Alignment probem exporting and importing

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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:58 am

kojac11 wrote:Gale, so what you are telling me is that if two people have Audacity in different locations they cannot work on a project together.

No that's not what he is saying.
Working in different locations adds a bit of complexity to the task of multi-track recording, but it is perfectly possible.

The easiest way is to send the entire project to your collaborator rather than the individual tracks.
The downside of this method is that Audacity projects tend to be very large, but it is possible, either by using a file sharing service such as "dropbox", or by copying the entire project onto a disk and posting it to them ("snail mail").

Note that to send an Audacity project they will need both the AUP file and the _data folder.
A convenient way to do that is:
  • Before you start, create a folder on your computer.
  • Open Audacity, then "File > Save As" and save it into the folder that you have just made.
  • Do your recording and whatever editing that you want to do.
  • "File > Save"
You now have the entire project within the folder that you created in step 1.
Make a Zip file copy of that folder (you could use WinZip or similar)
Upload the Zip file to a file sharing service or burn it to a disk and send it by post.

When your collaborator receives the project, they will need to "unzip" (extract) the project from the Zip file onto their computer, then they can work on it.
To send it back to you they can use the same process.

Note that if you are working on different operating systems, you need to be careful about file naming. Windows in particular has a long list of naming conventions that you must stick to. The safest policy is to use only lower case "a to z", "0 to 9" and underscore "_" in file names. Those characters are universally safe on all platforms.


If the above is not practical due to file size, please say so and we can describe alternative methods.
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:37 pm

kojac11 wrote:Gale, so what you are telling me is that if two people have Audacity in different
locations they cannot work on a project together.

I was pointing out merely that your terminology was incorrect, which might confuse others reading this.

You said:
I also tried exporting as audacity project

but Audacity either "saves" projects in a format only Audacity can understand, or "exports" files in various common audio formats like WAV or MP3 that other audio programs can understand.

If Audacity saves a project, it does so as an AUP file and a _data folder. The _data folder contains many uncompressed audio files a few seconds long in an "AU" format that only Audacity understands.

Saving a compressed copy of a project is a "hybrid" - it saves an AUP file and _data folder but the _data folder does not contain uncompressed AU files. Instead, the _data folder contains compressed files in the common "OGG" format which Audacity exports there. If you don't mind the project audio being very slightly lossy, saving a compressed copy of a project makes the project very much smaller than saving a standard project.

The only rational explanation that after Export Multiple, tracks are misaligned by a few seconds is that you have some tracks which begin at the start of the song and other tracks that start a few seconds later. To avoid Export Multiple ignoring the space at the start of the tracks that start later, you have to generate a little silence at the start of those tracks, as I described.

Or you can save a project instead which should preserve all track alignments.

steve wrote:
  • Before you start, create a folder on your computer.
  • Open Audacity, then "File > Save As" and save it into the folder that you have just made.
  • Do your recording and whatever editing that you want to do.
  • "File > Save"
You now have the entire project within the folder that you created in step 1.
Make a Zip file copy of that folder (you could use WinZip or similar)

It is also worth pointing out that you should File > Close the project before making the zip file of the AUP file and the _data folder.

If you just File > Save Project then make the zip, the _data folder will contain "extra" AU files that are there so you can undo and redo edits if you want to. However the AUP file will not list these extra files because they are not necessary for the currently saved state of the project. Therefore if you reopen a project that was zipped up while the project was open, Audacity will complain about these extra files, calling them "orphan block files".

If that happens it should be OK to delete the orphans if everything is working as it should, but it is safest to tell Audacity to "continue without deleting" when it complains.


Gale
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:30 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:It is also worth pointing out that you should File > Close the project before making the zip file of the AUP file and the _data folder.

Oops. Good point, I forgot to list that step, but it can make a huge difference to the size of the Zip file as well as the "orphan file" warning that you mention.

For clarity I'll give those steps again:

  • Before you start, create a folder on your computer.
  • Open Audacity, then "File > Save As" and save it into the folder that you have just made.
  • Do your recording and whatever editing that you want to do.
  • "File > Save"
    You now have the entire project within the folder that you created in step 1.
  • Close Audacity.
    This allows Audacity to clear up the "undo history".
  • Make a Zip file copy of that folder (you could use WinZip or similar)
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by kojac11 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:36 pm

Thanks all, I think you've solved my problem I really appreciate the advise. I have one more question, is there any way we can get audacity tracks individually into Logic for eq mixing etc.? I'm guessing export muliple won't work.
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:42 pm

steve wrote:Close Audacity.
This allows Audacity to clear up the "undo history".

True, but only File > Close (leaving Audacity open) is necessary.

Gale
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:48 pm

kojac11 wrote:I have one more question, is there any way we can get audacity tracks individually into Logic for eq mixing etc.? I'm guessing export muliple won't work.

As we've said many times there is no known reason that export multiple should not preserve the alignment of each track if you generate silence at the start of each track that starts after time zero.

Isn't that the problem, that some tracks start after time zero? Unfortunately, Audacity currently requires the extra step to generate silence at the start in order to preserve starting space.



Gale
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:50 pm

kojac11 wrote:Thanks all, I think you've solved my problem I really appreciate the advise. I have one more question, is there any way we can get audacity tracks individually into Logic for eq mixing etc.? I'm guessing export muliple won't work.

Yes you can use Export Multiple (based on tracks), but in order to maintain synchronisation between tracks you need to ensure that all tracks start at time=0.0

I think Gale may have already given steps for that, but I can't see them while I'm typing, so in case he hasn't here's a step-by-step way to ensure that all tracks start at time=0.0.

Writing in bold indicate keyboard shortcuts.
  • Home
    Cursor moves to the start of the project.
  • Shift + End
    Highlights to the end of the project.
  • Ctrl+Shift + K
    Extends the selection to all tracks.
  • Ctrl + T
    Trims to the selection.
    The above steps ensures that any "before zero" audio has been removed.
  • Home
    Returns the cursor to the start (time=0)
  • Generate menu > Silence. Generate 1 second of silence.
    It does not have to be 1 second, any convenient amount will do. This ensures that all tracks have some audio starting at time=0.0
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by kojac11 » Thu May 01, 2014 3:06 am

Thanks, you guys are the best!
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Thu May 01, 2014 2:38 pm

A slightly quicker "recipe" for deleting "behind zero" audio from all tracks:
  1. Ctrl+A
  2. Shift+Home
  3. Ctrl+T

Note that if any tracks start after time=0.0 you will still need to add silence to the start of all tracks by pressing Home, then generate some silence.
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Re: Alignment probem exporting and importing

Permanent link to this post Posted by kojac11 » Mon May 19, 2014 11:36 pm

That was my problem, I had some tracks the started before zero.

Thanks, again
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