Pro Tools Window Configurations offer a great way to organize your session to your specifications and easily jump between screen sets and options. You can also easily import these settings into any session, making navigation and operation easier and quicker across a range of projects.
First, start by creating your ideal setup for any one scenario. For tracking, you could populate your Edit window with I/O, Inserts, Markers, Instruments or whatever else would keep you from having to navigate back and forth between the Mix and Edit windows. The intention is to allow you to run the system from one screen during a busy tracking date. You could save and call this configuration "Tracking;" however, for editing, you’d want the minimum of extras in the Edit window so you could view and manipulate large regions easily.
These are just two examples but you can save as many configurations as you’d like, then easily navigate between them with one click. (Be sure to download the sample Pro Tools 8 session with Tracking, Editing, and Mixing configuration examples.)
Figure 1: Creating a New Configuration
To save a configuration, first open Window Configurations from Pro Tools’ Window pulldown at the top of the screen or use the quick key (Command + Option +J). The Window Configurations pop-up will appear. Click on the round button at the top and choose New Configuration from the menu (see Fig. 1).
Figure 2: Naming a Configuration
This will bring up a new window where you can name your configuration and choose the type of configuration you’d like (see Fig. 2). The Window Layout option is my favorite because it snaps the windows to the position you saved them in making it easier to recover from any chaotic placement created during the session. Choose OK from this window to save the configuration.
Figure 3: Import configuration data into any current session
Next, move your windows and options to the next positions and choices you’d wish to recall and repeat the process. Once you get all the configurations saved, create a copy of this session by choosing Save As from the File pulldown, naming it appropriately such as “SavedWndowConfig." Use this session to import configuration data into any current session by choosing Import Session Data from the Pro Tools File menu (see Fig. 3).
Figure 4: Choosing Window Configurations
From the browser, choose your “SavedWndowConfig” template session. This will open the Import Session Data window from which you can choose a number of options, including Window Configurations (see Fig. 4). Choosing just this option will have no effect on your current session other than giving you the ability to call up your saved configurations.
Kevin Becka is Mix magazine's technical editor.