Pro Tools Tip Of The Day: Installing Pro Tools 8 (What Digidesign Doesn’t Tell You) Part 2

PT.jpgIf you paid attention last time, you now have a fresh new hard drive with Pro Tools 8 installed on it. This time we are going to go through some of the little extra things you can do to make your system run a little smoother, as well as getting some of your old settings and files over to your new, smooth running system.

System Preferences
Even though we used the Migration Assistant in our last lesson. I am the type of person who likes to be a bit redundant when it comes to my livelihood AKA my PT system. Pro Tools has a few tweaks they like you to do to the system preferences. Please make sure you look at your PT manual and set all of the system preferences the way they like them.

In With The Old
There are some files of use to us from our old system. We all get worried our hard drives are like our bodies and if we bring something from the sick old nasty system, it may get our sleek new system sick. This can be the case but we aren’t going to be taking anything that could make our Pro Tools system ill.

Let’s open up your previous Pro Tools system’s hard drive and copy a few folders. First we want to go into the Digidesign Plug-ins folder and copy all of your folders into either a jump drive or on to your new systems drive. Create a folder that says “Old Plug-ins” and drag all of the plug-ins from your old system into this folder. The next thing we want to do is a search for your “Plug-In Settings”. We want to copy this folder over as well. Let’s now open the window that lists all of your applications. Lets take a screenshot of all the applications in this window and copy it to our new drive as well.

A really good habit whether you are upgrading or not is to take screen shots of all of your preferences within Pro Tools. I have a screenshot of each preference panel so I remember how to restore them whenever the preference file gets trashed. That is a whole other lesson for another time. This time we will use these screen shots to setup our system the way we like it.

Now that we got all of that stuff let’s start up from our new system!

Getting Things In Order
Let’s take a look inside that plug-ins folder we copied over from your old PT system. We now want to run over to Digidesign and start downloading the most recent version of each of your plug-ins. By downloading a fresh new copy of each plug-in from Digi we ensure you have a working up-to-date version of each plug-in. Take a look at the folder of your old plug-ins and your new ones and anything that is missing you should start downloading and subsequently installing them.

What About All My Settings?
There is a reason we copied those over. Simply copy and paste them and replace the folders on your new system drive. Don’t worry it won’t mess anything up! Now we want to open up all those screen shots of your PT preferences and start matching them up.

Finishing Touches
Now we just need to take a look at screenshots we took of your applications folder. Any of the applications that may be missing (perhaps a full version of Melodyne, some Native Instruments Plugs???). Look through this list and download anything that you would miss. I know each time I do this I see a bunch of applications I barely ever used and will never miss. This makes for great spring cleaning.

I have now done this process on about 3 computers for myself and some friends. It takes about 5 hours and yields a great result. I am loving every second of the new creative power that PT 8 brings. Next up, we are going to go over some simple PT troubleshooting procedures and then I am going to start uploading some awesome videos I have made showing some PT techniques!  

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.