Plugin routing in Pro Tools

In this article:

  1. Using a AUX Send Solution in Pro Tools
  2. Using Output Sends in Pro Tools

 

Using a AUX Send Solution in Pro Tools

Notes:

  • For the sake of simplicity I have not used any group or stem busses, inserts or effect sends in this session in order to focus on the routing for multiple Reference 4 inserts.
  • This example is using an RME Fireface 802 that has two dedicated Headphone Outputs (Channels 9/10 and 11/12) Your interface options may be different.
  • Key commands are for Mac only.

In the i/o bus settings:

Create a stereo bus called toPreMaster

Create a stereo bus called toPreR4

Create a stereo bus called HP1 – with Output set to Phones 9-10

Create a stereo bus called HP2 – with Output set to Phones 11-12

Create a stereo bus called Main Mon – with Output set to Analog 3-4

Create a stereo bus called Alt Mon – with Output set to Analog 5-6

Re-label Output 1-2 to Bounce Mix and make sure Output is set to Analog 1-2

 

Create a Send on every track and set it to toPreMaster (hold Option key [⌥] while selecting one track)

With all tracks selected use the Copy to Send feature to duplicate track fader and pan settings to all the Sends. Use [⌥][⌘][H] to get "Copy to Send" dialog box to copy all Track fader/pan settings to Sends while the tracks are selected (also available under the Edit menu).

Create 5 new Stereo AUX Tracks and name them:

HP1 (Headphones 1) – set Input to: toPreR4 – set Output to: HP1

HP2 (Headphones 2) – set Input to: toPreR4 – set Output to: HP2

Main Mon (Main Monitors) – set Input to: toPreR4 – set Output to: Main Mon

Alt Mon (Alternative Monitors) – set Input to: toPreR4 – set Output to: Alt Mon

PreMaster – set input to: toPreMaster – set Output to: toPreR4

Insert a Reference 4 plugin on the tracks: HP1, HP2, Main Mon, Alt Mon, with the appropriate corrective equalization preset for each.

 

This particular set-up would allow you to hear corrective equalization specific to 2 sets of headphones and 2 pairs of monitors without affecting the final bounce. Since the Master track does not have the Reference 4 as an insert, you will never forget to bypass the plug before bouncing, because you simply won’t need to.

Additional Notes:

  • Be sure to duplicate whatever mastering effects chain you are using on the Master Fader to the PreMaster Track.
  • Be sure to route other AUX effects tracks in the same way as the main tracks.
  • You will need to route the output of your system to the appropriate monitors via hardware settings, as needed to audition multiple pairs, depending on your particular system.

Using Output Sends in Pro Tools

You could also Output all tracks to the toPreMaster bus and set that as the input for the AUX tracks: HP 1, HP 2, MON 1, MON 2 and PreMaster.

With this approach, the PreMaster track would feed the Master Fader and would be the only AUX track to affect the Bounce. This would eliminate the need to copy fader settings as in the first example. However, any additional inserts before the Reference 4 plugin would need to be duplicated on every AUX track.

Once again, the idea here is to isolate the Reference 4 equalized version of what you are hearing from the bounce and allow for different listening scenarios without the need to the change the plugin settings each time you switch speaker pairs or headphones.

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