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Pro Tools Multitrack, Exporting Files?

Den Nic

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Hey Guys, I recently recorded a short film for a buddy of mine and used my Pro Tools 9 and Focusrite Saffire 56 interface to record 1-4 mic inputs. I am now finding that I can't export poly wav files from Pro Tools (trying to use the export file command always makes many mono files). I downloaded wave agent to see what I can do, but I have never used the program. Also, I didn't roll on all inputs all the time, so the filing naming isn't consistent for which take they are. (For example Boom_01.wav and Studio Mic_01.wav  might be from the same take, but Lav 1_01.wav would be from 4 takes later as I didn't roll the lav mic on the first three takes, etc.) They do all have the right timecode start and stop, so I'm hoping that helps? (No timecode to camera, just Pro Tool's own timecode timeline).

Does anyone know of a simple way for me to export these files into poly wav files for the edit suite?


Thanks guys!

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I ended up making new folders for each take in finer, exporting the mono wav files to their respective folders, and used wave agent to combine the mono files in each folder into a new folder containing all the poly wav files. Was a bit of a pain but didn't take too too long, just wouldn't want to have to do that again lol. If I use my iMac and Saffire again I'm just gonna buy Boom Recorder lol.

Still, Anybody who has a good location audio workflow using Pro Tools I'd be glad to here it.

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I rarely use Pro Tools for recording location sound. The last time I did I used my Nomad as a backup and stereo mix recorder with timecode sync with the slate. To get timecode in/out of PT you have to have HD hardware like the SYNC I/O.

Mark O.

AFAIK, you can also use midi timecode, and this app:

http://figure53.com/lockstep/ to feed an internal midi channel in PT.

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  • 1 month later...

Early on I would use Pro-Tools to record to on set before I had any sort of portable recorder of my own. I would make a new session for each scene, and record each take on a different part of the timeline (in order of take of course), using a marker to designate the scene and take number. Before wave agent this format was usually acceptable for the indie and student gigs I would do. You can also do a quick export of each take and its files, renaming them simple names like12A_Boom_t01.wav.


If you are super worried about inconsistencies in takes due to some tracks not being used, you can always roll on every track every time. You'll have a number of blank files but at least your names and takes will be consistent.

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Early on I would use Pro-Tools to record to on set before I had any sort of portable recorder of my own. I would make a new session for each scene, and record each take on a different part of the timeline (in order of take of course), using a marker to designate the scene and take number.


I considered this a long time ago, until I ran into the problem of 1) no scene & take metadata, and 2) no timecode over Hour 12. Now with Pro Tools 10, at least the latter problem is solved. In reality, I think a laptop is too cumbersome a lot of the time, unless you have a very static cart situation. I also found Metacorder or Boom Recorder is a much better (and more practical) solution for location sound; a dedicated purpose-built recorder like an SD 788 or a Deva/Fusion/Nomad better still.

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There were situations in which i had to use Pro Tools to export my files.

So i've used the trick to rename each mono files with a serial number corrispondig to the take and, after an underscore, the corrisponding track number.

I.e. if i have a 3 track take it will be 001_1, 001_2, 001_3.

Then Wave Agent recognize that as a single multitrack take and i can use the Combine Mono function to make it a poly file (it will become 001_1_2_3.wav.

Then you have also to add metadata manually...

It is of course a lot of time involved, but when i needed i found it worked good to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Before I get long winded, here's a pro-Tools tip I don't see very often.  If you ever need to adjust the timing of a Pro Tools file quickly, for example if you wanted your Pro tools files to start at the same time as another file and you needed to trim it.....   I use a gain plug-in and make no adjustment.  I then process the track and it writes a new one at CPU speed, not real time with the newly adjusted length and start time.  Of course if you're summing tracks this won't work, but if you just need to get in and trim some files for post prep, it does the trick quickly.  There's a better example of why you may want to do that below:


I just did a gig using my SD 788 and Pro Tools 6.3 and digi 001 for 8 extra tracks. I also C-Link 'ed my old 722 to my 788.  C-Link is a Sound Devices protocol that carries word clock and it synched the recorder's start and stop so that the 722 files were the exact same length as the 788 files (which were timecode stamped).  


When I setup my pro tools session I made sure it had the same sample rate, bit depth and file format and I streamed my 722s digital out via S/PDIF to Pro Tools digital input.  I forced Pro Tools to run off of the S/PDIF clock which was actually the 722's word clock which was slaved to the 788's word clock (thru c-link).  Even though I didn't have TC on my Pro-Tools files, the internal wordclocks were all in synch and I had reference by synching Pro-Tools S/PDIF recording to the 722s files on it's internal Harddrive.  I just synched the waveform of the recorded 722 inputs (via S/PDIF) in Pro-Tools to the actual 722 file (on the 722) that was started at the exact same time as the TC stamped 788 files.


After synching the start time of the Pro-Tools files, to the start time of the 722 internal hard drive files, I then knew where my 788 files fit in by aligning the beginning of the 788 files to that of the 722 files and the( recently trimmed) Pro-Tools files so that all of the files involved had the same start time.   I then took that opportunity to check the end of the hour long take to make sure there was no drift between my 788/722 system and my Pro-Tools system.  Everything was sample accurate because they used the 788s word clock!


Even though the important thing is that all of the files started at the same time, I also wanted to make sure all of the files were the exact same length, so that any anomalies in the FCP timeline, like not having the same end time, would be a clue of a potential error.  I trimmed the Pro Tools files to be the exact same length of my 788 files and then rewrote the Pro Tools files using the GAIN process plug-in in Pro-Tools.  I then went through and relabeled all of the files:  Lav1-T01 all the way through lav18-T01.  


Then I went into wave agent, and stamped TC to all of the Pro-Tools files and the 722 files as well.  I used the 788 files' start TC stamp as a reference and basically copied that TC to all of the other files.  Because I was sample accurate sure that all of the files started at the same time, I was confident that the TC stamps I was adding to my newly trimmed ProTools files were accurate.  


I arranged all of the files into folders for each take.  Luckily, there were only four Takes for each day because it's a lot of files maneuvering and honestly ProTools HD w/ a synch box would have been much easier.  Unfortunately, I don't have that yet, so I thought this was a good example of using the hell out of what's already on my equipment list.  I don't really trust the Midi to Timecode process.

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Oh yeah, I forgot about that one.  It frustrates me how much slower I've gotten on Pro-Tools since I went all-in in location audio.  They used to call me "quick keys"


That's a great idea and I end up renaming the files anyway so it doesn't matter that it takes the track name instead of the files name.



Instead of opening up a gain plugin, you can just highlight the region, or multiple regions that you want to create a new file with, hit opt + shift + 3 and a new file is created. The only pitfall is it will name the file after the track name instead of the old file name.

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