Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing tracks from a CD, part of Pro Tools 9 Essential Training.
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At some point while you're using Pro Tools, you'll probably need to import a track from a music CD, maybe to record a sample or a sound effect from it, or to use as a reference track while mixing or mastering. The steps to do this are pretty similar to importing any other type of file. Now CDs are recorded at 16-bit/44.1 kHz sampling rate. Because of that, I want to go check something out first before we import the file from the CD. I am going to go to Setup > Preferences and click on the Processing tab.
I am going to go down here to the Sample Rate Conversion Quality and check what we have is our setting. Now I'm always a fan of the TweakHead. Even though it says it's the slowest, it doesn't mean that your computer will make it a slow process. Computers are very fast these days. So choose the TweakHead as the sample rate conversion quality. It's the best quality. Now, we can go up to the File menu. Choose Import > Audio. And you'll see your audio CD come up and all of the tracks on it.
I am going to click this one, and you'll see the information about that track, and it will pop into the Regions in Current File. And it tells you that this must be converted to be used, because it's not an audio file type that Pro Tools can use directly. What that means is it's a stereo file, and Pro Tools actually needs to convert it into two mono files so it can use it in the session. Not only that, we know the sampling rate is 44.1 kHz. However, our destination sample rate in our session is 48.
So we already have our sampling rate conversion quality set at TweakHead, which is the best. Now we can go hit Done, and Pro Tools is going to ask us where we want to save this file. It always comes up as the default into the Audio Files folder for the session, which is totally fine. So I'll click Open, and Pro Tools will start processing this file. When Pro Tools is done converting it, it will open up the Audio Import Options dialog, and you can choose whether you want to create a new track for this song, or if you want to just put it into the Regions list.
And I want to say create a new track, and we can also say where we want it to be, so I am going to just have it be at the session start. Click OK, and there is the file. You can also import CD tracks by going through the Window and then the Workspace, and you'll see the CD here. And I can literally click and drag into the session, and Pro Tools will take care of all the conversions, all behind the scenes. So as you can see here, importing a track from a CD is pretty straightforward.
Use either of the two methods shown here, and you'll be all set.
- Exploring the Pro Tools interface
- Choosing a playback engine and other settings
- Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
- Importing audio
- Recording and editing audio and MIDI
- Arranging a session
- Writing and editing automation
- Mixing and mastering a session
- Using automatic delay compensation
- Bouncing down a mix as an MP3
- Importing and displaying video
- Archiving a session