Digital Audio Workstations are different by design and it pays to have a good understanding of the one you wish to use in your process of sound engineering or sound/audio reproduction of any sort.
One Digital Audio Workstation that is widely known and popularly used in audio engineering is called Pro Tools.
Pro Tools is one of the best Digital Audio workstations out there and quite a favorite of mine.
For someone looking to learn how to use pro tools, it’s always good to know long it will approximately take to get a good handle on it.
This post will help you with that.
…With that said, how long does it take to master Pro Tools?
If you already know how to use other digital audio workstations and possess sufficient knowledge in audio production fundamentals, you could master Pro Tools easily in 4 to 10 weeks. If you’re a complete newbie to Digital Audio Workstations it may take you 9 to 12 months to become proficient in Pro Tools provided that you at least spend 2 to 3 hours on it every day.
Factors to consider
To answer the question of how long it would take someone to become good at using Pro Tools we need to consider a few factors.
Your experience in audio production work will have a huge impact on how long it takes you to master how to use Pro Tools.
If you have prior knowledge of how to use Digital Audio Workstations, you’ll simply be transferring your knowledge of other DAWs on to a new platform.
Therefore, a month or a couple of weeks using Pro Tools will be enough for you to use it without encountering a lot of difficulty.
On the other hand, If you’re a newbie to the world of audio production software, it may take you more than 6 months just to get a brief understanding of how the software works.
Lack of audio production knowledge will be a factor that will hold you back. You’ll need to understand certain concepts before you dive into learning how to use Pro Tools.
You’ll for example need to learn how to handle audio production equipment. That is, how to integrate digital and analog devices.
You’ll also need to have an understanding of audio recording and processing through the use of effects and other tools.
You’ll also need to understand how digital mixers work and the roles of various parameters on them such as signal chains, routing, inserts, busses, etc.
There are really a lot of prerequisites to learning how to use any DAW if you’re a complete beginner to audio production.
What I’ve mentioned above is very brief and is only meant to give you a brief lay of the land.
In real sense there’s a lot of intricacy involved and takes a lot of audio production education to know certain things.
Skills to learn
Another thing that you have to consider in figuring out how long it would take you to learn how to proficiently use Pro Tools is what skills you want to basically learn.
Are you looking to learn how to use Pro Tools to record?
Are you looking to learn how to use Pro Tools for mixing?
Are you looking to learn how to use Pro Tools for mastering?
If you’re aiming to get knowledge about how to record in Pro Tools then you’ll have a shorter learning curve.
Learning mixing and mastering in Pro Tools on the other hand will require more effort and time if you don’t know anything about audio production.
What learning Pro Tools means
Below are the things that you’re going to need to learn in order to master Pro Tools.
Getting familiar with it
First things first, you’ll need to get familiar with the interface and understand some of its parameters.
You’ll need to learn how to use and connect devices with Pro Tools.
Some of these devices are headphones, speakers, microphones, instruments etc.
You’ll mostly likely use the Demo Session to test your speakers or headphones to ensure that they’re working perfectly.
To play the demo session you’ll need to locate the play button or you can simply press the space bar to play the session and press it again to stop the play back.
At this stage the most important thing is just getting a feel of the DAW. Nothing too complicated.
Knowing how to record in it
You’ll then move on to learning how to record within Pro Tools.
At this stage you’ll learn how to create a session. You’ll have no tracks in the session at this point.
What will be next will be ensuring that your microphone is set up .
After this you’ll move on to learning how to create a track which is simply the input channel for your audio.
You’ll learn how to create stereo and mono tracks and what they both mean.
You’ll also learn how to measure time in minutes, seconds, beats and bars.
You’ll also generally understand how to record and how to import audio into the DAW.
This is over simplifying it but I’m just giving you a general idea of what to expect.
Knowing how to mix and master in it
You’ll also learn how to mix inside of Pro Tools. You’ll learn how to route your tracks to mixer channels and how to add effects to them.
You’ll also learn how to create simple routing techniques to group your vocals or instruments together and process them as a whole.
There’s a lot of nuance that comes with learning how to use Pro Tools effectively.
It’s definitely easy to master Pro Tools if you experience working in audio production with other Digital Audio Workstations.