ProTools / Logic Session Exchange

February 23, 2013 by Todd Burke

 This just keeps coming up....a band member wants to do some overdubs in Logic. Or a band has made its album in Logic and the mixer works in ProTools or vice versa. After a fairly tedious morning of fiddling, I thought I'd share my findings in the form of a confirmed workflow for moving a session back and forth between the two workstations. Following these directions, you'll be able to maintain region definitions (with the ability to edit later depending on how you set the region handles on the initial export), region names, track names, midi tracks, location markers, and tempo changes. The real downfall is the inability to maintain track playlists, but we've all learned to take whatever we can get I suppose. One needs to include notes when sending AAF files to another person as to the sample rate, bit depth, and frame rate of the export as these things aren't inherently imported. This is the fundamental point of most people's frustration and trouble with OMF and AAF files. These notes were made bouncing around between ProTools 10 and Logic 9.

- AAF, ProTools to Logic

Open your ProTools session, select the audio tracks you'd like to send to Logic

Choose: File > Export Selected Tracks As New AAF

In the following dialog:
Deselect: quantize edits to frame boundaries
No reason to sample rate convert
Audio Midi Options: format should be AIFF or WAV (ALSO IMPORTANT, EMBEDDED WILL NOT WORK)
Bit Depth: should be the same as session
Copy Option: copy from source media
Handle Size: 1000 milliseconds should be fine unless you want the ability to re-edit these tracks later, in which case choose a higher value)
Save, Naming the file “SongTitle”_AAF

When prompted to save the Audio Files to a folder, create a folder within you new "Song Title"_AAF folder and name it "Audio Files"

Save Audio Files

Now, create a midi track

With the new midi track selected, hit File > Export Midi

In The Following Dialog set the following:
Midi File Format: "0" (Unless you'd like to include ALL the session's midi tracks, in which case choose "1")
Location reference: "session start"
Select: "apply real time properties"
Save the midi file to your song's AAF Folder


- AAF, Opening in Logic


File > Open: Choose your midi tempo track

This will create a new session which includes your tempo map from ProTools (as well as any other midi, depending on your export settings above)

In Logic settings set the following:
Audio Settings: set your sample rate and bit depth to match the AAF export settings (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
Synchronization Settings: set frame rate to match the AAF export settings (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
Save your Logic session.

File > Import: Choose the AAF file

Logic will ask where to save the audio files. Choose the audio files folder of your newly created Logic session.

You may be prompted to find a specific audio file. Unfortunately, you'll need to find this heinously named badboy in the Audio Files folder of the AAF folder. If you find the first one, Logic will find the rest.


- AAF, Logic to Pro Tools

File > Save As:  "SongTitle"_toProTools

Delete all tracks except the ones going to pro tools

File > Export project as AAF, Name the File "Song Title"_AAF

In the following Dialog, set to:
AAF file version: version 2
Convert interleaved to split stereo should be checked (for good measure, PT10 can handle interleaved files apparently, I'm old)
Uncheck Convert files to 16 bit
Dither Type is unimportant unless your converting to a lower bit rate (Select "none")


- AAF, Opening in ProTools

File > Import Session Data

Select the AAF file

Import Session Data as you would any ProTools Session


NOTE: We found that the AAF format maintained region names and track names, OMF did not. We're also seeing a fairly consistent failure in Logic to reassemble the AAF file properly. Occasionally you'll see a region that is labelled correctly and in the right spot but playing the wrong audio. The truth is, the more you consolidate regions before creating the AAF the better. (Less room for error) 

Many thanks to the fearless assistant engineer, Chris Claypool, for bearing with me on this.....we took the time.

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