Exporting a Master Mix

A master mix (or project mixdown) is a single audio file that contains all of the elements and settings in your multitrack project. When you export a master mix, all unmuted tracks, busses, and submixes that are routed to hardware output jacks are included in the exported file. You can exclude any tracks, busses, and submixes from the exported mix by muting them. For more information about routing to hardware output jacks, see Setting Hardware Outputs and Setting the Submix Outputs to Surround.

Setting Submix Outputs

By default, all submix outputs in Soundtrack Pro are set to Surround 1-6. This setting affects how audio signals are routed and how files are exported from multitrack projects. Use the Output pop-up menu in each submix to choose an output channel or set of output channels. Your choice defines the output of that submix (and any files exported from that submix) as either mono, stereo, or surround.

If you export a master mix using multiple submixes, the output channel or set of output channels of the first submix defines the channels used for the output of the exported file as either mono, stereo, or surround.

Exporting a Master Mix to a Standard Audio File

You can export a mixdown of your project to any of the following standard (uncompressed) audio formats: AIFF, WAVE, NeXT, and SoundDesigner II.

To export a master mix as a standard audio file
  1. Choose File > Export (or press Command-E).

    The Export dialog appears.

    Figure. Export dialog.
  2. If you want, choose an export preset to export a master mix from the Preset pop-up menu.

    For more information, see Using Export Presets.

  3. Choose Master Mix from the Exported Items pop-up menu.

  4. Use the File Type pop-up menu to choose a file type for the exported audio file.

    If you choose any of the last four menu items (MP3 File, AAC/Podcast File, Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) File, or Using Compressor), the central section of the Export dialog displays options for the selected format type. For information about these menu items, see Exporting a Master Mix.

  5. To export a separate mono audio file for each output channel in your multitrack project, select the “Create multiple mono files” checkbox.

    For more information, see About Exporting Multiple Mono Files.

  6. Choose a bit depth for the exported file from the Bit Depth pop-up menu.

  7. Choose a sample rate for the exported file from the Sample Rate pop-up menu.

  8. If you like, use the After Export pop-up menu to choose a post-export action.

    For more information, see Using Post-Export Actions.

  9. Enter a name for the exported file, then navigate to the location where you want to save the file.

  10. Click Export.

Note: When you bounce or export a project with an effect tail (sound that extends past the end of the audio file, usually caused by reverb or another effect), the length of the tail is limited to a maximum of 30 seconds. If the tail extends beyond this amount of time, it is cut off after 30 seconds in the bounced or exported file.

Exporting as MP3 Files

MP3 is a specific type of MPEG encoding known formally as MPEG audio layer 3. MP3 uses perceptual audio coding and psychoacoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (specifically the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal that the human ear doesn’t hear anyway). The result is that MP3 encoding shrinks the original sound data from a CD (with a data rate of 1411.2 kilobits per one second of stereo music) by a factor of 12 (down to 112–128kbps) without sacrificing very much sound quality. Proponents of MP3 claim there is no sacrifice in sound quality, but audio professionals can usually hear the difference on good equipment.

To export a master mix as an MP3 file
  1. Choose File > Export (or press Command-E).

    The Export dialog appears.

  2. If you want, choose an export preset from the Preset pop-up menu.

    For more information, see Using Export Presets.

  3. Choose Master Mix from the Exported Items pop-up menu.

  4. Choose MP3 File from the File Type pop-up menu.

    The bottom portion of the Export dialog displays the MP3 export options. Because Soundtrack Pro can tap the power of Compressor as a background process, these export options are identical to the corresponding options in the Compressor application.

    Figure. MP3 export options section of the Export dialog.
  5. Specify additional MP3 export options.

    For more information, see About MP3 Export Options.

  6. If you like, use the After Export pop-up menu to choose a post-export action.

    For more information, see Using Post-Export Actions.

  7. Enter a name for the exported file, then navigate to the location where you want to save the file.

  8. Click Export.

Exporting to AAC/Podcast Files

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) provides audio encoding that compresses much more efficiently than older formats, such as MP3, yet delivers higher-quality results with smaller file sizes. AAC is the default audio format for the iPod and iTunes, as well as the default audio codec for the .m4v format used in all video files sold on iTunes.

To export a master mix as an AAC/Podcast file
  1. Choose File > Export (or press Command-E).

    The Export dialog appears.

  2. If you want, choose an export preset from the Preset pop-up menu.

    For more information, see Using Export Presets.

  3. Choose Master Mix from the Exported Items pop-up menu.

  4. Choose AAC/Podcast File from the File Type pop-up menu.

    The bottom portion of the Export dialog displays the AAC/Podcast export options, which are divided into three separate panes—Audio, Streaming, and Podcast.

    Note: Because Soundtrack Pro can tap the power of Compressor as a background process, these export options are identical to the corresponding options in the Compressor application.

    Figure. AAC Audio export options section of the Export dialog.
  5. Click Audio if necessary, then choose options in the Audio pane.

    For more information, see About Options in the Audio Pane for AAC/Podcast Export.

  6. Click Streaming, then choose options in the Streaming pane.

    For more information, see About Options in the Streaming Pane for AAC/Podcast Export.

    Figure. AAC Streaming export options section of the Export dialog.
  7. Click Podcast, then select an option in the Podcast pane.

    For more information, see About Options in the Podcast Pane for AAC/Podcast Export.

    Figure. AAC Podcast export options section of the Export dialog.
  8. If you like, use the After Export pop-up menu to choose a post-export action.

    For more information, see Using Post-Export Actions.

  9. Enter a name for the exported file, then navigate to the location where you want to save the file.

  10. Click Export.

Exporting to Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) Files

Dolby Digital Professional format (also known as AC-3) is a very common compressed audio format for DVD-Video discs. AC-3 programs can deliver 5.1-channel surround as well as a variety of other surround configurations. This format is frequently used to encode stereo files to greatly reduce their file size.

Note: Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) encoding is available only on computers that also have Final Cut Studio installed.

To export a master mix as a Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) file
  1. Choose File > Export (or press Command-E).

    The Export dialog appears.

  2. If you want, choose an export preset from the Preset pop-up menu.

    For more information, see Using Export Presets.

  3. Choose Master Mix from the Exported Items pop-up menu.

  4. Choose Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) File from the File Type pop-up menu.

    The bottom portion of the Export dialog displays the Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) File export options, which are divided into three separate panes: Audio, Bitstream, and Preprocessing.

    Note: Because Soundtrack Pro can tap the power of Compressor as a background process, these export options are identical to the corresponding options in the Compressor application.

    Figure. AC-3 Audio export options section of the Export dialog.
  5. Click Audio if necessary, then choose options in the Audio pane.

    For more information, see About Options in the Audio Pane.

  6. Click Bitstream, then choose options in the Bitstream pane.

    These settings are stored in the finished stream for use by the playback device. Leave them at their default values unless you have a specific technical reason for changing them. For more information, see About Options in the Bitstream Pane.

    Figure. AC-3 Bitstream export options section of the Export dialog.
  7. Choose Preprocessing, then choose from the export options in the Preprocessing pane.

    Preprocessing options are applied to the audio data before encoding. With the exception of the Compression Preset setting, leave these settings at their default values unless you have a specific technical reason for changing them. For more information, see About Options in the Preprocessing Pane.

    Figure. AC-3 Preprocessing export options section of the Export dialog.
  8. If you like, use the After Export pop-up menu to choose a post-export action.

    For more information, see Using Post-Export Actions.

  9. Enter a name for the exported file, then navigate to the location where you want to save the file.

  10. Click Export.

Exporting a Master Mix Using Compressor

The Export dialog in Soundtrack Pro offers a direct link to the Compressor application. Compressor is the high-speed video and audio encoding tool for Final Cut Studio. It provides an efficient way to transcode between professional formats, or to convert content so that it can be experienced on many different platforms and devices (including websites, Apple TV, an iPod, CD-ROM discs, DVDs, cell phones, and so on).

When you export using Compressor, you can use custom presets that you create in Compressor or the presets included with Compressor.

To export a master mix using Compressor from within Soundtrack Pro
  1. Choose File > Export (or press Command-E).

    The Export dialog appears.

  2. If you want, choose an export preset from the Preset pop-up menu.

    For more information, see Using Export Presets.

  3. Choose Master Mix from the Exported Items pop-up menu.

  4. Choose Using Compressor from the File Type pop-up menu.

    The center portion of the Export dialog displays the Compressor export options.

    Figure. Using Compressor export options section of the Export dialog.

    Note: Because Soundtrack Pro can tap the power of Compressor as a background process, many of these export options are identical to the corresponding options in the Compressor application.

  5. Choose options for exporting your video.

    For information, see About Export Options Using Compressor.

  6. Click Export.

Using Compressor Export Presets

Compressor includes a large number of export presets for a variety of target formats and playback devices.

When you export a Soundtrack Pro project using Compressor, Compressor export presets appear in the pop-up menus to the right of the Preserve Video and Encode Video buttons.

Figure. Export presets shortcut menu in the Compressor Export Options dialog.

Click the Edit Presets button to open the Compressor application so that you can modify existing Compressor presets or create new ones. For more information on working with Compressor presets, see the Compressor User Manual.

Exporting Multichannel Projects with Compressor

When you export a multichannel project using Compressor, you can edit the channel layout. By default, Soundtrack Pro uses the SMPTE/ITU standard for routing surround output channels.

Audio interface output
Speaker
1
Left
2
Right
3
Center
4
LFE
5
Left Surround (Ls)
6
Right Surround (Rs)

If you are exporting to a file format that uses a different standard for routing output channels, use the Channel Layout interface to reassign the channels and outputs.

To edit the channel layout
  1. In the Export Options dialog, click the Edit Channel Layout button.

    The Channel Layout dialog appears and includes pop-up menus for Left, Right, Center, LFE, Left Surround, Right Surround, and Center Surround outputs. You can choose the physical output channel (labeled “Channel 1,” “Channel 2,” and so forth) for each submix.

    Figure. Channel Layout dialog.
  2. Choose the physical output channel for each channel in the exported project.