We can be provided with the tools and resources that will make us great engineers, but we are the ones who have to apply their teaching and utilize those resources.
If the Gate is provided, You have to walk through it. <------ hahahah corny.
Strip Silence. Use the keystrokes U to bring up the strip silencing window and F to apply fades to the starts and ends of each transient. Strip silence is a tool used to silence audio in between the desired audio. Room sounds, other instruments, anything not meant for that specific microphone to hear can be cut out using this trick.
Start everything at zero, or all the way to the left. And grab the threshold, pull right, lowering the db, then grab the end region puller and lengthen the tails.
Shift click two tracks and strip silence both at the same time.
F to fade the ends and beginnings of the transients and use an algorithmic curve which will sound better to the human ear.
Mix in the box first, then mix out of the box and try to duplicate that mix. This is a great learning technique because it shows you how to make things sound good before you try to emulate it out of the box.
Next great technique is making sums of certain instruments like the top and bottom of a snare and the inside and outside of a kick drum. Create new mono auxiliary track and set the input to Bus 17. Assign the outputs of the other tracks meant to be summed to Bus 17 as well.
The EQs on the board channels are really good sounding and can be used instead of mixing in protools.
Fast releases make quiet stuff turn up like the cymbals in the snare track (room sound). The numbers on the bombfactory are counter intuitive and the attack and release knobs go from 1 to 7. 1 being long and slow and 7 being short and fast. Think of the knobs on the 1176 relative to speed. 1 mph is slow and 7 mph is fast.
Set the threshold where a lot is being compressed and mess with the attack and release to get to know the compressor.
An expander is to a gate what a limiter is to a compressor. Gates are like doors. They open and close whether the threshold meets a signal above it. Everything BELOW the threshold is squashed.
The gate is ineffective if used after a compressor. EQ can go first in the downward flow of insert section in protools. Lower threshold gates are sought.
Using a gate as a special effect in a side chain is really cool and almost better than actually using the gate! Bus the Kick on an audio track to an auxiliary track with a gate on it. The gate has a section with a key image where you can select the bus you want to use. Then highlight the key button. This makes the kick the CONTROL SIGNAL. So, anytime the kick hits, the gate will open triggering the signal generator which is sitting under the gate.