Using Soundtrack Pro with Third-Party Applications

You can use Soundtrack Pro to exchange media and project files with third-party applications.

Exchanging OMF and AAF Files with Other Applications

When you “send” a Final Cut Pro sequence to a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project, you are using the Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format to transfer the data between the two applications. Open Media Framework (OMF) and Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) are two industry-standard project interchange formats that Soundtrack Pro can use to share projects and import the editing decisions from other (third-party) video and audio editing applications. You can also export a multitrack project from Soundtrack Pro as an AAF file.

For more information on sending Final Cut Pro sequences to Soundtrack Pro multitrack projects, see Using Soundtrack Pro with Final Cut Pro.

Importing OMF and AAF Files

You can import OMF and AAF Files into Soundtrack Pro.

To import an OMF file
  1. Choose File > Import OMF.

    The Import OMF dialog appears.

  2. Use the dialog to select the file and click Import OMF.

A progress bar shows that the file is being translated and the project opens in Soundtrack Pro.

To import an AAF file
  1. Choose File > Import AAF.

    The Import AAF dialog appears.

  2. Use the dialog to select the file and click Import AAF.

A progress bar shows that the file is being translated and the project opens in Soundtrack Pro.

The multitrack projects created from importing OMF and AAF files include any available pan and volume information.

Using OMF and AAF Files

The OMF and AAF formats provide a way to consolidate all of the audio files and audio edits from a third-party video or audio editing application into one portable package. The picture editor can choose to include handles (extra footage beyond the In and Out points of a clip that provides a safety margin in case you need it during the sound edit and mix).

Here are some things to keep in mind when using OMF and AAF files:

  • OMF and AAF exports generally omit unused media to keep the overall file size low. If you want to “steal” a performance from another take, you might be out of luck with an OMF or AAF export.

  • OMF or AAF exported files are usually truncated. If a music piece was edited into many small clips during the picture edit, the OMF and AAF export process applies those edits permanently on the file level. Sound editors usually prefer to have one original piece of music with (nondestructive) edits referring to it.

  • It is always a good idea to have single-frame “sync pops” at the top and tail of the video and every single audio track to verify synchronization.

  • OMF and AAF files do not include video, so usually a video file needs to be exported separately.

  • To exchange OMF and AAF files with ProTools, you will need DigiTranslator, the Digidesign interchange application, which is sold separately.

  • Volume automation and panning automation are not always included in OMF and AAF files.

  • OMF and AAF exports often include audio files with very long and complicated filenames.

  • OMF and AAF exports support a single sample rate. All the audio files in a single export must have the same sample rate.

  • OMF packages (that contain media) are limited to a 2 GB maximum file size.

Exporting to AAF

You can export Soundtrack Pro multitrack projects as AAF files.

To export a project to an AAF file
  1. Choose File > Export AAF.

    The Save dialog appears.

  2. In the Save dialog, enter a name for the file, then navigate to the location where you want to save it, then click Save.

Manually Creating Audio File Project and File Links

When working with applications that do not link to Soundtrack Pro audio file projects, it is useful to manually create a relationship between an audio file and an audio file project. Once this is done, every time you save the audio file project, a new copy of the flat file is saved at the same time.

To manually create a link between an audio file and an audio file project
  1. Open the audio file you wish to link to an audio file project.

  2. Choose File > Save (or press Command–S).

    The Save dialog appears.

  3. In the Save dialog, enter a name for the file, then navigate to the location where you want to save it, then click Save.

    An audio file project is created with the name you entered.

  4. Choose File > Save a Copy As (or press Command–Control–S).

    The Save dialog appears.

  5. In the Save dialog, navigate to the location of the original file, then select the file.

  6. Choose the type of the original source file from the File Type pop-up menu.

  7. Click Save.

  8. Choose File > Save As (or press Command–S).

    The Save dialog appears.

  9. In the Save dialog, navigate to the location of the original audio file project.

  10. Select the Update Flat Copy checkbox.

  11. Click Save.

    Every time the audio file project is saved, a new copy of the flat file is saved at the same time.

Using Exported Audio Files with Other Applications

You can open an audio file exported from Soundtrack Pro (a project mix; an exported track, bus, or submix; or an audio file project) in any application that supports audio files.

If you save an audio file project as an AIFF file or a QuickTime movie, a link is included in the AIFF file or movie, letting you reopen the project in Soundtrack Pro and make changes to action settings and other edits.

If you export a saved multitrack project using File > Export, a link is included in the exported file, letting you reopen the multitrack project in Soundtrack Pro and make changes. The project must have been previously saved at least once before you export the project mix.

When you reopen the exported file, a dialog appears, asking if you want to open the audio file or the original project. In the dialog, click Open Project.

The multitrack project opens in the Soundtrack Pro Timeline so you can continue working. When you are finished working in Soundtrack Pro, be sure to save the multitrack project before exporting a project mix so your changes are retained.