Learn about the Import > Audio command and the Import Audio dialog box. Also learn the parts of the dialog box and the differences between Mac and Windows versions. Also discover the differences between the Add, Copy, and Convert options.
- [Narrator] To understand how importing works in Pro Tools, it helps to recognize that Pro Tools was originally designed for the professional user working in a fixed studio location. For this type of user, imported files did not need to be copied into the session's audio files folder, as that would result in duplicate copies on the system. Since a session created in that environment is not likely to be transferred from one system to another, it can simply reference any imported files from their original locations. So let's take a look at an example.
In this example, I'm going to import a file that's fully compatible with the session, meaning it's in a native Pro Tools format. In this case, we'll select a wav file. And it matches the session's sample rate of 44.1. The choices that display in the dialogue box include the Add, and Add All buttons, and the Copy, and Copy All. Let's just focus on the difference between Add, and Copy for a moment. Now first, I should point out that the Windows dialogue box is slightly different.
You'll notice that the dialogue box is configured differently. However, the same concepts apply here as on the Mac. On the Mac, the Add button is lit by default whenever you've selected a file that's compatible with your session. That might lead you to believe that that's the right choice if you're not sure of the difference between Add and Copy, which is what most users will do, they'll click on the button that's highlighted. However, we should understand that the Add button references the file in it's current location.
Whereas the Copy button will make a duplicate copy of the file in the audio files folder. The option you choose here really matters, because if you transfer the session to a different system later on, by taking the session folder, and moving it, let's say, onto a flash drive, any referenced files will not be included. Those files are not in the audio files folder, so when you go to open that session on your other system, you'll get a warning message that some audio files are missing, and the session won't be able to play back properly.
Now the other potentially confusing aspect of this dialogue box is the Add All, and Copy All buttons. As you might expect, these buttons allow you to add a group of selected files at once. So if we select several files at the top, we can click Add All, or Copy All, to add them all to the Clips to Import list. Let's remove those for a moment. However, I should also mention that the Add button, or the Copy button does the same thing in this case.
So there's really no difference, unless you've selected a group of files, and then clicked on one of the files in the Clips in Current File list, to examine it's properties. Now, in order to add them all, you need to click the Add All button. The other place that the Add All, and Copy All buttons are useful, is if you've selected a clip that contains subset clips inside of it. In this case, the Add button will add the parent file, the Add All button will add the parent file, and all of it's subset clip definitions.
So I hope this answered some questions you may have had about the import audio dialogue box. Using the Add button will keep from duplicating files unnecessarily. However, if you plan to transfer your session between systems, be sure to choose Copy Files on Import when given the choice. And don't be concerned with the Add All, or Copy All buttons in normal operations, as you won't usually need them. In the odd case where you do, these buttons simply save you the step of selecting all the clips before adding, or copying.
- Getting started with Pro Tools menus, windows, and edit tools
- Creating a session
- Creating a click track
- Recording audio
- Importing audio and video
- Recording, viewing, and editing MIDI data
- Selecting and navigating within tracks
- Adding markers
- Editing clips
- Creating fade effects
- Mixing tracks and adding automation
- Backing up a session
- Bouncing a mix to disk
Skill Level Beginner
Q. This course was updated on 03/23/2017. What changed?
A. Challenges and solutions were added to chapters 3–10 and three videos were updated in the first couple chapters.