Get on track to become a Pro Tools Operator from home with the help of Berklee's music production faculty. In this course, which constitutes the first stage of Avid's Pro Tools certification program, you will learn the basic principles you'll need to complete a Pro Tools project using Pro Tools, from initial setup to mixdown. Whether your project involves multi-track recordings of live instruments, MIDI sequencing of software synthesizers, or audio looping, Pro Tools 101 will provide you with real-world examples and frequent hands-on assignments designed to teach you how to record, edit, and mix on a basic level.
At the end of the course, you will have an opportunity to take the Avid Pro Tools 101 Exam online.
By the end of this course, you will:
- Start up and configure a Pro Tools session
- Use the main Pro Tools windows and customize displays
- Record audio into a Pro Tools session
- Import audio files and clips
- Use basic Pro Tools MIDI features
- Work with selections and navigate a Pro Tools session
- Create audio clips and edit tracks
- Create stereo mixes within Pro ToolsProcess audio using native AAX plug-ins
- Bounce to tracks and disk
- Work with music and post-production projects
Lesson 1: Introduction and Background
- Capabilities of Pro Tools Systems
- The Evolution of Digidesign and Avid
- The Avid Certification Program
- The Elements of Sound
- Digital Audio Theory
- Configuring a Pro Tools System
- Assignment 1: Pro Tools System Configuration
Lesson 2: Getting Inside Pro Tools
- Starting Pro Tools
- Pro Tools File Structure
- The Pro Tools Software Interface
- Main Pro Tools Windows
- Inside the Edit Window: Tracks
- Inside the Edit Window: Tools and Modes
- The Pro Tools Grand Tour
- Assignment 2: Describe Your Experience
Lesson 3: Creating Your First Session
- Developing Effective Pro Tools Skills
- Locating Sessions
- Saving Existing Sessions...and Creating New Ones
- Configuring Session Parameters
- Adding Tracks
- Managing Edit Window Operations
- Assignment 3: Make Your Own Session Template
Lesson 4: Making Your First Audio Recording
- Configuring Hardware for Recording
- Configuring Tracks for Recording
- Making a Recording
- Organizing after Recording
- Assignment 4: Recording Audio into Pro Tools
Lesson 5: Importing Media Into Your Session
- Consideration Prior to Import
- Using the Import Audio Command
- Additional Import Methods
- Importing Video
- Assignment 5: Importing Audio
Lesson 6: Making Your First MIDI Recording
- MIDI Fundamentals
- Using MIDI in Pro Tools
- Pro Tools MIDI Features
- Preparing to Record MIDI
- Using Virtual Instruments
- Recording MIDI
- Viewing and Manipulating MIDI Data
- Assignment 6: Recording MIDI-Based Tracks
Lesson 7: Selecting and Navigating
- Types of Selections
- Working With Edit Selections
- Adjusting the Session View
- Adding Markers to Your Session
- Creating Clips
- Assignment 7: Working with Selections and Clips
Lesson 8: Basic Editing Techniques
- Setting Up for Editing
- Using the Edit Modes
- Building Tracks with Clips
- Moving and Trimming Clips
- Creating Fade Effects
- Undoing Your Work
- Assignment 8: Clean Up Your Act
Lesson 9: Basic Mixing Techniques
- In or Out?
- Basic Mixer Terminology
- Configuring the Mix Window
- Basic Automation
- Real-Time Plug-Ins
- Assignment 9: Mix a Session
Lesson 10: Finishing Your Work
- Backing Up Your Session
- Recording a Stereo Mix
- Burning Audio on CD
- Assignment 10: Remix and Bounce
Lesson 11: Music Hands-On Project
- Avid Pro Tools 101 Exam
- Project Setup
- Planning a Pro Tools Project
- Working with MIDI Data
- Your Pro Tools Workspace
- Exercise: Recording Audio
- Exercise: Importing Media
- Working with Audio Data
- Recording Audio (Extra Credit)
- Mixing in Pro Tools
- Assignment 11: Finishing Your Work
Lesson 12: Post Hands-On Project
- Getting Started
- Importing Media
- Recording a Project
- Editing in Pro Tools
- Mixing in Pro Tools
- Mixing the Project
- Finishing Your Work
- Assignment 12: Post Hands-On Project
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
This course requires a basic understanding of recording techniques, processes, and equipment, such as the following:
- Miking techniques
- Mixer signal flow
- Audio monitoring equipment
- MIDI devices
- Pro Tools 2022.4 (Studio or Ultimate) or higher. Please note:
- Pro Tools First, Intro, and Artist are not sufficient.
- The Avid workbook currently used in this course is based on Pro Tools 2022.4. However, versions 2018.12 or higher are acceptable–with the exception of Apple Silicon machines, which require 2021.10 or higher–though there may be minor differences between the software and course content.
- Pro Tools software is not included with the course purchase.
- MIDI keyboard controller
- Audio interface
- At least one XLR microphone or electric musical instrument, such as guitar or keyboard, as well as necessary cables
- One of the following studio monitoring options (both recommended):
- Studio monitors (pair), such as JBL 305Ps or better, as well as necessary cables
- Over-ear studio headphones, such as Sennheiser HD 600, Sony MDR-7506, Philips SHP9500, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, etc.
- iLok USB required to use Pro Tools offline. iLok Cloud (free) may be used instead, but requires a continuous internet connection while using Pro Tools.
- Recommended: Dedicated internal or external audio storage drive: SSD (recommended) or 7200 RPM HDD
Important Technical/System Considerations
- Students are responsible for ensuring their version of Pro Tools will run on their current system. Click here for a full compatibility chart.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Andy Edelstein is an active educator, record producer, engineer, and multimedia developer. He is currently Associate Professor of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee, and has also served as Assistant Chair of the Music Production and Engineering Department during his thirty-seven-year tenure at the College. Andy has produced, recorded, and/or mixed numerous records from jazz and rock to folk, Celtic, and blues, including the genre-bending Wayfaring Strangers critically acclaimed Rounder releases, the SpinART debut by independent rockers Apollo Sunshine, and a live album by the longtime bluegrass band Dry Branch Fire Squad, all using his Pro Tools HD system. His recording facility Rapid Eye Music was cited in Mix Magazine’s “Class of 2015” article about the acoustical design of the year’s coolest new studios. Andy is Principal of Rapid Eye Media, specializing in multimedia production services. His design and production work is featured in a series of award-winning interactive exhibits at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO and the Longyear Museum in Brookline, MA. Consulting clientele has included the GRAMMY Foundation in Santa Monica, CA. Andy holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Richard Mendelson is a senior faculty member in the Music Production and Engineering department at Berklee College of Music. A long-time educator, Mendelson specializes in mixing and recording. His former students include many Grammy-winning mixing and recording engineers.
Mendelson's work has been featured in recordings by artists such as Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie, and Garbage, and he is a first-call mix-down engineer in the Boston area. Mendelson is an expert in digital sampling and has created more than 10 international best- selling sample products for Big Fish Audio and East/West Communications. Read Less
Mark Cross is an award-winning producer, composer, mixer, educator, and author with an extensive discography in both film and television that spans over two decades.
As an engineer and mixer, Mark has worked on numerous projects, including the Grammy -winning Shelby Lynne album I Am Shelby Lynne, Randy Newman's Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning soundtrack for the Disney-Pixar film Cars, the Meet the Parents original film score and soundtracks, and hundreds of episodes of the NBC prime time series ER. Mark’s additional film credits include Alien: Resurrection, Seabiscuit, and Beavis and Butthead Do America.
As a composer, Mark has created over a thousand registered tracks for use in hundreds of films and television shows worldwide. He was the lead composer for the NBC prime time series Last Comic Standing and has contributed additional music for American Idol, Curb Your Enthusiasm, the CBS Evening News, HBO’s Getting On, and Comedy Central’s Key and Peele. Mark has created musical themes for Nickelodeon's Wow Wow Wubbzy, the Seinfeld Season 8 DVD, as well as producing and performing with Grammy winner John Legend on HBO's: Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Mark holds a Master of Fine Arts in Music Education from Boston University as well as a dual Bachelor of Music in Music Production & Engineering and Music Education from Berklee College of Music. He currently teaches Music Technology and Composition for Visual Media at Berklee College of Music, California State University Northridge, and Los Angeles College of Music. Mark authored the book Audio Post Production for Film and Television, published by Hal Leonard and Berklee Press. Read Less
Erik "Hawk" Hawkins is an EDM artist, producer, composer, remixer, label owner, and author. His music has been used by major television networks and film studios, including ABC, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, and New Line Cinema.
Dozens of his articles have appeared in the Industry's top publications, including Electronic Musician, Mix, Remix, and Keyboard. He has authored several books, including Complete Guide to Remixing and Producing Drum Beats. His Berklee Online course, Programming and Producing Drum Beats, won the 2012 UPCEA Award. He also manages his own busy YouTube channels and has collected way too many vintage synths. Read Less
Mike Carrera has been an advocate and evangelist for technology in music education for the past 17 years at Berklee’s Boston campus. As Director for Faculty Technology Services, Mike leads the instructional technology team that empowers faculty to become better educators by helping them discover and learn new teaching with technology skills.
As a teacher and lecturer, Mike has been a featured music technology speaker at MacWorld Boston, MacWorld San Francisco, MacWorld Asia, and IUT Germany and Scotland. He is a member of the Avid ACA Higher Education Sub-Committee and manages Berklee’s Avid Learning Partnership program. Most recently, Mike has authored and produced on-line music curriculum for mobile distribution in partnership with First Act, Inc.
Mike is also an accomplished producer, writer, mixer and performer of children’s music. His band Debbie and Friends has over 13 million YouTube views and has won more than 20 national awards including: The Parents’ Choice Award, CBS Boston’s “Best Local Children’s Musician,” Nickelodeon Parents’ Pick Award and the Boston Children’s Music Performance Award. The song “Walk Away,” produced and co-written by Mike, was also included on a 2012 GRAMMY Award-winning album All About Bullies Big and Small. Since their first release, Story Songs and Sing-Alongs, Debbie and Friends have enjoyed national distribution, radio play and licensing and placements for shows like Fox TV’s “24” and retail store soundtracks.
Mike is an Avid Certified Instructor, Pro Tools Operator and Logic Pro certified, and a Berklee Alumnus. Read Less
Jason Stokes is an ’09 Berklee alumnus. He worked for five years in the President’s Office of Educational Outreach before becoming an Assistant Professor of Music Production and Engineering. He is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist playing guitar, bass, drums, and piano. Prior to returning to Berklee, he worked with notable artists including India.Arie, Corey Glover, David Ryan Harris, Soulive, Lettuce, Louis Cato, and many more as a producer, an engineer, and artist. His recordings include Outkast, Goodie Mob, Boys to Men, Silk, 2.0, R.E.M., Pink, Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Kronos Quartet, and Mariah Carey. In addition to a plethora of Major Label work, He also did a great deal of post and feature film work and studios such as the Skywalker Ranch and American Zoetrope. In 2001 he received a Grammy Nomination for Album of the Year, and another in 2002 for Contemporary Album of the Year. He was a 2008-2010 recipient of Berklee Achievement Scholarship and a 2007 recipient of a study abroad grant in Athens, Greece. He is a founding member of the Berklee in Atlanta Spring Break trip and is excited to be attending for the seventh time.
Bora Uslusoy is a producer, engineer, songwriter, recording artist, and the founder of bUMA RecordZ. Originally from Istanbul, he is currently based in the greater Boston area, Massachusetts. He has worked with Lawrence “Larry” Watson, Lucas Bun, Kalelio, Tom Appleman, Pete Langman, Mick Morena, Phil Hilborne, Bryan McLellan, Mel Gabbitas, ARTIDOKSAN, and Aqua Talk, among others. Bora has also released two solo albums, Umutsuz Aşk and Muska (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
Bora studied guitar at the Musicians’ Institute London and completed Berklee Online’s “Studio Production Specialist” certificate program. He attended Avid’s “Train The Trainer” program, leading to his becoming certified as an Avid Pro Tools Instructor. He is also certified as a Steinberg Trainer for Cubase. Bora has published five instructional books on guitar and bass in Turkish, created online courses, and has written magazine articles, product reviews, and how-to guides.
He is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in the Music Production and Engineering Department and is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Read Less
When taken for credit, Pro Tools 101 can be applied towards these associated programs: