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There's got to be a smarter way to master 26 individual recordings at once. My workflow is wasting my time, but it shouldn't be.

Summary: I'm looking for recommendations for editing applications (or Services, or scripts) that can perform (or automate) multiple AudioSuite-like operations sequentially. (This functionality would be similar to the way Apple Compressor handles multiple video processing jobs.)

Background: As a media producer at a small graduate school, I work with voice recordings of classroom lectures recorded by Marantz PMD-580s using Sennheiser G3 (and similar) wireless lapel microphones. One course usually yields 26 one-hour recordings. Often the recordings remain in storage for a while, and then I begin editing them all at once. I'm using Pro Tools 8.0.5, which is ancient so I am not expecting an answer for how to do this in my current software. I'm running Mac OS X 10.9.2 (Mavericks).

Workflow: Here's my current workflow, which will give you an idea of how I use AudioSuite, which may not be how those of you who primarily produce music use it. (I think this is more similar to a podcasting workflow.)

  1. Import recorded audio to Pro Tools.
  2. Trim beginning and end of file.
  3. Add fade in and fade out.
  4. Insert EQ, Compressor, and Deesser
  5. Make edits. (I need to listen to all the audio of some lectures but not others, depending on the professor, the content, the class format, etc.)
  6. Select track.
  7. Select track's first insert and copy its settings.
  8. Select effect from AudioSuite menu (the same effect as the one just copied).
  9. Paste settings copied from insert.
  10. Run AudioSuite.
  11. Repeat 7-10 for each insert.
  12. Repeat 6-11 for each track.
  13. Append " - FINAL" to the final AudioSuite product of each track.
  14. Import the " - FINAL" .WAV files into iTunes.
  15. Create MP3 version.
  16. Add ID3 metadata.
  17. Distribute.

There are usually 26 tracks per course. It feels like I'm wasting time waiting for AudioSuite to finish each individual operation before I can start a new one. I've tried selecting and AudioSuite-ing multiple tracks at once, and two negative effects occur, which together are unacceptable:

  • The lengths of the tracks extend, becoming equal to the length of the longest track. This is a problem because it creates dead air at the end of 25 out of 26 tracks
  • The same effect gets applied to each track, removing my ability to customize my edits. This is a problem because as users of this forum will know, the amplitude and tone of someone's voice sounds varies from session to session (class to class) depending on a swath of factors like health, mood, and distance from the microphone.

Goal: I would love to find an application (or Service, or script) that will automate steps 6-12 for me.

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How long are your 26 lectures? Would it be unreasonable to simply re-record your mixes to a new file and create your mp3 from that? Don't know how much time you're wasting while waiting for each audiosuite to render, but by re-recording after editing/mixing you'd:

  1. Sit through it all once, listening to and proofing the resulting file as it goes down. Use destructive record, this affords you the chance to stop and start recording if you hear a problem and keep creating a continuous file.
  2. select the new recordings, export regions as new files (cmd + shift + k)
  3. Export from PT as .wav & convert in iTunes, or directly from PT as .mp3 (can't remember if you need MP3 option with 8.0.5)
  • Each lecture is roughly 1 hour (50-70 minutes). I need to listen to all the audio of some lectures but not others, depending on the professor, the content, the class format, etc. Your suggestion works when I need to listen through the entire lecture, "proofing the resulting file as it goes down". And for the ones I don't need to proof, I could re-record overnight. Interesting idea I hadn't thought of. Thanks. – Crowder Mar 25 '14 at 22:58
  • Is there a way to bounce each track of my mix separately? @SteveUrban – Crowder Jun 3 '14 at 20:03
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    @Luce Goose - If I was making stems of a mix (DX, MX, FX, etc.) I'd accomplish that with proper bussing through Aux Tracks to individual Audio Tracks to create final mix stems all at the same time. But since you're referring to lecture recordings, I'm going with the idea that you want to have each lecture as a new .wav file... in that case, just separate the recording of the lectures into individual regions. cmd+shift+k makes each region a new file, so if each lecture is it's own region, each region will become a new .wav file. – Steve Urban Oct 7 '14 at 6:28
  • Good comment. I've since started freelancing and no longer have access to the machine with PT8 so I can't verify this as an answer, but I'm upvoting because it sounds like a winner. – Crowder Oct 18 '14 at 0:01
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If I'm understanding this correctly:

You need to apply the same plugin settings to 26 different clips.

I'm not sure if this feature is implemented in protools 8, but...

In the top of every plugin there's a section that says "entire selection" Change this to "Clip by clip" Then change the box next to that that says "Create continuous files" to "create individual files"

audiosuite

  • Thanks Kai, your answer gets at almost every aspect of my problem except one: I need the freedom to tweak the plugin from clip to clip. Often I copy and paste the plugin settings from one lecture to the next. But I can't rely on this, because "the amplitude and tone of someone's voice sounds varies from session to session (class to class) depending on a swath of factors like health, mood, and distance from the microphone." – Crowder Mar 25 '14 at 23:04
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sounds like a PT upgrade to 9 and doing an offline bounce would sum up those extra steps.

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