Consolidating tracks in pro tools

18-Dec-2015 06:22 by 5 Comments

Consolidating tracks in pro tools

When they work, they can bring in a full complement of multiple regions properly positioned on the timeline, recreating the original arrangement.But because of the often spotty results, a lot of engineers and producers prefer to use the one tried-and-true method for exchanging project data—manual exchange.

Manual session exchange involves bouncing down (exporting) all individual audio tracks in an arrangement as separate files, one per track, all starting at bar 1 (or whatever the first bar of the session is).This is usually accomplished by making a selection from bar 1 to the end of the session, and invoking the appropriate command (different from DAW to DAW).These bounced files should ideally be exported into a separate transfer folder, and from there, they can be imported into the target DAW session.Upon import, you just line them all up at bar 1, set the correct Tempo (if necessary), and the song is ready to play.Everyone has their favorite DAW to work in, and most people are very attached to their workstation of choice, but eventually there comes a time when it becomes necessary to transfer the individual elements of a project to a different program.This can happen for a variety of reasons—the project may be sent to a mix engineer who works in a different DAW; it might be going to a studio to record additional tracks using a different program; musical collaborators on different platforms might need to exchange full sessions back and forth as they contribute to the arrangement.

In each of these scenarios, the person on the receiving end will likely need full creative control over all the individual tracks.

But a session saved in Logic format cannot be opened by Pro Tools; a session saved as a Pro Tools file cannot be opened by Cubase, etc.

To complicate matters further, there may be MIDI tracks as well as audio, and the target studio/artist may require full MIDI editing control as well, to do what’s needed.

Unfortunately, there’s no one all-encompassing solution to this.

There are a number of standardized file formats that a project/session can be exported as, which should be able to be imported to most, or at least some, other DAWs, including OMF and AAF, among others.

(Fig 2) Export Selected Tracks as New AAF/OMF…" Dialog Box However, these exchange formats have significant limitations—they include audio only, they are designed to transport arrangement but not mix information, and, as anyone who’s used them will attest, they tend to be a little hit-or-miss (maybe more miss than hit, a lot of the time).