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Old 07-07-2018, 05:30 PM
Mixchump Mixchump is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 351
Default There are two kinds of Pro Tools sessions...

1. A "Self-Contained" session, where all of the audio (allegedly) is in the local Audio Files folder within the current session folder

2. An "Ex Ref" session, where the session contains audio (and/or video) that resides on other volumes (or in a different file path on the same volume) than the one where the current session Folder and file reside.

Realistically, the days are all-but-gone when you needed to set your disk allocation so that ProTools could write to multiple volumes while tracking. Even the most basic USB drives can now keep up with tracking at 96kHz. For 99.9% of all music applications, it's just simply not necessary. Still though, I receive sessions from people where, after ProTools has done an exhaustive search of every attached drive to my system (and comes up empty handed of course), I can see that the file path to the missing files is usually something like "Mac HD/Downloads/xxx.wav", or "Audio Drive 1/Project/Audio Files/xxx.wav"

Sure, for many of the folks working in Post, there's always a ton of files being referenced on external SFX drives, etc., but at some point, once the final sound design has been decided upon, and the region bin cleared of unused stuff, there's a few steps to make sure that ProTools has copied all of the externally referenced audio over to the current volume (making them all Transfer volumes and re-opening the session). A colleague of mine who is one of the top Hollywood re-recording mixers tells me that his guys are up all night before a Bruckheimer mix (in studios that cost $10k/hr), contacting dialogue editors, composers, SFX editors, trying to locate all the missing files.

In my opinion, ProTools (of every level, not just Ultimate) should pop up a message upon opening a session that says "This session contains external file references - Do you want to copy Xref-ed files to the local Audio Files folder?" You choose the option to "Copy", or the option to "Continue".

Avid has done a bang-up job of selling this software to musicians of all different levels of skill and organizational ability, but has booby-trapped the software so that the default is that all of the connected volumes are designated as "Record" drives.

Might they consider putting this simple fix into ProTools to save countless hours of high-stress file transfers? Sure, the Post Audio people will just get used to clicking on the "Continue" button (until they're ready to "Copy").

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