In the previous article “Preparing Audio Tracks for Export” we discussed consolidating audio tracks into one continuos audio file for the purposes of exporting tracks that can easily be imported “in sync” into a new sequence. In this article we are going to cover the actual exporting of the files and make some suggestions regarding the naming of the files.
EXPORTING PROCESSED AUDIO FILES VERSES RAW AUDIO FILES
In most cases you’ll want to export raw audio files, that is without any of the non-destructive processing you’ve applied to the track itself. If you export files from the tracks window, chances are you will be exporting stereo audio files (because they are being processed through the stereo output) that are being affected by:
1)the individual tracks fader volume
2)any EQ, compression or other processing you have inserted in the track
3)any processing you may have included on the master fader
4)Reverb and Delay
So, unless you know you want these changes to the recorded audio to be permanently written into the files you are exporting, I suggest you export files from the Soundfile/ Soundbites window, or whatever your DAW calls the window that lists the individual audio files that exist in the audio files folder.
EXPORTING STEP BY STEP
1) Backup the entire project folder
2) Consolidate each audio track into one continuous audio file starting at zero. Before you hit the consolidate/merge/glue button, rename the track to reflect what you want the audio file you will be exporting to be called. See below for suggestions. (Audio files are generally given name of the track they are being recorded to, or consolidated from).
3)After all of the files have been consolidated, open the Soundfiles/Soundbites window and reorder the list of files by date. (you should find a menu offering you many options for rearranging the list of files, by date created, by name, by file type etc.)
4) Your new consolidated files should now be grouped together at the bottom or the top of the list since they are the most recent files created. Highlight those files and export them to a newly created folder. Be careful to choose the correct export format.
5). If you are sending the files over the internet, compress (.zip) the folder before you upload it. This will not only shrink the file size for faster uploading and downloading, but in my experience, it also helps to protect the files from corruption during the process.
NAMING YOUR AUDIO FILES
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to put some thought into the naming of your audio files before you start exchanging them. When several people are working on the same song, it takes no time at all for confusion to set in. Do I have the latest vocal? What song is this bass track for? etc. Squeezing as much information as possible into the name of each audio file you export can really save time and trouble.
Here’s what I get into each title
1) name of the song,
2) track type(bass, vocal etc),
3) track record date.
I use acronyms for all the song titles in a project to compact the file name. For example, currently I’m working with an artist on a project with a song titled “Only Just Begun”, we use Ojb in this songs file names.
Here’s a typical file name :
The file name tells me that this is a “lead vocal” for the song “Only Just Begun”, and that it was recorded or comped on May 12.
You’ll realize how handy the date is when you have amassed several versions of the lead vocal and you want to make sure you’re using the latest. Also note that I used the _ (underscore) to separate the date. This symbol is more internet friendly in file names than / or-. Also, I use capital letters to separate the song title from the track name, just to make things clearer.
Here’s file from the same song;
This is a “backing vocal” track for “Only Just Begun” recorded on “May 26″.
Of course you can use whatever short codes you want for the song titles and track names of course.
Back up your files, consolidate each track into one audio file, and name all the tracks to carry as much information as possible to the next user. Unless you specifically want to keep your processing, export from the Soundbites/Soundfiles window. Ordering the tracks by date created will help you keep all your newly consolidated audio files together in the list so you can grab them all at once for the export.