Moving song files between platforms is pretty straightforward but it requires a bit of planning (and usually a bit of trial & error).
Moving projects by consolidating files.
Probably the most reliable way of moving songs between platforms is to make sure all tracks have the same starting point ( i/e bar: 18.104.22.168) and then bounce them all to individual audio files . However even if the source app has a “Bounce all tracks” feature, writing down and then setting up all insert and f/x settings again in the new app this can be fairly time consuming.
But with a bit of planning and what’s know as “printing to stems” we can save some time and make sure we’ll get to the pub before last orders.
Let’s say we’re moving a project to another studio in order to record some bass. In the below screenshot the drums have been mixed together to one stereo file (stem) and all the rest of the music to another. The bass have been left on it’s own individual file so we can mute it once the the bass player have learned how to play it. The point of splitting the music and the drums is so we can adjust the level of the drums to suit the bass player preferences.
If we’re recording vocals, guitars etc or programming drums/virtual instruments instead just set up the file accordingly.
Make sure that you note the BPM of the song and that all files are bounced with the same bit and sample rate. Do not use 32 bit files when moving in between platforms as some apps (Pro Tools, Logic) only allows you to import 16 and 24 bit files. The benefit of using 32bit files outside of an app is also highly questionable. When moving between Windows and OSX or vice versa stick to Wav/Broadcast Wav as file format.
Moving projects using OMF .
If your application supports OMF (Open media format) this can be used when moving projects. OMF comes as version 1 or 2 and although most applications understands both always double check that the app your moving to actually do.
The benefit of using OMF is that we don’t have to bounce all the tracks from the same starting point.
Here the the “stem” example file have been exported from Logic as an OMF file and then imported into Cubase. Notice that the individual audio regions have automatically been placed at the correct position on the time line.
Unfortunately OMF can only be used to export audio files it will not work on midi files and plug ins. To move midi files you need to save them separately as .mid files.
Bouncing or glueing?
Bouncing all the instrument and audio tracks in real time can understandably take more time then we are prepared to spend, although bouncing in real time is preferable to “offline” bouncing.
Instead we can opt to glue the audio regions straight in the arrange window. Just place a short snippet of audio/empty region in the beginning ( at bar 22.214.171.124) of the song and then glue it together with the rest of the file. Rinse & repeat for each track.