Understanding the I/O setup within Pro Tools is a crucial piece of knowledge when recording. Depending on what audio interface you are using will affect your I/O options and limitations.
For example, using an audio interface with two inputs and two outputs will mean that you only have the ability to record either two mono signals, or one stereo signal.
The same applies to the two outputs. This is important to know if you are planning on working with surround sound systems, as you will require more than two outputs.
To manage your I/O in Pro Tools on the top menu go to Setup > I/O and then you will see this screen:
As you can see from the image this particular setup has 10 inputs and an additional 10 optical inputs. To add more output options into your I/O simply click on the ‘New Path…” button and another Path will appear below the current paths. As you can see each one of these paths is a stereo input.
By using sub-paths you can allow each individual channel to have it’s separate mono channels as well.
These same processes also apply when changing Bus I/O settings. Whilst in this screen you are also able to re-name all your paths by clicking on them.
Importing and exporting I/O settings is a great way to save time and keep your I/O settings to hand. By using ‘Export Settings’ you can save your current I/O as a .pio file. Make sure that you keep this file with you if you move around between studios or computers often as Pro Tools defaults the I/O to ‘Last Used’.
When you find yourself opening a session and all the I/O is wrong, including Outputs failing and Buses not correctly matching up then you can simply go into I/O Setup, select ‘Import Settings’ and find your .pio file, which when opened will restore the entire sessions I/O exactly how you remembered it.