How to do multitrack recording in cool edit pro

Written by ezekiel james
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How to do multitrack recording in cool edit pro
An audio mixer or digital recording interface is necessary for multitrack recording with Cool Edit Pro. (home recording image by Rachwalski Andrzej from

Cool Edit Pro, now called "Adobe Audition," is an audio recording program originally released by Adobe in May 2003. The key to unlocking Cool Edit Pro's full potential is learning how to record and/or simultaneously play back multiple audio tracks. This process is called "multitracking," and is an essential skill for anyone interested in recording music. Setting up a multitracking system with Cool Edit Pro requires an external hardware device that allows simultaneous connections of multiple microphone or audio cables to a computer. The external device usually is an audio mixer or digital recording interface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Digital Recording Interface
  • Microphone/Instrument cables

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  1. 1

    Purchase an audio recording interface, such as a basic PCI expansion card to be installed in the computer tower, a multi-channelled external hardware interface or mixing desk.

  2. 2

    Insert the installation disc that came with the recording interface, and install the necessary drivers.

  3. 3

    Launch the Cool Edit Pro/Adobe Audition application on the computer. Click on the "Finder" icon in the applications dock on a Mac computer. Click on the "Applications" folder. Then click on the Cool Edit Pro icon in the folder. Click on the "Start" menu button in the lower-left corner of a PC desktop screen. Go to "All Programs," and click on the "Cool Edit Pro" icon inside the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Options" menu near the top of the Cool Edit Pro window, and select "Device Properties." The Device Properties window contains a list of connected audio hardware devices. Select the appropriate interface in that list. If the interface isn't in the list, then the device drivers are installed correctly. Refer back to the audio interface's user manual to correct this issue.

  5. 5

    Connect microphones or instrument cables to the external recording interface via XLR cables. Draw a basic diagram that represents all microphones and/or instruments connected to the interface. Label each input according to what is connected to each input. For example, if the first input on the recording interface is connected to a microphone recording vocals, label it accordingly. This avoids confusion once recording begins.

  6. 6

    Connect the headphones or speakers to the outputs connectors on the interface. The recorded playback is heard if connections are made directly to the computer. Most recording interfaces include a basic application to manually control and adjust the recording and playback levels.

  1. 1

    Click on the "File" menu in the Cool Edit Pro window, and select "New." A dialogue box appears to set-up the audio settings for the new track. Set the sample rate at 44100, the channels to "Stereo" and the bit rate to "16-bits." This is the standard set-up for CD-quality recordings. Repeat this step to set-up the desired amount of separate tracks.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Name" text box inside each virtual track on the Multitracking window. Type in each track's name, according to its corresponding instrument connected to the recording interface, such as vocals, guitar, bass, keys, piano and drums.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Out" box inside each virtual track. Select the appropriate output for each track. Since most interfaces are either mono or stereo, there are two options: "Out 1" or "Out 2."

  4. 4

    Click on the "In" box on each virtual track. Set each track's virtual input according to the corresponding instrument or microphone on the interface. For example, if the first track in Cool Edit Pro is for vocals, and the vocal microphone is connected to the first input connector on the interface, set the input to "Rec 1." The number of inputs depends on the specific hardware interface. This can range between from two to upwards of 24 inputs.

  5. 5

    Click on each track to enable all tracks in the multitrack window. Then click on the "Record" button in the lower-left corner of the window, which is represented by a red circle. Have each instrument playing simultaneously, while Cool Edit Pro is recording. Press the "Stop" button, indicated by the black square, once the song is finished recording. Go to "File," click on "Save." Name the recorded file, and select a destination folder for the recorded song.

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