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Old 03-27-2006, 12:58 PM
Sonny in London Sonny in London is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 557
Default Collaboration: Sending PT Sessions and OMF files

I am working with an artist on a project of eight original songs. The basic tracks are going to be sent to India for an artist there to work on arrangements and mixes of the songs as part of a collaboration, so I need to prepare what's being sent over.

Each track we have recorded consists of a 12-string guitar and single vocal on each song only. The guitar was tracked with a Rode mic and DI simultaneously and the vocal used the same Rode mic (tracked seperately), so three tracks in all per song.

I have done whatever processing was necessary to get a good sound during the mix (basic EQ, Dynamics and problem solving) on both guitar and vocals. I have also set up a basic mix with a couple of reverbs and a delay on three stereo Aux channels so that we can get send a rough guide mix of the basic songs over as a reference to how they're 'supposed to sound' (and so the songwriter has something to take home).

Now, I have started the process of preparing the files to be sent over and it's quite a chore! I cut my teeth in a Pro Post studio so I'm pretty meticulous in sending organised files that have all relevant data and information included, but I'd love some feedback and advice from you guys if you have any experience in this task.

They have asked for OMF files but I'm also giving them the Pro Tools sessions themselves along with the guide mixes just to be safe.

For each track I opened the session, immediately 'saved session copy in' a new folder, opened that session, consolidated the regions in each track, deleted unused playlists and deleted unused regions, vastly decreasing the folder size to send. This will be the Session folder that I will send per song, should they have access or the need to use a Pro Tools-equipped studio.

It's the OMFs that are the tricky bit. I obviously want to send the tracks dry and without any automation or sends so that they can do their thing, but I want to keep the processing I used to achieve the right sound of the individual tracks. In order to do this, (after 'saving as' under a different name) I have had to bypass all sends, turn off the automation, set the fader to unity and bus the output of the track to another audio track (stereo for the Guitar) to record it down in real time.

After I've done this for both the guitar and the vocal, I remove the original tracks and auxes and then import a stereo wav file of the full mix as a guide within the session. This session is then ready to export as an OMF and after testing it in Logic Pro 7.1 it seems to work just fine.

During the export process, I choose to 'copy from source media' so that they have the actual files to work with, but I have found that Pro Tools renames the files with rather bizarre, long names. In the session they are all neatly named but all that seems to be lost on export with these default, strange names. Does anyone know if it's alright for me to rename the exported files for their ease, or will this cause problems with the OMF file?

I plan on including a text file with all the relevant information but I'm a stickler for details.

Also, when tracking (with a click), there are usually 4 or 8 bars of silence at the beginning of the session for the artist to get set before the take. I tend to create markers for verse, chorus, middle 8 etc; for ease of navigation after the basics are all down and the song structure is there. My question is this; is there a way of selecting all regions and their automation and moving them to the beginning of the session and getting the markers to follow them there? Like locking the markers to the audio? Or is there a better way of achieving this altogether?

Thanks for reading a long post friends!

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