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  • Exporting a sequence with multichannel adaptive audio tracks to EDL

    Posted by Pawel Gardynik on December 20, 2023 at 4:00 pm


    My project contains 6 adaptive multichannel tracks (track 1 – 10ch, track 2 – 10ch, track 3 – 8ch and so on). These include clips with up to 10 channels .

    I was asked to export the project to EDL for sound post-production, to be imported into ProTools. Obviously EDL can only contain up to 4 channels so I imagined I’d just export the project to multiple EDLs with 4 audio channels in each file. That would result in:

    EDL#1 – track 1 – channels 1-4

    EDL#2 – track 1 – channels 5-8

    EDL#3 – track 1 – channels 9-10 + track 2 – channels 1-2

    EDL#4 – track 2 – channels 3-6


    but when I try to choose the channels from the drop down list in the export window, it shows only the first four channels out of every multichannel track. I guess I’m missing something here.

    I do realize working with simple mono tracks would be the easiest way to go but the editor opted for this solution to keep the sequence less cluttered.

    Any idea how to make it work? Thanks in advance for any hint.

    Pawel Gardynik replied 4 months ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    December 21, 2023 at 2:32 am

    Hey Pawel,

    A bit concerned that your ProTools facility are asking for an old fashioned edl!?

    There are 3 simple things for you to do:

    Insert a 1 frame white Sync/Blob in front of sequence and cover all audio-tracks with it too – this is the good old fashioned way of delivering audio + the ProTools engineer will be confident that they are in sync. And, they can check the track up against the other deliverables.

    Export 1 x MP4 with mixed audio (Stereo) and Burned In TimeCode so they have a reference.

    Export 1 x ISO Wav file of each audio track on your time-line. Make sure that the files are appropriatedly named. Do not call them Peter 1, 2, 3 and so forth. Instead something relevant to the mix like V.O., Dialogue, Nat, SFX, Music – you get the idea.


    Export a AAF that comes with media, Maybe do a small test to make sure that your ProTools facility can read them.
    There is more info on how to do that here:

    Please note that the AAF file can be quite big.

    Hope that this helps.


  • Pawel Gardynik

    December 21, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Thank you, Mads. First of all thank you for the tip about extending the leader sounds to all the tracks. Actually I’ve been asked to provide them with all the above plus the EDL on top of it. I guess this is just the workflow they assumed to make sure they’re on the safe side. Anyway, should I assume there’s no way to use the EDLs in this case then?

    The only idea I had was to redistribute the audio clips the following way, for example:

    A1 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #1 – only channels 1-4

    A2 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #1 – only channels 5-8

    A3 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #1 – only channels 9-10

    A4 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #2 – only channels 1-4

    A5 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #2 – only channels 5-8

    A6 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #2 – only channels 9-10

    A7 – stereo: stereo WAV file #1- channels 1-2

    A8 – stereo: stereo WAV file #2 – channels 1-2

    A9 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #3 – only channels 1-4

    A10 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #3 – only channels 5-8

    A11 – 4ch: 10 channels WAV file #3 – only channels 9-10

    (see the screenshot of the densest part of the sequence for reference – i realize I should rename the tracks for clarity)

    I’m guessing this could make it work although it just makes the whole thing a bit cumbersome. And well, it would mean I’d need to paste for example a 10ch file in three consecutive tracks which feels a bit odd.

    Another solution came to my mind but since I lack any experience with ProTools I’m not sure if that would work. I thought maybe if I chose only four of the file’s 10 channels, they could somehow re-link the file in ProTools with all its 10 channels. I guess I’ll have to just experiment and verify it with them directly…

    Anyway, what do you think?

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    December 21, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Hey Pawel,

    You are very welcome.

    There is always a danger of overthinking these transfers between different Post-Production units.

    The edl is really only good for them to see where the picture edit falls, and as it normally comes without any major VFX changes included, then it is a dumb as goes.
    It is highly unlikely that the ProTools facility will want to auto-conform to your basic edl.
    But do listen to their needs, as they have to work with it.

    I don’t know what your project is, or if the ProTools facility are adding sound like Foley to the final mix. But the more you try and change the locked edit to make one facility happy (the one that you are handing over), the more likely it is that everybody will be upset with you.

    If this is a big project, with multiple stakeholders, there are every chance that your edit will be re-opened, and you will need to put everything back to an earlier version of the sequence to make that change. At which point the ProTools people on their pick-up, might have to spend a day just trying to find out where everything has gone.

    Keep it simple – your edl only have max 4 audio tracks, so that is what you will give them.
    If they want more, they can ask for it.
    You could also throw in an XML – but the AAF is the best you can give the audio-mix, with a video-file that the can check sync on.

    As this will potentially cause alot of pain later, or shortly.

    Hope that this is helpful.


  • Pawel Gardynik

    December 21, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you. Seems right. Then I’ll just export each track separately – the first 4 channels – and will see how it goes. I’ve been just told ProTools should be able to relink the complete files.



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