Creating a beat & Composing Music in Pro Tools
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Creating a beat & Composing Music in Pro Tools

Learn how to use MIDI and Audio Samples in music production
0.0 (0 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
4 students enrolled
Created by David Hughes
Last updated 12/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Setup a Pro Tools session
  • Record MIDI & audio into the Pro Tools workspace
  • Setup tempo changes and arrange MIDI notes to sync with the tempo
  • Import audio samples to arrange within a mix
  • Use the Grid feature in Pro Tools with confidence
  • Create custom samples and trigger them with MIDI
  • Add effects to the samples and sounds being generated by Pro Tools
View Curriculum
  • A minimal understanding of MIDI and what it does in music production
  • Familiarity with the Pro Tools workspace
  • How to connect a USB keyboard to a computer
  • How to connect an external hard drive or install an internal hard drive in a computer

Welcome to creating a instrumental beat or musical score from scratch within the Pro Tools DAW. This course will cover everything you need to know from start to finish for composing music with MIDI and analog samples within the Pro Tools work space. We'll start with the session setup and how to organize your tracks to create a template. This will allow you to quickly and easily create new compositions regularly to keep your creative ideas flowing. 

At the start of this course, we're going to cover some essential basics that are fundamental in your workflow production. You may already be aware of these crucial steps to production, but just in case you missed something, I'm going to review how to optimize your system for a professional workflow in Pro Tools.

This course is perfect for anyone interested in learning how to use digital software to compose music. We'll take a look at the stock plugins that come with Pro Tools and then explore some 3rd party plugins that you can add to your system if you need to expand your sound library. You'll be able to customize your sounds and learn the basics for creating an engaging mix.

Finally, I'll give you some advice on how to distribute and market your music so that you can turn your passion into a source of income. I look forward to sharing this course with you and I welcome any questions you may have about the lectures.

Who is the target audience?
  • Perfect for any student that wants to learn how to create custom beats in Pro Tools.
  • Composers looking to add Pro Tools compositions to their portfolio
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Curriculum For This Course
21 Lectures
Setting Up Pro Tools & Templates
7 Lectures 20:09

Choosing a DAW can be over whelming. I prefer to use Pro Tools as my main DAW because it offers many options for recording, mixing, composing, and audio routing. Just my thoughts about why I'm using Pro Tools in this course. 

Preview 01:36

Starting from scratch, we examine the start up window for Pro Tools and cover what settings are best for optimizing the session. 

Preview 02:42

A quick review of how to setup your Pro Tools preferences so the Quick Start Dialogue Box appears when you start up Pro Tools. 

Preview 00:42

It is important to have your system optimized for recording and playback. This lecture reviews the specifications for your hard drive setup and how to prepare your session for production. 

Hard drive setup & system optimization

Creating and setting up the instrument track + MIDI tracks to route the MIDI notes to the XPAND2 sampler. 

Creating Instrument and MIDI tracks

XPAND can be a very versatile tool for creating and composing music. Knowing how to route audio through the sampler can be very useful and this video will give you some insight on how to use this software as a virtual Swiss army knife for your production. 

Routing MIDI through the XPAND2 sampler

Understanding fundamentals of MIDI within Pro Tools.

Basic Pro Tools MIDI quiz
1 question
Composing the Beat
9 Lectures 47:35

Adding MIDI notes can be quite simple once you know and understand some basic principles of how Pro Tools works with MIDI. Here I show you how to adjust the track views and then add MIDI notes on a Tempo Map Grid to keep your rhythm in sync with the current session tempo (BPM) of the song.

Adding MIDI notes to the Instrument tracks

A brief discussion about the concept process of building a beat. 

Preview 00:54

Samples are a great way to add some new layers and dynamics to your mix. There are a bunch of sample websites and I personally work with This lecture will cover how to locate your samples with the workspace window in Pro Tools and then add the samples to your session. We'll also cover how to edit and conform audio samples that were tracked at a different tempo then the current tempo of the session. 

Adding Samples to the Mix

Now we cover how to create an AUX send channel for adding some delay to an analog sample that we've added to the composition. This technique can be used for any audio track in the session. You can apply any effect as a side-chain to the original audio and give it more texture. This lecture is really where you start to set yourself apart from the amateur world and start to become more professional with your music.

Adding Delay to the analog samples

Now we are going to add some arpeggiated synth sounds to our mix. XPAND2 is an extremely versatile synth station that gives you a multitude of parameters to control for your music compositions. This lecture is going to cover how to set up the arpeggio trigger to get more movement and texture into your music. 

Working with Arpeggiated Synth sound inside the XPAND2 workstation

Setting up Structure is quite simple. The interface is drag and drop, so all you need is an audio file to import into the Structure window. 

Setting up Structure to sample audio

Placing MIDI notes on the timeline to trigger our sample within the Structure plugin. I also cover how to add FX within the Structure sampler to create motion and give the sample some more texture within the mix. 

Recording MIDI with Structure + Adding FX in Structure

Raw samples can feel out of place in a mix or just not fit at all. By reshaping the sample with some harmonic distortion or modulation, we can find a better feel for the sample within the mix. This video, I use  the Sans Amp PSA-1 plugin that is stock with Pro Tools. Just by tweaking the settings a bit, I am able to get a tone that sounds more along the lines of the song. Simple adjustments like this one can really shape your music and give your beat a unique sound. 

Adding Distortion to the Structure Sample w/ Sans Amp PSA-1

Adjustments should always happen. It's good to hear what changes will do to your mix. Sometimes a happy accident will occur and it will take you in a completely different direction. This video goes over some of the areas you can explore within the Structure sampler and how you can adjust the pitch of your samples within the "notes" view on the edit window of Pro Tools. 

Getting deeper into the options within Structure
Mixing & Automation in Pro Tools
5 Lectures 16:05

Adjusting volume is crucial to a good mix. Being able to control the volume levels throughout a song can greatly impact the power and movement of a mix. This lecture will show you how to view and adjust the volume levels on a track manually. 

Adjusting Volume & Manual Volume Automation

Sometimes it is easier to write automation on a track to give it a more natural or smooth sound. This lecture covers how to enable and write automation to volume on a track. We cover the 'write' & 'touch' features within the automation menu. Plus, I'll show you how to quickly suspend all automation on a mix to help you A/B your changes. 

Wrtiing automation to your volume levels

The clip gain feature in Pro Tools is another way to adjust volume levels. Though this feature is more for fine-tune adjustments, It can come in handy if you want to make a global change to a clip region without having to adjust any automation. This feature is pre-processing, so it will impact the behavior of your plugins and sends. Be sure to use caution when adjusting the clip gain. 

Clip Gain

Adjusting volume on an Instrument track has the same features as an audio track, but there are a few extra options for level adjustments. You can use the audio volume automation or you can adjust the velocity of particular MIDI notes to control the sound, texture, and level of the triggered audio. 

Adjusting Volume on Instrument tracks containing MIDI notes

Let's review some of the main features covered in this chapter.

Volume and Automation QUIZ
2 questions

Sometimes you want to add some more movement or FX to your core beat. In this lecture, I'll show you how to bus the audio from the MIDI instrument track over to an audio track. This will allow you to turn the audio from the MIDI notes into a more workable stereo audio file. This is also great for re-sampling and doing the chop and screw effects. 

Resampling MIDI into an audio file
About the Instructor
David Hughes
3.9 Average rating
4 Reviews
16 Students
2 Courses
Professional Audio Engineer & Music Producer

At Shine On Studio, we like to work a little differently than the traditional idea
behind a recording studio. Our engineers are engaged in your project to inspire and fuel the creative process. The focus of the studio is to produce quality recordings that will last the test of time and be cherished by all the generations to follow. We're invested in your music and we consider ourselves a member of the band. 

Audio production is a creative and musical process that I pour my heart into with every project. I use the recorded audio to sculpt and shape the sound into a unique experience for the listener. Our skills are vital to your sound and we want to be just as proud of the production as you do.