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How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

by / Wednesday, 12 September 2018 / Published in Music production tutorials, Pro Tools

The following tutorial shows the user how to create an audio track in Pro Tools.

CLICK HERE to learn Avid Pro Tools one on one with a digital  audio professional at OBEDIA.

Just as any other Digital Audio Workstation, Pro Tools has the ability to record, edit, mix and master digital audio content. Digital Audio in Pro Tools is recorded into “Audio Track”. These audio tracks resemble a regular channel strip from an analog console that has its own input and output, the ability of connecting audio processing devices in series (or parallel), a pan pot, mute/solo switches and a fader at the end.

Audio tracks are used to record digital audio that has been converted from analog by the interface. Most sources that are recorded with a microphone or using a DI box can be recorded into an audio track. Some examples of these could be: a guitar amp that has been recorded with a mic, a bass guitar that has been recorded using a DI box, a piano that has been recorded using a stereo pair of microphones or a vocalist that has been recorded using a microphone.

This tutorial will present a step-by-step guide on how to create and setup an audio track for proper use in Pro Tools.

 

1. Open or create a new Pro Tools session and make sure you can see the Edit window:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

The picture above shows the Edit window in Pro Tools.

 

2. At the top menu bar click on: Track -> New.

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

3. The New Tracks window will appear as:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

4. Set the New Tracks window to create a new audio track:

In order to do this, we must evaluate all the possibly options this window presents, these are:

  • Create: It lets the user type the number of tracks that wants to be created.
  • Mono/Stereo: This drop-down list lets the user select if the created tracks will be mono (single audio channel) or stereo (two audio channels, left and right).
  • Track type: This drop-down list, lets the user select the type of tracks that will be created, the available options are: Audio track, Aux Input, Master Fader, VCA Master, MIDI Track, Instrument Track.
  • Samples/Ticks: This drop-down list, lets the user select between sample-based tracks (normally used for audio content) or tick-based tracks (normally used for MIDI information).

 

For the purpose of this tutorial we will create two mono audio tracks, sample-based. The parameters of the New Tracks window will be set as:

  • Create: 2.
  • Mono/Stereo: Mono.
  • Track type: Audio Track.
  • Samples/Ticks: Samples.

 

Our New Tracks window should look like this:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

5. Press “Create” to create the tracks. As soon as this button is pressed, the window will close and the program will take us back to the Edit window:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

It is easy to see how we have two tracks at the left of the screen labeled as “Audio 1” and “Audio 2”. These are the default names Pro Tools will give to the audio tracks, but they can be changed by double-clicking on their names.

Now that we have created our tracks, we must assign the proper inputs and outputs to them. Pro Tools will automatically assign an input and an output for each track, but these might not be the ones we want. These options can be changed from the track options area of the Edit Window. This area is located at:

 

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

6. Click on the Inputs list of the track “Audio 1” to change its input. The Input list can be found at the top of the I/O options:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

Once clicked, the input list will show as:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

As it can be seen from the list, the input has been set to “MIC/LINE/HIZ.L”, this input corresponds to the first analog input of the interface used. For the purpose of this tutorial, this configuration is correct. However, if the user wants a different input assigned to the track, this list gives the possibility of changing it.

 

7. Click on the Inputs list of the track “Audio 2” to change its input. The Input list can be found at the top of the I/O options:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

Once clicked, the input list will show as:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

As it can be seen from the list, the input has been set to “MIC/LINE/HIZ.R”, this input corresponds to the second analog input of the interface used. For the purpose of this tutorial, this configuration is correct. However, if the user wants a different input assigned to the track, this list gives the possibility of changing it.

 

8. Click on the Outputs list of the track “Audio 1” to change its output. The Output list can be found at the bottom of the I/O options:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

Once clicked, the output list will show as:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

As it can be seen from the list, the output has been set to “MON L/R (Stereo)”, this output corresponds to the first pair of analog outputs of the interface used. For the purpose of this tutorial, this configuration is correct. However, if the user wants a different pair of outputs assigned to the track, this list gives the possibility of changing it.

 

9. Click on the Outputs list of the track “Audio 2” to change its output. The Output list can be found at the bottom of the I/O options:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

Once clicked, the output list will show as:

How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools

 

As it can be seen from the list, the output has been set to “MON L/R (Stereo)”, this output corresponds to the first pair of analog outputs of the interface used. For the purpose of this tutorial, this configuration is correct. However, if the user wants a different pair of outputs assigned to the track, this list gives the possibility of changing it.

 

At this point we have successfully created a pair of audio tracks and configured their inputs and outputs for proper recording and playback of audio material. The tutorial has now finished.

We hope you found this tutorial on How to create an Audio Track in Pro Tools useful.

CLICK HERE to learn Avid Pro Tools one on one with a digital  audio professional at OBEDIA.

 

 

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