I have a system where I color all the SFX originally done by the SFX editor black, and any fixes I do or changes I color them Red, and any fixes or new SFX from the editor are colored Dark Blue.

I also mark pickups for narration a different color so I can find them easily.

Have you worked clever ways of utilizing the color system of Pro Tools or any other DAW program?

  • Like @Jay I typically color code my tracks. I need to steal this idea about fixes and changes though. Thanks! Aug 26 '10 at 3:42
  • @Steve Thief! Thief!
    – Utopia
    Aug 26 '10 at 4:30

I use color for tracks as well as regions, but mostly for tracks. For example, when I'm cutting fx in predub groups, all the tracks in FX1 may be blue, while all the tracks for FX2 may be red, etc. With the Regions in Tracks color setting in Default mode, the regions will take on the color of the track that it's on.

Sometimes I will override this function on a region-by-region basis if I need to color a region for a particular reason, say, if it needs to be repanned, recut, etc.

The newest version of PT (8.1) is great in regard to track color since, in the past, the tracks wouldn't retain their colors when imported into another session.

  • @Jay are you refering to regions as the individual sound clips you use as editing? I'm assuming so. The way you discribe them. Sorry I'm not a ProTools user =D My 1st DAW called them objects, I'm still used to that.
    – Auddity
    Aug 26 '10 at 5:49
  • @Auddity, yes. Regions, clips, objects, etc - all the same idea. Aug 26 '10 at 6:26

Definetly use a color system.

working on scenes, my nature/ambience is different shades of green. thunder and rain are blues. dialogue is in the oranges. Special efx are generally shades of darker red. Foley tends to be gray to brownish shades.

When I'm cataloging sounds I've been out recording the objects/files start a standard gray. If no work is needed they stay that way. If work is needed on them I'll make them yellow. Once clean up or work is done to em they go red. Once they're exported to my sound library they go black.

Plus I use markers on seperate tracks and notes on each track. Nuendo has handy tools like that.

And it varies slightly giving scenes, and as I improve my workflow


I use regions color and tracks color.

When I edit dialogue, I use to color yellow (the brighter one) every region I denoise (or decrackle, etc, and I always have the original region duplicated and muted in a track below), red the ones that I desser and so on.

I also use region color to identify regions that need some processing while the sound mixer is working and the session is in play (I separate the region in play and color it so when the playback stop I know exaclty where I need to work).

I use track color to identify different tracks (omf, adr, PD or when working with sound sfx AMB, SFX, Foley, etc) to make easier for the sound mixer and for me to have an overview of the session.


Does ProTools have track folders, where you can group tracks together and minimize / maximize / move everything within the folder as one unit?

I don't have a color-convention for processed or unprocessed sounds -- it's never even occurred to me -- and I throw my groups into track folders so I know what goes together and what doesn't. I haven't run into a situation where I'm sending one or two elements from a single sound group to a different bus than the rest, so maybe coloring the tracks then will be something I do.


I use colour coding when final mixing to manage fixes - described here:

Fixes during the mix. How to go about it?

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