Pro Tools Window Configurations Tutorial 4

Pro Tools Window Configuration Tutorial number 4. In this tutorial, you’ll learn to create and recall a layout of floating windows using the Window Layout property. You’ll also learn how to use the Pro Tools Targeted Windows feature.

Tutorial: Using the Window Configurations Window Layout Property

Step 1: Create a New Session as the Starting Point.

In this tutorial, you’re going to create a window layout for looking at all the processing and the output level on a vocal track. I’m starting with a mock-up session with a bunch of tracks. One of them is colored gold. It’s the vocal track.

Step 2: Add three plug-ins to one track.

There’s five Insert points in Pro Tools 7.x. (Compared to ten inserts in Pro Tools 8 ). They’re located at the top of the track channel in the Mix Window.

2a: In the top Insert, instantiate any plug-in you like. If you’re following me, then instantiate the DigiRack 7 Band EQ3.

2b: In the second Insert, instantiate the DigiRack De-esser Dyn 3.

2c: In the third Insert, instantiate the DigiRack Compressor/Limiter Dyn 3.

Step 2 – complete: The result should look something like this:

Step 3: Opening the first Plug-In Window.

Click on the first Insert tab to open the 7 Band EQ3 window.

Step 4: Disable the Target Window button on the 7 Band EQ3.

Ever wonder what that little Target button is for?

When it’s “lit” red, it means that the window is the active targeted window; any new plug-in window you open will replace the targeted window. Right now, you don’t want that.

De-activate it by clicking on it, it turns grey.

Step 5: Open the De-esser plug-in window.

Now that the EQ plug-in is not a targeted window, you can click on the second Insert tab to open the De-esser plug-in.

Step 6: Hold down the Shift key and click on the third Insert tab.

Hold down the Shift key and click on the third Insert tab. The Compressor/Limiter Dyn 3 plug-in opens as an additional, un-targeted window instead of replacing the targeted De-esser window.

Notice the target button is not lit. This indicates that the plug-in window is not a targeted window.

Step 7: Open the Track Output window.

Click on the Output button on the track’s channel strip.

Output Windows give you dedicated floating window for a specific Track or Send. In this case, the Track Output window shows us track fader, pan, mute, automation mode, and solo controls.

Step 8: Arrange all the windows.

Now you have four floating windows opened:

  • 7 Band EQ3 plug-in
  • De-Esser plug-in
  • Compressor/Limiter plug-in
  • Track Output window

In this step, arrange the four windows on your screen in a way that makes sense to you. This “layout” is how the windows will be saved when you create a window configuration in the following steps.

Step 9: Create a New Window Configuration.

With all the windows laid out the way you like them, it’s time to create a new window configuration.

Go the the Window menu and from the Configurations sub-menu, select New Configuration…

Step 10: Select the Window Layout property.

In the New Window Configuration dialog, select the round Window Layout button.

For now, leave the square button for “including edit, mix, and transport window display settings” unselected.

Step 11: Enter in the details and click OK.

Give the New Configuration a name, add any comments you want to add, then press OK.

Step 12: Hide all floating windows.

To test the new window configuration, start by closing all of the floating windows in your session.

Go to the Window menu and select Hide All Floating Windows.

With all of the floating windows hidden, my screen looks like this again:

Step 13: Recall the Configuration from the Window menu.

Go to the Window Menu, Configurations sub-menu and select the configuration by name (whatever you named it in Step 11).

Once you select the configuration name, Pro Tools will recall all of the windows that you saved in the layout.

Step 14: Use the Window Configurations Keyboard shortcut

Instead of selecting your configuration from the Window menu, you can use a keyboard shortcut.

On the numeric keypad, press Period (.), the number of the Window Configuration (1–99), and then Asterisk (*).

Conclusion and Next Steps

This concludes the series on Window Configurations thus far. There’s actually quite a lot more that I’d like to cover. Namely, the Window Configuration List. The Window Configuration List is like a control center for editing and managing all of the configuration features we’ve covered so far. Read through the section in the Pro Tools 7.4 Reference Guide (starting on page 124). It will be the perfect compliment and conclusion to what I hope you’ve learned in this series of tutorials.


  1. Hello Chris. First many thanks for teaching us tips and tricks and many other useful secrets of Pro Tools. This window configuration I’ve never seen it before. Now, just a question: I ‘ ll receive in a couple of days a new Mac Pro 8 Core. I’m using Pro Tools 8 with a 003 rack + Digidesign, a TC Electronic studio Konnekt 48. Plus a Powercore PCI express and a Focusrite Liquid Mix. I usually work with 20 – 24 audio track and I need to add a lot of plug-ins. Do you think I’ ll work fine with this Mac Pro?
    Many thanks
    Best regards

  2. Paulo ~ I think it will be an awesome setup. There’s a ridiculous amount of processing power in that configuration. Have fun!