It’s that time again. I’ve got three new questions, all Pro Tools related. (If you have a question, please submit it via the Ask Joe form.) Let’s dive in.

Martin R. wrote:
I have just recently installed Pro Tools 7.3 LE on to my Mac and I have an Iomega hard drive that I was going to use for recording however when I try to change the audio settings from ‘T’ to ‘R’ I get an error message which reads “IOMEGA cannot be designated as an Audio Record volume because it is not a valid audio volume.” Could you tell me what this means and if there is any way to use this hard drive for recording.
Many Thanks

Hi Martin. If Pro Tools won’t let you change the drive from “T” to “R,” it may be because your drive isn’t compatible. You didn’t mention if it was firewire or USB. USB drives (even USB 2.0) are not supported with Pro Tools. They sometimes work, but they’re not officially supported by Digidesign.

If it’s a firewire drive, it needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Firewire 400
  • 7200 rpm
  • Oxford 911 chipset

Firewire 800 drives can work, but there are additional requirements. You can read all the details on Digidesign’s hard drive requirements pages for both Mac and PC.

Ismael R. wrote:

Hi Joe!
Ismael here. Just a question on ProTools. How do I get rid of all those plug ins popping up every time I start up ProTools?

Hello again, Ismael! What’s happening is that you installed certain “demo” plugins that have all expired. The plugin manufacturers are hoping you’ll buy the full copies. If that’s not the case, then you’ll need to delete these plugins from your system.

They’ll be inside the Digidesign folder on your hard drive. Just delete the ones you don’t want, and those windows will stop popping up every time you launch Pro Tools. I’m not sure exactly where these are on a PC, but here’s a shot of where to find them on a Mac. This is within the Applications folder.


Luis wrote:

Hey Joe I love your set up by the way. I was just wondering how much you spent on getting your whole studio together because am looking on getting something similar. I currently own an Mbox Mini, Rode NT2A etc..nothing big yet and as a sound engineer/artist I mostly focus on vocals and I wanna expand my studio. Im thinking on the Digi 003 maybe later on update to HD but for now is either the Digi 003, or do you think I should get the new Hypercontrol Axiom pro keyboard
which gives me access to faders and my whole Pro tools session (which i think would save me big bucks) and maybe update to a better audio interface like an Mbox 2 or MBox 2 Pro? Any advice???? HELP!!! Please!!! LOL and um I also wanted to ask you if you knew anything about the Avalon 737SP i know its for vocals but what exactly is it, and what exactly does it do??

Hope I’m not asking for too much..but thanks anyways Joe. Your doing a great job keep it up.

Hi Luis. First of all, I would only upgrade to the 003 if you really need more inputs, or perhaps if you want to have the fully-functional control surface. I LOVE my 003, but I rarely utilize all of the inputs.

The control surface functionality is really nice, but if you’re working with a set budget, I would focus on things that will make a difference in sound quality before focusing on convenience items like a control surface. If you choose to not go with the 003, the Mbox2 Pro would be a nice alternative. Pair that up with the Axiom or even a Euphonix MC Mix as your control surface, and you’ll be in good shape.

I’m glad you asked about a preamp, because a good pre can make a huge difference in the sound quality of your setup. The Avalon 737SP is a “channel strip,” which means it has a tube preamp, compressor, and EQ onboard. It’s a great unit. Sounds great on vocals and bass. Something like the Focusrite Liquid Channel may be worth considering, though, since it will give you emulations of dozens of different high-quality preamps in one box.

If you get a really nice preamp, then upgrading your microphone would be the next thing I would look at. The Mojave MA200 is an excellent choice for a good all-around tube microphone.

As far as your question about how much to spend? Generally speaking, if you can set aside $5,000, you can get a stellar Mbox-based system.

Hope that helps!

Thanks to everyone for your questions. If you have additional questions or suggestions, leave a comment!

  • Kennedy York

    Hey Joe, I have Protools 11 and it had been working just fine..but recently I am not able to apply any effects on my tracks.The button which normally said ” apply” says ” render” and when I click it, nothing changes and re desired effects do not apply..This just started, after not using protools for a month or so…I am hoping its an easy fix..
    PS:.. I am using a PC, not a Mac

  • John Woolard

    Hi Joe…….this is John. I have PT9, on an iMac.

    I have a few plug ins I have installed, and still cannot see them in PT9. They are in the proper folder, I can see them in the plugin folder. I have contacted the plugin provider and they are square. It is not a compatibility issue, the plug in is TDM for PT9.

    I am growing frustrated with this process, and my time limit on the projrct is almost up. Any help you can offer would be HUGE.

    • So sorry, John. I really don’t know how to troubleshoot this. Have you contacted Avid? Or maybe checked in at the Avid forums?

  • Hey Joe, this is Joe, and I have protools 7.3LE. I want to know if this will install on Win 7 laptop because it will not load on Win 8.

    • Sorry Joe. You’ll have to check with Avid’s website.

  • james

    Some other things:
    Creating a final mixed print, deleting the other tracks, and bouncing the sing print, does not make a difference; even if the final print has deleted instruments- those instruments still show up.

    Also, creating a print and removing any unused regions from the session does not make a difference. Unwanted tracks still show up whether it is a bounce or an export.

    When I am listening to the bounce through my headset it sounds fine, just like I mixed it. When I listen to it after the bounce is when all of my mixing has been ignored. As I said, even if I delete a track, it still shows up after the bounce or export.

  • James

    Hello Joe and anyone whom can answer this question. I know this sounds strange, but my pro tools is completely ignoring my master mix tracks after my bounce.
    Example: Lets say I want more vocals, guitar, or bass; I turn them up in the pro tools master mix, I then bounce the session, and everything I turned up(volume) has not changed a bit. Even worse, if I delete a track it still shows up in the bounce.

    I’m not going to lie, I don’t know the specs on my computer very well, but this seems to be the only huge problem that is inhibiting me from making great recordings. It really sucks. I’m thinking its something simple and ridiculous, at least I hope it is. Also, I can’t find anything on the internet regarding this.

    Lastly, my bounced tracks do not, in anyway, reflect my master mix inside pro tools. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Marcus

    Hi Joe. I have a 02R96 and is trying to get it to function with the avid m-box with pro tools 10. Do I need a interface?

    • Hey Marcus,

      I’m not sure. You’ll have to contact the folks at Pro Tools.

  • i really need some help, i have pro tools version 8.0.3 SE and i cannot install it because it says i aleast need 1gb of ram to run pro tools. i actually do have exacly 1.00gb of ram in my computer (windows vista) and yet it still wont let me install it…what do i do? i been having this situation for a month now 🙁

    • I’d recommend upgrading your RAM. 1 GB isn’t much at all. Most software need at least 2-4 GB to run.

  • Guitaramanlee

    hey joe or anyone…i have pro tools le8 .pc.. i have alot of documentation for plugins that i either don,t have or i need an ilok to activate them …transfuser,strike,hybrid…etc…which is it …it was on the protools cd when i installed the program…

  • Craig

    Got a question, Im learning the whole protools day by day on my own. I ran into some error codes basically on a few tracks i had recorded. Im wondering if I am able to somehow copy tracks from one session and a create a new one and bring those tracks into it. or maybe having a better understanding as to why the error codes come up. error 9060, 9031, 9035. I’m lost, if you could. thx.

    • Sorry, I’m not an expert on the error codes. Might want to check with Avid directly on those. Or google those specific codes?

  • Sam

    Joooooeeee! I have used pro tools for years and never had this problem…. After i record the vocals on a track, i open the 7 band EQ put everything where i want it, i hit process and it says its processing the tracks, but the tracks do not change at all, they just stay in the rough recorded stage. Any Help?

    • Why are you using AudioSuite? Why not just put the 7-band EQ on the track itself? Those EQ plugins aren’t that processor-intensive.

      Sorry, I don’t know the answer to your problem, but I’m guessing you probably don’t need to do the AudioSuite stuff anyway.

  • Extra

    Hi I jus tried to run Pro Tools off my g5 Mac and when I click to run it I get a message that says unable to locate digi design hardware! What am I missing to make my protools run and if there talking about the m audio box I have one and it’s connected to the USB port on the Mac already so what’s wrong

    • It depends. What version of Pro Tools are you running? If it’s Pro Tools LE version 9 or below, it won’t work with an M-Audio interface. You need Pro Tools M-Powered to work with M-Audio interfaces.

  • jouko ahera

    I make recordings with Yamaha 02R96,ADAT hd24.Mix/edit ADAT hd24 > Yamaha 02R96>
    003>ProTools 9 Is there some simple controller working with ProToos.Now I have only Macs keyboard and it´s shortcuts.

    • The Presonus Faderport is a simple, one-fader controller that works with PT. Is that what you’re asking?

  • Luna

    Hey , I don’t know how fast you will be answering this I hope as soon as possible.!!

    everytime i try to bounce my final mix off protools it gives me Macintosh HD isn’t a valid audio volume” which is weird because i never fooled around with the workspace settings….and i cant bounce my final mix or even consolidate the tracks!

    • Sorry…sounds like you might need to call tech support. Sometimes the workspace changes things sporadically. Good luck!

  • Derek Pilgrim

    I put Pro Tools 9 into record and push start record the record only flashes it dosn’t record i have rme fireface 400 it all seen to work, but it won’t record a wave file 

  • Bartolinidesigns

     I’m experiencing a weird problem. As soon as I arm a track to record the signal meter lights up to yellow, I can hear my self in my headphones but I cant record audio. Ant suggestions out there?


     Hows it going? I have protools 8.4 the updated version and now all of a sudden im hearing clicks and pops in my audio during playback? How do i fix this problem?

    • Could be lots of things. I’d call tech support.

  • Is it just that your bounced track is much quieter? Otherwise it really
    shouldn’t sound any different. Are you listening on your studio
    monitors/headphones or are you listening to the bounce somewhere else?

  • Jon

    Hi joe I have 003factory conole and want to extend and update preamps I’m looking at focusrite liquid 56 but I’m running on newish iMac with only one FireWire port if I get hub for FireWire can I run 003 and 56 together so I can work in protools and access preamp software?

    • Hi Jon, no you can’t use any other firewire interfaces with the 003. You should look at something like a PreSonus Digimax.

      • Jon

        Sorry but I think you will find that it can be dine I can connect through Adar to the 56 and use it in stand alone I just want to knowif I manage to get a FireWire bus routing both devices whether I can use it off standalone

        • You may be right, but Pro Tools doesn’t like to have any other firewire audio devices connected to the computer. The Liquid 56 just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s an audio interface, and you won’t be using it as an audio interface. Seems like you’d be paying for lots of features you wouldn’t use.

  • kyle

    whats up. I am having trouble finding the virtual instruments ( boom and mini grand) in pro tool 8. I downloaded the program than when I go to multitrack its not there

    • Hi Kyle. I can’t really say what’s going on here. Are you trying to open them on a stereo instrument track? If you’re trying it on a mono track, they may not show up. If that doesn’t work, I’d contact Digidesign.

  • one_der

    Hello joe.. I got a minor problem here.. I have pro tools 8.. The problem is when I cut a piece of an audio file and I want to add and fx just to that one part it simply just tells me that it cannot create a audio file in my hard drive.. What can be the problem

  • jt walker

    Hey I’ve been doing fine with my pro tools but all of a sudden now. when I want to open sessions my computor just shuts down and restarts. what could be the problem?

  • Abhijit

    Is it possible to track in one sample rate and mix in another in Pro tools? So i say, I track at 88.2 and then want the same session to be mixed at 44.1.

    • You’d have to save a new copy of the session at the new sample rate. To be honest, I do everything at 44.1 kHz. The only difference I can notice at the higher sample rate is that it bogs down my CPU and fills up my hard drive. I would think about why you’re using the higher sample rate. Can you hear a difference?

      • Abhijit

        No i don’t hear any significance difference. The reason is very stupid, I use external AD converter(Lavry blue), through spdif to my digi 002. And for same strange reason it doesn’t work at 44.1/48, although it works fine at higher sample rates. I have done little troubleshooting and the problem is at digi 002 end, but i haven’t had any luck/success with digidesign guys on this issue, as they say that digidesign products do not warranty anything regarding external converters.

  • Abhijit

    Joe it is very strange, In PT 7.4 LE, i can’t seem to find the regions window as demonstrated in your latest video. What is wrong?

  • Abhijit

    Another question, do i need additional software for this feature? As i don’t see this option in my regions menu.

    • Hi Abhijit. This is a standard Pro Tools feature. Check out tomorrow’s video, that should help.

  • Abhijit

    Thanks Joe

  • Abhijit

    A pro tools question, i have heard there is a way to record and create a song without the “bounce” option? How do we do that?

    • Hi Abhijit. You basically have two options: bounced to disk (BTD) and record to disk (RTD). Record to disk simply involves routing all of the tracks to a single stereo track and actually recording the mix there. There is a lot of debate as to which one is better, but from what I’ve researched, there’s no sonic difference between the two.

      Thanks for the question! I’ll probably do a video on this soon.

      • Abhijit

        Thanks for the response. looking fwd to the video…

      • Abhijit

        After you record it on stereo track, do you still bounce it disk via the buses which were input of stereo? How do you bounce it?

        • Sorry Abhijit! I forgot to mention that. Once you’ve recorded to the stereo track, you simply export that audio file. Select the region, then from the Regions list on the right-hand side of the window, click on the menu at the top and select “Export Selected Region as File.” You’ll get a normal dialog box as if you’re doing a bounce, but it doesn’t require a bounce. It just takes a few seconds, and your file is exported.

          One important thing to note is that Pro Tools automatically adds dither when you export, whereas you need to manually add it when you bounce.

  • Luis

    Great Tips Joe, thanks a lot you really helped me. For upgrading the mic i was thinking about the Neumann TLM 103? what you think? hopefully it would be a good choice. You should make some videos on how to use plugins such as EQ, Compressors, Delays to use them and when, what would be the right amount and how to get the best results would be very helpful for beginners.

    Great job Joe.
    Your the Man!!!
    Thanks a lot bro.

    • The Neumann TLM103 is a fantastic microphone in my opinion. Some engineers don’t think it has air in the high end, but perhaps that’s in contrast to a hotrodded U87. To me, the TLM103 sounded smooth and yet detailed, with more than adequate high end “air” for my taste. It’s expensive for the beginner but well worth the money. You won’t go wrong with it!

    • The TLM103 is great. I agree with KeyofGrey. It’s a good all-around microphone.

  • ismael Rios

    Hey Joe, thanks for the tip on deleting Plug-ins. I was able to get rid of all those obnoxious pop ups.

  • I’m willing to bet that Martin’s drive was formatted Fat32 and not HFS or HFS+.

    Which is good for compatibility with PCs, but PT won’t record to anything other than HFS/HFS+ on a mac and NTFS on a PC.

    Use disk Utility (every mac user should have this often used app in their dock) to format the drive.

  • Great tips Joe. I’d like to throw the UA Solo 610 into the running for a good preamp that’s affordable. I use a UA 2-610 and I love it, but it’s a little expensive for the under 5g set up. In contrast, the Solo 610 can be had for around 800 dollars. I also use an M-Audio Sputnik tube, and it’s a fantastic mic for a very good price.

    • Yes! The 610 preamp rocks. I own the Sputnik, too! Great mic, lots of color.