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Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

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Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Ralph Wilson » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:41 pm

Hi there,

apologies in advance for the dumb question. We (an amateur rock band) had a day's recording at a professional studio 6 weeks ago. Without boring you with the story, it now appears that we will be given the individual instrument tracks from the session rather than the two songs mixed and mastered.

The session was recorded in Pro Tools, and the only system we have to mix on is a Reaper system. I have no experience with PT or access to a PT system. What format should I ask the studio to provide the tracks as (presumably some kind of .wav) to ease the import into Reaper or for ease of transfer to another studio for mixing/mastering? I have a little experience of recording/mixing although I am primarily a musician. I've got a few years back issues of SOS to help too!

thanks in advance,

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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:14 pm

I have a similar dilemma at the moment, looking to transfer from Logic to Reaper. It's a genuine problem discussed in all kinds of places and certainly not a dumb question.

It depends to some extent on how your session went. If for instance you all went in, pressed record and played together then just get files WAV or AIFF and line them up side by side.

If you did many takes starting and ending halfway through the song you might have multiple versions to line up, this is ok if you recorded to a click, otherwise you're relying on the way pt stamps the files of which I am unfortunately unversed but someone here can put us both straight.

It'll be fairly straightforward if you approach it systematically. Keep us posted.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:07 am

All you need is an export of all the audio tracks for the full-length of the song (even if they only have audio on them for a few seconds in the middle 8) from a common starting position. That way they will all line up and you can import them into any DAW you like.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:17 am

The Elf wrote:All you need is an export of all the audio tracks for the full-length of the song (even if they only have audio on them for a few seconds in the middle 8) from a common starting position. That way they will all line up and you can import them into any DAW you like.


The key commands in PT to doing that are edit - consolidate region. All marked files will now become one length and all silences will be filled.

Failing that, insist on so-called 'Broadcast Wave' files that carry their time stamp within the file data. (I don't do the ProTools at our place, but I believe PT reads and writes time-stamps with the command 'spot on import' and 'spot on export.'

When importing into Reaper, after importing onto separate tracks, the files will all be jammed up against the left and all will be activated. Now right-click mouse, 'Item Processing' and hit the 'Move items to source preferred position' command. All tracks (if exported correctly) will now appear as they did on the PT session.

It is a good idea to ask the studio to name the tracks with a number, as well as the instrument - 01kick.wav 02snare.wav and so on, so that they automatically slot into the right place and are easier to find.

Accept WAV - NOTHING ELSE! If we ever have problems, it is because some Herbert has decided to use an obscure or out-dated file format.

If in doubt, ask the studio to export some bogus wav files to a CD and take a laptop with you and import into Reaper there and then. That way, you will know for certain that all will be well!
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:37 am

In theory the spotting thing should work, but it only takes an error in labelling or a weird time code start time or whatever to make the whole thing extremely confusing and time consuming. Not to mention the fact that you lose the fades etc. I'd insist on consolidated regions from 1/1/000. It's simple and bullet proof.

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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:51 am

Jack Ruston wrote:In theory the spotting thing should work, but it only takes an error in labelling or a weird time code start time or whatever to make the whole thing extremely confusing and time consuming. Not to mention the fact that you lose the fades etc. I'd insist on consolidated regions from 1/1/000. It's simple and bullet proof.

J
Yup, this would be my experience also.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:16 am

Yes, in Cubase I've pretty much always been lucky in importing PT data using the 'Move to Origin' option, but consolidated full-length wav files are the safe 'always work' option.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:37 am

Well what if they give you a vocal comp with thirty files. You'll spend half the day messing around with it. J
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:38 am

If all else fails, there's always AATranslator

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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:56 am

Jack Ruston wrote:Well what if they give you a vocal comp with thirty files. You'll spend half the day messing around with it.
Import 30 wav files into new Cubase project, select them all, right-click, 'Move to Origin' - job done! This pretty much always works for me.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:26 am

They'll all be on different tracks and you'd have to place them and redo the fades. It's a bit of a pain since it takes a second to consolidate, no?
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:49 am

Agreed that consolidate is the easiest option. All I'm saying is if you don't get consolidated data from whoever is sending you the audio then it's not necessarily the end of the world - at least as far as getting the audio aligned. The rest needs re-work as you say. But many is the time I've been glad of the opportunity to re-do the comping!
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Ralph Wilson » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:22 am

Hi All,

thanks for the advice. Much appreciated. There were multiple vocal takes (though not 30!). I'm still holding out hope that the tracks will be mixed for us.

cheers

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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby Runaway » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:50 pm

Moving consolidated tracks as wav files is always the easiest and cheapest way of moving to another daw. Unfortunately, this forces you to make a decision to commit those takes permanently and lose the flexibility of making changes later on.
Fades, autmation and possibly poor drop-ins, edits etc can no longer be 'undone'.

This may or may not be an issue - it depends on your circumstances.

I would certainly take a copy of the entire session 'as is' and then grab the rendered wavs as well.

If you want to email me (via the aatranslator web site) your ptf (provided it is PT9 or earlier) I will gladly convert it to Reaper for you - then you have all the bases covered.
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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby G-Doubleyou » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:19 pm

shufflebeat wrote:I have a similar dilemma at the moment, looking to transfer from Logic to Reaper. It's a genuine problem discussed in all kinds of places and certainly not a dumb question.

It depends to some extent on how your session went. If for instance you all went in, pressed record and played together then just get files WAV or AIFF and line them up side by side.

If you did many takes starting and ending halfway through the song you might have multiple versions to line up, this is ok if you recorded to a click, otherwise you're relying on the way pt stamps the files of which I am unfortunately unversed but someone here can put us both straight.

It'll be fairly straightforward if you approach it systematically. Keep us posted.

Logic has an option to bounce all individual tracks, just set the start and end markers and bounce.

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Re: Pro Tools session export to Reaper question

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:45 pm

Cheers, GD.
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