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Audio Files are Even in length before Mixing?


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I was watching this tutorial DVD video titled Logic Pro 8 and 9 from Alred Music and during the mixing section, the instructor's workflow was to :


Open a New Empty Project File

Drag the Audio Files of the Song to be Mixed to the New Project File

Group the files and Color Code them (ex Drums will all be in Group 1, Colored Red)

(He had about 30 -40 Audio Files)


My questions are:


1. All his audio files were even in length from BAR 1 to the end of the song. Essentially it was all in one region that runs from bar 1 to the end. For all 30-40 files.. how is this done? When I tried to do this on one of my songs, my audio files were not even.


Every one of my files would start on Bar 1 but they didn't all end at the same spot like the instructors example. My Bass would for example be from bar 1 to 5 and my vocals would be from bar 1 to 8.. So when I played my song using this technique it was all out of sequence and sounded like a big cluster


First, I never mixed this way, I mix on the the same file I recorded it. I've never exported my audio files to create a new project then mix that way. More Importantly, how were his files all even in length?!!


I'm a total noobie on this and still learning.


Anyway, any help would be appreciated. THANKS!

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Bouncing out audio with the locators set from 1 to the end of the song (and cycle turned on) is one way to create regions that are all the same length. However, there are only a few scenarios where it makes any sense to do this (and in my experience these scenarios are limited to doing film/tv score mixing). Without getting into the particulars of that... it's unnecessary to bounce out song-length audio files for parts which only happen, say, in the intro of a song and never play again. On the flip side, let's say you have a production where at the very end you have this explosion sound effect. Here again, it's really unnecessary to bounce out that file from the beginning of the song. However, when bringing audio files into a new project, having that track start from bar 1 makes it easy to place the track in the arrangement. Then you can trim that region so that visually the explosion appears in the arrangement where it actually plays.


There are two main reasons for not having Logic (or any DAW) play back a whole load of silence. One is to make it visually easier to see where parts start and end. The second, perhaps more important reason, is to reduce the loads on both CPU and disk access.

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Thank you for the response, Ski! I appreciate it.


Yeah, I thought it was odd that he did it that way. Being a beginner I'm definitely still trying to figure out best practices and efficient work flows.


So what you are saying is he basically bounced every single track? That's kinda nuts right? Thanks again.

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You're welcome!


Yes, it's entirely possible that he bounced out each track from start to finish of the song. I haven't seen the video so I don't know why he took that approach, though the following may offer some insight...


I've done this on occasion myself when sending tracks to an engineer who I haven't worked with before. In this situation I've bounced out tracks from start to finish so that when he lays them up in his DAW (usually ProTools) he can be assured of the integrity of all of the files. Here's what I mean...


Sometimes when sending files via file sharing, occasionally a file can become corrupted or damaged, either by not downloading completely or because of some other glitch. Typically, the damaged or incomplete file will end up being shorter in length than it should be. So if I make all of the files the same length, once he lines them all up from bar 1 in ProTools he can see at a glance if the files transferred correctly.


If there's any downside here, it's that he'll then have to spend time trimming the regions so that silent parts are eliminated, but it's not a total waste of time either... trimming out the silent parts helps the engineer to learn the arrangement, where parts start and end, and eliminates guesswork when it comes to searching for which track a particular sound is coming from.


After I work with a new engineer for a while, on future projects I transition over to sending files that are only as long as they need to be. And particularly in high-pressure situations with impending deadlines, this approach saves uploading time for file transfers and gives the engineer less work to do on his end.

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