I'm helping a friend prepare the sound for his thesis to be handed over to a professional sound house. I am going to have a very limited time to work on it and the university and I use Nuendo and the house uses Pro Tools. My question to all is where should I try and focus? As a mixer/ designer, what would you prefer to have done by a student to help? The budget for the post house is very limited, so the more I can do before handing over the better, but I am not really sure what would be most helpful. I am used to being the only person doing sound for the entire film, and I usually cut all my dialogue first. I am afraid that doing that will not transfer properly to pro tools without being destructive to the audio.

I am also asking this question to the mixer at the house, but I wanted to get some feedback from everyone here. I do have protools LE, but my familiarity with pro tools is minimal at best. Doing anything in pro tools would allow me to hand over a session, but the amount of work I could do in the time would be greatly reduced.

My other thought was to actually do as much design and sfx placement in avid and then hand over an omf that would have more than the average amount of audio work done for student films.

What are everyones thoughts or feelings on it.


Mike Gilbert

  • 3
    What exactly are you doing? Are you editing SFX and dialogue and the whole soundtrack? Or taking already edited tracks and prepping them for the mixing console?
    – Utopia
    Mar 3, 2011 at 17:47
  • @Utopia It is going to arrive to me with no audio preparation. There is a possibility of the dialogue having some cross fades and level adjustments coming from avid. But I would not call it edited. Some music has been placed throughout. The director is editing it, he has been placing and spotting some sfx. Mar 6, 2011 at 22:29

4 Answers 4



Check this out. It might be exactly what you are searching for.


Being a Protools user, I would say the most problematic thing to me when getting projects from Nuendo, is that I can only get an AAF import. This means no plugins, no plugin automation and no sends. So I would prefer the dialogue to be edited with cuts, fades, crossfades and volume automation, but don't spend too much time on EQ'ing as the EQ will be lost in the transfer.

Should you want to EQ or use other plugins, you should export both the tracks without plugins (but with editing) and the tracks with rendered plugins.

If you are doing effects, you should also try and stay clear of insert fx, but render the fx into the soundfiles, so they are transferred in the AAF. If you have an FX sound you are not sure of, include the original sound as well.

Before you get too deep into editing, make a quick test export/import to see what information gets lost.

  • @Morten This is what I was thinking, Do the dialogue editing and for any eq or noise reduction that I use, print the stem and if they like it they have it, and if not, they have some edited unprocessed dialogue to use. Mar 6, 2011 at 22:34

Have your sound rushes near, as well as a copy of the initial OMF you started with. Maybe print them stems of what you've done yourself using Nuendo? The question in the comment under your question can indeed determine better what to and what not to do.


So Ive actually decided to purchase Pro Tools 9 do everything at my own studio and not use the universities facilities. Due to some track limitations and sometimes having to work on a laptop away from my home, I am planning on working in a stem based project workflow DIAL session, Music, Foley, SFX, and BGs, and a master session of the stems. I also planning on making 1 large session at the end combining all the sessions' tracks together. This will leave the options open for the rerecording mixer.

We are only getting 1 day of mix time at the studio unfortunantly so I am trying to have as much done as possible.

I have never really had to make a project that was touched by anyone but myself. So for track ordering with dialogue I am planning on Following the layout in John Purcells book Dialogue editing for motion pictures. Have DIAL A-J some PFX tracks, Work tracks ADR etc.

My question now, when working in a SFX or BG or foley stem, what kind of track layout/ordering is used? Is there a standard or should I just make everything obvious. Do you use 1 track per sound effect or use a set of tracks per scene and then have automation reset any parameters between scenes thereby allowing the reuse of tracks.

It is a short film around 30 minutes long, so It will most likely all be contained in a single reel.

If anyone could send me towards some reference material on that or just a template track listing that you usually start with.

I am still waiting on specs from the studio which will also dictate my layouts.

I am thinking the stems all labeled very well combined with logs,notes, and metadata from any of the sound fx I create should suffice, but then again, I am stepping out of my normal student/independent element and want to make sure I maximize the productivity in our 1 day and hopefully make a good impression on the mixer.


  • Are you sure you can't fit everything in one session? PT9 especially should allow you that.
    – georgi
    Mar 18, 2011 at 10:20
  • @georgi.m I am pretty sure I can fit everything into one session. That is generally how I work in Nuendo on student and shorts. Because I have to be away from my editing system and work on a laptop for a week, I am going to split them up because my laptop is very very weak for running a daw. I am still waiting on hearing back from the house concerning their console, workflow etc. I am really trying to do it his way because of a possibility of an internship may present itself, and there really is not many people in town that could teach me like he could. Mar 22, 2011 at 21:43

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