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Importing to Pro Tools

From: Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools

Video: Importing to Pro Tools

In this movie we will look at importing and verifying sync with the video and audio elements we exported from Final Cut Pro. You can open the AAF file from within Pro Tools by going to File > Open, to choose the AAF file. We will select the one we exported to this Desktop folder. You can also double-click the file if you don't already have Pro Tools open, and it will open the file and Pro Tools the same time. Pro tool will pause in a dialog box asking for Session Parameters. The standard parameters for videos are either broadcast wave, BWF, or AIFF, 16 bit 48 kHz.

Importing to Pro Tools

In this movie we will look at importing and verifying sync with the video and audio elements we exported from Final Cut Pro. You can open the AAF file from within Pro Tools by going to File > Open, to choose the AAF file. We will select the one we exported to this Desktop folder. You can also double-click the file if you don't already have Pro Tools open, and it will open the file and Pro Tools the same time. Pro tool will pause in a dialog box asking for Session Parameters. The standard parameters for videos are either broadcast wave, BWF, or AIFF, 16 bit 48 kHz.

So we'll stick with those. Next, Pro Tools will ask where to save your Pro tool session. A Pro Tools session is a group of folders and files that reside in one session folder. For ease of use here, I'll put it on the desktop, and we will name it Farmer's Audio Mix. You may want to thing about putting your projects in a separate work drive for better organization. Next, we will see the Import Session Data dialog box. This is how we manage all the parameters from the AAF file as it gets imported in the Pro Tools.

On the top left, this area tells us info about the original Final CutPro project settings. We see the frame rate that was used, the sample rate, the bit depth. There is also a number of advanced options on the upper right of the dialog box, but because of the way we open this AAF file we can leave all these parameters the same, and it should work fine. But you could change some of them such as Offset Timecode to do some more advanced settings with your import. This Import session data box is used for all types of importing, not just AAF files.

So it offers a lot of flexibility for all kinds of scenarios. Again because we imported the AAF the way we did, these setting should be good, and we can leave them as they are. Below we have a listing of all the tracks from the original Final Cut Pro sequence. You may not remember having 14 tracks in Final Cut Pro, but the AAF file splits out stereo and multi channel tracks. So you may see more here than you expected. All tracks that are highlighted in blue will come into Pro Tools. By default, they should all be selected. Now about the settings below.

Import Rendered Audio Effects will convert the Final CutPro Fades to Pro Tools Fades so we'll keep that checked. Clip Gain will convert Final CutPro clip volumes to Pro Tools Clip Gain if you're using Pro Tools 10, which is pretty useful. So we will leave that checked as well. Finally, Volume Automation will convert any volume rubber banding which we had done in the music tracks in Final Cut Pro to Pro Tools Volume Automation. So we will keep that checked as well. The tracks will come in, the timeline will populate, and you will see the waveforms start to appear.

Next we want to import a video. Go to File > Import > Video, find the video, and import it. Video Import options will ask if you want a new track--we do--and also if we want to import the audio from the source video. That's our reference audio from the original Final Cut Pro project. So we will say yes. Also we will choose Session start for the placement. When we hit OK, Pro Tools will ask where we want to put the audio we are importing.

Pro Tools defaults the location of the audio files folder associated with your current session, and that's what we want, so we will just click Open. When it imports, the video window will be pretty big, so we can resize it by clicking and dragging on the bottom right of the window or we can right-click right in the video and choose say Half Size to downsize the video. Great, now that we have these elements in, we will check the sync. Make sure you are in Grid Editing mode so we can see the background frame grid, now the grid values are set to 1-frame resolution.

You can do this next to the main counter in the Edit window. I'll be using the Pro Tools one stroke key command here to zoom in and out. That's the R and T keys. One-stroke key commands are enabled by clicking the A to Z button on the top right of the Edit window. As you can see, our reference sound should have the two paths which you can see visually at exactly 00:59:58:00. You can also use Command+Left and Right brackets to zoom in and out, if you don't want to use the one touch key commands.

Now let's also verify that the 2-pop from our AAF Import also lines up to that exact frame. Then we also want to verify and check the end pop at the end of the video. Remember it also should correspond to the one frame of video and one frame of beat on both our reference and our AAF tracks. Now I want to show you one last housekeeping measure. I like to preserve the original AAF import before I start messing around with any of these clips so I can always come back to it if I move something out of sync or mess anything up.

So let's select all tracks except for the video and reference track. Select the tracks by holding on Shift as you click on the track headers. Once all the tracks are selected, right-click any track header and choose Duplicate tracks. Once the tracks are duplicated, select all the clips in these new tracks. Do this by dragging a selection around all these clips. Now type Command+L to lock these clips. You will see a little lock icon in the clips to verify that you have locked them.

Now with all these track header still selected, right- click any one of them and choose Hide and Make Inactive. This copy of our original imported tracks will now always be available from our TRACKS list column on the left. We don't have to see or thing about it as we continue working. Congratulations! Now we have fully imported and verified sync with our AAF sequence. In the next few movies we will start working with our sound mix.

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