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How do I rearrange Pro Tools sessions?
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superkev07
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12th November 2005
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Question How do I rearrange Pro Tools sessions?

I'm trying to take a massive Pro Tools session (7 songs, all with 3 playlists) and divy it up so that each song has its own Pro Tools session. Is there any way to do it other than to save a session copy w/ audio files, then deleting all the unneeded audio files? That's quite time consuming. I was hoping there was something that would let me select a region, then do a save copy with only the audio files selected or something. Any suggestions?
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What about doing a 'save as' for the particular song first, then highlight all the songs you don't want, choose "clear selected" then do remove NOT delete. You should be left with just the song you want. Then do the save session copy, and only the audio files for the song that's left will go to the new folder. Re-open your original session and repeat.

Not too different than what you said, but by removing stuff before the save session copy it will go faster and save you from having to sort it out after the copy.
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i'd do just what gsharp said. then i'd call the original engineer and yell at him for being a dumbass and putting all that stuff in one session.

*ONE SONG PER SESSION!!!* (sheesh... you think these guys would learn...)

--jon
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You should DEFINITLY get a hold of the other Engineer and SLAP HIM... I bet it was an old school kat??? In my exp. the oldschool kats I've delt with think protools is a TAPE MACHINE and try to use it that way...
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Wait a minute - I know that if I'm tracking a band (or an artist and full rhythm section), I'll do exactly that. it's way better than opening a new session for each song - just from the time-saving aspect. I break it into individual songs later, in the manner that's been mentioned before.
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No disrespect to the OLDSCHOOL KATS... But if you set up a templet before you start recording you will save yourself a whole lot of time on the back end...
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Just remove all but one song, then remove unused audio and do a save session copy in for that song. Next close the session without saving, and do the same for the other two songs. Shouldn't really take much time at all since you are only copying the audio files that are used for each song. Then in the end you can jsut delete the original session.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio1420
No disrespect to the OLDSCHOOL KATS... But if you set up a templet before you start recording you will save yourself a whole lot of time on the back end...
I'm old school (way old) but I agree with Audio1420. I hate to mess around with sessions that have multiple songs on them.
Learn to use the "stationery pad" on Protools (I'm on a Mac) and all kinds of problems disappear.

A short tutorial:
Set up a session with, say, 32 tracks with the i/o routing the way your converters and you work normally.
Save as "32 track template" and close it.
Highlight the icon "32 track template" and type command I (info).
When the info box appears you'll see a box labeled....Stationery pad. Check it.
now every time you start a new tracking session, start up from a copy of 32 track template that you have copied to the drive you want to record to.
It will ask you if you want a new session or want to change the template. Hit new session and label it with band name .....example......The skunks template.
With the skunks template open, label the bass, drums, guitar channels etc that you will be using for tracking. Save this session and close.
Do what you did for 32 track template. Command I. check stationery pad.
Now, for each song you start with the skunks, open skunks template . It will ask if its a new session...yes. Name it skunks/song name.
It will open with the instruments all laid out.
Sounds time consuming...it's not.
After making the original 32 template and putting copies on all your cutting drives it's just a matter of making one template for the group with the instruments laid out and re-opening that for each new song, naming it with song name. very quick and easy.
Thanks, I'm done. And i'll never have to copy onto my drives one of those sessions again that is 80 gigs with 14 songs each with multiple takes only to find out that the song we're looking for must have been on one of the other 80 gig sessions that is also in the same messed up state.
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12th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio1420
No disrespect to the OLDSCHOOL KATS... But if you set up a templet before you start recording you will save yourself a whole lot of time on the back end...
but none during the session. i just tracked 11 songs that way, and we could bounce around quickly on the overdubs (let's do all the shakers now, let's do, guitar now), i could put plugs in and not have to wait to close and open an new templated session and wait for the plugs to load...musicians appreciate it. i'd rather take the time later when no on is around.

pick your poison.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minister
but none during the session. i just tracked 11 songs that way, and we could bounce around quickly on the overdubs (let's do all the shakers now, let's do, guitar now), i could put plugs in and not have to wait to close and open an new templated session and wait for the plugs to load...musicians appreciate it. i'd rather take the time later when no on is around.

pick your poison.
Good point. Being old school, I work on an analog board so I'm using hardware instead of plugs, so opening and closing sessions (takes all of 10 seconds) isn't a big deal 'cause all my inserts, eq's, compressors, cue sends, fx sends etc. stay always assigned at the board.
You're right. Pick your poison.
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To Each His Own... I just had to many headaches with running all the tracks in one session... To many -9093 errors... That was on an HD3 Accel system... So pick your posion I guess... I just know what works for me and saves the most time in my case....
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12th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superkev07
I'm trying to take a massive Pro Tools session (7 songs, all with 3 playlists) and divy it up so that each song has its own Pro Tools session. Is there any way to do it other than to save a session copy w/ audio files, then deleting all the unneeded audio files? That's quite time consuming. I was hoping there was something that would let me select a region, then do a save copy with only the audio files selected or something. Any suggestions?
One option could be to use the "Separate Region" command, to create seven new Audio Regions, naming them appropriately in either the Audio Regions List or the Track Playlist. The Audio Regions List would be your best bet, then you can create a New Session and use the "Import Audio to Track" command, making sure that the Sample Rate, Bit Depth and File Format are compatible, although you can use the Convert/Convert All Button to convert your files and regions in the Import Audio window.

Hope this helps.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio1420
So pick your posion I guess... I just know what works for me and saves the most time in my case....
hmmm never had those 9093 errors. but yer right, whatever works.

funny, i am a combo of new and old = plgus AND HW inserts (distressor, avalon, digital verbs.....)
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12th November 2005
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IMO There's no excuse.. each song should have it's own session... unless it's a live show (with an audience).

OS X broke templates.. so create a template session before you start tracking and create a new session before each song and use Import Session Data.. it'll take less time than it would to rewind a reel of 2" or put in a leader.

Rail
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i agree w rail, import session data, takes no time
back up every song after its done
takes a couple of minutes
u don't need to set up a template, the first song is the template, set levels for cue a little panning
maybe some verb
being it all right back in, done

you are playing w fire the other way
if it crashed for any reason u r screwed

very, very unprofessional IMHO
it ain't tape, it could all disappear

i do not even know how u would do overdubs over that much real estate

do over dubs, set markers, all in their own little folders
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I've never had a band wait on me while switching sessions, it's two moves of creating a new one and importing the session data from the last one. It takes the band more time to get their act together for the next take. not to mention that keeping everything in one session causes havoc for the audio file naming for me. Also dealing with different tempos on different songs would be a big hastle to me as well as song section marker, etc etc.
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As far as I am concerned there aren't any rules of tracking one song per session.

I would track one song per session, but I can understand if others don't do it, especially Ministers comment makes sense to me!

It's always faster to track in one session than importing tracks/settings even if you can do that very quickly! Changing sessions wouldn't really kill the vibe I think, but if you can move around the songs so quick it might add something to the vibe!

Templates are good starting point, but you never know what tracks are going to be added. Which instruments, which inputs will be used. But as been said, importing is easy since PT 6.

Back to the original topic. As others have pointed out there is no faster way than already descibed. But even then it shouldn't take much time to do it. Just make sure the files from other songs are removed from the regionlist before every copy (be carefull with this!)
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A happy medium might be to as you switch to a new song do a 'save as' to the new title and then remove (not delete!!!) all the previous song's audio from the session. You'll still need to do a 'save session copy in' for each song later but it is faster than doing a new session in a new folder and importing the session data. Pre-sorts the data for you. Saves you from having to fish each tune out of the session.

Remember, these Nashville cats cut more tunes in a day than us LA cats cut in a week. If you can save 3 minutes x 10 songs that means an extra long lunch, or go home earlier...

or enough time to do 'save session copies' on all the songs that you could have done in the first place
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
Remember, these Nashville cats cut more tunes in a day than us LA cats cut in a week. If you can save 3 minutes x 10 songs that means an extra long lunch, or go home earlier...
i work in nashvegas, and the majority of work i see--as well as the much more well known guy that i work for--is one session per song.

in addition, the AES/NARAS P&E wing PT Session interchange guidelines, while they don't specifically say "one song per sesson", they do specify that each session should be named "Song_Name_MASTER" etc.

if i was just treating PT as a tape machine, i might do a whole project per session. the type of work i do, however, results in literally hundreds of edits per track. every note a player comes up with is kept, and might be flown around later. in short, each song on its own becomes a disk allocation nightmare. to have 14 in a songle audio files folder would be a 60 GB nightmare by the time all was said and done!

but, as we've been saying, to each his own. it's just important that, if you're sending the work somewhere else, that you end up in a configuration that both parties can work with.

--jon
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13th November 2005
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Here's an possible argument for the "all songs in one session" school of thought -

I just mixed several tracks for someone, and the first thing I had to do was SRC all the tunes from 96k to 48k - they were tracked on a PT HD system, but I'm working on a Mix|Plus.

Because each song was in it's own session, I had to create a new session for each one, and then import session data and SRC for each song, which ended up being about two hours of baby-sitting the computer. If the stuff had come to me as a single session with a bunch of different tunes in it, I could have imported it just once and then gone away for a few hours while the computer chewed on the SRC unattended. The client ended up paying for the time it took, but it would have saved him some money and me some aggravation if the orginal session had been tracked all in a single PT file.

Just an alternate viewpoint - YMMV

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13th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton
It will ask you if you want a new session or want to change the template.
Well, it did with OS9, but OSX simply opens a new PT session called "Template Copy" or something like that. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Jon Rogut
IMO There's no excuse.. each song should have it's own session... unless it's a live show (with an audience).

OS X broke templates.. so create a template session before you start tracking and create a new session before each song and use Import Session Data.. it'll take less time than it would to rewind a reel of 2" or put in a leader.

Rail
That's the way I do it when I have time, Jon - and I agree with you in general. But... The two projects I'm working on now that have multiple songs in each session are projects where I'm engineering (full rhythm sections), producing, and playing bass. Even the little time that it would take to open a new session is time that I'm not talking to the other players, making decisions, etc...

Usually, in those projects, we'll track basics on 4-5 songs, sometimes with overdubs happening as we go (second keyboard pass, or another guitar), and sometimes, someone will stay after to do their overdubs.

It gets a little more time consuming when you have to re-open a sessions, then add tracks for the overdubs (setting the routing and stuff) and to the track, and then have to do the same thing again 4 more times. Those of us who aren't working by the hour (yet are paying the talent by the hour) do what we can to minimize the time that they have to sit around waiting for us...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin
Well, it did with OS9, but OSX simply opens a new PT session called "Template Copy" or something like that. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong...
Hey Dave, I switched from OS9 to OSX this year and didn't notice any change in the "Stationery pad" process. I may not have described it properly. Check out the Protools manual as I'm pretty sure it explains it. Before I used this technique I really had to scramble to keep up with the song changes, now that I'm set up with the template routine it really has made life easier. I think that it's well worth investing a little time in to see if you can get it to work for you. Best regards, Rick
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Dave, try opening the template from the ProTools File Menu, otherwise if you click on the template icon it will result in the behavior that you described.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Jon Rogut
OS X broke templates.. so create a template session before you start tracking and create a new session before each song and use Import Session Data..
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin
Well, it did with OS9, but OSX simply opens a new PT session called "Template Copy" or something like that. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong...
First: Hi Dave! Good to see you back around these parts...

What OS and PT versions are you running that don't allow the "edit/create new session" from stationary pads? Rail appears to be saying that doesn't work anymore, as well...

I haven't done it lately (mixing more than tracking) but it does work on my OSX system; What's up with that?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin

It gets a little more time consuming when you have to re-open a sessions, then add tracks for the overdubs (setting the routing and stuff) and to the track, and then have to do the same thing again 4 more times.
Yeah, I doubt that any method is perfect for all situations, but in the case that you mentioned above here's how I handle it.
Since I've started with a template that has 32 in/outs routed on it when we get to overdubs all I have to do is type in the instrument on the track I want and make it record ready, no routing required.
I realize that it is not as fast as multiple songs per session (probably an extra 30 seconds required) but there are so many problems that I percieve with the multiple song approach that I feel it's worth the effort. As an example, I have had multiple song sessions come in where the overdubs are a zoo to figure out because they had to add so darn many tracks across the session to accomodate all the different instruments that are required because of so many different songs, so i'm spending time scrolling up and down the screen to see if shaker 3 was used on this song or not and rearranging the tracks for every song so I can see what I need to keep track of things, and then the next song is a whole other easter egg hunt to sort out, which of the 54 tracks was used on this song etc. The one song per session helps me to keep the song layout logical and keep the mysteries to a minimum.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
Dave, try opening the template from the ProTools File Menu, otherwise if you click on the template icon it will result in the behavior that you described.
I'm just clicking on a session icon in my recording drive that I've named as "32 track template". I do have it out of any folder, just showing in the drives window. I make the new template specific to the band/session and save/close it Highlight it /get info and click "stationery pad" and then do have to pull it out of any folder the Mac put it in so it shows on its own in the drive window. Then everytime I click that template I name it as new song and bingo. ready to go. Again, only about thirty seconds to have a new song up with same naming/routing.
No problems here. Mac G5 OSX.
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14th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton
I'm just clicking on a session icon in my recording drive that I've named as "32 track template". ...No problems here. Mac G5 OSX.
That's what I've been trying, but it doesn't behave as it used to (G5, OS X PT 6.9, I think).

When I know what I've got going on during a session (that is, I know what songs I'll be recording, and the instrumentation), I'll set up new sessions for all the song titles and then and import the tracks and routing from a template. And a lot of time - for instance, when I've got a keyboard player in to do overdubs on a whole record - I'll import tracks from a 'Keys Overdub" template that includes MIDI tracks for the modules as well as audio tracks for things like organ and electric pianos. Those are not only routed, but named as well. And mapped to specific modules.

But here's a new thing - it happened today, while I was separating some of those previously mentioned sessions. I have a session with 4 songs in it; I did a "Save As" one of the song names. Then I removed all of the audio from the other three songs from the edit window, then removed unused tracks. So the track window only showed the 18-20 tracks we actually used. I then "Saved Session Copy", so that only those 18-20 files would be in the new session, and geass what? All of the files were moved to the audio files folder of the copied session. instead of less tahn a gig in the new session's audio files, I still have more than 4 gig in there. What happened?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin
That's what I've been trying, but it doesn't behave as it used to (G5, OS X PT 6.9, I think).

When I know what I've got going on during a session (that is, I know what songs I'll be recording, and the instrumentation), I'll set up new sessions for all the song titles and then and import the tracks and routing from a template. And a lot of time - for instance, when I've got a keyboard player in to do overdubs on a whole record - I'll import tracks from a 'Keys Overdub" template that includes MIDI tracks for the modules as well as audio tracks for things like organ and electric pianos. Those are not only routed, but named as well. And mapped to specific modules.

But here's a new thing - it happened today, while I was separating some of those previously mentioned sessions. I have a session with 4 songs in it; I did a "Save As" one of the song names. Then I removed all of the audio from the other three songs from the edit window, then removed unused tracks. So the track window only showed the 18-20 tracks we actually used. I then "Saved Session Copy", so that only those 18-20 files would be in the new session, and geass what? All of the files were moved to the audio files folder of the copied session. instead of less tahn a gig in the new session's audio files, I still have more than 4 gig in there. What happened?

You'll need to clear out the unused regions before doing a "Save Copy"

If there are still files in your region list it'll copy them over even if they're not in the edit window.

Best of Luck!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly
You'll need to clear out the unused regions before doing a "Save Copy"
i think dave said that he did that. i'd guess, dave, that you have the "save all audio" checkbox (or it's called something similar) checked. this might have copied all of the audio over.

i've had problems with just the opposite... i'll do a "save session copy in", and it will just create a session document... no folder or audio files!!! just another reason to put one song per session to begin with ;-)



--jon
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