Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Audio, Video

Pro Tools 8 for Mac OS X and Windows: Working with Tracks

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter explains the track types available in Pro Tools, and shows you how to create and name tracks, assign track inputs and outputs, and organize tracks in a session.
This chapter is from the book

After you create a Pro Tools session, you add tracks to it. Tracks are the staging areas for the media in a session, including audio, MIDI, and video; tracks also include automation and controller data.

Tracks provide controls for routing inputs and outputs, inserting effects, playing software-based instruments, and mixing.

This chapter explains the track types available in Pro Tools, and shows you how to create and name tracks, assign track inputs and outputs, and organize tracks in a session.

About Track Types

Pro Tools LE 8 has six track types: Audio, Auxiliary Input, MIDI, Instrument, Master Fader, and Video. The types of tracks you use depends on the kind of material you want to include in your session.

Audio tracks

Audio tracks are used for recording or importing audio into a session, and then editing, arranging, and playing back that audio.

In the Mix window (see Figure 2.24), Audio track channel strips include controls for volume, pan, record enable, solo, mute, and group ID; plus selectors for automation mode, audio input paths, and audio output paths (Figure 4.1). You can also show Inserts and Sends views.

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 An Audio track channel strip in the Mix window.

In the Edit window (see Figure 2.1), Audio tracks include controls for record enable, solo, and mute; plus selectors for automation mode, track timebase, and Elastic Audio processing (Figure 4.2). You can also show Inserts, Sends, and I/O views on Audio tracks.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 An Audio track in the Edit window.

The playlist area is where the track's audio and its associated automation are displayed on the session timeline. The Track Height, Track View, and Playlist selectors affect the appearance of the playlist.

Auxiliary Input tracks

Auxiliary Input tracks are used to bring audio signals into a session from an internal bus, an external input, or a virtual instrument plug-in inserted on the track.

In the Mix window, Auxiliary Input track channel strips include controls for volume, pan, solo, mute, and group ID; plus selectors for automation mode, audio input paths, and audio output paths (Figure 4.3). As with Audio tracks, you can also show Inserts and Sends views.

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3 An Auxiliary Input track channel strip in the Mix window.

In the Edit window, Auxiliary Input tracks include controls for solo and mute, plus selectors for automation mode and track timebase (Figure 4.4). You can also show Inserts, Sends, and I/O views on Auxiliary Input tracks.

Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 An Auxiliary Input track in the Edit window.

Because Auxiliary Input tracks only route audio into a session and do not record it, the playlist area shows only track automation on the session timeline. The Track Height, Track View, and Playlist selectors affect the appearance of the playlist.

MIDI tracks

MIDI tracks are used for recording MIDI data into a session and playing it back through an external device. You can also use MIDI tracks to send multiple channels of MIDI to a single virtual instrument plug-in inserted on an Auxiliary Input track.

In the Mix window, MIDI track channel strips (Figure 4.5) have many of the same controls as Audio and Auxiliary Input tracks, including volume, pan, solo, mute, and group ID, plus selectors for automation mode and MIDI input and output. However, on MIDI tracks, the volume and pan controls affect MIDI controller values, and the input and outputs are MIDI channels.

Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5 A MIDI track channel strip in the Mix window.

In the Edit window (Figure 4.6), MIDI tracks include controls for MIDI record enable, solo, and mute; plus selectors for automation mode, MIDI patch, and track timebase. You can also show the I/O view on MIDI tracks. (MIDI tracks don't have Inserts or Sends.)

Figure 4.6

Figure 4.6 A MIDI track in the Edit window.

The playlist area displays MIDI notes in piano roll format on the session timeline, along with associated MIDI controller data. The Track Height, Track View, and Playlist selectors affect the appearance of the playlist.

Instrument tracks

Instrument tracks combine features of MIDI tracks and Auxiliary Input tracks, so that you need only a single track to use a virtual instrument. Instrument tracks are used to record MIDI and play it back through a virtual instrument plug-in inserted on the same track.

In the Mix window, Instrument track channel strips (Figure 4.7) have the same controls as Auxiliary Input tracks: audio volume, pan, solo, mute, and group ID; plus selectors for automation mode, audio input paths, and audio output paths. You can also show Inserts and Sends views. The Record Enable button in this section is for recording MIDI, not audio.

Figure 4.7

Figure 4.7 An Instrument track channel strip in the Mix window.

In addition to these controls, Instrument tracks also have MIDI controls (Figure 4.8), available in the Instrument view: MIDI input and output selectors, MIDI volume and pan, and MIDI mute.

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 The MIDI controls for an Instrument track in the Mix window.

In the Edit window (Figure 4.9), Instrument tracks include controls for record enable, solo, and mute; plus selectors for automation mode, MIDI patch, and track timebase. You can also show the I/O view on Instrument tracks.

Figure 4.9

Figure 4.9 An Instrument track in the Edit window.

The playlist area displays the same information as MIDI tracks: MIDI notes and controller data. The Track Height, Track View, and Playlist selectors affect the appearance of the playlist.

Master Fader tracks

Master Fader tracks are used to control the audio outputs of a session. They are most commonly used on the outputs for a session's main mix.

In the Mix window, Master Fader track channel strips (Figure 4.10) include track controls for volume and group ID, plus selectors for automation mode and the audio output path. You can also show Inserts view.

Figure 4.10

Figure 4.10 A Master Fader track channel strip in the Mix window.

In the Edit window (Figure 4.11), Master Fader tracks include selectors for automation mode and track timebase. You can also show automation lanes, Inserts, and I/O views.

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 A Master Fader track in the Edit window.

Because Master Fader tracks only control audio outputs and do not record audio, the playlist area shows only track automation on the session timeline. The Track Height and Track View selectors affect the appearance of the playlist.

Video tracks

Video tracks display imported video in the session timeline, allowing you to edit sound to picture.

Video tracks are displayed in the Edit window only (Figure 4.12). Edit window controls include Video Online button and Track View selector. You can also show the I/O view on Video tracks.

Figure 4.12

Figure 4.12 A Video track in the Edit window.

The playlist area shows video regions as frames or solid blocks. You can adjust the size of the video track with the Track Height selector.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020