Re: re protools question

Subject: Re: re protools question
From: Jonathan Prager (
Date: Tue Nov 23 1999 - 12:06:15 EST

Hi everybody,

Let me introduce me: I'm the assistant of Denis Dufour in his acousmatic
(ea, musique concrete) composition courses at the Conservatory of
Perpignan (very south of France). Regarding your different Pro Tools
posts, I would like to point out some things nobody seems to know about
(forgive me if someone did, I'm new to the list from last week).

IMO, I've found 2 things difficult for low level students to learn.
First: navigating through hard disk with the "Save" or "Open" dialog of
the Mac OS. This is one flaw about one aspect of the Mac OS' design that
has already been talked about for long. But the second one is more PT
specific. PT has the ability of storing files from different tracks on
different hard drives. You can even have one drive for each track in your
session. Of course, this only applies if you have multiple drives (or
multiple volumes) in your set, which is the case in every of our 3
studios in Perpignan. In fact, in the "Setups" menu, you have a "Disk
Allocation..." article that brings you to a window where you can freely
assign a drive to each track of your session. It appears that, from time
to time, PT changes the assignements you have made (or, if you didn't
make any, it chooses it itself more or less randomly) but WITHOUT warning
you! And this is the point! Eventually the student ends up with many
files scattered on every drive in the studio, each HD having its own
folder (at the root level) bearing the name of the session, the sound
files residing in an "Audio Files" folder within it. This is terrific!
This is why I always remind students to look at the Disk Allocation
window everytime they open a session, AND before closing it. So that they
make sure every track in their session is assigned the same disk and does
not "extend" to others. It is particularly annoying when they use up to
the full limit of 16 tracks in PowerMix!

But that is not the definitive solution to Katharine's problem,
especially if there's just one volume on her desktop. You simply can't
copy the original session folder to re-use the entire session on another
Mac, partly because of what other posts said and because of the above.
But thank Digidesign: they appear to have understand the need for a
solution to this. Katharine: in PT 4.3.1 (I don't remember if it was
already there in previous versions), look at the "Save Session Copy
In..." article in the "File" menu. From there, not only can you make a
copy of the open session but also of EVERY audio and fade files in it,
everything being copied into just ONE folder in the location of your
choice. You just have to rename the session, and NOT to forget to check
the "Copy audio files..." option. This is the answer! But it'll work only
if you have sufficient free disk space because PT make a *copy* of every
audio and fade files in the session.

So you can be assured that if you have a HD with root folder(s) having
the same name as a session on another drive, there's is a bad "Disk
Allocation" in the session!

>From time to time, my students and I have to deal with this problematic
aspect of PT, and make some "housekeeping" on the Mac. It's very time
consuming with large sessions, especially when five or six students use
the same computer (you have to make room for the copy, remembering of the
use of some audio files before deleting them, etc.). But I think this is
the only way to transfer a *complete* session from one Mac to another, or
to make exact back-ups to another support, or to re-assemble a scattered
session when you definitely can't get your hands on that audio file PT is
asking for (you know, the "Where is" dialog...).

Finally, as Paul Rudy said,

>"This is exactly why I choose not to teach Protools until second semester!"

after the students have come to master the fundamentals of the Mac OS
user interface with a simpler software like Peak. In fact, this is
related to the way Denis Dufour teaches composition, the 1st-level
students beginning with microphone recordings in stereo, and then editing
them on the Mac in stereo (cut, copy, paste, transposition and all this
stuff, in stereo). Mixing is teached later, when students learn how to
make new sounds out of 2 superimposed, etc.

Hope this helps!

Regards to all

Jonathan Prager

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