So just how difficult is pro tools to learn?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Azfarrier, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I started out as an analog engineer in the 70s/80s - finally working in top 24-trk studios by mid-80s. Then I left the biz until 2000 and came back by just buying Protool without learning it first.

    I was extremely puzzled at first (but this is true of ALL DAWS) as to "where is the recorded track?"

    I didn't realize that DAWS are like mixers that record, and there is no recording media per se (like tape) - in a DAW everything is recorded to a separate file on a hard drive. In other words, you never assign a channel to a specific track like you do in analog recording (trk 1 for kick, 2 for snare, 24 for bass, etc.) - and if you have having trouble following this idea don't worry, it just means you aren't old enough.

    I looked at Protools and went "where is the assign matrix?" - Someone in the Digidesign user group (DUC) said "It's just like an SSL, every track goes "direct out" to the number of track/channel number you are using." I hate to say he was quite rude to me, but he was - he said I lied that I had ever worked in studios.

    Anyway - no need to make a long story longer - but IF you come from analog, that is the biggest difference -that there is no track minimum. There is channel minimum of "live" tracks you can have active at once, but you can have as many recorded "takes" as you want. Its all about recorded files.

    Other than that simple concept, protools is like analog recording in terms or recording, but in the mixing its a dream come true - copy & paste, time stretching, pitch changing, etc. I was a whiz with razor blades and 1/4" tape, but with PT you don't need it.

    Also, in PT you HAVE to mix with automation, there is no "live" mixing straight to 2-trk. Every mix change has to be recorded one track at a time, then you just hit "bounce" and it creates your mix with all of your automation moves recorded.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Figure it this way... you don't have to be a genius to use Pro Tools. If you did, there wouldn't be so many people using it. The more you know about using a hardware console or mixer, the less steep the learning curve.
     
  3. Joseph Hanna

    Joseph Hanna Member

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    Yikes :) This is of course not true.
     
  4. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    Incorrect, if you have enough faders available and the automation turned off it's exactly ('cept the sonic differences) like mixing on a console. I will do a fair amount of jazz work this way. I will also record bact to protools and mix in sections just like I used to do on tape. It's still a far more organic way of mixing although automation can have it's advatages. I NEVER bounce a mix. There's far too much outboard FX/Processing that comes along with the mix that will not show up in bounce to disk.
     
  5. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    Correct me if I'm misinterpreting your statement (that never happens:aok) but I certainly felt like leaning the SSL 25 years ago was much like learning protools 15 years ago. I was up and running in a day but after a week I was really cranking and now, years of working on both systems, they're both a piece of cake. But, put me in Nuendo and on a 5088 (or insert fave new console here) and I'll be up and running in a day and after a week I'll be really cranking... blah blah blah...

    I think it just depends on the willingness to dive in and learn a system, which in this world usually involves a head first diving position!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  6. Joseph Hanna

    Joseph Hanna Member

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    Pro Tools bounces will include any outboard effects processing. Not sure what you're talking about here??
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I only meant to say that a basic knowledge of signal routing is useful at first, but you're right. If you don't know it, you can dive in and learn it quick enough.
     
  8. getbent

    getbent Member

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    a few seconds to learn, a lifetime to master...

    like a merle haggard tune.
     
  9. travisvwright

    travisvwright Member

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    Kind of sad, although he never said exactly I gathered Amp360's job was making instuctional video's on how to use Pro Tools. Maybe if he's lurking he will PM you.
     
  10. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    I started beta testing for pro tools in 1996. It's not a difficult application to learn and the more you use it the faster and more efficient you'll get at it. The DUC (digidesign user's conference) is a useful source of info. Unfortunately, there's lots of misinformation out there and the ability to filter out the nonsense will come in time.
     
  11. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    My bad, (where's the facepalm smiley when i need it) I do do this sometimes! I usually have things stemmed out in a situation where I can't do that...
     

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