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Pro Tools: Under the Hood – Part 1

The key to session and data management lies in the workspace and project windows.  Many casual Pro Tools users don’t know much about these windows or what they can be used for.  Understanding these windows is the first step in getting under the hood of Pro Tools and really being able to control your workflow.

Ejecting Drives

One of the most basic and most often used features of the workspace is the ability to eject drives while Pro Tools is running.  Simply open the workspace (option + ; ) and right-click on the drive you want to eject.  Then select “Unmount”  This will release you’re drive from the clutches of Pro Tools and unmount it for safe removal from teh system.

-Setting Drive Permissions

In the workspace is also where you can set a drive to “Record, Playback, or Transfer”  Usually you won’t have to mess with this, but if you want to make sure you don’t record to a certain drive, or if a drive was set to “Transfer” and you need to record onto it, this is the place to do it.  Simply click and hold on the columns next to the drive with the headers “A” or “V” (audio and video respectively) and you will get a pop-up menu that will allow you to change the drive permissions.

-Copy and Re-Link

This powerful feature is essential for session data management.  Say you have a session with audio you recorded, plus you have gathered some sfx and other elements from different sources.  When it’s time to move the session to another machine you find that you have audio on 3 different drives, buried in folders that contain much more audio than you really need (It’s best to avoid this situation and keep your sessions lean and mean, but file management gets out of control sometimes)

Save session copy is one solution, but another more elegant solution is Copy and Re-Link.  In the project window (option + o) open the audio files folder and sort them by “Path”  Select the ones that are not where they should be, right-click and select “Copy and Re-Link” Pro Tools then prompts you with where to put them.  Once you select the proper location, Pro Tools goes to work copying and re-linking all you’re misbehaving audio.

That’s all for Part 1 of “Pro Tools: Under the Hood”  Next time we’ll explore the database functions of the workspace, and take a look some more file managment.

3 Responses to “Pro Tools: Under the Hood – Part 1”

  1. The Copy and relink is a very underused and very important feature. Lost files would never be an issue if users took the time to use this. I am so sick and tired of getting sessions missing files when there is no need for this to happen.
    my 2c
    Simon L.

  2. Major says:

    Hey Simon!

    I agree completely! File management and organization is as important as any other professional skill. As jobs grow larger and more complex, files get scattered about. Copy and Re-Link to the rescue!

    Thanks for the comments!

  3. chris says:

    HI. with PT11 the option to unmount a disk from pro tools has dissapeared. (I think). I am finding that some slow network drives are dragging pro tools down. Do you know of a work around to make pro tools ignore some drives while still keeping them mounted in OSX?


  1. Pro Tools: Under the Hood – Part 2 | PT Dudes || Pro Tools Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts - [...] part 1 we discussed how to fix screwed up disc allocation using ‘copy and re-link’.  The [...]

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