One of the most important additions to the feature set of Pro Tools with the release of version 11 is the ability to bounce faster than real time. Maybe they didn’t shout about it so much as this has been available in other DAWs for years, and Avid have been ruthlessly sticking to their ‘real-time equals perfect quality’ mantra against growing pressure from the industry, particularly those in post-production.
Imagine the scenario, a long session, a complex mix, and as the session draws to a close the client just happens to mention that they don’t want to walk away with just a finished mix file, but bounces of all the stems. In post, this might include dialogue, music, atmospheres, foley, etc. In the music world this might include guitars, vocals, drums, etc. If you forgot to quote for the time that this would take to bounce in real time, the Pro Tools guy (which may also be you) will be working for nothing! Faster than real-time bouncing addresses this issue, and here’s how:
New Bounce Options
Firstly, let’s take a look at how to bounce in faster than real-time mode:
- To bounce a session go to the File menu and choose Bounce to > Disk (Option-Command-B) as before.
- To enable ‘faster than real-time’ click the Offline checkbox.
Small but powerful.
Each stem in your mix will be represented by a bus and an Aux track where the tracks return to the mix. There may also be a Master track which is used to control the volume of the bus at the point it enters the Aux track/channel.
Tip - To connect multiple tracks to the same Aux track in one go:
- Select the tracks you want to connect.
- Shift-Option-Click the Send selector and choose ‘track’ or ‘new track...’ depending on whether or not the Aux track already exists.
To bounce the stems:
- Open the Bounce to Disk dialogue.
- Choose the bus which carries the stem you want to bounce from the ‘Bounce Source’ pop-up menu.
The ‘Bounce Source’ pop-up menu.
- Type the file name.
- If necessary, create a subfolder for stem bounces by clicking the Choose button (next to Directory).
- Tick the Offline checkbox.
- Click Bounce.
What They Want
The file format of bounced files is the same as the session by default, but more often than not the client will require the stems in a different format. In order to bounce stems to your requirements, but provide the client with copies to their own specification, try the following:
- In the Bounce dialogue, tick ‘Import After Bounce’.
Tick ‘Import After Bounce’.
- Bounce stems as above to your own specification.
- For each bounced stem choose ‘Clip List’ as the destination in the ‘Audio Import Options’ dialogue.
Choose ‘Clip List’ in the ‘Audio Import Options’ dialogue.
- From the Clip List menu use the ‘Find’ command (Shift-Command-F) to locate all files with the word ‘stem’ in them (assuming you included the word ‘stem’ in the file name when you bounced!)
Shift-Command-F to open the Find Clips window.
- Select all the stem files.
- From the Clip List menu choose ‘Export Clips as Files’ (Shift-Command-K).
Choose ‘Export Clips as Files’.
- Set the file parameters and destination in the ‘Export Selected’ dialogue that appears.
Set the file parameters and destination in the ‘Export Selected’ dialogue window.