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How To Create A Track In Pro Tools

Pro Tools can be a beast to tackle, but if you take it step by step with these tutorials it’ll be easy to understand and you’ll be on your way to making music before you know it!

Today we’re gonna be walking you through an essential function in Pro Tools.

How to create a new track.

Once you’ve opened up your Pro Tools session you will have two options to create a new track; you can either use the top menu bar, or a keyboard shortcut.

The first option when creating a new track is to use the menu bar. So in order to do this, drag your mouse over top of the “track menu”, then click on the first option, “New”. This will prompt you with the “New Track” Window which in turn has a few options inside: The number of tracks, mono or stereo options, the track type (audio, midi, aux, master, etc…), and lastly the timebase of the track (samples or ticks).

The shortcut to do this is:

  • Mac: CMD+Shift+N
  • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+ N
  • Let’s review each of these options

    The number of tracks is simply a way to choose how many of this specific track you’d like to create.

    Secondly, you have the option to create the track in mono or stereo. Generally, for most audio tracks you will want to choose mono. However, if you have a stereo microphone or would like to sum two inputs from your interface or board into a single track, the stereo option can be helpful.

    The track type option allows you to choose between a variety of track types including: Audio Track, Instrument Track, MIDI Track, VCA Master, Master Fader, and Aux Input.

    Lastly, the timebase of the track indicates how events in the track are placed or located within the timeline. Generally, you will want to use a sample timebase for your audio projects as it does not alter the duration of audio tracks when changing tempo… Unless it is elastic, but this is a discussion for another day.

    The Guts and Shortcuts

    Now that you’ve successfully opened the “New Track” Window and have a brief understanding of what the options available are and do, let’s take a look at the shortcuts.

    New Track Window

    Increasing or decreasing the track quantity

  • Key in the desired number or use the Up or Down arrows.
  • Cycle though mono or stereo options, use the shortcut

  • Mac: CMD + or
  • Windows: Ctrl + or
  • Cycle through the different track types, use the shortcut

  • Mac: CMD + or
  • Windows: Ctrl + or
  • Add or remove additional rows of tracks, use the shortcut

  • Mac: CMD + Shift + or
  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + or
  • Choose the timebase of the tracks, use the shortcut

  • Mac: CMD + Option + or
  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + or
  • Add or remove additional rows of tracks

  • Mac: CMD + Shift + or
  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + or
  • Or simply click the symbol on the right-hand side of the window above create.
  • Finishing Up

    Once you have the quantity and type of track selected that you want, click “create” on the bottom right-hand side of the “New Track” Window, or you can press “ Return” or “ Enter” on your keyboard.

    Thanks for checking out Whitefox for your How To: Pro Tools Tutorials. To stay up to date on our all of our videos that we use for these blog posts, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media @whitefoxrec.

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