This quick tutorial will show you how to use the tap tempo function in Pro Tools. Tap tempo is a feature where you tap a key on the computer keyboard at your desired speed and your DAW will detect and calculate the appropriate tempo setting for your session.
Finding the Session Tempo
The session tempo can be found in the MIDI Controls panel of the transport window. The MIDI Controls panel can also be shown in the toolbar as a docked version. If the panel is not shown in the transport window or the toolbar, enable the MIDI Controls panel with the dropdown menu at the top right hand corner of either the floating Transport Window or the Toolbar.
Using Manual Tempo Mode
Tap tempo requires the use of Manual Tempo Mode. In Manual Tempo Mode Pro Tools will ignore the tempo events in the Tempo Ruler and instead playback at the manual tempo provided.
Switch to Manual Tempo Mode by clicking on the Tempo Ruler Enable (conductor) button so it is no longer highlighted.
The tempo value should switch from white to green. You can now manually set the tempo by clicking on the tempo value and typing a new value in.
Tapping the Tempo
To set the tempo by tapping, ensure that Manual Tempo Mode is on. Click on the tempo value to highlight it and start tapping on the "T" key on your computer keyboard repeatedly to set the tempo.
Pro Tools uses the average of the last eight (or fewer) taps to calculate the correct tempo.
To confirm the tempo that you have tapped in, push the "Enter/Return" key on your computer keyboard. The tempo value should no longer be highlighted and Pro Tools use it as the new session tempo.