4/10/2004

Taming ProTools

So, little by little, I am starting to get the hang of using ProTools at home. I'm working on editing our Leap sessions (saving on studio expenses).

The first step was just to get the band a full mix of the session, with all mics turned on the whole way through (the rough mix we had from John at SugarHill was "on the fly", and had parts coming in and out randomly). So after I finally got all the hardware (MBox and 80 GB Firewire drive) and software (ProTools LE) working together, I tried to do a mix of the first 60 minutes down to wav file. Unfortunately for me, the computer I'm using (our home iBook) is the lowest spec possible for running ProTools, so it occasionally just stops doing whatever it's doing and says that it didn't have enough CPU to complete the task. Not a big deal during editing or playback, but rather frustrating 2/3rds of the way through an hour-long mixdown.

Once I finally did get the 2 big WAV files, I discovered that iTunes wouldn't open 'em up, cuz they were either too large or the wrong bit rate, I'm not sure which. Arrgh. It's OK, though, b/c I would have had to break up the resulting WAV files anyway, and I don't know any software that does that cleanly on Mac the way CD Wave does on PC.

So instead, I opted to place "memory locations" at the individual track points in the ProTools session, and do individual bounces for each track to WAV. That's 22 individual tracks the way I have it broken up now (which is with more generous track lengths than I used on the last tracked-out version I made). So, 22 bounce downs and 4 CD burns later, I've got the thing where they can listen to it. Fortunately, from here on out, we can deal with individual tracks, not the entire thing, so it'll be more manageable. And now we get to the fun part of actually messing with the arrangements, etc.

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