Pro Tools Sketch Is A FREE iPad App For Music Production


Pro Tools Sketch brings a new non-linear workflow to your Pro Tools desktop and is also available as a free iPad app (iPadOS 16.0 upwards).

The concept of a non-linear workflow involving clips and scenes is something that’s become increasingly popular in recent times. Many beatmakers and electronic producers find this type of workflow more flexible than the typical DAW approach.

The main element of the Sketch window is the clip launcher, a grid with columns and rows. Each column represents a track with independent mixer settings and plugins. Sketch allows up to sixteen audio or instrument tracks.

You use audio tracks for audio clips and instrument tracks for MIDI clips. The virtual instrument you load into any particular track provides the sound source for all MIDI clips in that column. Each track can play one clip at a time, and double-clicking a clip opens the editor.

Sketch comes with a vast collection of ready-to-go free loops, virtual instruments, and effects.

Rows represent scenes; a scene is a collection of clips arranged to form a specific part or section of a song. Triggering a scene rather than an individual clip will playback the entire row of clips.

Sketch has a scene arranger that allows you to adjust the length of a scene. You could create an entire song in one scene or work on individual sections.

While you can work entirely within the Sketch window, you can also drag your creations into a regular Pro Tools session and work between the two.

A non-linear workflow is often a more efficient approach if you have a bunch of samples and ideas that might work for a particular project. The ability to drag and drop clips in and out of scenes quickly while maintaining an overview of your potential project files sometimes leads you to the right decision faster.

You can easily move projects between the two platforms if you’re a desktop and iPad user. I think the benefits of an app like Sketch depend on your current project, but the grid format is a real-time-saver in the right context.

While the new Pro Tools Sketch won’t easily replace a free DAW like Waveform Free, it’s useful for capturing your musical ideas for free.

In other news, check out the free Thump One synth plugin from Toybox Audio.

Download: Sketch (FREE iPad app – iPadOS 16.0 and upwards)


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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

1 Comment

  1. Nice app, nice of ProTools to release something free, though it looks like a desperate marketing strategy since traditional ProTools DAW is dying. The new approach is nice for people that are just entering music spectrum who have little to no experience in music theory, similar to Bandlab. For traditional DAW veterans it may seem like a studio-in-a-box with the box being around the creativity process.

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