When it comes to audio editing, Pro Tools is the leading standard for working with and
manipulating audio, especially in the post-production process. If you were to turn on
the T.V. and started watching any documentary or drama, there is a good chance that
the background music and sound f/x you hear were mixed using Pro Tools. Not only is
Pro Tools heavily used for post-production in the film industry, but Pro Tools is the top
choice among recording engineers as well. So what is it about Pro Tools that makes it
the industry standard?
Pictured above is the main waveform view in Pro Tools; the Edit Window. For those who
are familiar with video editing software such as Final Cut or Premier, this interface may
look somewhat similar.
The main tools used for editing are the grabber, trim, zoom, and selection, and are all
represented by the icons below.
The grabber tool is used to select both individual sections, or multiple
sections by holding “shift”.
The zoom tool is obviously used for zooming in and out to view the waveforms. I use
this to identify the first initial pulse of waveform data.
The selector tool is very useful in that it allows the user to click and drag anywhere
within the parameters of a waveform.
The trim tool is used for cutting out any undesired audio, such as distorted noise from a
Volume Fade In/Out
When it comes final mixing stages of a project, one of the best tools in Pro Tools is for
attaining smooth transitions between fade ins and fade outs. This is volume automation.
Think about some of your favorite songs. You have probably noticed that when the song
comes to an end, the volume slowly decreases and fades out.
The descending row of dots represent the decreasing volume level on this piano track in
Click the link below to view a quick tutorial on volume automation:
When it comes to working with a large session, meaning a project that contains many
tracks, grouping is your best friend. Basically, grouping does it exactly what it sounds
like. For example, when I am in the final stages of mixing drums, I group tracks together
so that any adjustments I make are applied to all the individual tracks within the group.
The picture below shows a group of drum tracks that are indicated by the highlighted
names of each track.
Click the link below to view a tutorial on how to group tracks in Pro Tools:
Pro Tools is praised for being the industry standard audio editing software. Other
platforms such as Logic and Reason are great DAW interfaces for composing, but when
it comes to final mixing and editing, Pro Tools is the best choice. In the competitive
world of audio production, it is not only essential to be able to produce good music, but
getting projects done quickly, efficiently, and in a timely manner are necessary for a
successful career as an audio engineer/producer.