Logic Pro to Pro Tools And Back Again: Transferring Sessions Between DAWs

No matter how attached you are to your DAW, one day you'll likely need to transfer your project to another app. Joe Albano shows how to transfer from Logic Pro to Pro Tools and back again!  

Everyone has their favorite DAW to work in, and most people are very attached to their workstation of choice, but eventually there comes a time when it becomes necessary to transfer the individual elements of a project to a different program. This can happen for a variety of reasons'"the project may be sent to a mix engineer who works in a different DAW; it might be going to a studio to record additional tracks using a different program; musical collaborators on different platforms might need to exchange full sessions back and forth as they contribute to the arrangement. 

In each of these scenarios, the person on the receiving end will likely need full creative control over all the individual tracks. But a session saved in Logic format cannot be opened by Pro Tools; a session saved as a Pro Tools file cannot be opened by Cubase, etc. To complicate matters further, there may be MIDI tracks as well as audio, and the target studio/artist may require full MIDI editing control as well, to do what's needed. 

Unfortunately, there's no one all-encompassing solution to this. There are a number of standardized file formats that a project/session can be exported as, which should be able to be imported to most, or at least some, other DAWs, including OMF and AAF, among others. 

(Fig 1) Export Selected Tracks as New AAF/OMF

(Fig 1) Export Selected Tracks as New AAF/OMF 

Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. He's also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz... Read More


I've found perhaps a time-consuming, yet really helpful workflow for importing Pro Tools files into Logic.

If you have the luxury of having access to the Pro Tools raw session files, import the material into the Audio Bin first. This will handle organizing the files. From there, you drag the files into Logic's arrange page. Certainly you'll end up with a pretty huge session if you're working with lots of takes. What's great though, is that if you select all of the files, go to Edit > Move > Move Regions to Original Recorded Position, Pro Tools embeds this information into the files. All of the tracks will now be placed in their correct location on the timeline.

From there, you highlight tracks by groups. For example, if you have a series of snare takes, select them all. Then right-click and choose to compile these takes into a take folder. Viola! Continue for all instruments, and delete the no empty track lanes. Pro Tools session imported and ready to go in Logic.

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