Pro Tools: Track Presets for Audio Post – Working With Playlists

By in Audio Post, Music Creation, NAB 2018, Pro Mixing

Building Up Atmospheres with Track Presets and Playlists

In post production we are often up against tough deadlines and anything that can help speed up the process is a very welcome addition to the process. Using, in this case, two Pro Tools features together, with a little preparation, we can make atmosphere creation and take management much more streamlined.

A time-consuming part of track laying for a film, documentary, or commercial can be to create atmospheres. With track presets you can save multiple layers of atmospheres, for example you could save a track preset for city environments looped with differing locations on each playlist.

If you are regularly working on a TV series or documentary you could name these for each location used so that once you have sonically built that scene you can have those grouped atmospheres ready to go immediately as the series goes on.

As new edits and episodes come in you can use recently introduced playlist functionality to select the length of the scene or shot and then cycle though the different atmospheres you have prepared on the other playlists. Simply, use the new shortcuts for playlists and then apply a batch fade you already prepared in the fade presets.

Cycle playlists inside edit selections using the following shortcuts.

Command + Shift + Up/Down Arrow (Mac)
Control + Shift + Up/Down Arrow (Win)

Cycle Audio Within Edit Selection


VO Recording

You can also use track presets with playlists for VO or narration recording. You could pre-name playlists to make take management more streamlined. For example, name alternate playlists Take 1-5 and favorite target playlist. Then as you are recording and reviewing you can keep audio organized and easily accessible for playback whenever you or a director need to listen to those available options.

Simply right click to copy or send an audio region to the designated playlist. Then, as the other production teams members want to review, it’s a simple case of just cycling through your playlists using the following shortcuts.

Shift + Up/Down Arrow (Mac & Win)

Cycle Playlists on Selected Track

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I’m a Kiwi living in Tokyo, Japan. From Audio Post and now an Audio Application Specialist at Avid, while staying in touch in the industry with the occasional spot of mixing and sound design for TV. Sound, music and technology have been my career for the last 17 years and my passion for a lifetime.