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How to Set Up a Hip Hop Session Template in Pro Tools 8

Updated on January 20, 2011

Click for the Hip Hop Session Template

Page one of Hip Hop Session Template
Page one of Hip Hop Session Template

Setting up a Pro Tools Template before you record any hip hop session is essential to speed in recording and organization for later editing.

Generally, recording audio for CDs, radio, mixtapes, and internet distribution you should use 44.1khz instead of 48khz and your choice of 16 or 24 bit. CDs strictly use 16 bit but if you are exclusively using internet distribution and have plenty of extra hard disk space go for 24 bit recording. I use AIFFs but WAVs are fine too.

Start by adding one stereo audio track called Beat. The input of this track should be no input and output is Analog 1-2. This will be the track where you import the already created beat. I like to start the imported audio about 30 seconds from the beginning of the session just in case I need to do anything before the beat starts.

Second add 3 more tracks. These will be mono audio tracks. Label them Verse 1, Verse 1 Double and Verse 1 Adlibs. All these inputs should be from your microphone input in my case that is Mic 1. The outputs of all these should be to Bus 1. You may want to change this later if the different parts of each verse will have different effects, but i generally use the same effects and EQ and compression over each part of the voice and this limits the instance of plugs to save computer power.

Make 9 more mono tracks the same as Verse 1 for Verse 2 and Verse 3 and Hook.

I like to have one more mono audio track called Extra in the same format as all the voice tracks. I put things here that do not correspond to verses or hooks, like intros and outros.

Next you need to create an AUX track called VOX. The input from this track should be Bus1 and output Analog 1-2. This is where you can add effects to all your voice tracks at once instead of 1 by 1.

Lastly, you will need a stereo Master Fader to add automation and effects over the whole track.


Page two of Hip Hop Session Template
Page two of Hip Hop Session Template

Save your session and then lock the file so that you can't accidentally overwrite it. On Mac OSX you can also make it a stationary pad so that when you open it the computer makes you rename and save your project immediately.

Every hip hop session will be different and you may need to add a new track here or there or may not need Verse 3 but it's a great starting point that wont keep your clients waiting when they get into the recording studio.

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