How to Record Audio Directly in Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro 09/12/2018 4 min read

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record audio directly onto your timeline in Premiere Pro CC. The benefit of recording in Premiere Pro is that you can see exactly what’s happening visually to correspond with your narration in real-time. 

As you can probably already imagine, recording to your timeline can be a big time-saver too. In all likelihood, when you record audio you’re likely doing so either through a separate program or to an external recording device. Then, you’re probably uploading those files to your computer, trimming them down, and then finally, you’re able to place them onto your timeline. This can be really inefficient when you’re on a tight schedule!

So, if you’re ready to try this more streamlined method, let’s dive into the steps! 

Learn to Record Audio To Your Timeline

Step 1: Check Your Microphone Setup

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to ensure that you can actually plug your microphone successfully into your computer. For example, if you use a DAC you should be able to plug in a microphone with an XLR cable. 

If you don’t have an audio interface, it’s possible you might have something like a USB powered microphone. Any way you cut it, your first step is to make sure that your computer is actually able to recognize that you have a microphone set up to talk to it.  

Step 2: Configure Your Audio Settings & Preferences

Once that’s accomplished, make sure that Premiere Pro knows the setup that you’re working with. To make sure your microphone is being recognized, go to Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware. Under device input, try and find the microphone or DAC you’re working with and select it. 

Now there’s one other setting you can change in your menu, and that’s under the audio section.  You’ll want to select, Mute Input During Timeline Recording. This will prevent your newly recorded audio from being played back with the rest of your video as you’re in the process of recording it. If you don’t check this box, you will likely get a very minor delay between when you speak your recording and when it’s immediately played back to you.

Step 3: Prepping to Record

Now, click over to the Audio workspace tab and select your Audio Track Mixer. If you can’t find it, go to Window > Audio Track Mixer. In this area, you should be able to see the readouts of each of your audio tracks separately in your video. 

You’ll also want to open up the clip you want to set narration to. The benefit of recording in Premiere Pro is that you can see exactly what’s happening visually, in real-time, to correspond with your voiceovers. 

Step 4: Recording Your Audio

There are two main things that you’ll want to do to record audio. 

Firstly, you’ll want to select an Audio Track that you can record onto. When you record audio, it will overwrite anything else on that same track that’s playing during the time of recording. So, it’s important to choose a track that is free at that time you want to record at. Or, open up a new track by right-clicking on one of your tracks and selecting add track. 

You’ll see that this also creates a new Audio Track Meter to use as well. One suggestion is to create a new track, and then you can label it specifically to be only used for Narration. This is really helpful both for staying organized as well as if you have multiple teammates working on the same project.

Now that you have a new Narration track, you need to enable it for recording. Go to the corresponding Track Mixer, denoted by its label at the bottom. Now go to your intended Track Mixer, and hit the ‘R’ button. This enables your track for it to record audio. And now that it’s enabled, you’ll need to hit the Record button. The next time you play your timeline, you will start recording automatically to that track.  

Great! That’s pretty much how you record audio directly in Premiere Pro. But let’s go over one more example, just in case.

Bonus! Use the ADR Method to Record Audio

Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) is when you can redo the audio for your talking subject. You might want to do this if the audio quality was really poor and you want to make it sound better.  

What can be helpful is to set In and Out Points a little before and after the bit that you want to replace. Then go to the button editor and select Looping Playback. Now if you click it, the video will loop between the in and out point continually. This is really helpful to be able to have your subject listen to the line they need to recreate over and over. Once they’ve listened to it a lot and have got it down, it’s time to enable the recording and go for it.  

To capture new audio, there’s a second way to activate the dialogue recording that differs from what’s listed above. Instead of using the Audio Track Mixer, go down to the Audio Track layer itself and find the small Microphone button. If you don’t have it visible, try making your track layer wider. Or, right-click and go down to customize, and here you can drag in the button if it’s not present on your layer. Now, if you press the Microphone button, it will give you a countdown and start to capture directly onto the timeline from where your playhead was located.

One more thing! Before you actually record, right-click again and go to the Voiceover Record settings. Here there are even more options available, where you can name the audio file that will be created. When you record, you can manually choose the microphone input from here as well. And finally, you can choose whether or not you want your countdown to have sound, or whether or not you even want a countdown at all.   

With your recording done, time to head over to this tutorial to get your audio editing basics down in Premiere Pro.

We hope you found this tutorial on how to record audio in Premiere Pro CC helpful! This trick is a great way to avoid additional steps when recording narration or other audio. Plus, there is the added benefit of seeing the visual aids directly in front of you or your subject. Happy editing!