A quick guide on how to record audio in Pro Tools First

A quick guide on how to record audio in Pro Tools First

Today, we’ll learn the 4 steps that you need to follow to record audio in Pro Tools First.

If you’re new to Pro Tools First, then exactly how to record your audio into the DAW may be a bit of a mystery to you, as its not instantly obvious how to do it.

Before we go any further, if you want to make better music in your home studio, then be sure to download your free home studio bundle here (EQ cheat sheet, compression cheat sheet, & vocal guide).

Record audio in Pro Tools First – 1. Create your tracks

If you want to record audio in Pro Tools First, perhaps vocals or acoustic guitar for instance, then you need to begin by creating the tracks to record to.

If you’re unsure of how to create your tracks, then I’ve written an article on exactly how to do that here.

Record audio in Pro Tools First – 2. Routing your inputs

Once you have created your tracks, then you need to use the input of the I/O section to tell the tracks where their audio will be coming from:

Record audio in pro tools first - I:O

In the mix window, and with I/O visible, set the input of each track to the input on your interface that you want that track to capture. For instance, if you’ve plugged a mic into input 1 of your interface to record your guitar, then assign the input of the track that you want to record guitar to, to input 1.

You’ll notice that you can also select an output in the I/O section. Later in the session, you may wish to assign your outputs to various group buses or a mix bus, but for now, just set it to which ever output your speakers are plugged into on your interface.

Once the tracks are set up and the routing of the tracks is taken care of, the next step is to set the gain levels so that you can record audio in Pro Tools First.

Record audio in Pro Tools First – 3. Set the gain levels

In order to record audio in Pro Tools First, you need to set the gain levels. That way, the signals coming into your session will be at an optimum level. In order to see the level that the signal is coming into Pro Tools First at, you need to ‘record enable’ the track. To do this hit the record enable button on the tracks that you want to record. When enabled, the track will flash in red:

record audio in pro tools first - record enable

You’ll notice now that each input’s signal will show up on the tracks meter. Using this meter, set each inputs gain level.

Not sure what you should set an instruments gain level to? I’ve written a full article on exactly how high your track’s gain levels should be, read it here.

Record audio in Pro Tools First – 4. You’re ready to record

With your gain levels set, you’re ready to record. Ensure that the tracks that you want to record to are record enabled, then hit record in the transport controls or in the extended transport window:

record audio in pro tools first - press record

The record button will begin to flash along with the record enable button on any record enabled tracks. When you’re ready to start recording, hit the play button to the left of the record button. At this point, Pro Tools First will record each of the record enabled track’s inputs.

Its that simple! With this simple process to record audio in Pro Tools First, you can record your tracks easily.

What type of audio tracks are you most likely to record in your session? Are you a solo artist looking to record your vocals and acoustic guitar? Are you recording your band and need to record a full drum kit? Let me know in the comments section below.

Click here to download Pro Tools First for free.


Get the best results from EQ, compression, vocals & drums with the FREE 'Home Studio Bundle'

EQ Settings Cheat Sheet Compression Settings Cheat Sheet How to record studio quality vocals at home How to record drums with one mic

Get all 4 guides sent straight to your inbox when you subscribe to our mailing list here:

* indicates required

We will use the email address you provide to send you free downloadable guides, notifications of our latest blog posts, general updates and offers on our products and services. If you are happy to receive these types of emails, please confirm here:

We treat your information with respect. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in the footer of any mailing list email you receive from us, or by contacting alex@mixinglessons.com. You can find more information on our privacy practices at www.mixinglessons.com/privacy-and-cookies-policy. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

4 thoughts on “A quick guide on how to record audio in Pro Tools First

  1. I can’t seem to get both the vocals and guitar record buttons to turn on at the same time.
    whenever I click one the other turns off.
    Any tips?

    1. Hey Levi, if you can only record enable one of the two tracks at a time then it sounds like you might have both tracks set to the same input. Make sure that you have each track set to the correct input which corresponds to where you have connected your mics/guitar to your interface. I hope this resolves the problem for you. Many thanks, Alex.

  2. My pro tools first days no record volumes designated when i try to record I have protools first for mac big sur 2021.3

    1. Hey Charlie, try this:
      In Pro Tools First go to ‘window’ and then ‘soundbase’.
      Go to the ‘locations’ box on the left and click the drop-down arrow to the left of ‘volumes’.
      Find the hard drive that you want to record your audio to and right click on it.
      Hover over ‘permissions’ and in the menu that appears, make sure that ‘record’ is ticked.
      Hopefully that will resolve the problem for you! Best wishes, Alex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.