Exporting SONAR Projects as OMF Files for Use in Other Applications

Last updated on 3/28/2016

Return to Part 1- Importing OMF files

An Ounce of Preparation...

If you plan to export a SONAR project to another program that can read OMF files, it pays to consider three things before you start your SONAR project:

  • Sample rate and audio bit depth of the target system
  • Number of tracks the target system can handle
  • SONAR and most other audio programs do not include Video in OMF file

While sample rates and bit depths can be converted after you export a project, it saves a lot of time to avoid conversions, if at all possible.

To Prepare a SONAR Project to Export as an OMF File

1. Make a copy of the project you want to export, and then only work on the copy to prepare for export.
2. If you have any MIDI tracks you want to export in the project, either record them as audio tracks, or put them into a Standard MIDI File that the other program can read.
3. Delete any tracks you don't want to export.
4. If you want to export volume or pan automation that is represented in SONAR as volume and pan envelopes, you will need to Edit-Bounce to Tracks or Edit-Bounce to Clips to mix the envelopes into new audio tracks or clips.
5. If you want to export the sound of any plug-in effects that you have patched, select the tracks that have the effects patched, and then use the Process-Apply Audio Effects command.
6. Create a text file to send along with the OMF file, detailing the tempo and any other important information about the project.

Exporting SONAR Projects as OMF Files

After you prepare a copy of your project to export, exporting is straightforward. Check with the engineer at the target studio to see if there are any special instructions for exporting, such as whether they want the file in Windows (RIFF Wave) or Mac (AIFC) format, which you can choose in SONAR's Export OMF dialog. If you've booked time at the studio, arrange to have your project played and inspected at the studio the day before your session, to be sure your project is as expected.

To Export a SONAR Project as an OMF File

1. Use the File | Export | OMF command.
2. The Export OMF dialog appears.
3. Enter a File Name (maximum 64 characters-SONAR limits name length for ISO CDR compatibility), and in the Save As Type field, choose OMF Version 1 or 2. Most applications expect Version 2, but check with your engineer.
4. Audio Packaging: usually you should choose Embed Audio Within OMF, which includes the audio data in the OMF file. But you should check with your engineer.
5. Split Stereo Tracks Into Dual Mono: see what your engineer wants. If exporting a 24-bit project to a Pro Tools system, enable "Split Stereo Tracks Into Dual Mono," as some Pro Tools systems do not support 24-bit interleaved stereo files.
6. Include Archived Tracks: you can choose to include archived tracks in your exported file.
7. Mix Each Groove Clip As A Separate Clip: if you have several Groove Clips in a track SONAR exports them as one clip unless you check this option. If you check this option, SONAR has to do a separate export operation for each Groove Clip in the track, which is very time-consuming. If you only have one Groove Clip in a track, and you have rolled out numerous repetitions of the clip, SONAR exports a single clip that is the length of the original clip and all the repetitions, which is not a time-consuming operation.
8. Audio Format: ask your engineer what format the studio uses, Windows (RIFF Wave) or Mac (AIFC).
9. Click the Save button.
10. SONAR exports the project as an OMF file.

You can also open OMF files to SONAR from Pro Tools and other programs that can export OMF (File-Open command). Read the tip on importing OMF files into SONAR.

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