Pro Tools 100a

Course Number: PROD-109DL1 Credit Hours: 2.5

Course Description

In Pro Tools 100 students explore introductory level Pro Tools hardware and software functionality while studying the supplementary coursework provided. Through studying the basic Pro Tools principles, students gain the skills needed to complete a Pro Tools project from initial set up to final mix-down. Whether the project involves recording live instruments, MIDI sequencing of software synthesizers, or audio looping, this course provides the basic skills needed to succeed. 

Mark Cross

Mark Cross is an award winning Producer, Composer, Mixer, Educator and Author with an extensive discography in both film and television that spans over 2 decades.

As a Engineer / Mixer Mark has worked on numerous albums, film scores, and television episodes, including the Grammy-winning “I Am Shelby Lynne”, Randy Newman’s Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning “CARS” and “Meet the Parents” score and soundtracks, along with mixing hundreds of episodes of the NBC prime time series: ER. Additional film credits include: Alien Resurrection, Seabisquit and Beavis and Butthead Do America.

As a composer he has created original music for the NBC Prime Time Series: Last Comic Standing as well as contributing additional music for: American Idol, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The CBS Evening News (and most recently for 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.

Additionally, Mark authored the renowned book, “Audio Post Production for Film and Television”. This introduction to audio post production is based on his vast and diverse background along with the input and experience of numerous A-list professionals and addresses all aspects of working with dialogue, music and sound effects for film and television. Many of these professionals and institutions recognize this textbook as the “ De Facto / Go To” book for anyone interested in studying audio post production.

Week 1: Getting To Know Pro Tools

What Is Pro Tools?

  • What is a DAW / Audio / MIDI
  • Mixing
  • Post Production
  • Pro Tools Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Pro Tools History and Intro
  • Cross-Platform Issues
  • Cross Platform Issues / Mac & Windows
  • Basics of Digital Audio
  • Pro Tools System Configuration
  • Review / Discussion Questions


Week 2: Getting Inside Pro Tools

  • Target Systems
  • Pro Tools File Structure
  • Starting Pro Tools
  • Optimize Your System’s Performance
  • Recommended Accessories

The PT Software Interface:

  • Main Pro Tools Windows (Edit)
  • Main Pro Tools Windows (Mix)
  • Main Pro Tools Windows (Transport)
  • Edit Tool Functions
  • Edit Modes
  • Time Scales & Rulers
  • MIDI Control Features

Review / Discussion Questions

Exercise 2: The Software Interface


Week 3: Creating Your First Session

Creating & Configuring a Pro Tools Session

  • The Dashboard
  • Creating & Configuring a Pro Tools Session
  • Working With Tracks
  • Adding Tracks
  • Track Types
  • Track Timebase
  • More About Tracks
  • The Playback Cursor & the Edit Cursor
  • Saving, Locating and Opening Existing Session

Review / Discussion Questions

Exercise 3: Creating a Session

  • Getting Started
  • Creating Tracks & Setting the Main Time Scale
  • Finishing Up

Week 4: Making Your First Audio Recording

  • Before Recording
  • Preparing To Record
  • Recording & Managing Audio
  • Organizing After Recording

Review / Discussion Questions

Exercise 4: Recording Audio

  • Getting Started
  • Creating Tracks
  • Recording
  • Finishing Up


Week 5: Importing & Working with Media in a Session

  • Considerations Prior To Import
  • Importing Audio
    • Importing Audio Command
    • Importing Audio with Workspace Browsers
    • Batch Importing Audio & From Audio CD
  • Importing Video

Review / Discussion Questions

Exercise 5: Importing Audio

  • Getting Started
  • Importing Audio to the Clip List
  • Importing Audio to Tracks
  • Finishing Up



Hardware Requirements

  • Mac or PC with at least 8 GB of RAM, but 16 GB or better is highly recommended. NOTE: LACM’s Pasadena campus uses Apple Macs, exclusively, for all its DAW workstations, as do all of the program’s instructors.
  • Students are required to have an audio interface compatible with Pro Tools 10, 11, or 12. Examples: Avid interface (Duet, Quartet, Mbox, Mbox Pro, Eleven Rack, Fast Track Solo, Fast Track Duo, 003, 003 Rack)
  • Third-party interface that supports Core Audio (Mac OS) or ASIO (Windows)
  • An iLok Smart Key is required for authorization of all Pro Tools systems.
  • First generation iLok is compatible with Pro Tools 10
  • iLok 2 is required for Pro Tools 11 and 12

Go to the following web sites for detailed system requirements involving Avid, Digidesign, and M-Audio systems, check the Avid listings of approved interfaces:

Pro Tools 10.0 Approved Audio Interfaces 

Pro Tools 11.0 Approved Audio Interfaces 

Pro Tools 12.0 Approved Audio Interfaces

Go to the following websites for detailed computer requirements, check the Avid support page:

Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Mac 

Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Windows


Additional Hardware

  • Microphone or electric musical instrument (guitar, keyboard, etc.); direct box may also be required (check audio interface specifications)
  • MIDI/USB keyboard, controller, or any instrument with a MIDI output, in addition to a MIDI interface if not integrated with your audio interface
  • Dedicated hard drive for Pro Tools session including audio and video files:
    • 1 TB or larger
    • 7200 RPM
    • USB 3 or better
    • “Green” drives (ones which will go to sleep after a period of inactivity) are NOT recommended. They are problematic for use with any DAW software.
  • At least one external, portable hard drive
  • Monitoring via loudspeakers and/or headphones


Pro Tools Installation and System Configuration

  • Pro Tools hardware and software must be installed on your computer and connected to any other audio equipment before beginning this class.
  • Please read whatever setup documentation is supplied with your system; it should include detailed instructions and various system configurations.
  • Look to your vendor for support.
  • It is highly recommended that you purchase Pro Tools from Sweetwater ( Their customer and technical support are outstanding.

Technical documentation is also available on the Avid Web site as well as the latest information on equipment compatibility and current software versions:

Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Mac 

Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Windows

Software Requirements

Pro Tools 10.3, 11.3.1, or 12.x.

  • Earlier versions of Pro Tools are not supported in this course.

Pro Tools 10:

  • Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or7.4 (Lion) or10.8.0 – 10.8.2 (Mountain Lion)
  • Windows 7 32- or 64-bit with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate Editions)

Pro Tools 11:

  • Mac OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion)or9.5 (Mavericks) or 10.10.0 – 10.10.2 (Yosemite)
  • Windows 7 64-bit with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate Editions) or Windows 8 – 8.1 (Standard and Pro Editions)

Pro Tools 12:

  • Mac OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) or9.0 – 10.9.5 (Mavericks) or10.10.0 – 10.10.5 (Yosemite) or 10.11.0 – 10.11.1 (El Capitan)
  • Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate Editions) or Windows 8 – 8.1 (Standard and Pro Editions)


Additional Software Requirements:

Required Components

  • The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Screen Size

  • LACM Online is best viewed at a minimum of 800×600, which is the average size of a notebook computer. If you want to view your courses on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512 kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver(latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS(latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA(latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome