Wondering where to go to learn how to use protools other than the small selection of free videos we offer on this site? Here is a pretty extensive list to help get you started in the right direction.
ATTENTION: This article was updated on Friday November 28th to include a few new places you can start learning the audio engineering software.
Don’t want to commit to a course? There are plenty of self-teaching options
Lynda offers a smorgasbord of courses on various websites and software. You can even take courses on how to use Facebook and Pinterest. Most of Lynda, though, focuses on heavy hitters like AutoCAD and other industry-specific software. Lynda, at the time of this writing, offers 29 courses in Pro Tools specifically. Most tutorials are by experienced field experts – a visit to the Lynda Pro Tools page reveals that among the experts is Larry Crane, who has worked with The Decemberists, Jenny Lewis, Elliott Smith, and many other acclaimed artists. Crane’s tutorial covers how to get more life and energy out of your tracks. It’s a specific focus, and you might worry that Lynda only focuses on specific, niche-oriented training, but it includes basic training as well. Here’s the lowdown:
- Lynda requires a membership, but costs pale in comparison to many “official” Pro Tools classes. The most popular membership is $25/month. The main advantage of this membership is that there are no long-term contracts – you can just pay for a month and see how Lynda works for you to start. Among the several membership options is an annual membership of $375. It’s worth noting that these fees aren’t just for Pro Tools – they grant you access to Lynda’s other courses.
- Bottom line: Lynda gives you significant bang for your buck in terms of learning Pro Tools. Your tutorial teachers are experts – college professors, award winners, authors of Pro Tools books – not random people on YouTube. The many memberships fit virtually anyone’s budget. It doesn’t take much to access this tool, but you’re essentially guaranteed to learn a lot from qualified people. The making money option doesn’t hurt, either. It’s a large site, but the specialized tutorials can make it feel smaller in a good way.
Everyone knows iTunes as the place to go when you want to buy music (or rent movies online, or watch whatever TV show you missed last night). The app store has some significant contributions to our well of technological knowledge. iTunes can be your conduit when searching for Pro Tools courses. Keep in mind that, while iTunes is a non-specific market, the developers of the different apps have specific focuses and are generally knowledgeable. In iTunes, you can find series courses, a quick one-week mastery course for those who want to be fast out of the gate, and many other options. Whether you need a full intro course or just want to learn a few specific techniques, iTunes tutorials can work for you.
Like Lynda, iTunes has an affiliate program, too. Like any other affiliate program, this one lets you earn money based on sales that are helped along by links to iTunes on your webpage. There’s a simple application process that makes it relatively quick and easy to join, assuming you’re approved.
Individual courses typically are in the $5 to $10 range. They’re inexpensive, but you may need to shop around a bit for one that suits your needs best. Apple vets the apps that get into the app store to some degree, but you’ll still encounter a range of quality – some will be better than others. Essentially, this one might take some sorting. Here’s the iTunes lowdown:
- Lots of courses that are portable and can be viewed on iPhones and iPads as well as on iTunes.
- Cheap baseline prices per course.
- Ability to save money and earn money via the affiliate program.
If you’re a crowdsourcer by nature, Avid.com might be the site for you. Avid sells Pro Tools and other audio software and offers services, but perhaps the best resource here is the plethora of forums and communities. While tutorial videos can show you how to plenty of things on Pro Tools, they can’t directly answer your questions. Avid forums are full of experts and new users answering questions and asking them. The meticulous organization makes them navigable and ultimately saves you time in getting your questions answered. Another benefit? When teachers say they learn from their students, they aren’t kidding. Once you are an expert (or maybe even solidly proficient) in the use of Pro Tools, you can answer questions on the forums, too. Answering people’s questions, combined with using the product yourself, keeps your knowledge fresh and flexible. It’s a win-win.
Avid.com communities fall across a few large subgroups before they specialize. A good one for beginners to frequent is the Avid Pro Audio Community. Essentially a giant question and answer session, this forum can help the greenest beginner start in Pro Tools. You can post questions in sub-forums dedicated to specific versions of Pro Tools and in other categories like virtual instruments, etc.
The biggest forum/resource with Avid is the Avid Community. This vast resource features blog posts, forums where professionals can answer user questions on software, user groups, and video tutorials.
What sets the Avid Community resource apart? It’s probably the most diverse one on the table. The ease-of-use factor is huge – you have expert-frequented forums, blog posts and tips, video tutorials, and more all on one subpage of one website. It’s a good place to go if you want to (or are able to) absorb a lot of information in a short amount of time. Though Avid Community isn’t Pro Tools specific, it does contain blogs that follow and discuss industry trends. This can be helpful to beginners and experienced users alike.
Here’s the lowdown on Avid and the forums:
- Forums and videos are free – a good thing for everyone.
- The Pro Tools forum/community is time-efficient. You can see a video and post a question about it on the forum without leaving the main webpage.
Those are the big guns of Pro Tools tutorials. Here are some other places to go if you still want more:
The Tuts (short for “tutorials”) websites have specific instructions, usually replete with videos and/or pictures, on how to do just about anything. A disadvantage of major sites like this one is that they tend to be hard to root through to find what you need. Luckily, Audiotuts+ has a collection of 11 essential tutorials for a Pro Tools user. Like Lynda, Audiotuts+ sources established musicians and sound engineers to do tutorials. It does a good job of protecting you and your work from the influence of unqualified YouTube randos. While at present there are just the 11 videos, Audiotuts+ adds new tutorials regularly, and it also brings back AudioJungle archive pieces – articles that were once posted on a relocated site. While some of the videos here are posted on YouTube, they have been culled from an impressive slush pile of tutorial videos. You can be sure Audiotuts+ brings you the best of them.
Mac Pro Video
You can find some of their videos on iTunes, but a dedicated list is here. Mac Pro Video is a learning partner with Avid, so the makers of these videos know their stuff. They advertise that the purpose of their videos is to help you study for your Pro Tools 10 certification. Even if you don’t plan on getting certified, you can learn a huge amount. An advantage is that these are step by step – they take you from basic familiarity to expert tricks. The full-course option is good for you if you’re busy and want built-in scheduling that you can follow whenever you want to. Mac Pro Video includes videos for most versions of Pro Tools, too.
Sound on Sound Archive
In our day of internet problem-solving, interactive solutions, and more, magazines may seem like something from the dark ages. This is especially true in the music and sound industries – industries that have a strong correlation to and connection with technological development. However, sound-industry magazines often have valuable tips, ideas, etc. pertaining to sound. While Sound on Sound may not have full courses in Pro Tools software, it certainly has useful articles. However, it’s one thing to say “go check magazine archives” and another to actually do it. Sorting through articles can be time consuming. Luckily, Sound on Sound has an online archive of selected articles, notes and tips pertaining to Pro Tools. The magazine says that the articles can help one to make the most of the software. This archive has hundreds of tips, notes, and articles. It’s definitely worth a look.
If you’re still looking for more Pro Tools videos, check out Groove 3. This site, unlike many other video tutorial sites mentioned, has a high priority of focus for audio engineering. One of the advantages of the advantages of this site is that you know it will have sufficient videos in Pro Tools. Often, a site that has tutorials for many software types will not be equally distributed across each one. You don’t want to get shortchanged. Groove 3, on its homepage, has videos divided up by incarnation of Pro Tools, making it easy to select and watch relevant videos.
You can purchase individual video courses, and while they may be a smidge pricey, they have a professionalism about them that makes them worth at least a look.
Pro Tools Expert
The community over at Pro Tools Expert is a great place to not only learn Pro Tools on the Fly, but keeping up with the avid community in itself. It is a great place to get constant updates on the software and the contributors over there are extremely involved in the product and in the music community as a whole. They are constantly posting to their twitter account and Facebook account with daily updates about the software and it is just an outstanding community to involved in if you are highly active in Pro Tools.
So what’s the take-away here? There are plenty of resources available to you if you want to learn Pro Tools, hone your skills in general, or learn something specific, you can find a venue. Whether you want a long-term subscription, a one-time course, or just a single video, you’ll be able to find something online. Pro Tools is one of the most versatile and valuable tools on the market today, and it seems wasteful to not get all that you can out of it. When you find and take a tutorial, you’re extending the value of an already-valuable investment. Take a tutorial. Save some money. Put Pro Tools to work for you.
Or if you are looking for more, here are some recommended courses.
Berklee College of Music Course
The renowned Berklee College of Music offers several courses to get you started in Pro Tools or help you hone your skills. In addition to regular intro courses, Berklee offers specialty courses in mixing/mastering, producing, and more. Most courses are 12 weeks. If you want to use Pro Tools professionally (and use it in a way that will draw more people to your business), then a certificate program may work best for you. An advantage of the Berklee certificate courses is that they provide you with an official certification attractive to potential clients.
Virtual Training Company
The Virtual Training Company (VTC for short) offers inexpensive courses in a variety of disciplines. The training is all online, so you have the advantages of a course plus the ability to keep a flexible schedule. Some colleges and universities use this course for certain kinds of education, too.
A good choice for people with limited time, SAE Online offers a short course that provides a solid intro to Pro Tools. With this 101 course, you can always get yourself started on Pro Tools and then start more specialized learning once you’re actively working with the program.
The Online Audio School
If you like your training courses interactive and online, then this option is a good one for you. You can ask real-time questions and see and talk to your teachers. The Online Audio School offers a connection that is often lost online without sacrificing any of the flexibility of online classes. The school site also maintains a useful blog that can help with learning.