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Importing Audio

This article focuses on the best way to bring audio into Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, or After Effects.

#1 Rule: Place a copy of the audio track into your dedicated media folder before importing or linking to it from your editing/compositing software.

In other words, don't import or link to audio tracks directly off of a CD, network drive, or thumb drive. They should first be copied into your editiing/animation program's media folder.

If you are using iTunes to browse for music/SFX:

Find the proper clip. Right-click to name to bring up "Show in Finder"/"Show in Windows Explorer". Copy this audio file onto your dedicated media drive. Then go to your editing/animation software and import the file from your media drive.

Sample Rate Conversion

Most editing/animation programs can accept a variety of audio formats (MP3, AAF, WAVE, AIFF, etc.). However mixing different audio formats and sample rates can lead to quality issues and makes your software work harder as it has to decode and mix different formats on the fly. You'll get the best results if your audio sources are all uncompressed and have a sample rate matching that of your video project. If your video project is 48kHz 24 bits, it's ideal to convert your MP3s to either AIFF or WAVE and to make sure the sample rate matches your project before importing or linking. CDs are recorded at 44.1kHz at 16 bits.

Here's are a few ways to convert the audio format and sample rate:

Using Compressor:

  • Open the audio file with Compressor (or from within Compressor choose "add file")
  • Note the "settings" and "destinations" tab.
  • Choose "settings" and expand the Apple Group, then the Formats group, and then the Audio group. Drag the proper setting (E.g. AIFF 48kHz 16bit) over the file. (Where it says drag settings and destinaitons here.)
  • Now go to the "Destinations" tab. Create a new, local destination- your media folder.
  • Note you have the option to change the name if you want.
  • Press submit and voila, your files will be converted.

Using QuickTime Pro:

  • Launch QuickTime Pro
  • Open the file you'd like to convert
  • Choose Export from the File menu (Apple E)
  • Under the Export drop-down menu, select Sound to AIFF
  • Click the Options button
  • Select the proper sample rate (typically 48 kHz at 16 or 24 bits for video editing)
  • Click Save