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A terrific feature of Pro Tools is the ability to import session data from one session file directly into another session file. To do this, choose File > Import > Session Data. In this window, we should navigate to find the session that you want to import data from. In this case, I'm going to pull one from the Pro Tools Loops folder, and this comes from a DVD that came with Pro Tools 8. You might have this on your computer. You might not. But if you don't, you can just follow along like what I'm doing here except just find a different session to import data from.
I am going to navigate to the Demo Session - Dance DJ, and choose that Session file. Click Open, now you might see this error. It's not really a big deal, just click on through it. Now, this is the Import Session Data window. Lots of information here, so I'll go through it kind of slowly. We have got information about the session up here, and what we really want to take a look at first are the tracks down here. Here is a list of all the tracks that are in the session, and we can scroll down and see them all here.
Now you see next to the track names, we have these little drop-down lists, click on them and you can choose to add the track to your session by choosing New Track. I'm going to add a few different tracks here. Once you have selected all the tracks that you want, let's look at some of the other information that we should check on in this box. You can choose to import the Tempo/Meter Map, the Key Signature/ Chord Map, any Markers/Memory Locations, or Window Configurations. In this case, I'm actually going to bring in the Tempo/Meter Map. But in other circumstances you might not want to do this.
In fact, it's kind of dangerous to do it, if you already have Tempo and Meter information in your session. Now, let's go up here and check out what options we have for importing. We can tell Pro Tools to Copy it from the source media. This will make an exact copy of the audio files on each track and put it into your new session. Another good option, if it's available, is to Link to source media, and that won't actually make a copy of the file. It would just link to where it is and that will save on hard drive space.
If we move up over here, we can change where we want the files to be dropped in on. This will put it right at the very beginning of the session. We could change this, if we wanted to drop it in at Bar 9, but let's put it right in at the beginning. We can also select the Sample Rate Conversion. And if the Source Sample Rate was different from our session, we could choose any of the different sampling rates. And we can choose the Conversion Quality. But since the audio is actually at the same sampling rate, we are not going to worry about this.
So, now I'm going to go down and click OK. And we are going to bring these files into the session. This warning says that the original disk allocation for this session can't be used. Now that's no problem because wherever these audio files were created is not connected to this hard drive. However, we are putting them on to our new hard drive, so we don't really care about this. And definitely we don't need a detailed report about it. So there we go, all of the audio files and the other tracks that we brought in are all here. And we even brought in the Tempo and Meter Map. We can also import Session Data, if we choose Window > Workspace. I'm going to type in Demo Session, and search for it on the drive where it lives, Search. Here it is, Demo Session - Dance DJ.
Now I can simply click-and-drag this into our session, click through this. Again, we'll see the Import Session Data dialog box. We can bring in different tracks this time by just selecting New Track. If we want to bring in all of the tracks, we can press Option on a Mac or Alt or a PC, and click New Track, and all of them will be brought in.
Now one thing I want to make a note about on this Import Session Data dialog box is that in Pro Tools HD, and Pro Tools LE with the complete Production Toolkit or DV Toolkit, you can get even more specific about what you want to import, like you can choose to import just a few tracks and only their plug-ins or signal routing without any audio or any MIDI. And this can be pretty handy when you are setting up a mix and you want to just have a consistent sound, so you just want to bring in the plug-ins, you don't want to actually bring in the audio. We don't see that feature here in this dialog box. It's not a feature of LE or Empowered, but it's still a cool feature. So if you get one of those systems, check it out.
So, I'm going to go ahead and click OK and bring all of this stuff in. Again, we see out disk allocation notes. Let's not worry about that. Now you can see, we have all of these tracks that we just imported with our Tempo and Meter Map intact, and we are good to go. Importing Session Data is a great way to bring tracks in from other sessions. Personally, I use this feature often to import tracks that already have effects plug-ins or virtual instruments on them that I like to use regularly.
I recommend trying this out for yourself.
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