Element Quickstart Setup for Pro Tools
In this video, we’ll show you how to set up your Element, and start recording.
1. Download and install the Element Control software.
2. After your mac restarts, connect the Elements power supply. Connect your Element to your mac using a Thunderbolt cable.
3. Update the firmware if prompted.
4. Click Yes to use the Element as your mac’s I/O.
5. If this dialog does not appear, confirm the settings in system preferences/sound
6. If the Element Control App doesn’t launch automatically, launch it from your applications folder.
7. Close any open windows.
8. Go to the window menu and select Essentials.
9. Turn the monitors all the way down.
10. Turn the Main output level in Essentials all the way up.
11. Play back a song from iTunes, and slowly raise the monitor level until the music coming out of your monitors is at the maximum volume you would ever listen to.
12. Back off the main output level in the essentials window until your at a comfortable listening level.
13. If the audio sounds distorted, open the Primary window and select -10dBV in the Main Output Level menu.
14. Close the Primary window and set the Main output level to a comfortable listening level.
15. Stop playback of audio and close any apps you have open beside Element Control.
16. Before setting up your input, turn down the Main Output all the way. This will prevent feedback when using microphones.
17. Connect your input source to your Element. The 1/4 inch jack can only accept input from instruments. So if you’re using a mic, make sure to use an XLR cable.
18. Select the input type-Mic, Instrument, or a line level setting +4dBu or -10dBV. These are used for sending a signal from another audio device. If your mic needs phantom power, engage the 48V button on the input you’re using. For basic recording, you will not need any the other buttons in the Essentials window, but if you’re curious, select Hover Help from the window menu and read about each button as you hover your pointer over them. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be hearing your input yet. We’re going to set proper input levels first.
19. Perform on your instrument or mic as you normally would, and raise the input gain until the signal in the meter is around 3/4 of the way up. If you see the orange over light, lower the gain.
20. Launch Pro Tools
21. If the Dashboard window appears, click cancel.
22. Click the Setup Menu and go to Playback Engine.
23. Confirm that Element is set as the Playback Engine.
24. For low latency recording, set your buffer to 64. Click ok.
25. Go back to Setup and select I/O.
26, Click the Default button in the Input, Output and Bus tabs and then click ok to exit.
27. Go to the File menu to open or create a new session.
28. To create a new track, hold down shift and command and press the N key. You can also do this from the track menu at the top. Leave it set for Mono and click create.
29. Go to the Mix window and find the track you just created. Make sure you have selected Analog 1 for your input and playback 1 & 2 for your output.
30. Engage the Input and Record Enable buttons.
31. Put your headphones on. You can start with the headphone level at -40dB. Speak into your mic or play your instrument. You should hear yourself in the headphones. If the volume is too low, turn the headphone level up. We’ve already set up the input gain to a good level so it won’t clip or distort. So from this point on we should on adjust output levels when things are too quiet or too loud.
32. You are now ready to start recording.