Community member Narek Ambar has been in touch to ask for our advice on how to create smaller Pro Tools sessions when preparing them for archiving so they take up less storage space. Here is Narek's question....
Dear Pro Tools Experts, I'm a huge fan and a big follower and absolutely LOVE your content! I have this issue I was hoping that maybe you guys might know something about as I've searched the internet high and low and had no luck. I am on Yosemite, and Pro Tools 11.3.2 HD.
When I am done mixing a Pro Tools session, I like to consolidate it for my archives and store it onto Blu Ray discs. This is my usual process
Delete all unused playlists
Delete hidden and inactive tracks
Use Strip silence, then click on each clip one by one (sometimes hundreds) in the session and consolidate the audio clips (Shift+Command+3).
In the clip list, select all unused audio, and delete them.
Use Save Copy In with all audio files checked.
All in all, with this method I'm able to bring a 7GB session folder down to around 1.4GB. However if I only strip silence and then just delete unused audio files and Save Copy in, I wind up with a session folder almost the same size as my original session because once I open it, I can still use the handles to pull out all the empty space I cut out with Strip Silence. So I'm forced to consolidate.
Is there a way to highlight ALL clips (independently of each other) and consolidate them at once where they are as separate clips? So if I have a track that contains 4 separate impact hits throughout the song, is there a way to consolidate each of those clips as a separate file in one swoop?
Everything I try, comes back to holding SHIFT or another way of basically joining all those clips I just used Strip Silence into separate, and joining them again with consolidation, which essentially becomes pointless.
I hope all this makes sense, as it's 3:30am right now as I have just consolidated 10 sessions so I'm pretty tired, but my Shift+Command+3 on my keyboard hates me right now and is probably more tired than I am :)
Narek, Compact in the clip list contextual menu is your friend here, see the images above.
Here is my suggest workflow...
Delete all unused playlists as before.
Delete hidden and inactive tracks as before.
Use Strip silence, to create separate clips where appropriate. It the gap is less than 2 seconds don't bother to use strip silence, but for your example of 4 separate impact hits throughout a song, it is well worth using Strip Silence.
Select all clips (you could do this one track at a time of Select All clips in the entire session.
Select Compact in the Clip List Contextual Menu (see above - click on the image to make it bigger).
Read the notes in the Compact window, but it is explaining what you want to do The padding is how much audio to leave beyond any edits. (see above - click on the image to make it bigger). It defaults to 1000 ms - 1 second. I would recommend at least 2 seconds may be a little more. This will enable you to put out from the clip with the Trim tool by the amount you set the Padding to.
Click on the Compact button
Pro Tools will now go through and create audio files for each clip with that extra bit of padding.
From the Clip List contextual menu Choose Select - Unused. Now you will have highlighted everything in the clip list that is no longer in use in this session. (see above - click on the image to make it bigger).
Use Save Copy In with all audio files checked as before.
That will then create a new copy of the session with only the Compacted clips with some padding to be able to tweak the edits in the future, Job done!