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Microphone Month 4

Speedier Sessions in Pro Tools

Pro Tools has a feature that makes it much faster and easier to record or create the same types of tracks in multiple session files. Let’s say you need to record the lead vocals for ten songs in an album project, and have each song saved as its own session file. Rather than create the vocal track from scratch in each song, try this:

  1. Create the empty vocal track in the first song, with all the plug-ins, aux sends, etc., that you need.
  2. Then, one by one, open each of the other songs’ session files, choose Import from the file menu, and select “Session Data.”
  3. Navigate to the session file for the first song, the one containing the vocal track you created.
  4. Select the session file and click Open.
  5. A window will appear; about halfway down, under the heading “Source” will be a list of the tracks in that session. Click on the vocal track name or pull its menu down to select “New Track.”
  6. Click “OK.”
  7. The vocal track will be imported into the new song, with all its settings intact. If there was audio in the track, it will also be imported.

The Import Session Data function is incredibly useful. Put it to work whenever you want to speed up the repetitive parts of song creation. In fact, why not create a “template” session that contains a “library” of track types that you use frequently, with all the instruments, plug-ins, and routings ready to go? When you start a new song, just import the tracks you want and start creating! Other uses include remixing, pulling in reference tracks for use when mixing and mastering, and a variety of others.

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