Creating Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Projects

Multitrack projects are similar to Final Cut Pro projects: they contain multiple audio tracks in a timeline that you can use to arrange clips in sequence. Like Final Cut Pro sequences, clips in a multitrack project refer to media files stored elsewhere, so the project file size stays small. Multitrack projects also contain a single video track for synchronizing your audio to picture.

You can create a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project from a selection of Final Cut Pro clips or an entire sequence. The multitrack project opens automatically in the Soundtrack Pro Timeline, and clips appear just as they did in your Final Cut Pro sequence, complete with level and pan settings and cross fades. In Soundtrack Pro, you can arrange your clips, add effects, and create a finished mix. The final mix can be exported from Soundtrack Pro and automatically imported into Final Cut Pro in sync with your original sequence.

Note: Some information from Final Cut Pro is not included in the multitrack project, such as pan settings for stereo pairs, generators, and effects applied to clips.

Creating a Multitrack Project from a Final Cut Pro Selection

Creating a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project from within Final Cut Pro is a simple process.

To create a multitrack project from a sequence or a group of clips
  1. Select a sequence in the Final Cut Pro Browser, or select multiple clips in the Timeline.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Send To > Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Project.

    • Control-click the selection and choose Send To > Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Project.

  3. In the dialog that appears, choose from the following options:

    • Open in Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Editor: Select this option to open the multitrack project in Soundtrack Pro after it is created.
    • Include Background Video: Select this option to render the video in your Final Cut Pro sequence. The Soundtrack Pro multitrack project refers to this file in its video track so you can see your video while you edit. Select what kind of background video you want to export:
      • Fully Rendered Video (slow): Your entire sequence is rendered at full quality to a QuickTime movie file. This option is recommended if the project is to be moved to another computer.
      • Base Layer Video (fast): Any sequence segment that requires rendering in Safe RT mode (in other words, any segment with a red render bar) is exported without effects. These files cannot be moved to a different computer. For more information, see Play Base Layer Only.
    • Save project with latest clip metadata (recommended): Select this option to ensure an accurate change history by having Final Cut Pro automatically save the project after the send process.
  4. Enter a project name or keep the default name, then click Save.

    A Soundtrack Pro multitrack project file is created with the file extension .stmp.

    Note: This is a small file that refers to the media files used by your Final Cut Pro sequence clips. Make sure those media files are available when the Soundtrack Pro multitrack project opens.

    If you selected Open in Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Editor, the multitrack project opens in the Soundtrack Pro Timeline.

  5. Modify the multitrack project as needed.

    For more information about editing and mixing multitrack projects in Soundtrack Pro, see the Soundtrack Pro User Manual, available in Soundtrack Pro Help.

  6. When you finish working on the project in Soundtrack Pro, choose File > Save.

When you have followed the process described above, you can send a mixdown back to Final Cut Pro.

Sending a Mixdown Back to Final Cut Pro Automatically

When you create a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project from within Final Cut Pro, all of the sequence clip information is stored in the multitrack project. When you export a mixdown of the multitrack project in Soundtrack Pro, you can also choose to open a new copy of the Final Cut Pro sequence that looks just like the original sequence but has additional audio tracks that contain your mixdown.

Clip information is sent from Soundtrack Pro to Final Cut Pro using the Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format.

To export a mixdown and open a new copy of a Final Cut Pro sequence containing the mixdown
  1. In Soundtrack Pro, open the multitrack project you want to export.

  2. Choose File > Export.

  3. If you wish, you may choose options in the following pop-up menus:

    • Exported Items: Choose an entire mix, or individual tracks, busses, or submixes, or some combination thereof.
    • File Type: The default (AIFF File) is appropriate for Final Cut Pro use.
    • Bit Depth: Choose the setting appropriate for your Final Cut Pro project.
    • Sample Rate: Choose the setting appropriate for your Final Cut Pro project.
    • Preset: Optionally, you can save a preset combining all of the above settings to use for future exports.
  4. In the After Export pop-up menu, choose “Send files to Final Cut Pro sequence.”

    Figure.  After Export pop-up menu showing the "Send files to Final Cut Pro sequence" command.
  5. Enter a name for the exported file and click Export.

    Soundtrack Pro exports mixdown files from the multitrack project and adds them to a Final Cut Pro XML file containing the original sequence. For your convenience, the audio tracks from the original sequence are moved to other tracks and are muted.

    In Final Cut Pro, the Import XML dialog appears.

    Figure. Import XML dialog showing the Destination pop-up menu.
  6. Use the Destination pop-up menu to choose your original project, then click OK.

    A copy of your original sequence (with the name you specified in step 5) appears in the Browser.

  7. Double-click the new sequence in the Browser to open it in the Timeline.

    The sequence opens with the mixdown audio correctly synchronized to your clips in the Timeline and the original audio tracks muted.

When you want to work on the project in Soundtrack Pro again, you can reopen it from the Final Cut Pro Timeline.

To open a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project from a mixdown clip in Final Cut Pro
  1. In your Final Cut Pro sequence, Control-click the mixdown clip, then choose Open in Editor from the shortcut menu.

    Note: Make sure that the Open in Editor command is set to open audio files in Soundtrack Pro. For details, see About the Open in Editor Command.

    A dialog appears with the following options:

    • Open Audio File: Opens the mixdown audio file in the Soundtrack Pro File Editor.
    • Open Project: Opens the Soundtrack Pro multitrack project linked to the mixdown audio file.
  2. Click Open Project.

    The Soundtrack Pro multitrack project linked to the mixdown audio file opens in Soundtrack Pro.

Follow the instructions below to make changes to a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project that was previously exported to Final Cut Pro as a mixdown clip. Essentially, you open the Soundtrack Pro multitrack project from the existing mixdown clip and export an entirely new mixdown clip.

To make changes to a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project that was previously exported to Final Cut Pro as a mixdown clip
  1. In your Final Cut Pro sequence, Control-click the existing mixdown clip, then choose Open in Editor from the shortcut menu.

    Note: Make sure that the Open in Editor command is set to open audio files in Soundtrack Pro. For details, see About the Open in Editor Command.

    A dialog appears with the following options:

    • Open Audio File: Opens the mixdown audio file in the Soundtrack Pro File Editor.
    • Open Project: Opens the Soundtrack Pro multitrack project linked to the mixdown audio file.
  2. Click Open Project.

    The Soundtrack Pro multitrack project linked to the mixdown audio file opens in Soundtrack Pro.

  3. Once the multitrack project opens in Soundtrack Pro, make changes to the multitrack project, then choose File > Save to save the project.

  4. Choose File > Export.

  5. If you wish, choose options from the following pop-up menus:

    • Exported Items: Choose an entire mix; or individual tracks, busses, or submixes; or some combination thereof.
    • File Type: The default (AIFF File) is appropriate for Final Cut Pro use.
    • Bit Depth: Choose the setting appropriate for your Final Cut Pro project.
    • Sample Rate: Choose the setting appropriate for your Final Cut Pro project.
    • Preset: Optionally, you can save a preset combining all of the above settings to use for future exports.
  6. In the After Export pop-up menu, choose “Send files to Final Cut Pro sequence.”

    Figure.  After Export pop-up menu showing the "Send files to Final Cut Pro sequence" command.
  7. Enter a name for the exported file and click Export.

    Soundtrack Pro exports mixdown files from the multitrack project and adds them to a Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format file containing the original sequence. For your convenience, the audio tracks from the original sequence are moved to other tracks and are muted.

    In Final Cut Pro, the Import XML dialog appears.

    Figure. Import XML dialog showing the Destination pop-up menu.
  8. Use the Destination pop-up menu to choose your original project, then click OK.

    A copy of your original sequence (with the name you specified in step 7) appears in the Browser.

  9. Double-click the new sequence in the Browser to open it in the Timeline.

    The sequence opens with the mixdown audio correctly synchronized to your clips in the Timeline and the original audio tracks muted.