaborative tools and work flows, and then, really, what I call the Tech run down and recap. We're gonna cover some stuff that's not really in any of those categories that we went through before things like how to import settings from session to session, how to find audio that's missing from a file removing audiophile and show you how you can really go audio files with the audio relinking dialog box, that kind of thing. And then we might even talk just a little bit about video importing and video lanes, which pro tools fo...
r the first time allows you to now edit video, actually, along with audio right in pro tools, I'm sort of an integration from media composer. So what kind of cover? Some of that stuff. Awesome Lakers way, man. Jump right into it. So collaborative tools and workflow before we kind of get into how you do this. It's just really cool to me that we're getting to a point where you can share sessions with people all over the world and work on a track together. It's something that, you know, even 10 years ago felt like was impossible. You have to ship hard drives back and forth. There's a couple different ways and things to think about that are just modern practices to be able to sort of, like, make sure that you can share these files back and forth. So we're gonna talk to three other ways that you can share, um, within pro tools, using just approachable session. And they were gonna cover three ways that you can share outside of pro tools are things to think about that you if you want to share a session with somebody and have them collaborate on it with you, and they don't happen to use pro tools. So first thing we want to talk about is sharing with gobbler before we get, but before we get into that are actually into any of those 1st 3 What we want to do is be able to make sure that we're setting the session up for sharing. So there's some things to think about. The first thing I brought this up a little bit before it is plug ins. So it's really good toe have just sort of an open conversation with whoever you're working with and say What plug ins do you have? Um, I gonna need what plug ins do you want to use when you are gonna work on the session? What should I be prepared for? The worst is for you to send off the session, especially virtual instruments. But even with plug ins where they get it and it sounds nothing like what you intended it for. And then they're trying to collaborate and work on the session and add a track. And it just isn't working because they don't have the plug ins to be able to re create the sound that you had, um, a couple of ways around that you can obviously print all the all those sessions directly to tape. If that's what you want to do when I showed you this afternoon how you could go about printing effects to tape or even using audio Sweet To apply some of those effects you can switch. Some of those settings are plug ins that you're using to just the Native stock stuff on and kind of pull up a brief mix or another way that you could do it is actually to bounce sort of stems within pro tools within the session so that there's something to reference with in the way that you would do that. It's already set up for bouncing stems right now. The session. So I'm gonna show how how to do that really quick. And this. This is something that is super fast, doesn't take a lot of time, and you can. You can do it really quickly just so that whoever is getting the session can hear something that closely resembles whatever it is you're trying to send them, even if they don't have the same same settings or same plug ins, unplanned plug in settings and virtual instruments. So we already have the stem outputs recorded or set within protocols, so we're already set up for that. It's super easy, but the first thing you would do is go through and pick all of the groups that you want A bounce of stems. For now we're using drums, bass guitars, lead guitar solos, lead vocals, background vocals on dime. Not gonna worry about re verbs with this because I don't think there is important when you're just sharing a session with someone, um, and Synth so we'll just do those. So the first thing I would do is go up to track and I'm gonna add Let's see, what was that? Drums, guitar, bass, guitars, solo lead vocals Back on vocal Since so we're gonna add seven stereo audio tracks and we're gonna label these drums groups drum, stem based them. Guitarist them, uh, solo stem lead, vocal stem, BG de stem and synth stem. And then I'm gonna set the impetus of each of those tracks right at the end of the session. Where did I put them? Right here from those buses that I talked about Drum Stan, It's our stand groups based him. Guitar stem, solo stem lead, vocal Stem B, G B Stamm And since, dammit, what? I have those set up. I'm gonna go ahead and hit record enable on all those tracks to go back and select the region of the song and just hit record so I would go through the whole track. I would record those stems. Then I would go back through on put a note in the session. I bring up tracks and put, uh, view we want of you in the mixed window comments. And I would just put drum stem bounced with, um, plug ins and do that for the same for each. So now have printed all those effects. They have a reference point. They can use those now and they could go through, and they know that that's that's what Those are so taken record along with those stems that they don't have the same tracks and then send it back to you. And you could just delete the stems and import. The tracks are opened the session from whatever they had another thing to think about. That's really important. We're going delete these, um, is, uh, if you have to make sure which version of purchases they're using. Approaches 10 and 11 used the P T X format instead of the P T. F format. And so anybody who's using pro tools earlier than 10 or 11 in order to give them the session, you have to go to file and click. Save a copy on Ben. It shows you session format, and you're gonna want to go to session for matters Pro tool 7 to 9. Or if for whatever crazy reason they're even using before seven, which was, like, back when I was in college, um, 5.1 to 6.9 you can save it is an older session, then to, um so this way you can balance the sessions and you can even change the bit depth. What I usually do if I'm giving this to someone is I will save it is an older session file. Um, and you can select all different kinds of options here whether or not you want to copy just the main playlists, which oftentimes will help you if you're if you wanna save time like you don't want to send them all the alternate takes, you don't need to do that. Sometimes you just you just selected tracks, so if you just need to send in the stems, you could do him that way and only select the stems. Um, if you want to send him the session plug in Settings folder that could really help or not, depending on whether you're sending plug ins that have specific saved presets. The Route Plug in Settings folder, which is the Global Settings folder or the movie. If you're working on a film that includes the video files as well, and you want to include the audio files most of the time to so you can save this session in an older version and it will include all of that information and then they can open it. And then when you open it again, it will automatically save Bacca's the PT X format. So that's really helpful. Some of the other things you want to think about this file naming. We've done a really good job setting up the session for mixing, so we've already I'm feeling good about the file naming, but if you remember, when we opened it up this morning and started talking about it, we didn't understand what a lot of the tracks meant, And that's fine because we're using this as an example. It was a great example and Mark, the engineer and producer that worked on this, probably wasn't planning on sharing it with anyone, so he didn't worry about, you know, making the tracks make sense as far as track titles. But I can't tell you how many times open of sessions from the other engineers to mix. And there's, you know, like maybe the drums were labeled. But then there's like Audio one through 13 and I have no idea what any of those tracks are, and I have to spend a bunch of time going through and finding and soul in re labeling each of those tracks. So it's really important to make sure that your track titles Air named, um, and it's also good just to make sure that, like there's not a bunch of extra audio files or tracks that are in the session that are not really supposed to be there, they're not being used. You just never deleted them. You might not notice them, but it's helpful when you're sharing a session with someone to be able to do that. So once the session saved, you have it all together. We're gonna pull up really quick. I just want to show what a session folder looks like in pro tools. 11. There's a little bit more than there used to be. So Lamb of God, this is the session folder. If you look underneath here, this is probably not a good example, cause there's a bunch of other stuff. Let's use a different session, Will use the track we use yesterday. Okay, so this is good. So sure is the moon is the name of the session that we were recording. If you look in here, this is all of the files that I'm going to see in the folder. So I have all of the session files, the original one that was recorded in July, the one we mixed yesterday and then the one we mixed set up last week. We have the audio files which show all of the specific audio files for every track that was recorded. I have any bounced files that have done so I've done a couple bounces here. I put in that folder of loops that we're importing from another session, and I kept them separate from the audio files folder because if there's any rendering that happened, I want to keep the original separate from the rendered version in the audio files that I could always go back to the original. So that's why I keep those separate. The rendered files show up. And here those are all rendered elastic audio files. And then I've actually used session file backups quite often. We talked a little bit yesterday about, you know, saving and making sure you're saving your sessions and that they don't. You're saving often, so if something happens, you're not losing your work. You can set pro tools to be able to automatically save every couple of minutes. You're gonna go to Preferences Goto operation and let's see under auto Backup, it says. Enable session file backup. Keep the 10 most recent backups and back up every five minutes. That's what I usually keep. It at and five is pretty good. You can set that more frequent if you're doing a lot of heavy editing going back five minutes, sometimes it's really frustrating and then keeping the last 10. You could make that 20 or 30 wherever you want to remember your you know, taking up space every time you do that. So all those session file backups get stored in the session file backups folder. And at any point, if you feel like Oh, no, I totally screwed that up. I need to go back to what I was doing before You could go back to the most recent version of the file and pull it up. And every time there's a new file name change, it saves another 10. So right now, I think there's like 30 from the original the session yesterday and this session from July. So there's a lot of backups from each of those, and then the way they work, I'll just show you really quick you will save. So if I open up a backup, let's say open this up from yesterday at 2 p.m. It's gonna restore whatever happened it exactly wherever the session was added to 10 p.m. When it made that auto save. And then I'm gonna pour through the song and decide Oh, yeah, this is the worst version I want to keep. When I click Save, it's gonna pop up and say Where it's not going to save the session file backup anymore. It's gonna save it as a new file that has the word recovered at the end of it in the master in the the root folder of the session of the entire session. So now I know that if I say this, it's not gonna overwrite previous file, and it's not gonna overwrite session file backup is going to create an entirely new find when I go to save, um, And if I close it and don't save it just closes and keeps everything the same, Um, succession file backups could be really helpful, especially when you're, you know, make any mistakes. But that's all the stuff that's in there. So when you're sending audio files to people, a lot of times studios have multiple drives that they're working off of. And sometimes you have some files on some drives and maybe samples on another drive on. And there's two ways to make sure that whenever you're sending someone a session, you're sending them the entire session. Um, well, actually, there's There's three ways which we'll get into Gobbler in a second, but to do it manually, I'm gonna go ahead and open that session again and show you where it tells you where all the audio files are so you could make sure that all the audio files earlier in the session are being stored in the correct spot. This used to happen a lot more than it used to, and I'm really glad it's gotten a lot better. But it used to be that if you were recording in pro tools and you had it on external drive that you were recording on, and you drag that to the original to a different drive and started recording, sometimes it would create a whole new session folder on the new drive and keep all your audio files on the old drive. So now you'd end up with two session folders, one of which had half the files and the other which had the other half. And then you would take that and go to another studio and you'd open it up and half your files were missing and you'd be like wears on these ideal files. It's really frustrating. So one way to make sure that that doesn't happen is you're going to set up and go to disk allocation, and it shows all of the tracks that are active in the session or on active and shows you where on the hard drive there being stored, um, so you can change where they're being stored, like you can put a custom allocation in and change with. The room Media folder is if you have a specific drive, you want to store stuff on, um, this option right here. I would stay far, far away from the round robin allocation for new tracks. This happened to me once, and it was the biggest disaster ever. What it basically does is it finds every hard drive that's attached to your computer, and it creates a session folder in every single hard drive, attach your computer and then saves audiophiles randomly rotating between each of the drives. It's it's I don't even know why it's there any more, but it was used when you had really big sessions like you were recording a huge session. Your computer wasn't fast enough for the hard rivals, and fast enough, you could use round robin toe like reduce the impact on one specific drive speed. But it's a disaster with file management, and if you ever try to move the session trying to find where it is crazy, so just always make sure you never check that unless there's a very, very specific reason. And you know why you're doing it. Um, but if you drag it out, you can see so vocals That's this is the path of where it is on. And I could hold down option to select all of these and change where they are and then change the specific allocation. And I can choose Select folder. Or I could just choose which Dr. I want to store it on, and it will automatically create a folder on that drive. So I'm not gonna change anything, But that's where you can see and sometimes you can scroll through and you'll see something different like, Oh, all these tracks were actually in this folder. And then you go find that and either move those over or, um, make a copy which initial you next. OK, so the second way that you want to make sure that all your files are stored in the same place is by saving a copy. We did this before, but you can go to save a copy in, keep the latest version and make sure to check audiophiles, um, and click OK, and it tells you where to copy and you make a copy of the entire session by moving the audio files and what it will do, it'll make a complete duplicate copy of your entire session folder with consolidating all the files in one spot. So if you ever get to a point where it's on a couple drives and you don't want to go moving stuff around, you can create a copy of that folder, move into a new session and then get rid of the old one or send that old one off to someone. So that's an easy way to quickly share that with someone without worrying about missing Ah, whole bunch of information. Um, okay, so they're kind of the main ways within pro tools that you can sort of, like, keep things sort of clean and separate and make sure that you know what's going on. Um, now we're gonna talk about Gobbler. Um, Gobbler is one of the three ways that I talked about, that I have shared sessions with people that I feel like it's really helpful the 1st 1 So we'll open gobbler really quick. They just announced a V two. That's a public beta version, which is really cool, but I'm not gonna dive into that. We're just gonna use sort of a standard gobbler someone log into gobbler. So now Gobblers, this really cool program that basically searches your entire hard drive, finds any session and just the session title and allows you to share it with people. Um, what's really cool is that there's a couple of ways that it works. You can either use the gobbler. You can use the gobbler sort of interface to search your drive, find those tracks and then share them with people. So I'm gonna pull up just the ones on my hard drive. So, like, if I wanted to share this session with somebody sure is the moon or this is the one we used some of the sessions we've used today Let's find, uh, the other cool thing about gobbler is that it's not just a pro tools that uses any media production platform. Um, so if I wanted to share, let's say sure is the moon. Just use this one. Um, I could send files to people, and I can drag the whole folder in, or it can share this with them, send project and what it does is that upload the entire project and sends them an email saying, Hey, someone shared this project with you, and then when it backs up any changes that you make, it backs up their version two and backs up to the version on their computer as well, as long as they have it running on their computer. So you could send someone a file a week from now, they're gonna work on it, and you're gonna keep working on the file. But over time, you might have made changes in the session, and by the time they open it, you want them to see those changes. So it's a great way to sort of sink two computers that are working on the same project. Really, really cool platform. You can also just send files to people or receive files from people. Um, so it's kind of like you send it or Dropbox in that way. Um, and it's It's just super helpful. And the biggest reason is that you don't have to worry about any of the session files or audio files. It takes care of all of that for you. So if I click on any one of these tracks that I want to send. If you notice it's only showing the pro tools in the name of the session, it's not showing the whole session folder. So when I share this, even if that folders spread across multiple drives, it finds every iteration of the file that any file that's associated with that session and include that in the sink. So I'm not having to sit there and work of work and find all of those individual tracks. It's gonna take care, all that stuff for me. Um, so I'm a huge fan of God, but I think it's super cool. They're doing some awesome stuff, too. It is. It does cost money. You have to pay for a certain amount of gigabytes of storage. I think there's a free version or a trial version that you can check out, but it is. It is super great as far as collaboration. Um, Second way is through Dropbox. I don't have dropbox activated on this, uh, account of my computer, but I do on my main account that I use on Dropbox just creates a folder in your favorites. I'm sure many of you use Dropbox, and it's really simple. Just basically put the session files in the Dropbox folder and sink it and share it with someone. And then whenever they make changes, updates the session from when you make changes. The only big thing to worry about Dropbox on this is sort of like the scary thing is that you want to make sure that whenever you're sharing a session that you're not working out at the same time and that you wait, you have to sort of be very careful about waiting for sinks to change. So if I did a bunch of recording on a session one day and it starts sinking, but it's not done sinking and the person on the other side immediately opens it on their Dropbox folder and they make changes, some of those changes are gonna cross in the air sort of. And what ends up happening is there's usually a duplicate copy that gets made and put on the folder, and then it gets really complicated. So be careful out using Dropbox you can't use it is intuitively is gobbler does, but it does work really well as far as sharing folders and being able to share in large media types that you're working on stuff with people. Um so those are sort of the three ways that you can share sessions the with people that already have pro tools. If you're sharing the same session, I'm gonna go ahead and pull up the session really quickly. We're looking at again, and we're gonna talk just briefly about how to share a session with someone that doesn't have a pro tools or that's using a different DW platform on. And this could be a little bit tricky, but there's a couple different ways to do it. So the first way I'm glad this is all nice and neat here. We're looking at this whole session. We want to go and share this with someone. Let's say they're working in logic or they're working in even, you know, garageband or something on dime. Not sure that they're gonna have the same. I know they don't have a pro tools, and they might not even have the same plug ins. So what I'm gonna go ahead and do is share this with them and what's called the um it's called the A F four om format that is more common in to use especially a lot in video projects on a F works as well. So I'm gonna select all the tracks that I want to share. I'm gonna go open hit export selected tracks as new A F O M. F. Um, OK, so the other thing you have to be careful about when using a Fromm I've never really done this before is you have to render all of your elastic audio stuff that you've done. So let's go ahead and just bring up a different session to save time to show you as an example, The most common times that I use om f is if somebody is sending me something to mix from a film which I've done quite a bit of recently so they can actually export even within, like, Final Cut pro or within Premiere Pro. They can export all of the audio tracks is an om f file. And then I can open that in pro tools and all of the clips or individual and maintained that they don't have to consolidate them. Um, and it brings the beach of the tracks separately so I could start to mix. Let's see. Okay. Again keep in mind when you're doing this. You're not sending them any of the virtual instruments. So we're gonna go ahead and remove all that stuff. Um, just for the sake of argument, will just do this. Um, So I'm gonna select all the tracks that I want to send them in the session and then go to export to so it brings up this export dialog enforce avid compatibility. It's gonna have that checked. You can even choose the frame rate of whatever you're exporting it. As down here is the important part where you're looking at the audio files were gonna choose either a fromm I'm gonna go with own at first format wave 24 bit. And the copy option. There's three options consolidate from source media is the only option with om f with a f. I believe, um, I guess you can't either. Um so it's gonna take all of the media, all the audio files and consolidate them from all the different folders and create new new tracks that it's going to use when I click. OK, I'm gonna put the name of the song drive to share, and I'm going to save it. um I was put on the desktop for now, um, it's gonna create, um, ano MF file and then a folder that all the audio files were living. So this is gonna take a long time to extract all of these individual tracks, so we're not going to spend a ton of time. But when you send it to someone, whatever DW platform that they're using, they can important Oh, MF file that will have each of those. And you don't have to worry about consolidating. So that's that's the first way is using the old version. Um, the second way is a little more old school in manual, but it's also a little more tried and true. You can create stems just like you did the first section and then export those audiophile stems and share those with people. That's really helpful. Or the third way. If you want to keep everything separate, is actually to go through, um, select all of the tracks and this is kind of clunky, but it definitely works, and I've done it before. Stretch all the way to the beginning and hit consolidate selection, consolidate clip and it's gonna take forever. But what's gonna happen is that each of those audio files are. Each of those tracks are not gonna have one continuous audiophile from the very beginning, all the way to the end of the song. And then I can go into my audio files folder find those sort by time they were created, which I'll show you how to do that really quick. I'm a sort by date modified. Um, And if we had done that and gone through all that, you would see all these tracks here. I would copy those and paste them in a new folder and then share that folder with someone and zip it and send it to him and dropbox or whatever. And then they could create a new session whenever dw they're using and import those were called consolidated audio files and be able to share those. So you've got with pro tools users. You've got gobbler dropbox or just sharing the session through something like Google Driver email or you send it you. If they don't have pro tools, you can using om for a f Utkan, bounce them stems to send or or even just a stereo mix. If you just wanna have them recorded that and send it back, and then you can import in line it up. Or you can consolidate all the tracks to individual audio files consecutive audio files and then send them those. So those are sort of your options for sharing with people. There's a lot of different ways to do it, and I think that's kind of like the best. The best way to do it. Pro Tools is launching something Avid is launching something across their all their platforms they launched last year at NAB called Avid Everywhere, which is a huge system of integrating all of their pro tools and media composer programs to be able to allow collaboration across the Internet with their hardware in their specific Isis drives. There's a lot more information coming out about that. I know it's a pretty high end system. It's it's gonna be mostly for, like broadcast studios and bigger studios that have the budget to be able to buy some of the firmware on the hardware to run Abbott everywhere. But it's a really cool platform that there doing specifically to tackle these problems that the bigger studios a sfar us how to collaborate with people, so there's definitely some information about that. Cool. I think that's it for this section before we move onto the next thing. Is there any questions people have about any of that stuff? No, not specifically about that stuff. We have to sort of general questions. One of them's about Brawl. One wanted to know any suggestions for using pro tools during film. Audio editing like to use it to edit sound effects, dialogue, editing and then sinking music and final mixing. Is there anything you'd do differently? Editing audio for video? A Couple things I mean some of isn't really specific to pro tools. I've done a lot of film mixing smaller projects, nothing really major, but just for friends that have done, you know, some films. The thing about mixing Teoh for film? Well, a couple things I can point out to is that usually the levels, like the levels for stereo mixes and music, are really loud, like you wanna have a stereo limiter and you want to be able tohave loud mixes. Typically when mixing for film, you want to keep some dynamic headroom so you won't want to apply the same concepts and mixing for Rocker for E G M or whatever as you would for mixing film. You want to keep quite a bit of dynamic range and room in the mix. The other thing that think about and this is something somebody told me. I'm not sure if this has changed, but I used to do a lot of mixes for a friend who would sink with video and final cut pro. And he told me that when you bounce, they wanted to bounce to um, 16 bit 48 K That's was the optimal resolution to bounce mixes for import into Final Cut Pro, which I thought was kind of funny. But that's that was just something to know. A Zara's editing for film within pro tools. I mean, it's just like editing in general. You sort of go through each of the sections and kind of work on some things. And, you know, uh, yeah, I mean, it's it's all the same editing principles. It's just working with dialogue instead of working with, um, working with music