(must115) setting up pro tools 12

pro tools and DAWs

Pro Tools is an example of a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Pro Tools relies (mostly) on non-destructive processing and mixing. The program allows for multiple sounds to be used at once by reading from the multiple sound files, applying gain changes as indicated by mix commands, and applying processing through plugins. When you have completed a mix (or at any stage along the way), you “bounce” your project to stereo, which mixes and applies all processing to the individual tracks.

Since a DAW project has a more complex organization of files than a stereo audio editor, and a more complex set of preferences and setup, it is important to understand setup and file organization for a DAW project.

The following tips and screen shots are from Pro Tools 12.

first step – launch screen

By default, Pro Tools opens a launch window on startup. It allows you to create a new file or open a recent one. For your first project, you are creating a new file. With creating a new file comes the need to set up options properly, name your project, and store it in a place you can find later.

Our first project specifies the following options: BWF .WAV file type, 24-bit bit depth, 48kHz sampling rate and interleaved audio files. Take a look at the marked up screen for guidance.


Name your file according to the instructions (at the top of the window. Be sure to select “Prompt for location” for saving your project. Pro Tools will create a folder for your project with the name given. Store that on the Desktop to help you find it more easily (for backing up when your work session is complete).


Once you have finished creating a project with the proper options, open File | Preferences…, and select the Processing section.


Most of these preferences apply to projects with imported audio, but we will be creating our audio within the program. Still, it’s good to get in the habit of setting these preferences. You may end up using Elastic Audio, so those settings matter for this project.

setup options

Once you’ve set your preferences, you should check to make sure Pro Tools is using the correct hardware and input/output (I/O) setup. In the lab, the settings should be correct for you, but people always seem to make changes.

From the Setup menu, choose Hardware…. The Komplete Audio 6 should be the hardware selected for use.

From the Setup menu, choose Playback Engine…. The top choice should match your selection in the Hardware setup. I prefer to not ignore errors during playback/record, as I don’t want errors to be recorded as part of my audio files, or mixed into my final project.



From the Setup menu, choose I/O Setup…. It should look like the window below. Note that built-in output is the Komplete Audio 6 – not the built-in audio output of the computer.




Pro Tools has two main windows: the edit window and the mix window. You may also see a floating transport window. The edit window has your tracks (nothing showing at first) showing horizontally like an audio editor, with waveform representations for each track. The edit window also has a Clips pane to the right that shows the audio files that have been imported into the project and any clips made from those files.

You can close the transport window and incorporate the transport tools into the top of the edit window by clicking the top-right triangle button and choosing transport from the drop-down menu.

The Mix window shows a virtual mixer, with individual channel strips for each track. You can switch back and forth between the edit and mix windows with CMD-= (command equal).

All of the audio files you record will show up in the Clips pane of the edit window. As you edit those files, you will notice that additional clips are created as sub-units of the parent audio file. We’ll talk more about clips and editing later.

(must115) tell me who you are

To help me learn who you are, I want each of you to fill out an “electronic note card.”


  • Preferred name (no DJ names yet)
  • Year in school (incl. transfer, non-traditional, post-baccalaureate)
  • Instrument
  • Home town
  • Fun fact about yourself
  • photo (attachment)

Due Wednesday, August 26

(must115) opening day welcome

faculty staff in the program

  • Dr. Jason Bolte, Director of Music Technology, Assistant Professor, Academic Advisor
  • Dr. Linda Antas, Assistant Professor of Music Technology, Academic Advisor
  • Dr. Keith Kothman, Director of the School of Music, Professor of Music Technology
  • Josh McRae, Computer Support Specialist

other staff

  • Kim Eggemeyer, Administrative Office.Right now Kim is the only staff member we have in the office. Be nice to her!

registration for required coureses

  • MUSI 195 or MUSI 160/260 (Applied Lessons or Guitar Class/Lessons)
  • MUSI 105, 135, 140 (Theory 1, Keyboard Skills 1, Aural Perception 1) 
  • MUSI 103RA Section 3
  • Scholarship students must be in a large ensemble (recommended for all)
  • 6 – 9 University Core classes recommended

concert attendance/seminar

  • You must attend 120 concerts to graduate (15 per semester).
  • You must swipe in before the concert starts AND after it ends to receive credit.
  • If the card swipe isn’t working, you can manually log in with your GID at the computers in the lobby of Reynolds.
  • Even if the system says there is no concert, swipe your ID or login before and after to receive credit.
  • Non-MSU School of Music concerts must be approved by your advisor and you must bring a program.
  • Music Major Seminar meets Thursday, 11:00 – 11:50 in Reynolds. These seminars are required and count towards your 120 concerts.

grade requirements

  • A C or better is required for any MUSI, MUST, MUSE, EELE 217, FILM 259 to count.
  • A C- can count for any core or non-music class.
  • A D only counts towards your 10 free electives.


It’s in D2L, and also here. MUST115Syllabus2015sec3


  • https://ecat.montana.edu/
  • D2L (Desire 2 Learn) is your academic portal.
  • Assignments and grades will be posted and entered on D2L.
  • Login to D2L with your NetID.

recording assistance

  • All MUST students will assist in the recording of two concerts semester.
  • Your recording assistance will be part of your MUST 115 grade.
  • If you are late or miss your assigned concerts your grade will suffer.

multimedia series concerts

  • Your attendance is required.
  • You can also use them for general concert credit.
  • Dates tba

howard 127 lab

  • 127 is only available to students taking Music Technology classes.
  • The lab has all the software and hardware you need.
  • Staff (and faculty if staff unavailable) can let you in.
  • Open lab hours will be posted by the second week of class.



(must625) project 2: musique concrete, midi, and virtual instruments

Due Thursday, June 4, at beginning of class.


Compose a short work (75 – 90 seconds, 1’15 – 1’30) utilizing musique concrète techniques. You will process audio as before in Audacity and Audition, and assemble in Logic Pro X, with the addition of using a virtual sampler (EXS24) to further process audio samples. You are encouraged to build upon your first project.

Form again does not have to be much of a concern. Gestural or continual variation should dominate your project, whereby anything material that is presented can be subject to immediate variation. Your use of the EXS24 sampler should not be as an organ/keyboard, but as an additional way of expanding your developmental possibilities. Your EXS24 instruments must make use of interesting modulation techniques (envelopes and LFOs) and have external MIDI CC realtime controls to allow for interesting development of the sound over time.


  • Duration: 1’15 – 1’30 (10)
  • The inclusion of at least three virtual instruments using the EXS24. (10)
  • The project must rely on gesture as a primary component of the work. (10)

Additional factors you will be graded on

  • Creativity: are your edited sounds interesting, and used in interesting ways in the project? Do your EXS24 instruments make use of interesting modulation and realtime controls? (40)
  • Quality of edits and finished audio: you should not have audible clicks at beginnings or ends of edited audio, and your audio should not distort (it should not go over the maximum amplitude). (20)
  • Organization of files and following turn-in procedure: is there a finished, mixed audio file? Can I open your project file and play back all the tracks contained? Did you include your original source files and your processed files? (10)