In the past I've worked using a MASTER FADER and bounced out using the bounce option. but I've been made aware recently of not using a master fader at all and utilising sends (such as M+E, Dialogue) and then sending them to tracks which I arm to record.

Is this a pretty standard practice? Any extra tips?

At the moment I'm working on a short film with a ton of tracks, I'm running a room reverb for effects which these tracks send to, then this reverb sends to a (premix) AUX which then sends to a new TRACK which I've labeled full mix. I've also set the outputs from the tracks to go straight to the premix as well. Ultimately my premix SEND/AUX is now my masterfader! Is this correct? :o Taken me a while and some help from a colleague to get my head around it.

What does everyone else do? hope this wasn't too confusing.

2 Answers 2


Internal bounces can be very useful. For one thing, if you notice something amiss in the course of listening during the bounce, you can: stop, make the correction, back up only a little, then pickup the bounce from just before the problem point. A little cross-fade followed by some region consolidation gives you the the nice single file per channel you need.

Where they really shine though, is if you need to output more than one version of a mix. I typically set up a, admittedly somewhat complex, system of aux sends to what will be my final layback tracks. It affords me the ability to mix a M&E/MDE simultaneously with the Complete Main. It's simple to switch back and forth to make sure things are behaving correctly, and the M&E/MDE tracks require little attention to begin with during the process. When I'm ready to output, I can bounce all versions of the mix simultaneously.

It's important to note the difference between Master Faders and Aux tracks in Pro Tools (if you're going to use an Aux as a "Pseudo-Master"). Remember that Master Faders are the only tracks where the Inserts are post-fader. So, if you set up an Aux as a Pseudo-Master, remember that any volume tweaks will occur after that "final" bus processing. It's sometimes useful to have a pair of Auxes daisy-chained; to separate final volume tweaks and master processing.

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    When picking up the bounce after stopping to correct an error, i recommend using destructive record, and using 2 sec pre-roll so you pick up any reverbs prior to the punch in point. This means you don't create too many excess audio files. I do recommend double checking your punch in point afterwards, though. PT usually gets it right, but sometimes it can create a click. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 16:17
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    @Roger - I'm always afraid that I'll forget to turn destructive recording back off. A safer alternative, in non-destructive mode, is to set up a long pre-roll before your punch point. Any reverb tails or other processing effects will still be in the correct state when recording starts. I'd rather have the excess audio files than risk losing something I might need Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 17:44
  • Yep, I noticed a pop when I did this. THanks :) will work in punch in. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 21:59
  • @Shaun That's totally fair enough. I should have disclaimed that you have to be very careful when working in destructive record. I actually had a well known mixer doing some work in the studio after me one night: "Where did my first take go?" "Ah sorry... it's still on destructive record..." Luckily it wasn't anything big, and he was a sport about it. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 22:16

Here's a fantastic tutorial on the full (small-scale) post-production workflow in Pro Tools. Steps 1-4 don't have much to do with your question, but I think you'll find Steps 5-7 to be extremely appropriate.


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