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Importing Audio

Instructions on how to import audio into Avid DV Xpress, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, or After Effects using QuickTime Pro or iTunes.

NOTE: iTunes has a great deal of anti-piracy features that makes it difficult to use it for professional purposes, such as converting sample rates. It is recommended that you use Compressor or QuickTime Pro for the legitimate conversion of audio files.

Don't use tracks directly off of a CD. They should be converted to the proper sample rate and copied into your editiing/animation program's media folder. You also shouldn't try to use compressed audio files (MP3s, etc). Fortunately you can use the techniques below to convert these to digital audio files that you can use.

First figure out what audio cut you need and the desired sample rate. If you want to use the audio in a DV editing application, you'll want to end up with uncompressed audio (an AIFF file) sampled at 48kHz at 16 bits. CDs are recorded at 44.1kHz at 16 bits. Compressed audio files (MP3s and AACs) might be any variety of sample rates and bit depths. So you'll need to convert them before you import them into your editing program. Here's what to do:

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 bits for DV)
  • Click Save

Using iTunes:

Insert your audio CD into the Mac. This will launch iTunes. If for some reason iTunes doesn't launch, go ahead and open it.

Before you do anything, open the iTunes preferences and check two things:

  • Go to the Importing section and make sure that the AIFF encoder is being used (not the MP3 or WAV encoder). If you're feeling lucky, you can leave the Setting menu to Automatic. Otherwise, it's recommended that you select custom and set it for the following:
    • If you are taking audio into a DVD application (DVD Studio Pro) or a DV-based project (e.g. Avid DV Xpress), then select 48 kHz as the sample rate.
    • If you're maintaining CD-quality sound, then set it at 44.1 kHz
    • Make sure the sample size is 16 bit. You can leave the Channels setting on auto.
    • Uncheck the "Play songs while importing" if you want it to go faster.
  • Go the the Advanced section and note the location where iTunes will import your audio. Either remember this location so you can later copy the files into your media folder, or change it to your media folder by pressing the Change button.
  • Highlight your selection in the iTunes song window and under the Advanced drop-down menu, select Convert selection to AIFF.

You can now import your newly created file into Avid DV Xpress, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Pro or After Effects.


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