Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support

Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Software > Tips & Tricks

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-12-2014, 01:35 AM
GregV GregV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 405
Default Note taking for Playlists

Hey Guys... Just wondering how you keep track of where the "good spots" are in your Playlists?
I'm always hyper conscious of making the engineering aspect of recording as invisible as possible. I would love to start comping a good take while I remember the best spots, but I don't want to waste any of the client's time.
Inevitably, I end up forgetting by the time I'm editing on my own and have to sift through everything again.
Any tips or tricks? Thanks in advance...
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 07:13 AM
dr_daw's Avatar
dr_daw dr_daw is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cariboo, BC
Posts: 1,216
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists


What I do is have a scratch pad next to me with a pencil. I write down the song name, key, capo if being used (no idea how many times the Artist forgets where it goes). Then from there, once I have track down. I go through and marker all the points in Pro Tools (verse, chorus etc).
Then I use a graph type system on my scratch pad, so I'll make a column for each section. Write down which instrument/track I'm on, then below mark the Playlist as we go through. As I'm going through the take (while being recorded), I'll put a checkmark if it's a good take. If there is a mistake, I quickly jot down the Bar.

This doesn't have to be exact, as long as I'm able to get to the ballpark of where the good or the bad is, I can do my comps.

This is what works for me. Using a spiral book is helpful for full projects.
FBR recording - https://www.facebook.com/fromthebase...cordsrecording
@FBRrecording - Instagram
MBP 15" High Sierra 10.13.3, i7 2.6Ghz, 8Gb DDR, 750Gb 7200rpm, PT 2019.5, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Octopre MkII, Glyph GPT50, Avalon 737sp, AMS Neve 1073's, API 512c, CAPI 312's, DW drums, Fender Guitars/Amps, AKG, Rode, Sennheiser, Neumann U87 & KM184's, Coles 4038, Equator D5 monitors
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 08:14 AM
hjorte's Avatar
hjorte hjorte is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 337
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Originally Posted by GregV View Post
Hey Guys... Just wondering how you keep track of where the "good spots" are in your Playlists?
One simple way is Rating. There are other methods, but this one is simple and may be what you need. From the Ref. Guide:

Rating Clips
You can rate different clips on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest (or best) and 1 is the lowest (or worst). Clip rating is useful for identifying which takes (clips) you like the most when compositing playlists. You can display or hide the clip rating in clips to facilitate track compositing or regular editing. You can also show or hide Playlist lanes based on the ratings of clips in the playlist (see “Filtering Lanes” on page 607).

To rate a clip:
1 Select the clip.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Clip > Rating, and select a ranking of 1 to 5.
• Right-click the clip, choose Rate, and select a ranking of 1 to 5.

You can rate selected clips during playback by pressing Control+Alt+Start (Windows) or Command+Option+Control (Mac) and then typing the rating number (1–5) on the numeric keypad.

To display ratings in clips:
• Select View > Clip > Rating.

To hide ratings in clips:
• Deselect View > Clip > Rating.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 01:17 PM
joachim's Avatar
joachim joachim is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Germany, München
Posts: 1,687
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Worth to notice : rating during PLAYBACKT/STOP works, rating during LOOP RECORDING (automatically create new playlist when loop recording) might not work.
See http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=346563
PT 11.3.2 HD , RME Fireface 800 , Genelec 5.1 ,
Win7 64bit Professional , i7 3930 Hexcore , 48GB Ram , SSD System + SSD PT Session/Audio + SSD Video (all Samsung 840 Evo) + Spinner 1TB Data , 2x Radeon HD 5450 \\ SD 633 Femto MKH8060 MKH8070 MKH30/MKH40 DPA4060
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 04:50 PM
GregV GregV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 405
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Awesome. Thank you all!
Great suggestions. I never knew about Rating clips.
And the little graph idea is a great one. Simple but perfect.
Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 04:12 PM
DC-Choppah's Avatar
DC-Choppah DC-Choppah is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 401
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

I like to highlight the region of the track that I like, separate the clip, and then change it's color to something brighter. Bright=good - dark=bad.

You can even get into shades of goodness.

No need to worry about being precise with the boundaries at first. PT lets you make the subtle adjustments and cross fades later after you have pieced together all the good (bright) clips.
DC-Choppah's Project Studio:

ASUS PRIME Z390-A / Intel i7 rackmount PC
Windows 10 home 64 bit
Pro-Tools 11.3.1
AIR Instrument Expansion Pack v2
WAVES Platinum plugin bundle
Tascam US-16x08 Interface
100% Analog real time monitoring 16x4
Yamaha 16 channel MG16XU Analog Monitor Mixer
Yamaha MX-88 / Novation XiO keyboards
Mackie 4-channel headphone amp
Adam A8X monitors
Blue / Shure, etc. microphones

Estonia 6' 8" Parlor Grand Piano
Yamaha Studio Drum kit

Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 06:22 PM
GregV GregV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 405
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Another great idea!! I'm glad I asked.
Bring on the next singer!!...
Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 09:15 AM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 2,201
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

It's hard to beat the immediacy of a notepad & pen (and I'm often surprised at how often that reliable technology seems to have been completely forgotten about in this age) but I have another technique, which is really handy in terms of giving instant visual feedback, allowing for detailed notes, and being an inherent part of the session data (no chance of those pieces of paper going missing, or the notes not making perfect sense anymore).

The short version is that if I'm going to be tracking multiple takes of an artists performance, I will group the tracks being recorded together with a blank MIDI track, in which I will consolidate blank regions wherever a memo / note needs to be written.

This means that I get a fresh notepad for each take (playlist), I can instantly see which areas of the recording the specific note applies to, I can have multiple MIDI memo's per take, and I can name each one with the comments that are relevant.

The long version is this - When you create a track in Pro Tools, and for sake of argument name it :

Guitar A

Pro Tools sees this as playlist 1.

If you then wanted to record a second take on a new playlist, and subsequent takes each on a new playlists, Pro Tools would automatically name them :

Guitar A.01

Guitar A.02

Guitar A.03


The problem with this is that when you want to select a different take, from those that you have recorded, it becomes visually confusing, as the playlist names, and playlist numbers are out of synch :

Guitar A (1)

Guitar A.01 (2)

Guitar A.02 (3)

Guitar A.03 (4)

And this can be additionally confusing if you're switching between takes of overdubs, on other instruments, in conjunction with multi-tracked live takes etc.

So the first thing I do is make sure the track is named :

Guitar A tk.01

I can immediately see it's take 1, and when I create a new playlist, it will automatically get named :

Guitar A tk.02

And furthermore, as I've done this right from the beginning, the take names are in synch with the take numbers.

So, that's just the convention that I use, to keep track of playlists, but it has nothing to do with note taking - that comes now :

With the aforementioned track still on playlist 1 (Guitar A tk.01), I'll create a MIDI track next to it, named :

Guitar A com.01

The MIDI track is then added to an Edit group for the particular guitar track (in this example) which could comprise of Guitar A cab tk.01 + Guitar A DI tk.01 + Guitar A back tk.01 + Guitar A com.01.

Now, whenever I create a new playlist, or switch to view a different playlist, all the Guitar A tracks (Cabinet, Direct Injection, Cabinet Back, and Comments) various takes / playlists are in synch.

So, I want to record the first take, so I make sure I'm on playlist 1 (Guitar A tk.01) and then I temporarily Suspend Groups :

Mac = Command + Shift + G

Windows = Control + Shift + G

This means I can highlight a section on the MIDI track (the guitarist makes a mistake) without it highlighting the audio, and consolidate that area :

Alt + Shift + 3

creating a blank MIDI region.

A few bars later, the guitarist does something spectacular. Again, I can instantly highlight the area, and consolidate to create a blank MIDI region.

If I have the time, I will re-name those regions, according to the comment I want to make :

So the first consolidated blank MIDI region would have it's named changed from

Guitar A com.01-01


fluffed note

(or, if I'm being really meticulous "fluffed note.01-01").

The second consolidated MIDI region would have it's name changed from

Guitar A com.01-02


spectacular solo

(or "spectacular solo.01-01").

At this point it's important to reactivate the groups, by again hitting the Suspend Groups shortcut.

Time to record take 2, so just select one of the tracks in the group (which will highlight them all) and create a new playlist.

This will do the same for every track in the group, renaming them appropriately thanks to the naming convention I've outlined (so you now have Guitar A cab tk.02 + Guitar A DI tk.02 + Guitar A back tk.02 + Guitar A com.02).

Again, suspend groups, and record / comment away, before reenabling the groups.

Now you can flip between playlists / takes, and get instant visual feedback for precisely the areas of audio that need attention, on a per take basis.

Even if you didn't have the time to change the names of the blank MIDI regions, to reflect the relevant comment at the time, you can still just highlight the MIDI region, loop playback, and as quick as your synapses fire, you'll be able to figure out why you highlighted that particular section.

I hope that is of some use - it sounds convoluted, but is pretty darned simple in practise.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2014, 02:56 AM
GregV GregV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 405
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Ha Ha... Thanks Carl! You're right, it does seem extremely convoluted, but I can already imagine how it can be set up and implemented quite easily... And effectively.
Thank you for sharing your trick!!
Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2014, 11:46 PM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is online now
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 24,901
Default Re: Note taking for Playlists

Call me oldskool, but I still use the pen and paper method while I track different takes, and then clean it up at the end of the day when I still remember what the hieroglyphs on the paper really mean :) saves me a lot of time later, but makes for longer days though.
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tab to note/snap note to insertion suicune macOS 4 09-25-2013 08:54 AM
Midi 101 really missing? Set high note/low note on track's input robinsonsdca macOS 4 11-10-2011 01:23 PM
EXPORT MIDI from Stryke NOTE FOR NOTE... riggi Virtual Instruments 1 03-10-2008 07:32 PM
"wait for note" misses first note? eric105 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 0 12-04-2006 09:57 PM
Pro-Tools Note-Event (Note-off Velocity?) xytsrm Pro Tools M-Powered (Win) 2 01-10-2006 08:02 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:47 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com