Exporting Audio Output Groups to AIFF Files

The Export Audio to AIFF(s) command exports an AIFF audio file for each output channel group in your sequence. The number of audio files exported is based on the number of mono and stereo output channels assigned to your sequence. You can set the number of audio outputs in the Audio Outputs tab of the Sequence Settings window. Dual mono channels are exported to two mono audio files, and a stereo channel is exported to a single stereo audio file.

One of the primary uses of the Export Audio to AIFF(s) option is to maintain the separation between audio tracks during export. For example, your entire sequence may have already been mixed to a final stereo audio file, but you can also export each track grouping to a separate AIFF file so that foreign distributors can redub the dialogue into another language separately, without affecting the music, background audio, and sound effects.

Note: You can also export your audio to a multichannel QuickTime file. The same audio grouping rules apply. For more information, see Exporting QuickTime Movies.

In your sequence, you can assign as many tracks as you want to the same audio output channel. For example, you can assign tracks 1-4 to audio output channel 1 (mono). The resulting exported audio file for output channel 1 would contain a mix of audio from tracks 1-4. You can use audio output channels to group and mix multiple audio tracks together during export. For example, you could assign tracks 1-4 to output channel 1, tracks 5-8 to output channel 2, and tracks 9-10 to stereo output channels 3 and 4. This is useful for exporting stem mixes for use in a final audio mix elsewhere. For more information about assigning multiple audio outputs, see Assigning Output Channels and External Audio Monitors.

Example: Exporting 12 Tracks to Three Stereo Audio Files

Here’s a typical example illustrating how you might export multichannel audio from an edited sequence. Suppose you’ve set up a sequence to have three stereo audio outputs and 12 audio tracks.

The Audio Outputs tab of the Sequence Settings window would look like this:

Figure. Audio Outputs tab of the Sequence Settings window showing three pairs of stereo audio output channels.

And the sequence would look something like this:

Figure. Timeline window showing staggered and overlapping audio clip items in multiple audio tracks.

Each of the 12 audio tracks can be assigned to one of the three pairs of output channels. More than one track can be assigned to the same output channel, in which case the audio from those tracks is mixed to a single audio file during export.

In this situation, using the Export Audio to AIFF(s) option creates three separate stereo AIFF files. Each file corresponds to an audio output pair in your sequence and contains the combined audio from all the audio tracks in your sequence assigned to that pair, mixed together using the levels you set. All three of these files are exactly the same duration. These three AIFF files can then be delivered, along with your program’s video, to any audio post-production facility for remixing and mastering, if necessary.

Note: You can also use the Export Audio to AIFF(s) option to export a stereo downmix of your sequence audio as a single stereo AIFF file. For more information, see Exporting Audio to AIFF Files and Audio Output Export Settings.

Automatic Filenaming During Export to AIFF Files

Each exported file is named according to the audio output it corresponds to. Stereo audio output pairs are exported as a single stereo AIFF file. Mono audio output pairs are exported as individual mono AIFF files. If you export audio from a sequence named Final Mix that has two pairs of stereo and two mono audio outputs, the following four files are created:

  • Final Mix_1-2.aif (stereo AIFF)

  • Final Mix_3-4.aif (stereo AIFF)

  • Final Mix_5.aif (mono AIFF)

  • Final Mix_6.aif (mono AIFF)

Preparing to Export Audio to AIFF Files

If your edited sequence has only a single pair of audio outputs, the Export Audio to AIFF(s) option outputs a single stereo AIFF file (or two mono AIFF files). If you want to output multiple AIFF files, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Create audio outputs for your sequence: The Export Audio to AIFF(s) option exports as many AIFF files as you have audio outputs assigned in your sequence—one stereo file for each stereo output, and two mono files for each mono pair output. This is true even if you have empty audio tracks or audio output channels that are not used by any tracks. For more information on modifying audio outputs for a sequence, see Assigning Output Channels and External Audio Monitors.
  • Assign each track in your sequence to an audio output channel: By default, a new sequence uses the default stereo audio output preset. If you want to export multiple AIFF files from a sequence with more than two audio outputs, you need to first create additional audio outputs in your sequence and then assign tracks to those outputs. For more information on assigning audio tracks in a sequence to an audio output channel, see Assigning Output Channels and External Audio Monitors.
  • Organize your audio clips by track: If you’re planning to export multiple stereo AIFF files, it’s a good idea to organize the audio clips you use in your edited sequence according to their content (dialogue, sound effects, and so on). This makes your project easier to mix, and your output assignments more logical.

Exporting Audio to AIFF Files

Follow these steps to export AIFF files for each audio output channel in your sequence.

To export audio to AIFF files
  1. Select a sequence in the Browser or open the sequence in the Timeline.

  2. Choose File > Export > Audio to AIFF(s).

  3. In the Save dialog, choose a location and enter a name for the file.

    Tip: If you’re exporting multiple audio files, it’s a good idea to create a folder and choose it as the location to save to.

  4. Choose a sample rate, bit depth, and channel configuration from the pop-up menus.

    • Rate: Lower sample rates take less bandwidth but have lower quality. Make sure your sample rate is compatible with the audio facility you’ll be handing the files off to. Usually, you should use the sample rate specified in your sequence settings, which should ideally be the sample rate of the original audio media files.
      • 96 kHz: This is a high-resolution sample rate that can be easily converted to 48 kHz.
      • 88.2 kHz: This is a high-resolution sample rate that can be easily converted to 44.1 kHz audio files.
      • 48 kHz: DV formats and many professional video formats use this sample rate.
      • 44.1 kHz: This is the sample rate of music CDs and some DAT tapes.
      • 32 kHz: This corresponds to a consumer sample rate option on DV camcorders. Unless you have a special reason, avoid this sample rate for audio export.
    • Depth: Choose the bit depth used for each sample.
      • 16-bit: This is the bit depth of DV formats, as well as of music CDs. If all of your original audio media is 16-bit, and you aren’t routing multiple audio tracks to the same audio output, choose this option.
      • 24-bit: A high-resolution bit depth compatible with many third-party capture cards and external audio interfaces. Choose this option to preserve the highest possible quality when exporting your files, especially when some of your audio files are 24-bit, or when you are mixing multiple audio channels together by routing them to the same output channel.
    • Config: Choose Channel Grouped (for multiple AIFF files) or Stereo Downmix. For details about these options, see Audio Output Export Settings.
  5. When you’re ready to export, click Save.

    Note: All audio that requires rendering is automatically rendered with a render quality of High, regardless of the render quality setting.