How To Use Peripherals in Pro Tools

“Peripherals” in the computing world means any device attached to the computer but is not a part of the system. Common examples of peripherals are printers, scanners, microphones, webcams, and loudspeakers. Meanwhile, Pro Tools is a platform by Avid Technology, used as a digital audio workstation. This is one of those applications used by professionals to record and edit music for television, film, and the music industry. This is only software, though. Using peripherals like keyboard, microphone, speakers, and audio interfaces will encourage easy usage of Pro Tools compared to just keyboard-and-mouse.

The problem is, using peripherals in Pro Tools can be a daunting task especially if you are not well-oriented. Be guided by the following general steps below:

  • Buy a package for a complete Pro Tools system. It’s easy to spend about $40,000 for a complete, high-end Pro Tools system. But the most basic system will only cost around $500. This includes the interfaces and the software. Consider to start with the basic. Get the hang of Pro Tools by buying the basic system. This is easier to setup and learn. All you need to do is install the hardware pieces and then their accompanying device drivers. This works the same as the high-end system only that preparing the peripherals will be more complicated.
  • Buying a compatible computer is a different story. And since you’ll be working with peripherals for Pro Tools, you will need a high-end computer, too. So, there are many factors that you need to consider when buying Pro Tools. You won’t only consider the software but also the different hardware pieces that you will need and will be compatible for it and the computer. Think about your skills also. A high-end Pro Tools system can be complicated even if you have already mastered a user-friendly audio recording and editing software.
  • Buy separate peripherals. Pro Tools only accept approved peripherals. These peripherals are usually made by a third-party company. Besides checking Pro Tools’ approval, you should also check your machine’s compatibility to run both the software and the hardware.
  • Install the Pro Tools. Simply follow the usual setup procedure when installing applications. This typically includes on-screen instructions but more advanced versions are more complicated to install. The software has its instructions to help you set it up. If it cannot be installed even after following instructions, then check again the system requirements. Restart the computer after the installation process. Check if the software is working perfectly fine.
  • Connect the peripheral to the computer. It will display a message that it has detected a new device. Typically, Pro Tools peripherals can be easily recognized by the software. However, more advanced peripherals will need a separate installation for the driver. If so, then install the device’s driver first. Restart the computer and then check if the device is perfectly working. You can now use the peripheral with the Pro Tools. Follow the same step for installing more peripherals.

Take note that the steps above are intended for general reference. Specific steps will highly depend on the Pro Tools version and the peripheral that you want to use. The device should have its own manual on how it’s supposed to work with Pro Tools. Use that information to properly install the hardware. If you experience unsolvable problem, then call the technical support of either the Pro Tools or the peripheral’s manufacturer. With the high cost of these things, they should always come with warranty and after-sales support.


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