Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
At some point while you are using Pro Tools, you'll probably need to import a track from a music CD, maybe to record a sample from it or use a song as a reference track while mixing or mastering. The steps to do this are pretty similar to importing any other type of file. CDs are recorded at 16 bit, 44.1 KHz sampling rate. Because of that, I want to check out something first before we import the file from the CD. We'll go to Setup > Preferences and in the Processing Page, look down here to the Sample Rate Conversion Quality. Personally, I like to choose TweakHead.
It says it's the Slowest but it's really not that slow on computers these days. It will provide you the best Sample Rate Conversion Quality. With the CD in your CD drive on your computer, go to File > Import > Audio, and you will see the CD on your desktop. I'm going to choose the first track here, and you'll see that it comes in as 16 bit, 44.1 KHz sampling rate track, and it says that it must be converted to be used in Pro Tools because it's not an audio file type that Pro Tools can use directly.
What that means is it's a stereo interleaved file. It has the left and the right channels combined and Pro Tools can only handle mono files. So it will split this stereo file into a left and a right side. So I'm going to press Convert. You'll see that we actually have the opportunity to change the Sample Rate Conversion down here as well. But we already have this set up right. So it's all good. If we want to audition the track from the CD, we can press this button.
Once I press it, it will spin up the CD in your drive and then it will begin playback. (Music playing.) That's the one I want to import. So we're all set here, just click Done and Pro Tools will ask you where you want to import the file to. By default, it will ask you if you want to bring it into the Audio Files for your open session, and usually that's what you'll want to do. So I'll choose that, and it will take a second, as Pro Tools processes the audio and converts it from one sampling rate and bit depth to another.
Here, we can choose where we want the audio file to go. Do we want it to go onto a new track or just into the Regions List? I'm going to choose New Track and we can choose where we want it to go on the track. Do we want it to go right at the beginning or somewhere else? We can use the Spot or Selection to put it somewhere else. But I'm going to just have it go to the start of the session. There you go. The track is imported right to the beginning of the session and it's converted as well from 16 bit, 44.1 to 24 bit 96KHz for this session.
Another way to bring in audio files off of a CD is to go to Window > Workspace, and you'll see the Audio CD right here. We can click on a track and press the Preview button to hear some. (Music playing.) We'll bring that track in. So now all I've to do is click and drag it. Pro Tools will automatically convert it from the original sampling rate, and bit depth to the session sampling rate and bit depth. Now, this is a big file, and it kind of took a little bit of time, but not too bad.
If you are pulling in a file from a CD in the Workspace window, be sure not to click the Audio Files Conform to Session Tempo button, because that will change the sound of this and will try to convert this file to a different session tempo. So make sure that this button is off. So as you can see here, importing a track from a CD is pretty straightforward. Use either of these techniques and you'll be all set.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
73 Video lessons · 20703 Viewers
130 Video lessons · 20924 Viewers
110 Video lessons · 12764 Viewers
71 Video lessons · 17006 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.