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Everybody uses Pro Tools.

Pro Tools is the recording industry standard hardware/software platform for recording, editing and mixing music, sound effects and dialog. Since the 1990s it has replaced analog tape recorders, mixing consoles and racks full of expensive signal processing gear. For many years professional studios gradually added Pro Tools to their analog equipment, at first as a faster way to edit sounds and synchronize them to the "master" analog tape. For many engineers, the earlier 16 bit digital Pro Tools did not have adequate "depth" or dynamic range compared to the analog multitrack recorders. With the advent of 24 bit Pro Tools recording, the last barrier to full acceptance was crossed (for most of us.) Some continue to love the "sound" of analog tape, essentially using the tape recorder as a signal processor to maintain the "warm" (slightly distorted) "analog sound." There are now Pro Tools plug-ins that can simulate that sound for those who still desire that effect.

A professional recording studio in 1980 typically needed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be in business. 24 track tape recorders, mixing consoles and racks of gear (including video tape recorders and synchronization devices for creating soundtracks for film and TV) added up to a serious investment. Musicians wanting to make recordings of their music had to pay hundreds of dollars per hour to use these studios, so usage was generally restricted to those with a record company paying the bills or an advertiser and ad agency with deep pockets for commercial recording.

While early high end (professional quality) Pro Tools HD systems brought the price for 16 tracks of audio recording, editing and mixing down to the high tens of thousands of dollars, the advent of Pro Tools LE brought the price of an eight track studio system down to a few thousand dollars. Now, with the open hardware architecture of Pro Tools 10 (using audio input/output devices from any manufacturer) it's possible for any musician to have a pro quality recording/editing/mixing system at home or on the road.

While many musicians have a good understanding of the recording process, most need a bit of additional knowledge/training to take full advantage of the capabilities of a personal Pro Tools system. This is where I can help.

I've used Pro Tools in a professional studio environment since the earliest days of Digidesign Sound Designer, which could be used to download, edit and re-upload sounds to the Emu Systems Emulator II. Next came Sound Tools, which was the direct predecessor Pro Tools. Sound Tools was a stereo digital recorder/editor for the Macintosh, with the ability to lock to SMPTE time code for synchronization to the multitrack recorders and video decks. Suddenly, lining up SFX to video could happen almost instantly by recording the SFX into Sound Tools and assigning a SMPTE trigger time to each effect. Need to move the effect a few frames earlier of later? Simply type in a new address. What used to take several minutes and quite a bit of tape manipulation could now be done in seconds. With later versions of the software, QuickTime movies of a video can load directly into the Pro Tools session, allowing frame accurate sync of music and SFX without the need for videotape.

Fast forward to the 21st century and I now teach AVID authorized Pro Tools curriculum at the Electric Lounge Pro School, founded by Edward Heidenreich, a former Digidesign (now AVID) product specialist. Teachers, engineers, students and music professionals who are looking for AVID Pro Tools certification can take courses at Electric Lounge and obtain certification to advance their professional goals.

For those interested in full Pro Tools training, here is the link to the Electric Lounge website:

Electric Lounge Training

Stop on by!


For those who are already using Pro Tools, but just need a little assistance; perhaps have specific issues that need personal attention, I can help.

For composers/arrangers I can help with:

* use of virtual instruments

* editing techniques

* mixing techniques

* optimizing your mixes for CD, video, web, etc.

* optimizing your Pro Tools midi for export to notation programs (Finale, Sibelius.)

For musicians/band leaders I can help with:

* recording, editing, mixing, mastering CDs, demos and web files

* getting your Pro Tools arrangements into printed notation

* creating guide tracks for live performance with pre-recorded additional parts (BG vox, horns, strings, etc.)

If you are working on a project and need help with production,

contact me to request assistance. Bring your project to me, or I'll come to your place.