This Shortcut Will Save You!

⌘+S is your friend

As every good assistant engineer knows, hitting Command+S is invaluable during a session.  When I was assisting in the studio, after any good take I would hit "⌘+S" or "save session".  This just made sure that whatever was just laid down was "safe".  If the computer kernel panicked and crashed the instant after I hit save, we could get right back to work after the computer restarted.  During a fast paced commercial session this is very important, and everyone involved with the recording will be pleased you remembered the most important keyboard shortcut there is, ⌘+S!

In Protools version 5 they included a feature that allows the session to autosave every "x" number of minutes, however to save hard drive space and reduce processor load this isn't typically set to every minute or even every two minutes. It's usually left at the default, which is five minutes.  Five minutes is a lifetime when you are comping a vocal, or working with top session players and punching in tracks.  If a singer is trying to hit that perfect note in a vocal comp you could have punched in twenty times or more during that time period.  What if the computer crashes on take nineteen, and you are set to autosave every five minutes?  Well, all that work and potential magic is gone.  So, please, as a newbie in the recording world command+s as often as possible.  It will save you, and maybe make you the hero for the day…

Check out the screen grab  to see where the feature is in ProTools 9  preferences. SETUP -> Preferences -> Operation.

Also, this link below has many accounts of engineers failing to "save session".

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Carma Bandstra

Written by Carma Bandstra

Carma Bandstra is the director of student operations and marketing and has been in the education and music industries for over 20 years. While in the music industry she has worked in recording studios, tour management and as a professional event/concert photographer. Carma has worked with artists/bands including Bon Jovi, Stone Temple Pilots, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and many more. Carma believes that education is an essential part of life. She has taught at the High School, University and corporate levels. Carma has degrees in Education, Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business.