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Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

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Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Lungime:
416 pages
3 hours
Lansat:
Feb 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781458462626
Format:
Carte

Descriere

Pro Tools is everywhere, and whether you're new to Pro Tools or an experienced user, you will find Avid's latest release of PT9 to be a powerful production workstation. In Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools, multi-platinum engineer/producer Glenn Lorbecki shows you step by step how to achieve your best mixes using Avid's award-winning software. This complete guide to audio engines and delay compensation will unlock the full potential of PT as a professional mixing and mastering platform.

By opening the closed-ended proprietary hardware loop, Avid has made PT's renowned processing power available for Mac and PC systems at all levels – not just TDM users. PT9 is the most potent version of PT ever released, and given its high-tech enhancements in connectivity, functionality, and session portability, users need a practical guide to get up and running quickly and efficiently. The Quick Pro Series cuts to the chase and gives you the best of Pro Tools at your fingertips, with plenty of sessions, audio examples, and video assistance to guide you along the way.
Lansat:
Feb 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781458462626
Format:
Carte

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Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools - Glenn Lorbecki

Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Lorbecki

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, without written permission, except by a newspaper or magazine reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review.

Published in 2012 by Hal Leonard Books

An Imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

7777 West Bluemound Road

Milwaukee, WI 53213

Trade Book Division Editorial Offices

33 Plymouth St., Montclair, NJ 07042

Book design by Adam Fulrath

Book composition by Rainbow Tiger Design

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lorbecki, Glenn.

Mixing and mastering with Pro Tools / Glenn Lorbecki.

p. cm.

1. Pro Tools. 2. Digital audio editors. I. Title.

ML74.4.P76L67 2011

781.3’4536—dc23

2011029771

ISBN 978-1-4584-0033-8

www.halleonardbooks.com

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Pro Tools Primer

What’s New in Pro Tools?

Digidesign Is Now AVID

New Pro Tools Audio Engine

Aggregate I/O

Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)

Mixing and Recording Options

Unified Installer

Session Import/Export

What Should You Bring to the Party?

How to Use This Book and Related DVD Materials

Video

Session Data and Audio Files

Additional Materials

Updates

Chapter 1

What Makes a Good Mix?

Do Not Confuse a Good Mix with a Good Song

A Great Song vs. a Great Mix

What Makes a Bad Mix?

Think Like a Mixer vs. a Tracking Engineer

Basic Mixing Tools

Volume-Based Tools

Time-Based Tools

Spatial Effects

Analog vs. Digital Workflow

Creative Language vs. Technical Language

Studio Basics: Control Room Environment/Acoustics

Pro Studios

Project Studios

Home Studios

Equipment

Computers

Audio Hard Drives

Mixing Consoles

Outboard Hardware Processing

Control Surfaces

Monitoring

Listening Styles

Format Information

Chapter 1 Review

Chapter 2

The Pro Tools System

Software Overview

Hardware Overview: Three Modes

1. Pro Tools

2. Pro Tools with Complete Production Toolkit 2 (CPTK)

3. Pro Tools HD

Outboard Gear

iLok

System Calibration

Optimizing the Pro Tools Environment

System Usage Window

Playback Engine

Buffer Settings

Host Processors

CPU Usage Limit

Host Engine

Delay Compensation Engine

DAE Playback Buffer

Cache Size

Plug-in Streaming Buffer

Apply Changes

Very Important Note!

Hardware Settings

Peripherals

Sample Rate

Clock Source

Optical Format

Launch Setup App

Disk Allocation

I/O Settings

Handy Pro Tools Functions

Edit Modes

Edit Tools

Pro Tools Conventions

Key Commands

Keyboard Focus

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 2 Review

Chapter 3

Managing Your Virtual Studio

Configuring a Virtual Mixer in Pro Tools

Tracks

Stereo Pan Depth

Groups

Sub-Masters

Aux Sends/Returns

Inserts

Sends

Master Faders

Clearing Clipped Signal Indicators

Dither

Turning up the HEAT—Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology

Organizing Your Tracks

Edit Window Layout

Grid Settings

Nudge Settings

Color Palette

Memory Locations/Markers

Window Configurations

Transport Window

Editing Operations

Playlists

Duplicating Tracks

Cleaning Tracks

Strip Silence

Noise Gates

Manual Editing

Mute Region vs. Cut and Remove

Consolidating Regions

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 3 Review

Chapter 4

Mixing Tools

Audio Suite Plug-ins

Working with Plug-in Inserts

RTAS—Real Time Audio Suite

TDM—Time Division Multiplexing

Inserting a Plug-in on Your Track

To View Multiple Plug-in Windows

Plug-in Manipulation

Copying Plug-in Settings

The Secret of the Right Mouse-Click

Printing Tracks with Real-Time Plug-in Effects

Side-Chain Effects

Processing Tools for Your Toolkit

Frequency Tools

EQ

Harmonic Enhancement

Dynamic Range Control

Compression/Limiting

Multi-Band Compression

Expanders/Noise Gates

De-Essers

Pitch Tools

Pitch Change

Pitch Correction

Creative Use of Pitch Effects

Time-Based Effects

Phase-Reverse

Reverb

Delay

Modulation Effects

Time Compression/Expansion, or TC/E

Other Effects

Distortion

Other Tools and Plug-ins

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 4 Review

Chapter 5

Understanding Automation

Quick-Start Guide to Automation

Track Parameters That Can Be Automated

Audio Track Parameters

Auxiliary Input Track Parameters

Master Fader Parameters

MIDI Track Parameters

Instrument Track Parameters

Recording Real-Time Automation

Automation Modes

Enabling Automation

Performing an Automation Pass

Plug-in Automation

Auto Safe Mode

Viewing and Editing Automation Data

Thinning Automation

Strategies for Automating Your Mix

Working with Control Surfaces

AVID C|24

EuCon

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 5 Review

Chapter 6

The Art and Science of the Mix

The Weakest Link—Recording Quality vs. Final Results

Musical Styles/Genres

Editing for Content

Mixing In the Box vs. Mixing on a Console

Tracksheets/Documentation

Keeping Track of Mix Sessions and Mix Files

Naming Conventions

Data Management

Keep an Eye on the Final Delivery Medium

P&E DAW Session Guidelines Document

P&E Master Delivery Document

P&E Wing

Basic Approaches to Mixing

Building a House (of Rock)

Drums

Bass

Guitar (GTR)

Keyboard Tracks

Other Instruments

Vocals

Sculpting a Mix

Technical Aspects

Dynamic Range

Gain Structure

Frequency Response

Metering

Mixing to a Digital File

Mixing Summary

Preparing Your Tracks for Mastering

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 6 Review

Chapter 7

Mastering Overview

What Does a Mastering Engineer Do?

When Do You Need Mastering?

You Should Have Your Music Mastered If

Should You Master Your Own Mixes?

Thinking Like a Mastering Engineer vs. a Mixing Engineer

Basic Mastering Tools

Volume-Based Effects

Time-Based Effects

Reconstructive Tools

Mastering in Pro Tools

What You Can Do In Pro Tools

What You Can’t Do in Pro Tools

Pro Tools in the Mastering Suite

DIY Mastering in Pro Tools

Building a Mastering Session

Assembling Tracks

Monitoring

Signal Chain

Using Level Automation

Dynamic Range Control

Parallel Compression

Serial Compression

Using More Than One Compressor on a Track

Multi-Band Compression

Restorative Use of Multi-Band Compression

EQ

Create a Master Fader

Create A Pre- and Post-Processing Monitor Bus

Overall Level Optimization

The Level Wars

Checklist Before Printing Final Bounces

Bouncing Your Mastered Files

Creating the Final Master CD

Documentation

Delivering a Master for Duplication

Delivering a Master for Online Distribution

Backup vs. Long-Term Archival of Your Data

Mastering Summary

Summary of Key Commands

Chapter 7 Review

In Closing

Frequency Chart

Appendix: DVD-ROM Video Tutorials and Pro Tools Sessions

Answer Key for Chapter Review Questions

Credits

To my beautiful children, Evan and Erika

Preface

Welcome to Quick Pro: Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools! Whether you’re new to the engineer’s chair or an experienced knob twister, this book is a tool to help guide you through the process of mixing/mastering on one of the most powerful DAW platforms in the world—AVID Pro Tools.

This latest version of Pro Tools builds on the solid platform established and refined by AVID/Digidesign over the last twenty years, and is used by the most successful and creative engineers in the business to create the music we love so well. Pro Tools has become the de facto standard for music production and audio post-production for visual media, and you will find it in virtually every major recording facility and project studio around the world. Because of this ubiquity, it is to the advantage of every serious engineer to learn this platform thoroughly in order to get the most from your sessions. Whether you’re working at home or trading files with someone across the globe, Pro Tools is a complete production environment for recording, mixing, and mastering music at the highest professional standard of quality.

I’ve been using Pro Tools professionally since 1998, and am using it in the classes I teach for the University of Washington and in the professional audio education program I founded in 2007, DigifyNow.com, where we offer official Pro Tools certification classes as an official AVID training partner. This new version is easy to teach and easy to learn, and the transition from earlier versions of Pro Tools should be very smooth for experienced users as well. AVID has introduced many cool new features and refinements in the latest version of Pro Tools, and I am excited to share some of them with you.

Before we get started, we should outline our goals: if your aim is to arm yourself with the tools you need to be more effective at mixing and mastering music, then we are in complete harmony. The goal of this book is to get you familiar with the concepts of mixing and mastering, what it takes to create professional quality mixes, how to finish a project at the mastering stage, and how to do all of this within the Pro Tools environment. These are complex tasks, and you will need to commit a fair amount of time to learn all the techniques required to become proficient. If you put in the effort—and use this book as a guide—you will be turning out mixes that sound better than ever before.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your creative journey, I hope you enjoy the ride!

Acknowledgments

All the intelligent people I’ve encountered over the years threaten to one day write the book. Seldom do they follow through, and the world is a poorer place for it. The absence of a How I Did It exercise by Tom Dowd or any number of other pioneering producers and engineers is a genuine loss. The knowledge they have amassed is a transitory thing, and when not fixed in some permanent form—be it written or spoken word—or carried forward in a curriculum by their teaching, that information is in real danger of being lost for all time. I’ve always felt it was important to bring forward this mass of experience and share it with the next wave of aspiring engineers, producers, and musicians. This way we can pass on the knowledge of those who came before us: those who inspired us to do well and to make better music. I also hope those aforementioned producers and engineers make good on their threats to write the book.

To that end, I must acknowledge those who make it possible for me to pursue my passion and to present in this book some of the experience and knowledge I’ve gained. Bill Gibson has stepped forward to give me the opportunity to write this book, and hopefully others, for the Hal Leonard Company. I look forward to our collaboration!

In high school, I recall having one of those seemingly interminable conversations with my Mom about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Architect, scientist, philosopher, construction worker—these were all options. She never tired of hearing me out, but one day she asked me a question, What do you love to do? I had to think. She rephrased the question, What do you always do? I was stumped. Look down, she said. As always, I had my trusty ’74 Fender Stratocaster in hand. Finally Mom asked me, Why don’t you make music? What, for a living? I replied. Can I do that? Mom just smiled. In retrospect, it was that moment—that instant in which she gave me permission to do what I loved to do—that set the tone for my career and my life. I love you, Mom, and I miss you every day.

My brother Al is an interesting cat—musician, artist, inventor, hermit—his first concern is always for the art in life. Whether it’s about painting, architecture, or designing the fastest pinewood derby car. Thanks for setting the bar high and giving me something to aim for.

In my days as a newbie engineer in Wisconsin, pioneering studio owner Vern Castle pushed me to keep my learning curve as vertical as possible, a goal that I still pursue every day. Uncle Vern provided me with a paid internship (!), all the gear I could tweak, and opportunities, which turned into platinum records, a fulfilling career, and a lifelong appreciation of music and the people who make it.

To the many engineers, producers, musicians, and directors I’ve worked with over the years, I offer my humble thanks, as I’ve learned something from each and every one of you. You’ve given me tools for my toolbox and arrows for my quiver, targets to shoot for, and obstacles to avoid. We build on the knowledge and accomplishments of those who preceded us. It is my sincere hope that this book might provide some enlightenment and, perhaps, inspiration for the next wave of music makers.

I would like to acknowledge some other kind people for their assistance in this process: Kisha Kalahiki, James Nixon, and the great Bob Ludwig, with whom I co-chaired the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing for five years.

Let’s not forget Keely Whitney (www.KeelyWhitney.com) for the kind use of her wonderful music, the Mahavishnu Orchestra for the endless inspiration, and of course, AVID.

We should all remember the amazing contributions of Roger Nichols and Tal Herzberg, who earlier this year went to the great gig in the sky. You will both be missed.

Introduction

Pro Tools Primer

Job 1 is getting your Pro Tools system up and running properly. If you already have Pro Tools installed, then you’re ahead of the game, and can skip past the What’s New section if you like. If you are using Version 8 or earlier, you should read the next section carefully, as it will give you a quick overview of what’s new and what to expect.

It is critically important that you follow all of the instructions in the software and hardware installation guides that come with your Pro Tools system purchase. This book can help guide you through system settings and configuration, but the installation of your particular software modules and hardware I/O is unique to you, so you should always refer to the Getting Started guides and Read Me files in order to get your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) up and running. Once you have the basic system operating properly, use this book as a guide to fine-tune system performance and get the most out of your Pro Tools configuration.

If you encounter problems with the initial installation of your software or hardware, you should visit (and bookmark) the section of the AVID audio forums website dedicated to addressing up-to-the-minute changes and known issues. This is referred to as the Digi User Conference, or DUC; the website URL is http://duc.avid.com/

There is nothing more frustrating than having computer issues while trying to get up to speed on new software. While Pro Tools is equally at home on both OS X and Windows 7 platforms, you still need to have a machine with sufficient RAM, disk space, and data I/O ports. It’s important to check your computer’s specifications to be sure they are compatible with the current release of Pro Tools software. See the Studio Basics chapter of this book to determine if your computer is compatible and capable of running the software according to AVID specs. There is also a list of supported OS versions maintained on the AVID website.

What’s New in Pro Tools?

Since the last

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