Recording audio

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Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how you can record audio in Premiere Pro using the Track Mixer, or directly record a voice-over in the Timeline.

You can record to an audio track in a new sequence or record to a new audio track in an existing sequence. Premiere Pro saves the recording as an audio clip and adds it to your project.

Before recording audio, make sure that your computer has sound inputs. Premiere Pro supports ASIO (Audio Stream Input Output) devices (Windows) and Core Audio devices (Mac OS). Many devices have connectors for connecting speaker, microphone cables, and breakout boxes.

If your computer has an ASIO or Core Audio device for connecting sound input devices, make sure that the sound device settings and input volume level options are properly set. Refer to your operating system’s Help for details.

In Premiere Pro, set the default device options in the Audio Hardware Preferences for specifying the input channel used when recording.

After you connect input devices and make all preliminary settings, you can use the Audio Track Mixer in Premiere Pro to record audio. Use controls in the Audio Track Mixer to adjust the monitoring levels.

You can also record voiceovers on audio tracks directly from the Timeline without using the Audio Track Mixer workflow.

An audio clip is created from the recording and is added to both the Timeline and Project panels.

Capture analog audio

If you want to use audio that isn’t yet in digital form (for example, from an analog cassette or a live microphone), you need to digitize it through an audio or audio/video digitizer/capture card.

Important points

  • The quality of digitized audio and the size of the audio file depend on the sample rate (the number of samples per second) and bit depth (the number of bits per sample) of the digitized audio. Also, stereo audio requires twice as much disk space as mono audio.
  • These parameters, controlled in the Capture section of the Project Settings dialog box, determine how precisely the analog audio signal is represented in digital form. Higher sample rates and bit depths reproduce sound at higher levels of quality, but with correspondingly larger file sizes.
  • Capture audio at the highest quality settings your computer can handle, even if those settings are higher than the settings you’ll specify for final export or playback. This provides headroom, or extra data, that helps preserve quality when you adjust audio gain or apply audio effects such as equalization or dynamic range compression/expansion.
  • Although the DV format can record two independent stereo audio pairs, Premiere Pro can capture only one stereo pair. It may be possible to select either stereo pair 1, stereo pair 2, or a mix of both, depending on the DV hardware you use. For details, see the documentation for the DV hardware.

Set the location for captured audio

  1. Choose Project > Project Settings> Scratch Disks.
  2. For Captured Audio, select a location and click OK.

Prepare the audio input channel for recording

When you enable recording for a track, the track can record from the Default Device channel specified in the Audio Hardware section of the Preferences dialog box. This dialog box includes the ASIO Settings button (Windows only), which you use to enable audio inputs connected to the computer. Submix and master tracks always receive audio from tracks within the sequence, so recording and track input options are unavailable for them.

Record audio from a microphone or another analog source

  1. Make sure that you have specified the Input audio device. For more information, see Specify the default audio device.
  2. Make sure that the input device (microphone or other audio device) is connected properly to the computer or sound card.
    Note:

    If recording from a microphone, check the documentation for your computer or sound card to determine whether the microphone jack is for a monaural or stereo microphone. Use the appropriate microphone for the jack. Noise, the loss of a channel, intermittent sound, and no sound all can result from plugging a mono microphone into a stereo jack or a stereo microphone into a mono jack.

  3. If recording from a microphone, turn off your computer speakers to prevent feedback and echo.

You can record audio using the Audio Track Mixer, or you can record a voice-over directly from the Timeline on to an audio track.

Record audio using the Audio Track Mixer

  1. (Optional) If necessary, add an audio track to a Timeline appropriate for the number of channels you will record. For example, if you’re recording voice with a single monaural microphone, record to a mono audio track. See Work with tracks. A track appears in the Audio Track Mixer for each track you add to a Timeline.

    You will need to repeat this step if you’re recording to multiple tracks.

  2. In the Audio Track Mixer, click the Enable Track For Recording icon (“R” icon) for the track you added for your audio device.
  3. Choose the recording input channel from the Track Input Channel menu.
    Note:

    The Track Input Channel menu appears after you click the Enable Track For Recording icon.

  4. (Optional) Create a new sequence.
    Note:

    It’s also possible to record to an existing sequence. Doing so is useful for recording voiceovers. You can record your voice while watching the playback of the sequence. When you record voiceovers to an existing sequence, it’s good practice to click the Solo Track icon (“S” icon) in the Audio Track Mixer for the track that you’re recording to. Clicking the icon mutes the other audio tracks.

  5. (Optional) Select the audio track that you want to record to.
  6. (Optional) Adjust the levels on the input device to achieve the proper recording level.
  7. Select Meter Input(s) Only in the Audio Track Mixer panel menu to meter only the sound card’s inputs.
  8. Click the Record button at the bottom of the Audio Track Mixer to enter Record mode.
  9. Test the input levels by playing a selection from the analog source, or by having the narrator speak into the microphone. Watch the Audio Track Mixer level meters to ensure that the input levels for record-enabled tracks are high but not clipping.
  10. (Optional) When you finish testing, deselect Meter Input(s) Only in the Audio Track Mixer panel menu to meter the project’s audio tracks also.
  11. Click the Play-Stop toggle button to start recording.

  12. If necessary, adjust the track volume slider up (louder) or down (quieter) as you record to maintain the monitor level you want.

    The red indicators at the top of the VU meters light up if the audio is clipped. Make sure that the audio level isn’t loud enough to cause clipping. Generally, loud audio registers near 0 dB, and quiet audio registers around -18 dB.

  13. Click the Stop icon to stop recording.

    The recorded audio appears as a clip in the audio track and as a master clip in the Project panel. You can always select the clip in the Project panel and rename or delete it.

Record a voice-over on an audio track from the Timeline

Colin Smith

You can record a voice-over on an audio track directly in the Timeline by following these steps:

  1. Display the Voice-over Record button

    The voice-over Record button lets you record a voice-over directly from the Timeline on to an audio track. To display the voice-over Record button in the Timeline header, do the following:

    1. Select the track in the Timeline to which you want to add the voice-over.
    2. Click the Settings button in the Timeline and select Customize Audio Header.
    3. From the Button Editor dialog box that appears, drag-and-drop the Microphone button to the required audio track, and click OK.
  2. Start the voice-over recording workflow

    Start a voice-over recording workflow by doing one of the following:

    • Mark a specific In/Out range to insert the audio recording.
    • Position the playhead at the starting point of inserting the voice-over.
  3. Display pre-roll countdown

    As soon as you mark the In/Out range or position the playhead, the voice-over recording workflow starts. A pre-roll countdown appears as an overlay on the Program Monitor.

    The pre-roll countdown is a visual cue to give you time to prepare and begin the recording. Recording begins after the countdown reaches zero. You can specify the duration of the pre-roll countdown in the Voice-Over Record Settings dialog box.

    You can access voice-over record settings directly from the Timeline by selecting Voice-Over Record Settings from the context menu.

    Voice-Over settings
    Access Voice-Over settings from Timeline

    You can specify the duration of the pre-roll and post-roll countdown. Select the Countdown Sound Cues check box to play an audible beep to indicate the status of recording. These beeps are not recorded in the voice-over.

  4. Begin recording

    Click the Voice-over Record button in the audio track's header to begin recording. A status message "Recording..." appears in the Program Monitor to indicate that recording is on.

    When using a predefined In/Out range, you don't have to click the Voice-over Record button. Recording automatically starts when the playhead reaches the In point in the Timeline.

  5. Finish Recording

    When using a predefined In/Out range, recording ends when the playhead reaches the Out point in the Timeline. The status message on the Program Monitor then changes to "Finishing...". If you're not using a predefined In/Out range, stop the recording manually by clicking the Voice-over Record button; again, or by pressing the Spacebar key.

    Once recording is complete, an audio file of the recording is created. The audio file is imported as a new project item into the Project panel.

Mute input during recording

Muting input can prevent feedback or echo when the computer is connected to speakers.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Audio (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences > Audio (Mac OS).
  2. Select Mute Input During Timeline Recording.
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