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What are the "Best Practices" for Pro Tools? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 8th February 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What are the "Best Practices" for Pro Tools?

Hello everyone!

I apologize in advance if this question has been answered. If so by all means point me there.

I just started getting into Pro Tools and after doing my research decided it's the best for what i want to do (mix engineering) no writing necessarily. After doing my research I have found a few things that concerned me regarding system crashes, OS compatibility, Hardware compatibility, plug-in format, loss of files, and all the like.

I understand that every software and hardware has it's bad days. Like I said, I'm just now entering into Pro Tools and am self learning. Not mixing anyone at the moment so time isn't an issue as i'm just practicing. However when I decide to start investing in more plug-ins, hardware, new computer, etc. I'd like to get out in front of the most common user-errors.

Any advice for a new guy on "best practices" as a Pro Tools owner/operator?

P.s. I also plan to work via MacBook Pro. Desktop Mac is not out of the question once I get more business going. Mobile suits me now since I travel a lot. Thanks!

Last edited by Christian M; 8th February 2019 at 03:52 PM.. Reason: Grammar error; more clarification.
Old 9th February 2019
  #2
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Get a full-size keyboard with number pad. Or if you stick with the laptop keyboard, get an add on number pad. There are a ton of functions that use the number pad. (the numbers on the number pad are treated differently than your regular numbers -- same true for all the other buttons there)

Also, learn the shortcuts as much as possible. It goes a long way to getting comfortable and working in the DAW. In Pro Tools, under the Help option at the top, you'll find the user manual "Pro Tools Reference Guide" and the shortcut quick reference "Pro Tools Shortcuts". But don't count on the shortcut manual showing all of them -- there are others that only old timers (and the web) seem to know.
Old 9th February 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian M View Post
Hello everyone!

I apologize in advance if this question has been answered. If so by all means point me there.

I just started getting into Pro Tools and after doing my research decided it's the best for what i want to do (mix engineering) no writing necessarily. After doing my research I have found a few things that concerned me regarding system crashes, OS compatibility, Hardware compatibility, plug-in format, loss of files, and all the like.

I understand that every software and hardware has it's bad days. Like I said, I'm just now entering into Pro Tools and am self learning. Not mixing anyone at the moment so time isn't an issue as i'm just practicing. However when I decide to start investing in more plug-ins, hardware, new computer, etc. I'd like to get out in front of the most common user-errors.

Any advice for a new guy on "best practices" as a Pro Tools owner/operator?

P.s. I also plan to work via MacBook Pro. Desktop Mac is not out of the question once I get more business going. Mobile suits me now since I travel a lot. Thanks!
A spare ilok and ZDT comes to mind.
Old 10th February 2019
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks! These are good. I was also talking about things that have to do with system settings, computer optimization and so on. Basically, I just don’t wanna get screwed over because I missed a crucial step in setup and avoid crashes or incompatibility issues with OS software because I’m a n00b
Old 10th February 2019
  #5
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All info you need is here

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Old 10th February 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian M View Post
Thanks! These are good. I was also talking about things that have to do with system settings, computer optimization and so on. Basically, I just don’t wanna get screwed over because I missed a crucial step in setup and avoid crashes or incompatibility issues with OS software because I’m a n00b
My practice for a long while now has been to wait for a universally well-reviewed and stable version, buy a permanent license, buy the computer best suited to match that version, and then run that system like it's hardware, and into the ground until it's dead. That means no operating system updates & no ProTools updates until I'm ready for a complete generational upgrade.

So I ran PT 5 for years and years, and then PT 7 for years and years, and then ProTools 10 for years and years, which brings me to now, when I'm watching forums for word of a current rock-stable setup of PT 12( now branded by year or whatever their new system is. )

This technique is not right for everyone, but it is for me, and it has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, and has meant I have never had downtime from a faulty upgrade, license nonsense, or any of that. I don't enjoy upgrading software for its own sake... I enjoy making music, and for me this is the best way to maximize my time and profit from doing it.

By the way Avid publishes compatibility guides for Protools versions, computer hardware and operating systems... take them seriously if you're looking for stability.
Old 10th February 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky View Post
Thank you very much!
Old 10th February 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
My practice for a long while now has been to wait for a universally well-reviewed and stable version, buy a permanent license, buy the computer best suited to match that version, and then run that system like it's hardware, and into the ground until it's dead. That means no operating system updates & no ProTools updates until I'm ready for a complete generational upgrade.

So I ran PT 5 for years and years, and then PT 7 for years and years, and then ProTools 10 for years and years, which brings me to now, when I'm watching forums for word of a current rock-stable setup of PT 12( now branded by year or whatever their new system is. )

This technique is not right for everyone, but it is for me, and it has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, and has meant I have never had downtime from a faulty upgrade, license nonsense, or any of that. I don't enjoy upgrading software for its own sake... I enjoy making music, and for me this is the best way to maximize my time and profit from doing it.

By the way Avid publishes compatibility guides for Protools versions, computer hardware and operating systems... take them seriously if you're looking for stability.

Thanks so much Phil!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
My practice for a long while now has been to wait for a universally well-reviewed and stable version, buy a permanent license, buy the computer best suited to match that version, and then run that system like it's hardware, and into the ground until it's dead. That means no operating system updates & no ProTools updates until I'm ready for a complete generational upgrade.

So I ran PT 5 for years and years, and then PT 7 for years and years, and then ProTools 10 for years and years, which brings me to now, when I'm watching forums for word of a current rock-stable setup of PT 12( now branded by year or whatever their new system is. )

This technique is not right for everyone, but it is for me, and it has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, and has meant I have never had downtime from a faulty upgrade, license nonsense, or any of that. I don't enjoy upgrading software for its own sake... I enjoy making music, and for me this is the best way to maximize my time and profit from doing it.

By the way Avid publishes compatibility guides for Protools versions, computer hardware and operating systems... take them seriously if you're looking for stability.
^ ^ Yup!!

I've been running the same Macpro cheesegrater with PT11 and i have not touched the computer since Yosemite.

I'm currently setting up a 2013 trash can with PT2018 running High Sierra but that cheesegrater will not leave my studio for at least a few years, if at all, until i know that my new machine is completely stable.

@OP, point is, once you get it up and running with no issues, don't touch it! any updated software can trigger a waterfall of needing more updates and can get expensive. Do not get software update crazy. Security patches and plugin updates are usually harmless but major version changes can put you in a bind.

If Apple releases an update, do NOT upgrade until you get confirmation from Avid that your version of PT is compatible. Then, create back ups in the event you have a failure and need to roll back.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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best practice is...

...to avoid it!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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noah330's Avatar
I love ProTools. The first digital audio editing I did was on Sound Designer II back in the day. Before that it was all razor blade.

The shortcuts is a great suggestion, as is the number pad. Another thing is to familiarize yourself with some of the features you may not know about (example - when clicking on an insert hit tab and you can search for a plugin).

Also, once you get your routing set up export it as a text and name it so you can grab it back if you ever need it.

I use Ultimate (which used to be HD). As far as I know most common hardware works fine with PT.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
Do not install every plugin you are coming across as most crashes and hiccups I have experienced were plugin-related. Keep your system nice and tidy. Don‘t forget to use some of the stock Pro Tools plugins:
Eq7 is great. The stock compressor is great. lo-fi with distortion and saturation at 0.1 (nothing else!) is great. SansAmp PSA-1 on a DI bass is great.
—-
For virtual instruments, use seperate MIDI tracks and an Aux track hosting the instrument instead of an Instrument Track for better flexibility and (at least on my system) to work around some bugs (like not sending MIDI notes to the VI after a session reload).
—-
Learn the difference of bypassing and deactivating a plugin. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for this as well. Will help when dealing with low latency - DAW monitoring or overdubbing.
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