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  #1  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:08 PM
Nollykin Nollykin is offline
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Smile "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Hi guys,

Seems like you have a nice forum here! I had a lurk through and searched my head off but couldn't find any info about this one. Sorry if it's been covered somewhere before.

I'm mixing a 6 track EP. All the bed sessions were recorded as separate PT "Sessions" so I could easily manipulate multiple playlists for multiple takes during the tracking. I usually do it this way. When it comes to mixing the EP/Album however, I do like to (in some cases where a coherent sound from song to song is requested) import all these individual sessions into one "master" session, starting with the first song, leaving a 30 second gap then starting the next song, leaving a gap, etc etc. This allows for shared drum plugin settings from song to song, similar guitar sounds to start with etc. Automation solves my issues when I need to vary things up from song to song.

This band however, has a fair few songs where there are lots of timing changes (even some meter changes) which were pre-mapped out into protools and played to a click. The problem here is that importing session meter/timing changes overwrites whatever is in the session you're importing, so the only way to make sure my "compiled" "master track" has all the right timing changes is to manually add them.

I'm fairly sure there's no way around this, I'll simply have to import the session data from each individual session, move the tracks around and into position and then make the required tempo / meter changes manually, but I was wondering if anyone has tried this, and figured out a good way to do it? Has anyone done much with importing Tempo and meter changes? Is there any way to import tempo/meter changes without overwriting what's currently in the session?

While on the subject of session file imports, is it possible to import session data from one session to a certain point in a timeline? For example, can I import everything from session A into session B, starting at 3 minutes 30 seconds of session B? I don't think it is, but I figured I'd ask the gurus.

I realise this seems a bit silly- The smart thing to do would be to do any editing that requires tempo mapping / grid snapping in the individual sessions, then just import everything into one file once editing is complete, and just work on the "sound" from that point- but it is nice to have a working tempo map so the grid is active throughout the whole editing/mixing process, even the final "mix" part. Just in case last minute edits DO have to be done.

Any tips you have about importing entire sessions into other sessions would be handy- this is one of the most confusing and time consuming things I find with PT. Cheers!

Nolly
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:57 PM
audiogeekzine audiogeekzine is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

import session data has an offset function. Also you can import the rulers.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2010, 08:24 PM
Nollykin Nollykin is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

*headdesk* Of course. That very obvious "offset" section in the import window. I'll just be over here in the corner with my dunce hat :P

Thankyou!
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2010, 11:25 PM
Nollykin Nollykin is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Me again.

Thanks very much for that insight- It's really going to save me a *lot* of time. Allows me to very easily import all the songs into one track. It's brought up a few more questions though- When I import the tempo/meter map, it renumbers the 1st bar to the offset point, and the new tempo map always overwrites the existing one.

Is there any way to "merge" two existing tempo maps? replacing one with the other is great, but not great enough when I have more than one song with complex tempo maps, as I can't get them all into the session at once.

Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:43 AM
audiogeekzine audiogeekzine is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

TBH, unless all the songs are already in the same session (recorded that way) you're better off keeping them separate.

Mix one song. Save As Template-no media
open next song, import your template.

Match the audio files to the corresponding tracks and delete old (empty) tracks.
Clear all automation.

For me this cuts a ton of time off each mix. If the first song takes 7 hours, the next will be 3 hours.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2010, 07:40 AM
Makin' Sausage Music Makin' Sausage Music is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Happy Easter y'all...

I was just thinking about this... and have not had time to test this with regards to the tempo ruler... but ... how about if...

You start with an empty/blank session.

1) Import Session Data from the first song - bring in everything... creating new tracks, import audio, rulers, etc... then inactivate everything you just brought in.

2) Next repeat step 1 utilizing the offset function to place the next song after the previous one. Inactivate those new tracks. Rinse and repeat until all songs are in place.

3) Only activate the tracks of the song you are working on. Keep each song together using region groups and track groups... if that helps...

This would allow you to basically have each song with it's own setup all in the same session and allow you to easily copy plug-ins from the tracks of one song to next and still allow minor tweeks on a tracks plug-in without fighting automation. I you "lay-back" your mixes into the session you can then inactivate and hide the individual session tracks leaving only the 2-mixes which you can further process and master with their own plug-in process' - if that's what tickles your fancy...

Thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2010, 08:11 AM
audiogeekzine audiogeekzine is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Sounds like an excellent strategy.

Although you don't get the benefit of the mix template.

I also like to keep the sessions small in case PT decides to corrupt a session, it's far less work to recover.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2010, 10:00 AM
Makin' Sausage Music Makin' Sausage Music is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Well, hopefully you are lucky enough to have the horsepower and or a stable version of the software required not to crash! - but if 90% of the session is inactivated (because all you have activated is the ONE song you are working on) it shouldn't be more of a strain than a single song session.

If you create different "Groups" containing all the tracks for each song it is easy to activate/deactivate/hide/view each songs associated tracks so the screen is manageable.

A "mix template" might not work as easily - for example - if you are working your way though the songs and get to Song 6 and you find a cool setting for a plug-in that would work on the previous songs it very easy to copy (option drag) the plug to corresponding track of the previous songs (even if it is inactivated) to an unused insert - reactivate the previous song and A/B to see if this "new" plug-in setting works on that track or not in a matter of moments - all within a single session the shouldn't take any more horse-power than a single song in a single session.

I always name the session "xxx Vx.x" - then you only have to change the last number when you do a "Save As" and to preserve the goodness you just may or may not have achieved before you go and do something radical and wanna go back a version or two.

I also copy the name of the session when "Saving As" dialog box is open with the Vx.x and paste it into the name of the current lay-back track before making the "mix-pass" to record the lay-back track. This ensures that the region name when created includes the version number. This makes it very easy to go back to the exact session that created it. Helpful if you are comparing different mixes or getting feedback from others who can easily tell you version they are evaluating based on the track name. Useful if you decide that you went to far with something and wanna go back... Another advantage of the layback track is that it is the same format as your session which is good if you want to preserve a bit rate higher than 16 bit until the final Red Book Burn.

After you record your mix pass back into the session - select the new region and use "shift-apple-k" to export the "lay-back" region. This brings up the same box as "bounce to disk". you can then choose to create an interleaved stereo file (which has the benefit of being named the same as the session that created it if you pre-named the track with it) of 16bit/44.1k file for a CD to listen to or 24bit for a duplicator or whatever format you want at computer speed - I never use the "bounce to disk" process any more. I also make a directory to store 24bit mixes ( I use this directory to import files into WaveBurner and to store various versions of the WaveBurner sessions) and a different one for 16 bit/mp3 mixes (for making quick CD burns and emailing for approvals etc...) and direct the export window to the appropriate directory when exporting....

I hope this all makes sense... it works for me anyway...
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2013, 04:43 PM
levelaudio levelaudio is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Short answer: No.
Long answer: Pro Tools sucks when dealing with importing session data. I've tried every way possible, and it always screws up the tempo/meter map and marker locations of the session I'm importing into, even with the timecode and bar|beat set in the source session to the position I want to import to in the destination session. Nothing works. Pro Tools is just plain retarded when dealing with importing tempo/meter map and markers. You may be able to import the audio and automation data to the correct position in the mix session, but you're going to have to manually enter all of those tempo and meter changes. Maybe if we pray really hard to the Avid gods, they will grant us the ability to merge/import session data (including tempo/meter map and markers) from one session to another correctly in some future release. But for now, it's hopeless.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2013, 11:44 PM
Extreme Mixing Extreme Mixing is offline
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Default Re: "Compiling" multiple sessions into one "Master" session. Any pointers?

Mix them in separate sessions, and use import session data. If you do the other way, you'll loose all of your tempo maps. And how would you quickly import the audio in a way that it will match up with a specific bar downbeat with the new tempo. It will be a nightmare and very time consuming to figure out. You could mix two songs in the time it takes to get it done.

And to tell you the truth, if the sessions were sent to me as one big session, I'd split them out!!! I like to start every session with NO FADERS written. That way I can move things freely. When you import your session data you'll get the basic faders, eq, FX and everything you need.

Steve
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