Pro Tools 101


Authored by Andy Edelstein


Course Code: OMPRD-180

Now Enrolling for Sept 30 Term Start

Level 1

Level 1

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


Get on track to become a Pro Tools Operator from home with the help of Berklee's music production faculty. Berklee Online is the exclusive online provider of the Pro Tools 101 curriculum by Avid, and this course constitutes the first stage of their Pro Tools certification program. 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.

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At the end of the course, you will have an opportunity to take the Avid Pro Tools 101 Exam online.

Berklee Online is an Avid Learning Partner

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
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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 

Completion of Music Production 101 or equivalent knowledge and experience is required. 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

Required Textbook(s)

Software Requirements

  • Pro Tools 11 or higher (not included with course purchase) Please note: Pro Tools First is not supported in this course.

Hardware Requirements

  • Any current audio interface that supports Core Audio (Mac OS) or ASIO (Windows) such as the Avid Mbox 3, Focusrite Scarlett, Presonus AudioBox, etc.
  • An iLok Smart Key is required for authorization of all Pro Tools systems
  • Minimum of one microphone or electric musical instrument (guitar, keyboard, etc.); direct box may also be required (check audio interface specifications)
  • USB MIDI keyboard/controller

Specific hardware and operating system requirements vary depending on your Pro Tools version. For detailed system requirements involving Avid systems, check the Avid listings of systems requirements and approved interfaces. For information about third-party interfaces, contact the product manufacturer directly.

(Please note that some interfaces do not provide microphone inputs, so students who utilize these products will not be able to complete recording assignments. Also note that some interfaces require external preamplifiers in order to record microphone inputs.)

*After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact for any questions.

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. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • 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.



Ted Paduck is an assistant professor in the Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) department at Berklee, where he teaches Mix Techniques 1 and 2, as well as Multitrack Techniques. Since graduating from Berklee in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in Music Production and Engineering, Paduck has worked with an impressive roster of artists.

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Early freelance engineering projects in Boston at such studios as Syncro Sound, Newbury Sound, and Sound Techniques eventually led to a staff engineering position at the latter, where he worked with Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, Run DMC, Busta Rhymes, and Erykah Badu, and also engineered television spots for commercials and film scores for Better Than Sex, Prefontaine, and the HBO series Earth to the Moon.

Among his accomplishments is the recording of "Never Grow Old" with the Skatalites for their True Love album, which won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2003. In 2015, he was nominated for Producer of the Year by the New England Music Awards. He has also worked on the film scores for the John Sayles film Silver City and Berklee alum Mike Teoli's film, The Red Thread. 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.

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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



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.

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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



Will Robertson is an accomplished producer, engineer, and performer. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Will has worked or performed with Grammy-winning and -nominated hit makers such as John Mayer, Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band), Shawn Mullins ("Lullaby"), and Pat Sansone (Wilco). Will has also performed with, arranged for, and recorded artists such as Rebecca Loebe (featured on NBC's "The Voice"), David Berkeley, Nathan Beaver, Arlington Priest, The Brilliant Inventions and Evan McHugh. Will's work has been featured on TV and radio worldwide.

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Will holds a bachelor of arts in music from Rice University, where he studied double bass performance, as well as conducting and composition. He graduated from Berklee College of Music's music production and engineering program, where he was the recipient of the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS) scholarship. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing upright/electric bass, guitar, and piano, and he has played in, sung in, directed or conducted a variety of ensembles in styles such as singer-songwriter, bluegrass, rock, blues, musical theater, and classical. Read Less


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

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