Getting Started with Pro Tools Express M-Audio/Akai Pro Edition

When it comes to computer based recording Pro Tools has been the industry standard for many years. Up until recently Pro Tools has been a tool used mainly by professional trained recording engineers. Today we have multiple versions of this software with different features geared toward users with different skill sets.  In this article we will cover the basic steps to setup your MIDI keyboard controller and, begin recording.

 

 

Installation and Authorization Walkthrough Video

 

Getting Started with Pro Tools Express M-Audio/Akai Pro Edition

  1. Plug in your Pro Tools Express M-Audio/Akai Pro Edition authorized iLok to an available USB port on your computer.
     
  2. Plug in your Akai Professional or M-Audio hardware to an available USB port on your computer. If this is a desktop computer it is recommended using a port on the rear of the computer. 
     
  3. Open the software by double click on the Pro Tools Express icon.

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  4. Choose Create Blank Session...
     
  5. For this example lets use the default session parameters in the image below. Continue by clicking OK.

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  6. Once you click OK you will be prompted to chose a name, and destination for you new session. Give you session a name and click Save to create the session. 
     
  7. You should now have a blank session. The first thing we want to do is add a new  track to our session. 
     
  8. To add a new track click Track from the top menu the select New...

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  9. Once you insert a new track you will be give a few chocies of the type of track you want to add.

    • Audio Track: This track type is for recording audio from a voice or live instrument such as guitar.
       
    • Aux Input: This track type is used to pass audio and instruments tracks through it.  Aux tracks are great for grouping effects together. 
       
    • Master Fader: This fader is used to meter Audio, Instrument, and Aux input tracks. 
       
    • MIDI Track: A MIDI track is generally used to send MIDI data to external MIDI hardware.
       
    • Instrument Track:  To add virtual instruments such as pianos, synths and drums to your session you will want to use this track type.
       
  10. For this tutorial lets add one Instrument Track in Mono. Click Create to add the track to the session.
     
  11. Once the track is added lets show all the track properties. To do this click the top left corner of the Instrument track you this marked in green in the image Below.

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    • Track Viewing Options - This will allow you to show or hide track properties. 
       
    • Record button - This enables and arms this track for recording. 
       
    • Instrument seletion - Here you can choose your MIDI device for this Instrument track. 
       
    • Inserts A-E - This is where you can add an effect plugin or virtual instrument to your track. 
       
    • I/O - These drop downs will allow you to select your Input, and your output. For recording and playback. Make sure your computer's sound card is selected here. 
       
  12. Select All from the drop down list. This will show all properties of the selected track.

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  13. First lets ensure your MIDI controller is recognized, and selected to playback the Instrument Track. In the Instrument section click the All drop down list. This is marked in red in the image above.

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  14. From this list choose your MIDI controller and all channels. In this example above you can see we are using an Akai MPK25. 
     
  15. Next we want to assigin a virtual instrument to this track. To do this click an open slot in the Inserts A-E section. This section is marked in blue in the track image above.
     
  16. Select an available Instrument from the list. Once the plug-in loads you should now be able to play using your MIDI controller.

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  17. We are now ready to record. First we need to enable this track for recording. 
     
  18. To enable monitoring on this track, click the record button. This button is marked in yellow in the Instrument track image above. It should now blink, telling you that this track is ready for recording.
     
  19. Recording in Pro Tools Express requires 2 mouse clicks on the Transport window. First click the record button, then when you are ready to record click the Play button.

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  20. Conratulations! You now should be on your way to recording. The rest is up to you.

 

Pro Tools has been the industry standard recording software of choice for many professional recording engineers for several years. That being said there virtually unlimited resources available online that will help you learn your new software.

Here are a few videos to help with your continued learning of the Pro Tools Software.

 

Additional Video Tutorials

 

What other resources are available for help with Pro Tools Express?

Check out the following additional resources:

 

M-Audio/Akai Pro Technical Support & Warranty Service

Whether you are a user or dealer, if you already own an M-Audio/Akai Pro product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the technical support team is available to help!

Visit the any of the links below to connect with phone, email, and automated support options: