Working with OpenTL Files

The OpenTL (Open Track List) format is mainly used for data exchange with Tascam hard disk recorders, such as the MX2424. It only supports the exchange of audio data (audio media and the use of this audio media in a project). MIDI and automation data is ignored when using the export functions.

Exporting OpenTL Files

The following procedure explains how to export an OpenTL file.

To export an OpenTL file
  1. To export the current project’s audio in the OpenTL format, choose File > Export > Project as OpenTL File.

  2. In the dialog that opens, specify the destination folder and filename of the resulting OpenTL file. After confirming this dialog, Logic Express asks if you want to create a dedicated folder for the OpenTL export.

  3. Click Create to have all exported files placed in one folder, which is named after the exported file. This is the convention used by the Tascam MX recorders, so it is recommended.

  4. Next, Logic Express asks if the project’s SMPTE start time should be added to event start positions. In this scenario, audio parts in the resulting OpenTL file will have the same SMPTE start time as in the Logic project. If you click Don’t Add, the part positions are calculated relative to the project start position (an audio part that starts at bar 1 will have a start time of 00:00:00:00.00).

  5. Next, Logic Express asks if a copy of all audio files should be made. You should choose Make Copy if you want to copy the resulting OpenTL file, including all audio data, to another hard disk.

Logic Express then creates two sub-folders in the folder that contains the OpenTL file:  Audio Files and Track Files (which is the suggested structure for OpenTL exports). The Audio Files folder contains copies of all exported audio files. If you choose Don’t Copy, the file references in the OpenTL file points to the original audio files.

Opening and Importing OpenTL Files

The following procedure is identical for both importing and opening OpenTL files. Importing a file copies the OpenTL data into the current project, whereas opening an OpenTL file creates a new project.

To import or open an OpenTL file
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Import (or use the corresponding key command, default assignment:  Command-I).

    • Choose File > Open (or use the corresponding key command, default assignment:  Command-O).

    • Locate the Open TL file in the Browser, then click the Open button.

  2. Choose OpenTL files from the dialog. Note that if you choose the OpenTL files option in the File Type pop-up menu, only files with the “.TL” extension are shown.

  3. Depending on where the first event in the imported project starts, one of the following dialogs appears:

    • If the first event in the imported project starts at a time greater than one hour:

      Set SMPTE start time of project so that events start at the same SMPTE time as they do in the imported project?

      Choose Set if you want the SMPTE start time of the project to be changed accordingly, or click Don’t Set if you don’t want to change the SMPTE start time of the project.

    • If the first audio part found by the OpenTL import has a start time greater than zero (less than zero is impossible), but less than one hour:

      Set the start time of first imported event to start of project?

      If you choose Set, the first audio part imported is placed precisely at the project start position.

This solves the problem of the project on the Tascam machine starting at a large time value, but less than one hour (such as 59 minutes). In this situation, you can’t immediately see the imported audio parts because they may be imported beyond the project’s end point, and almost certainly outside the visible window area.