How to Import / Export Tracks for Collaboration in Pro Tools

Overview

Any audio worker who has ever wanted to share his musical ideas with others can probably tell the tale: It can get pretty damn time-consuming! Although one frequently hears about so-called standards for the exchange of audio projects, the current situation is still sobering.

Many producers and musicians have realized that due to this lack of standards it is best to keep their hands off it and prefer to go for methods that are a bit more elaborate, but work almost anytime: Raw Track Import / Export.

In the following sections you learn how to easily import and export your raw project tracks or stems depending on your DAW.

What to Consider

Call it Bouncing, call it Audio Mixdown or Render in Place. The principle is always the same: For a defined range a stereo audio file including one or more tracks is created. This can often be done in many ways, for example, by incorporating all track's effects and volume data.

But this example is not what we want to achieve here. For others to work on our tracks, we want our material to be raw - that is, without any effects or track settings, like volume or panning. We want files that can easily be re-imported into any other music sequencer software to be processed with completely other effects maybe.

Of course, every DAW has its own process of importing and exporting tracks this way. Find your software in the list below and follow the corresponding link to learn about how to share your project for collaboration.

How to Export Tracks in Pro Tools

  1. Select all the tracks in your session from beginning to end. You can either do this by dragging the selection tool across all your tracks or pressing CtrL + A on your keyboard.
  2. Next go to the Edit menu and select Consolidate Clip. It's important you consolidate your tracks so that they're all made the same size which will allow them to all line up properly when your audio engineer goes to load them into his DAW.
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + K on Windows or Apple + Shift + K on Mac, which will bring up the Export Dialog. Most important thing is setting Format to Interleaved from Mono.
  4. Once you've done that choose where you want to save the individual tracks, you'll want to create a folder and name it your songs name and put (stems) as well as the tempo and the key of your song beside it (just to make it easy for your collaborators).
  5. Click Export.

How to Import Tracks to Pro Tools

  1. Create or open a new project in Pro Tools.
  2. Select File > Import > Audio.
  3. Select the audio files you want to import into your Pro Tools project and click Add.
  4. Click on Done.

Import & Export Guides for Common Sequencer Software