What do you do when you are trying to open a very old Pro Tools session with Sound Designer II files that was saved on a Mac. Community member Radek Dolezi got in touch with a question along these lines.
Radek Dolezi asks....
I have some very old Pro Tools session files can you please help? I'd like to export some very old sessions (PT version 3 maybe - i guess) for my friend, but every audio file is packed/compressed with some strange format - with .lls extension. Do you know, what could I do with it? Thanks for your suggestions.
The .lls file extension is one used in the inner working of Windows so I fdon't think its that. I suspect it is .sdII or sd2, which is the native audio file format in earlier versions of Pro Tools, known as Digidesign's Sound Designer 2 file format, often shortened to SDII with a file extensions sd2.
Sound Designer II files were only ever supported on the Apple Mac platform. In the earlier versions of Pro Tools you could save a PC compatible version of the session which would convert all the audio files from sd2 to wav.
However there is a second issue, and that was prior to Mac OS X, Mac files had two parts, a data fork and a resource fork. It was pretty easy to loose the resource fork and it was this part of the file that had all the key information like time stamp, sample rate, bit depth etc. Without the resource fork you are pretty well screwed.
From Pro Tools 10 and above Pro Tools no longer supports SD2 file, but it will open sessions with sd2 files and automatically convert them to .wav. So your first option is to open the session with Pro Tools and hopefuly all will be well. However if the project has been through a Windows machine or burnt onto a DVD then you may well have lost the resource forks. This will make it very difficult.
There is a neat little app called SdTwoWav from Rail Jon Rogut that can batch convert Sound Designer 2 (sd2) files to BWF (WAV) files, and since sd2 files on the PC are interpreted as RAW data files, this can also be used to batch convert raw data sound files to BWF files. SdTwoWav maybe able to sort out the damaged sd2 files and convert the to .wav, but you aren't out of the woods yet. You now need to persuade Pro tools to link to the new wav files instead of the old sd2 files. As long as the file names are intact then it may be possible to force re-link the session to point at the wav files instead of the sd2. files.
How To Force Relink A Pro Tools Session
- Open the session with the relinking problems
- Skip the ‘automatic find’ options as you will already at the point where these haven’t worked for you.
- Once the session opens, there will be, of course, a number of sky blue regions denoting media Pro Tools can’t find.
- Go into the Window menu and select New Workspace.
- Select the session from the Locations column in the Workspace window.
- In the Project Browser go into the session’s audio files folder and select an audio file you want Pro Tools to relink by force.
- Right click on the file and select Relink, this will put that file into the Relink window.
- Now open the Workspace Browser from the Window menu and find the file you would like Pro Tools to link to but for some reason it can’t find.
- Drag that file into the Candidates section of the Relink window.
- Click on Relink button to the left of the file in the Candidates section and then click on the Commit button at the top of the Relink window and the file will be relinked and very quickly the blue regions relating to that audio file will regain their normal look.
- If the file you relinked was not inside the session folder you might want to consider using this final step to fix it. In the Project Browser select the relinked file, right click and select Copy and Relink. This will get Pro Tools to make a copy of the audio file and put it into the session’s audio file folder and link to that copy rather than the file somewhere else on the system. It is always safer to have all your audio files inside the session’s audio files folder.
Any other suggestions from the community?