Creating OMF/AAF from Cantar-X Audio

by

THE Tim Coston

BlahBlahBlah Entertainment, Inc. www.SoundSuper.com tim@soundsuper.com

$40. THE Tim Coston – www. make sure the settings at the bottom are:  Audio File Type: BWF (.com). They retail for approx. Step 1: From the Main Pulldown Menu select ‘File->New Session’ to open a new session in Pro Tools. Then double-click that new folder name – ‘Pro Tools files’. Once inside that folder.SoundSuper.com Page 2 of 18 . An iLok holds over 150 authorizations from any manufacturer.WAV)  Sample Rate: 48 kHz  Bit Depth: 16 bit  I/O Settings: Last Used Name your Session whatever you want.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Welcome This manual is merely a guideline to creating OMFs and AAFs from the Cantar-X audio files (BWF – Broadcast Wave File). Click ‘Save’. Programs: The foremost program is Pro Tools (www.digidesign. Click ‘New Folder’ to create a directory at the top level of the drive called ‘Pro Tools files’. Use with caution and free from alcohol. You can use LE as long as you also purchase a DigiTranslator license for $495. Some stores include them with the purchase of DigiTranslator. An iLok is a hardware USB dongle that accepts ‘license chips’ for software authorization.

From the Main Pulldown Menu. THE Tim Coston – www.com Page 3 of 18 .Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 2: Modify your Session Settings for your project. select ‘Setup->Session’ Within the Session Settings area.SoundSuper. ensure the following settings:    Clock Source: Internal Feet + Frames Rate: 24 Time Code Rate: set to your desire The Time Code Rate should be set to whatever your project was recording at on the Cantar-X during filming.

Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 For recording in the field to the Cantar-X.SoundSuper. For example. if your first Cantar-X Audio File begins with a timecode of 17:04:24:10 then you would make your Session Start 17:00:00:00 THE Tim Coston – www. you need to set your Session Start to the hour mark of your first audio file.com Page 4 of 18 . the following chart is useful and meant as a guideline only – if your Post Production Supervisor tells you differently. Lastly. listen to them.

or Region.wav files that you want to import. Then click ‘Copy ’ and they will show up in the lower right box. The Middle window is your actual audio tracks’ timeline. Highlight ALL the . Now click ‘Done’ THE Tim Coston – www. From the Main Pulldown Menu select ‘File->Import->Audio…’.com Page 5 of 18 .SoundSuper.CA1’ typically.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 3: Importing the Cantar-X audio files (BWF). Then select the Cantar-X directory ending in ‘. These will show up on the lower left box. Select the Drive on the left where the files are kept. You now have a Pro Tools session like this example saved as ‘TimCoston_Sample’ The Left window is a list of your active tracks. The Right window is your audio file workspace.

com Page 6 of 18 .Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Now you will be asked to ‘Choose a Folder’. or go grab some coffee. It will automatically create a folder called ‘Audio Files’ underneath your Project or Session directory – accept this as the default.SoundSuper. But you already know that if you are reading this manual. Your Cantar-X BWF files will now be imported and converted for use in your Pro Tools session. Once the files have been completely converted you will be asked if you want them to each reside on a new track? Or for Pro Tools to just put them in the Region List. Do not go bother other people with stories of your weekend – that would be called ‘anti-work’. THE Tim Coston – www. Perfect time for a bathroom break. This is a folder where the converted audio files are kept. You want to just put them in the Region List: This allows you to manually put them on the correct tracks since the Cantar-X doesn’t have to burn all 8tracks all the time.

SoundSuper. From the Main Pulldown Menu select ‘Track->New…’ THE Tim Coston – www. Your current session should look something like this: In the right window you will see the Cantar-X audio files you just imported. Ah-ha! But now you will. The middle window is blank because you haven’t created any tracks for your sessions yet.com Page 7 of 18 .Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 4: Creating separate tracks for your audio.

SoundSuper. but my highest track was Track 5. I only used tracks 1 – 5 in the field. sometimes turning OFF a track or two. So I created a Pro Tool session with 5 Tracks. Later you will see that we move each Audio File to it’s specific track. the boom.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 The New Tracks window will pop up and you should create as many Mono tracks as the greatest number you recorded on the Cantar-X in the field. THE Tim Coston – www.com Page 8 of 18 . For example.

or ‘Spotting’ your audio files into the Pro Tools Session Timeline. I dragged MP0896 group which consisted of two files – track 1 and track 5 (MP0896. don’t worry that they aren’t on the corresponding track.com Page 9 of 18 . First.A5). Then drag-and-drop ONE of the grouped files in the ‘Region List’.A1 and MP0896. THE Tim Coston – www.SoundSuper. Place them ANYWHERE on the track as long as it does not overlay audio that is already on the timeline. When you first ‘Spot’ them on the timeline.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 5: Placing. we will move them later. click on the ‘Spot’ button in the upper left corner (Orange in color below). In the example below.

SoundSuper. the graphic of the audio file in the middle window will move to the appropriate timecode on the timeline.752.com Page 10 of 18 . In this case.000. This is where ‘spotting’ comes in to play. it was at minute marker 0:10. You can see that by the ‘Original Time Stamp’ value of 0:40.000 like the image to the right. that is NOT the correct place on the timeline that the clip belongs.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 The next dialogue box that will pop up is the ‘Spot Dialog’. Once you click OK. You will now click on the UP ARROW button next to the value of the ‘Original Time Stamp’ – in this case 0:40.000. The default values that are put into the ‘Start’ and ‘Sync Point’ boxes correspond to wherever you placed the graphic representation on the timeline. This will fill the values with the ‘Original Time Stamp’ value of 0:40. However. THE Tim Coston – www.

which means ‘Track 5’.SoundSuper. you need to make sure they are on the correct TRACK. we need to move the green clip on Track 2 down to Track 5. So in this case.A5. Now you can reset the upper left button to ‘Spot’ and repeat Step 5 for other audio file groups in the ‘Region List’. First click the upper left corner to highlight ‘Slip’ – like below in green. Then drag the clip on Track 2 down to Track 5 making sure to drag STRAIGHT DOWN so that you don’t shift its timecode.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Now that you have the two audio files in the correct spot on the timeline.com Page 11 of 18 . The giveaway is that the file name is A5 – as in MP0896. THE Tim Coston – www.

I mean just some quick rough estimating. It’s better to keep all exported files under 2 Gigs. you need to multiply the file size by the number of tracks because EACH track file is that big.SoundSuper. THE Tim Coston – www. all of the files in my ‘Region List’ add up to less than 2 Gigs so I can do all of them. For example. Take a look at your Cantar-X Sound Report and see the file sizes. In this case. if your Cantar-X directory was 6. If you were to ‘Spot’ all of the files in your ‘Region List’ and then export an AAF/OMF file. This is too large of a file to handle copying across hard drives and for applications to pull in like Avid. the size would be approximately equivalent to the sum total of those files.com Page 12 of 18 .4 Gigs – then when you went to export the AAF/OMF of all of those files on the timeline. So! For this. we do some ballpark math. Now. your AAF or OMF file would be around 6 gigs.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 6: Preparing your timeline for export. And I don’t mean like 4 hot dogs and 2 beers kind of math.

it is 5.com Page 13 of 18 .97 Non-Drop Apply SRC: uncheck Audio Format: Embedded Audio bit depth(s): 16 Select: Consolidate from source media Handle size: 1000 THE Tim Coston – www. The Export window has quite a few options: This image to the left is the default ‘Export to OMF/AAF’ settings window. So general rule is WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get – if you see 5 tracks on the timeline. If you de-select a track in that window it will disappear from the timeline. From the Main Pulldown Menu select ‘File->Export->Selected Tracks as New AAF/OMF…’ The verbage ‘Selected Tracks’ refers to the Tracks that are ‘Selected’ on the left window of the Pro Tools session window – in our case.SoundSuper.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Step 7: Exporting an AAF/OMF file. We will have the following settings (change where needed):         Export as: AAF Enforce Avid Compatibility: CHECK Target project time code format: 29. you will get 5 tracks in the export.

com Page 14 of 18 . Next will be the ‘Save’ dialog box: This is where you name the actual AAF file that you will be saving.SoundSuper. ‘AAF_TimCostonSample_1215’. Typically I name them ‘AAF_Project_date’ – for example.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 So our final window looks like this: Once you click on OK you will see the ‘Publishing Options’ dialog box: You can leave the ‘Sequence Name’ the same name as your project.aaf’ Click ‘Save’ and grab some snacks! Your final window will be the ‘Processing Audio…’ box. THE Tim Coston – www. Or as you can see previous files in the window of ‘AAF_Monsters_0226-A.

SoundSuper. the AAF file I created with this sample came out to be 1.com Page 15 of 18 . THE Tim Coston www. I like Jameson whiskey and Guinness.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 As you can see.com tim@soundsuper.com THE Tim Coston – www.SoundSuper.91 Gigs: Now go make fun AAF files and save some money on Post!!  I hope one day you are lucky enough to meet me. and if you are. Come by Tom Bergins pub on Fairfax south of Wilshire to buy me a drink or seven.

it is not weird that it happened. but I had to choose ya know.com’ instead of ‘SuperSound.com Page 16 of 18 . FAQ: Why do you call yourself ‘THE Tim Coston’? Tim: So that you don’t get me confused with Tim Koston or Thames Coston or other weird people like that… those guys are freaks! FAQ: Is there a difference in running Pro Tools LE versus a full version copy? Tim: Yes there is. I have created files that were like 2. It happens. because its short for Sound Supervisor. But the main difference in LE and full version is the ability to actually SEE the timecode on the timeline. You can get that with a single DigiTranslator license. In either instance you will need DigiTranslator to be able to export AAF/OMF files. THE Tim Coston – www. If you notice. Basically it means that you had too many clips of audio on your timeline and the resulting AAF file was way over 2 Gigs.3 Gigs in size and had to go back and remove some clips and re-export the AAF. Pro Tools LE timeline is ‘Min:Secs’ and not actual frame rate timecode. If you were good at math. Yes that is weird that you are trying to actually hold a conversation with me in an FAQ area – and no. More FAQs coming soon – and by ‘soon’ I mean ‘as soon as someone asks me and I update this manual’. Then I went to grab a snack like you said and when I got back it was done. which is what the site and my people are dedicated to… that and sound mixing. possibly over 3 Gigs. or the DVToolkit license comes with DigiTranslator. but there was no AAF file in the directory! Weird eh? Tim: Yes and no.com’? Tim: Uh. it would not have happened.SoundSuper.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 FAQs and Troubleshooting: FAQ: Why is your website named ‘SoundSuper. FAQ: What if my Pro Tools craps out when I am exporting? Everything looked perfectly fine when it was processing at the end of ‘Step 7’ in the ‘Processing Audio…’ window.

but there are no MXF sequences. Pro Tools can import an OMF sequence with embedded audio. There is no such thing as an AAF audio or video media file. and export an AAF sequence that either links to media files or has audio embedded within it. To export MXF audio files from Pro Tools. the audio will be extracted into mono tracks using the current session’s audio file format. but OMF sequences cannot refer to or include MXF files. ♦ Note: Video files digitized in Pro Tools are technically in the MXF format.0 or higher must be installed. and Pro Tools can import and play back OMF audio and video.SoundSuper. OMF media files can be audio or video. When you import an AAF file with embedded audio into Pro Tools.com Page 17 of 18 . Pro Tools will import. THE Tim Coston – www. To import OMF sequences. however they are not intended for export. Pro Tools can import and play back OMF audio and video files created in Media Station/PT or other applications. An AAF sequence can refer to OMF and/or MXF media files. or to export OMF audio files and sequences from Pro Tools. but not embedded video.0 or higher must be installed. DigiTranslator 2. DigiTranslator 2. OMF OMF is both a media file and sequence format. but not OMF video. AAF sequences are the best way to exchange projects and maintain valuable metadata. An AAF sequence may refer to or include MXF media files. play back. or have OMF and MXF media files embedded within them.0 or higher is required to import and export AAF sequences with Pro Tools. DigiTranslator 2. Pro Tools can also export OMF audio. MXF MXF is a media file format.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 Appendix A: AAF An AAF is a sequence file format. An OMF sequence cannot reference or have MXF media embedded within it. Pro Tools can import and play back MXF audio and video files created in Media Station/PT or other Avid applications. There are MXF video files and MXF audio files.

com Aaton – www.com THE Tim Coston – www.com/nerd/ DigiDesigns . Ryan Rees – www.wowandflutter.Creating AAF/OMF from Cantar-X Audio files 03-01-08 WEBSITES       Tim Coston’s sound website: www.Digidesign.aaton.www.com Page 18 of 18 .com Wow and Flutter post audio facility.SoundSuper.SoundSuper.aaton.com Post area of Aaton – post.SoundSuper.com Resources for fellow Audio Nerds: www.

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