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Configuring Pro Tools M-Powered with M-Audio devices; customizing the I/O setup
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After installing the latest drivers for your M-Audio sound card and launching Pro Tools*, your device is automatically configured by Pro Tools.  Connect your speakers or headphones to your M-Audio sound card.  You cannot use your computer speakers, or built-in sound card for output.

* Click here if you are receiving an error that Pro Tools is unable to locate your M-Audio hardware

The I/O Setup dialog in Pro Tools M-Powered provides tools to label, format,and map the input, output, insert, and bus signal paths for your M-Audio hardware interface.  This guide provides a basic introduction to customizing the Input portion of your Pro Tools M-Powered I/O Setup.  For detailed information on Pro Tools M-Powered I/O Setup, refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.

To begin customizing your Input Setup:

1. Go to the Setup Menu, select I/O. . .

2. Click the Input tab

3. Across the top of the grid, you will find numbers that represent the physical ports on your audio interface.  For the Input tab, each column of the grid represents a physical input port on your hardware that you can assign to an "In" in your Pro Tools software.  Down the left-hand side of the interface, you'll find the software Input Paths that are available for selection on your tracks, including the name of each defined path.  To ensure that all of the available input ports on your hardware are being displayed, click the Default button to reset and refresh the entire grid.

Clicking Default creates all possible stereo main paths.  Mono sub-paths are also auto-created for every stereo main path.  These default path names (left hand column) will appear within a Pro Tools Session as Audio Input Path options for each track.

Pro Tools M-Powered is limited to 18 simultaneous tracks of input and output.  If your M-Audio hardware interface has more than 18 available input paths (such as the M-Audio ProFire 2626 and ProFire Lightbridge), you may want to delete the additional Input Path's.  To delete these extra paths, left-click first path to delete, hold down the "Shift" key, then use your mouse to left-click the last path, and click Delete Path.

4. The I/O Setup dialog lets you rename paths for easier identification.  Double-click in the path name field to enter a name for the path.  Press your keyboard's Tab key to set the new path name and move to the next path’s name field.  Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh) to set the new path name.  These new names will appear in Pro Tools as when selecting audio track inputs (see step 6 below for more info).

When renaming a Stereo path, Pro Tools will automatically rename the corresponding mono sub paths.

The M-Audio FireWire 1814 (for example) has Microphone, Line level, and Digital inputs.  Naming the corresponding input path's can make routing much simpler (see below).


5. You can store and recall custom I/O Setups using the export and import features of the I/O Setup dialog.  When creating new sessions in Pro Tools, you can choose to automatically apply a saved I/O Setup.

To export and save an I/O Setup configuration, click Export Settings, then name and save the settings file. This saved configuration can be selected from the I/O Settings drop-down menu when creating a New Session.

6. The new path names in your custom I/O Setup are seen when clicking an Audio track's Input Path Selector.

This tutorial is merely an introduction to the Pro Tools I/O setup.  The same methods can be used for editing path's on the Output, Insert, and Bus tabs of the Pro Tools I/O Setup.  For detailed information on the I/O Setup, refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.