Recording Audio in the Timeline

You record in the Timeline by enabling a track for recording, setting the playhead, then clicking Record. You can record a single take or record multiple takes by turning on cycling before you start recording. When you finish recording, your recorded audio appears in a track in the Timeline. If you record multiple takes, you can audition each take to choose which one you want to use in your project. You can also assemble composite takes by splitting and combining your recorded takes.

Enabling Tracks for Recording

Before you start recording, you enable the tracks you want to record to. You can record audio only to tracks, not to busses or submixes. If no track is enabled for recording, a new track is created below the existing tracks, and the take appears on the new track when you click the Record button.

Note: For details on multitrack recording, see Multitrack Recording.

To enable a track for recording
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Multitrack > Arm Selected Track for Recording (or press R).

  • Click the Arm for Recording button (the red letter R) in the track’s header (or Mixer channel strip).

    Figure. Track header showing the Arm for Recording button.

The Recording tab becomes active and shows the current recording settings. You can adjust recording settings before you start recording or between recordings.

Figure. Recording tab showing Track pop-up menu, Input Device pop-up menu, Input Channel pop-up menu, Input routing buttons, Configure Device button, Monitor pop-up menu, and Mute Project checkbox.

Adjusting Recording Settings

Before you click the Record button, you may need to configure the input device, the choice of input channels, and other device and monitor settings.

To adjust recording settings
  1. In the Recording tab, choose the input device from the Input Device pop-up menu.

    The available choices include your computer’s Built-in Audio, plus any other installed audio interfaces.

    Note: You can also access the Input pop-up menus from the track header, but only if the Timeline Track Height is set to either medium or large.

    Figure. Recording tab showing Input Device pop-up menu.
  2. Use the Input Channel pop-up menu to choose the channel (or set of channels).

    The available choices are Mono (one channel), Stereo (two channels), 3 channels, 4 channels, 5 channels, 6 channels, and Surround 5.1.

    Figure. Recording tab showing Input Channel pop-up menu.

    The Recording tab adjusts the level meter display based on the channel (or set of channels) you choose. For example, for the default Stereo setting, the Recording tab displays the Left and Right level meters. If you choose the 4-channel setting, the Recording tab displays level meters 1 through 4. If you choose the Surround 5.1 setting, the Recording tab displays the standard surround level meters.

    Figure. Examples of Stereo, 4-channel, and Surround meters settings in the Recording tab.
  3. Confirm the channel routing in the input routing buttons below the Input Channel pop-up menu. If necessary, click any of the active input routing buttons and use the pop-up menus to route a different channel from the input device to the channel in the recorded audio file.

    Figure. Recording tab showing Input routing buttons.

    If your audio interface allows labeled inputs, the input routing button pop-up menus display the names.

  4. Optionally, you can click the Configure Device button to open the Audio MIDI Setup utility. For more information, see Audio MIDI Setup.

  5. Use the Monitor Device pop-up menu to choose the device for monitoring the recorded audio.

  6. If you want to record without hearing the existing audio clips in the project, select the Mute Project checkbox.

The level meters in the Recording tab show the level of the audio signal in the input channels. Before recording, you may want to watch the level meters and set the input level to ensure a high enough signal level and to avoid clipping.

Recording a Single Take

You record a single take by setting the playhead to the point where you want recording to start, then clicking the Record button. Recording starts at the playhead position, and ends when you click either the Record or Play/Pause button.

To record a single take
  1. If you want to record to an existing track, enable the track for recording.

  2. Set the playhead to the point where you want recording to start.

    You can set the playhead using any of the procedures described in Setting the Playhead Quickly.

  3. Click the Record button in the transport controls to start recording (or press Command–R).

    As you record, the level meters in the Recording tab show the levels of the input signal being recorded. If the input signal clips (rises above 0 dB), the peak indicator lights red.

  4. To stop recording, do one of the following:

    • Click the Record button again (or press Command–R).

    • Click the Play/Pause button.

    • Press the Space bar.

You can punch in and punch out while recording a single take using the Record button. For example, you can start the project playing, then punch in at the point where you want to start recording by clicking the Record button. To punch out, click the Record button again. When you click the Record button while recording, recording stops, but the project continues playing. You can punch in and punch out multiple times while the project is playing.

When you click the Pause/Play button, both recording and playback stop.

Multitrack Recording

You can record audio to multiple tracks simultaneously.

To record to multiple tracks simultaneously
  1. Click the Arm for Recording button on each track you want to record to.

  2. For each track you want to record to, choose the track from the Track pop-up menu at the top of the Recording tab and follow these steps:

    1. In the Recording tab, choose the input device from the Input Device pop-up menu.

    2. Use the Input Channel pop-up menu to choose the channel (or set of channels).

    3. Confirm the channel routing in the input routing buttons below the Input Channel pop-up menu. If necessary, click any of the active input routing buttons and use the pop-up menus to route a different channel from the input device to the channel in the recorded audio file.

    For more information, see Adjusting Recording Settings.

  3. Set the playhead to the point where you want recording to start, and click the Record button (or press Command–R).

    The audio is recorded to the armed tracks.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline window showing multiple tracks being recorded.
  4. To stop recording, do one of the following:

    • Click the Record button again (or press Command–R).

    • Click the Pause/Play button.

    • Press the Space bar.

Recording Multiple Takes

You can record multiple takes in the Timeline. You can record multiple takes using the cycle region to define where each take starts and ends, or you can record for the duration of the project. When you record multiple takes, the takes are “stacked” in a single multitake clip in the Timeline. You can audition each take and create composite takes using the Multitake Editor. For information about the Multitake Editor, see Using the Multitake Editor. You can also record directly into the Multitake Editor. For more information about recording in the Multitake Editor, see Recording into the Multitake Editor.

To record multiple takes
  1. If you want to record to an existing track, enable the track.

  2. If cycling is turned off, click the Cycle button in the transport controls to turn it on.

  3. Set the cycle region to the part of the Timeline where you want recording to start and end.

    For information on setting the cycle region, see Working with the Cycle Region.

    If no cycle region is set, recording starts at the beginning of the project and lasts until the end of the last clip in the project. If the project contains no clips, a single take is recorded, starting at the current playhead position.

  4. Click the Record button in the transport controls to start recording (or press Command–R).

    As you record, the level meters in the Recording tab show the levels of the input signal being recorded. If the input signal clips (rises above 0 dB), the peak indicator lights red.

    The playhead advances to the end of the cycle region, then returns to the beginning of the cycle region for the next take.

  5. To stop recording, do one of the following:

    • Click the Record button (or press Command–R).

    • Click the Pause/Play button.

    • Press the Space bar.

When you record multiple takes, the takes are recorded sequentially to an audio file in the recording location set in Recording preferences. The takes appear in a single multitake clip in the Timeline.

Figure. Clip showing the take number in the lower right corner.

Recording into the Multitake Editor

Soundtrack Pro allows you to record audio directly into the Multitake Editor. For more information on the Multitake Editor, see Using the Multitake Editor. Recording preferences for the multitake recording are taken from the track upon which the multitake clip resides. To change recording settings, use the Recording tab set to the armed track. For more information, see Adjusting Recording Settings.

Note: You may not change the number of channels of an existing multitake clip.

To record audio into the Multitake Editor
  1. In the Multitake Editor, click the Arm for Recording button.

    Figure. Multitake Editor header showing the Arm for Recording button.

    When the Multitake Editor is armed for recording, the track containing the multitake clip is also armed for recording. Other tracks in your project cannot be armed for recording while the Multitake Editor is armed for recording.

  2. Click the Record button in the transport controls to start recording.

  3. To stop recording, do one of the following:

    • Click the Record button (or press Command–R).

    • Click the Pause/Play button.

    • Press the Space bar.

    The new recording appears at the bottom of the Multitake Editor. If cycling is turned on and a cycle region is set, each new take appears at the bottom of the Multitake Editor. For more information on multiple takes, see Recording Multiple Takes.

Note: To record in other tracks or to use the Multitake Editor with another clip, you must first disarm the Multitake Editor for recording. As long as the Multitake Editor is armed for recording, the current multitake clip stays visible in the Multitake Editor.

Editing Multitake Clips

You can do some simple multitake editing directly in the Timeline, for example, splitting the clip and choosing the take for each split segment.

Note: For sophisticated editing of multitake clips, see Using the Multitake Editor.

To choose a take in the Timeline
Do one of the following:
  • Select the clip, choose Clip > Recording Take, then choose the take number from the submenu.

  • Control-click the clip, choose Take from the shortcut menu, then choose the take number from the submenu.

    Figure. Track shortcut menu.

You can split a recorded clip and choose the take for each segment of the split clip to create a composite take. You can also copy a clip onto several tracks, split the copies, and choose the take for each split copy of the clip.

Recordings Location

When you record audio with Soundtrack Pro, the default location for those audio recordings is: /Users/username/Documents/Soundtrack Pro Documents/Recordings/.

To change the Recordings location
  1. Choose Soundtrack Pro > Preferences.

  2. Click the Recording button, then click Choose to enter a new location.

Note: When you save a multitrack project and select the Collect Audio Files option, a copy of every audio file the project uses (including recordings) is saved with the project file. For more information, see Saving Multitrack Projects.