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  #1  
Old 11-29-2018, 02:43 PM
Cayce Cayce is offline
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Default Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

The question (if you'd rather not read my rant): Is there a way to get Pro Tools to save a project's audio session files to the individual, current project folder, so that files will always be with the project, instead of a common folder-dump location for all projects?

The Rant:

For the second time in my music life—going back decades—I've decided to try Pro Tools again, after being thoroughly disgusted with it back in 2008. My reason—and only reason—for coming back is that it has, by some miracle, maintained its hold as the industry standard, and I have tracks I'll want to take into a pro studio for final mixing. I'm discovering things about Pro Tools that remain problematic, despite 10 years of time for Avid to correct the them, but the one I'm dealing with now, I didn't see coming.

Aside from music production, I have sessions with my son on many evenings, and I've begun recording them for posterity. Each night we have a session, I dupe the previous session's folder, open it, delete all the old clips, and start fresh. Yesterday I opened a file from last week and got an error saying audio files were missing, then discovered that each time Ive deleted session files from a duped project, those files aren't being deleted out of the project folder: they're being deleted out of a common repository, so that any other project using those audio clip files will no longer have access to them. So every time I thought I was deleting duped files, I was actually deleting the originals, never to be seen again.

I can't imagine how anyone ever thought this session files saving system made sense, but then I learned long ago not to expect that from Avid: to make sense.

Thanks for any help.

Cayce
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2018, 03:45 PM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

I am not positive what you are actually trying to accomplish but PT is set up with it's own "browser" system now and pretty much all of your saving, copying, deleting, etc should be done within PT itself for everything to work best. And you can choose where everything goes all within PT dialogues as well though admittedly the User Manual can be a bit opaque on how to get things to do what you want but honestly all the answers are there(not trying to be pedantic or condescending, just not exactly understanding where your issue is)
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:36 AM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

The problem is very clear; the method of duplicating the session folder to start a new session. This creates a session which saves audio files to the Audio folder of the original session.


The correct way to do it is; open the original session and select "Save session copy in...", give it a new name, then choose not to copy audio files if you want. Close session and open the new session you just created. It will be set to save audio files, backups and everything to its own session folder.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:48 AM
_JJ_ _JJ_ is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

Ben nailed it. You need to let ProTools make your new sessions instead of using the Finder to duplicate the files and folders.

Another handy way to do this is to make a "template" so that you can start a new session whenever you want and it will already have all the track routing, names, and plug-ins set up and ready to go - all in its own new folder with audio subfolder, etc....

Open a recent session which works and look for "Save As Template" from the "File" menu. Select a category (like "Home"), give the template a name, do not click "select location..." or "include media", then click "OK".

Now when your son comes by just launch ProTools and click the "Create" tab on the left of the opening screen. Type a name for the new session, click on "Create From Template" (choose Template Group "Home") and select the template you made. You may want to select "Prompt for location" at the bottom of that window to specify where the session will be stored. [Please use your eternal drives for PT sessions].

This method will make a new folder with the name of this new session, in the location you've chosen, with the session file, backups, audio folder, fades folder, etc, etc, all in the correct file tree. No more lost audio files!
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

Data loss is painful, especially with unique events like you described. Sorry.

I think you'd be better served by creating a Template to start your sessions from so please check this out. Also, using Remove instead of Delete is a safer option (though might require more cleanup later).

Curious though, since you said that you duplicated the folders... that should have resulted in 2 copies of all files (at least the first time). Do any of your session folders (Audio Files) contain these 'lost' files?

update: Just tested this and if I dupe a session's folder then delete an audio file from a session it doesn't delete both audio files - deleting an audio file from the session in my copied folder killed the audio file from that duped folder, not from the original
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Last edited by jeffro; 11-30-2018 at 01:27 PM. Reason: test results
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:18 AM
Cayce Cayce is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
... saves audio files to the Audio folder of the original session.
Yeah, but that Audio folder of the original session is not in the project folder of that original session. It's in a community "Audio Files" folder containing a massive heap of all audio files of every session I have ever created or will ever create, which is a colossally stupid way of storing any project's audio files. Why separate files from their project folder? I can think of dozens of reasons this is a bad idea, and not a single reason in favor of it.

So my question remains: Is there a setting somewhere in this idiot piece of software that will force files to be saved in the project folder?

Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:48 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

The Audio files will be put in the session folder when you use that option. That’s why folks here are telling you. Go try it out.

The default behavior of Pro Tools is to put audio content in the session folder when you create a new session. This stuff catches people out all the time, it's a horrible PITA when it happens. Folks here have already pointed out what you were doing wrong with copying a session folder using the Finder.

The other common point of confusion is when importing audio into a session you need to be careful about the behavior of the add and copy buttons. And if you really want to copy audio content make sure Settings>Preferences>Always Copy Files on Import is checked, (you are asking about settings... that's a kind of related related setting, but only affects import) but pretty sure that's the default. Again you've messed yourself up by copying sessions outside of Pro Tools and there are no settings in Pro Tools that controls that.

(edit: corrected actual command names)

The Pro Tools Reference Guide is pretty good, and the best thing you can do is read that guide, and ask specific questions here if things about this don’t make sense. Start by reading what Save As vs. Save Copy In does. Set up a trivial session with a little bit of audio content and play with Import and Save As, Save Copy In etc. and make sure you understand this stuff.

The next thing for you to look at is how you are making backups/archives. Amongst the several ways you should likely archive and back up stuff, doing a Save Copy In... to a remote computer, NAS or cloud storage is a really great way to protect yourself from these sorts of problems and more.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 12-01-2018 at 09:25 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2018, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

I'd recommend checking out the Disk Allocation info to make sure you have that set correctly You can also use Show > Full Path in the Clips bin to see where the session's files are actually stored.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:09 AM
Cayce Cayce is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

Ok, I found it. But get this:

I've been back in Pro Tools, with this install of the program, less than three months. I've been a lot of places in the interface during the learning curve, but I've never set Disk Allocation for any tracks, and wouldn't. In that window, all tracks were set to go to a folder in my production root folder named "Audio", and if I had created that, I'd know why, and I wouldn't have been surprised to find all my files going there instead of into their own project folders where they should be. Brings the question of "default" into view, though the manual does agree with what I've heard from everyone here: that tracks are saved to their respective session folder by default. Mysteries abound.

So, I cleared all settings in the disk allocation window, created a new project, created a new track, recorded a short clip, then saw the track in the Disk Allocation window, with all allocation settings still off. Looked inside the project folder and saw an Audio folder with the audio clip in it, right where it should be. That's what I'm accustomed to in other DAWs, and what I was looking for from Pro Tools.

Thanks for helping me get there and for tolerating (I hope) my frustration.

Cayce
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:24 AM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Default Re: Catastrophic Audio Files Loss

Glad you got it. The fact that each new session creates a file named "Audio Files" without a session name modifier is a little weird in my opinion(how many files with the same name do we want on the same hard drive?) but once you get the structure it's pretty intuitive.
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