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Logic Express 8 to Pro Tools?

Discussion in 'Music Creation' started by PasToujours, May 3, 2009.

  1. PasToujours

    PasToujours New Member

    Hello everybody, I'm new to the LUG and need a little help!

    I use Logic Express 8. I would like to do some collaborating with a friend of mine, who lives in a different city and uses Pro Tools. The scenario: I would send him my project file, he would open it and edit it as he saw fit, and send it back (or vice-verca). My question is: what is the simplest way to do that? Pro Tools uses .ptf extension, is it not as easy as converting to this, if there is a method? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Alexah
     
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  3. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Alexah,

    This is exactly what I do all the time. Ember After (my "band") is in fact a project in which the members live all over the world. Collaborating using files is easy as can be. There are a number of ways to do it.

    As you've already figured out, the project-file formats of each DAW are not compatible. So there's no way to simply send your Logic project over and have it open up in PT. Solid State Logic distributes a program that is supposed to do it ("ProConvert I believe it's called) but it's more expensive than Logic Express, and I've not heard of any success stories with it. So better to rely on more tried and true methods.

    You can't transfer the song file, but you can transfer all the data.

    For transferring MIDI data, this means exporting all your MIDI tracks as a Standard MIDI File. You'll need to select all your MIDI regions on the Arrange and then choose File > Export > Selection as MIDI File. Note that:
    • If you have quantization on, you'll need to use the command to apply all the quantization distructively, or it won't be saved.
    • If you use aliases or loops, you'll need to use the command to make them into real copies, or they won't be saved.

    For audio files, you have a number of options, depending how much of an exact copy of the Arrange you want to transfer:

    • You can use File > Export all audio tracks. This will export all of your audio tracks and software instrument tracks from the beginning of the song to the end of the song. This is the safest way to transfer your audio, since there's nothing for your partner to try and figure out where to place on his timeline. He just drags it all to the beginning and that's that. All the effects, and effect automation (not volume/pan automation) will be part of each audio file.

    • You can bounce each audio track separately. This takes longer, but will include volume and pan automation, which Export will not. Again, your collaborator just needs to drag each audio file to the beginning of the timeline and it's done.

    • You can bounce/export each and every single audio region as a "Broadcast WAV" (WAV) format new audio file. These audio files will have a "time stamp" that will tell Pro Tools where to put the new file on the Pro Tools timeline. This takes a very long time if you have a lot of regions. For softsynths, you'll need to do a manual bounce for each region.

    • If you like to live dangerously, you can attempt to use one of the "file interchange" formats included with Logic, called OMF and AAC. Theoretically, these preserve the arrangement of all the regions on the Arrange. However, Pro Tools requires a separate product be purchased to understand these formats, so you'll need to make sure your collaborator has a program called "DigiTranslator" to open them. It's very expensive, and like "ProConvert," doesn't always work that well.

    So as you can see, you have a lot of options to figure out what will work better for the two of you. As far as your collaborator returning files to you, just reverse the process; you'll get back audio files and MIDI files in return, and you can load them in your song.

    What I usually do for my non-Logic using collaborators is just send a bare minimum of audio files. Often I can get away with just sending a single stereo mixdown, and my collaborators use that as their basic track and add to that. When I'm asked for more flexibility, I send over "stems"—a single audio file of all guitars, all vocals, all synths, etc. So instead of a single stereo track, I'll end up sending over 5 stereo tracks, all starting at bar 1 and going the length of the song.

    And don't forget to send your collaborator notes for your song: the bpm, the time signature(s), all that good stuff.

    Hope that helps, and have fun! :thmbup:

    Orren
     
  4. PasToujours

    PasToujours New Member

    That's a big help, and a lot of options to choose from. Thanks so much! :)
     

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