Using the New Workspace Browser in Pro Tools 11

In Pro Tools 11 the Workspace Browser has received a major update, not only in its look but also functionality. Finding files has never been easier and Mike Watkinson is here to explain how and why.  

The Workspace Browser in Pro Tools 11 has received a significant overhaul. What required several windows before (Workspace, Project, Volume browsers) has now been rationalized into a single window. And fundamental changes in the way that files are indexed, combined with full 64-bit operation means that search speed is now much, much faster. So searching in the workspace browser is no longer ‘like Spotlight but slower’, it’s ‘like Spotlight but much more powerful’!


Using The Workspace Browser Window

Open a new workspace from the window menu (or use the keyboard shortcut Option-I, note that the legacy keyboard shortcut Option-; also still works).

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You will see that all locations previously managed in separate windows are listed in the inspector on the left.

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You can customise the window and save that window view as follows.


Resize the window to your requirements

Choose column headers by right-clicking one of the existing column headers.

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Command-click a Browser Window preset button – it will double-flash to indicate that the preset is being stored.

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To recall Browser Window presets use the keyboard shortcut click on the required window preset button or use the keyboard shortcuts Control-1 through to Control-5.


Searching and Auditioning

Click the magnifying glass in the toolbar.

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To filter the results click the tick box found to the left of the word ‘Locations’ at the top of the Inspector (it will go green).

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Tick which location(s) you would like to search.

To carry out a basic search (which is in effect filtering the search results): 

Enter some or all of the file name you are looking for in the basic search field at the top right of the toolbar.

To carry out an advanced search:

Click the Advanced Search button.

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Add a filter to the search in the field that appears below the toolbar.

Add as many further filters as you require.

To stop the search click the ‘X’ button in the Toolbar.

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To Audition a file:

Select the file then press the Spacebar (or click the Audition button in the toolbar).

You can adjust the audition level from the toolbar if you wish

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To reveal the file’s location in the Finder, right-click the selected file, then choose ‘Show in Finder’ from the pop-up menu.

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Finding and Relinking Offline Files

Sometimes an audio file will become unlinked to the session that it was originally associated with. This can happen if a file is moved out of the session folder, for example. These files are then shown as ‘offline’ in the Workspace Browser, and are shown in italics.

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Pro Tools offers a way to relink these files, as follows:

To select all offline files (indicated in italics), right-click an audio file name and choose ‘Select Offline Files’ from the pop-up menu that appears.

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Right-click again and choose ‘Relink Selected Items’.

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In the Relink dialog that appears select the file(s) you want to relink.

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Tick the locations you want to search, then click the ‘Find All Candidates’ button.

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Click in the checkbox to the left of the correct candidate (the file that will now be linked to the project).

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Click the ‘Commit Links’ button in the Toolbar.

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Save the session so that next time you open it, it will know where to locate the previously missing files


Mike has been obsessed with music software since he first saw Fairlight's Page-R, and has tracked its development through his work as a performer, composer and producer. As a writer he has contributed articles to Sound On Sound since 1999, and currently writes their Apple Notes column. As well as being a certified Logic Pro and Pro Too... Read More

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