I have been asked to highlight some tips on the ProTools platform and so, over the next few days, I will highlight some of the lesser known secrets of the greatest ProTools operators in the industry.

When I get together with other audio engineers I always ask questions about how they are using their rigs. Here are a few helpful suggestions:

Setting Preferences

One tip that has saved me on more than one occassion is setting AutoSave. With Setups > Preferences I check the Enable Session File Backup under the Autosave options. I keep the ten most recent backups and I set the backup to every 5 minutes.

I also limit the Open Ended Record Allocation to 15 minutes. This reduces the lag time when I press record. Basically, this setting tells ProTools to prepare the disk for 15 minutes of recording time. If left to the default, ProTools will prepare the entire disk which can introduce lag when recording tracks.

Saving Sessions

I like to save session files at each stage of the recording project:

  • SongOne Basics
  • SongOne Overdubs
  • SongOne Vocals
  • SongOne Mix Prep
  • SongOne Mix

I always make sure that at the end of each session I have a complete copy of the session on the primary audio disk as well as a backup on the firewire drive. Although ProTools is fairly robust it will crash during sessions. You can never have too many backups.

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