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When I first started in film, I was coming from a music production angle and could pretty much work on any DAW I wanted, since nothing ever left the program. I was blissfully unaware of the problems with FCP talking with some PC-based products. To make things worse, I'm invested in two of the most unfriendly pieces of software when it comes to playing with others - Sony Vegas and Adobe Audition. For a variety of reasons, I prefer PC over MAC and will continue to work off of PC-based software.

After searching tirelessly on the internet, I feel like these are my options:

  • Continue working with what I have and risk appearing unprofessional when I can't import OMF files and can't export back out via OMF. Most little indie projects don't know any better and I can get away with pushing full tracks back to them. Sony Vegas 8 was fine bringing in AAF from FCP, but seems to have troubles exporting to AAF. I'm at v.9 now, so I may just have to find a FCP buddy to test with.
  • Invest in new DAW software. Cubase 5 supports OMF, but not AAF and appears to be very unstable on the Windows platform. Sonar supports both, but I know nothing about it. Protools and Nuendo are expensive and I'd rather invest in production hardware than software at this point for ROI.
  • Use Pro-Convert PC to take FCP projects or OMF and translate into Vegas formatted projects. Again, I don't know much about this product. I assume it's like the Automatic Duck for PC.

Questions, questions!

Am I just out of luck and need to either spend a lot of money, or continue to work at diminished capabilities?

Does anybody else use PC for their editing?

Is there any other way to work between FCP and Vegas? XML?

Thanks so much for the advice help!!

By the way, wiki had this great DAW comparison chart

  • Maybe someone should add an "Adobe-Audition" tag. – Mark C May 19 '10 at 15:02
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This is probably not what you want to hear, but I'd advise migrating to one of the two major platforms commonly used in film post-production sound, which are ProTools or Nuendo. If you're planning to work in film as a career and build productive, long-term relationships with picture editors and picture departments, then AAF & OMF conversion needs to not be a struggle / science project for you, since you will be doing a lot of it over the course of a movie. ProTools is set up to do that (and I believe Nuendo is as well, although I have no experience with that DAW).

Yes, ProTools is expensive, but it's also the industry standard. Nuendo is less expensive but less commonly used. I have not heard of anyone using Sony Vegas for film post-production sound.

  • covers ears I figured. I appreciate the honest assessment. It's a shame..Vegas has such a slick and pleasant interface and was born out of a nice piece of audio mastering software. I think for now I'll get demos of Nuendo (or maybe Cubase 5) and ProTools and see which one I like. I've never enjoyed working on ProTools, so I may go for Nuendo anyway. I'm at the point that I am refusing nearly all free work, so I'll probably end up holding out until the next quality gig and use the money to get myself up to speed. Thank you! – VCProd Apr 27 '10 at 19:58
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    Please don't wait till you have a big project to learn a new DAW. Also PT doesn't support OMF without digiTranslator. – Josh McHugh Apr 28 '10 at 20:47
  • Definitely, Josh. Hopefully the demos will give me enough usage to dive in and be comfortable with one or the other. – VCProd Apr 29 '10 at 15:19
  • I agree with Jay (birdhousesound) just embrace the mainstream tools. You might be pleasantly surprised, but even if you are not it will save you hours of frustration. – user80 Apr 30 '10 at 17:32
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If you want to easily translate OMFs to Vegas ... with a lot of control, then use AATranslate: http://aatranslator.com.au/. I just completed a major project that was edited in FCP and did ALL the sound work in Vegas giving them a stereo render when done. You get the OMF, translate, drop in a render of the video with its soundtrack for sync ref, and go.

--Jeffrey P. Fisher

  • Down with Vegas! Up with Premiere! :P – Mark C May 19 '10 at 15:01
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I've been using Nuendo on a PC for quite a few years. Nuendo is a fantastic program and blows away Protools when doing audio for video. The inherent tools in Nuendo (OMF, EQ, lanes, SFX search) are far better than PT. Nuendo is about $1800 new for the software and you can use any hardware with it. PC's can be tricky and I do prefer Mac's operating system for stability and usability.

If you plan on doing much audio for video down the road investing in either PT or Nuendo will save you time, money, and headaches. Not to mention clients will take you more seriously.

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