Importing OMF files into SONAR 2.1

Last updated on 3/28/2016

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With OMFI (Open Media Framework Interchange) support & Broadcast WAVE support SONAR 2.1 lets you collaborate and exchange project files with users of other programs and platforms. Support for OMFI and Broadcast Wave files provides cross-platform compatibility with OMFI host applications such as Pro Tools, Avid and Logic systems. If a Pro Tools or other audio software project is saved as an OMF file (Open Media Framework file), you can now open it in SONAR 2.1. SONAR can also export projects as OMF files that you can open in Pro Tools and other audio software.

SONAR 2.1 is a free download to registered SONAR 2.0 customers. If you are a registered SONAR 2.0 customer you can access the download here (please have your serial number ready).

A few general guidelines for preparing OMF files for import into SONAR:

  • OMF version 2 is preferred
  • AIFC can take slightly longer to open, as the data must be converted to WAVE on read, so WAVE is the best choice.
  • If exporting from Avid Xpress DV, select "embed" (not "link") when exporting the OMF file, and don't include any video.

OMF Explained

The OMF format, or OMFI (Open Media Framework Interchange, means the same as OMF), is a file format that can be read by many professional-level audio programs. OMF files contain two basic types of information:

  • Audio and/or video files, referred to as Media
  • Information needed to put the Media data in sequence—known as the Composition

The OMF file supplies the following data and information:

  • Tracks.
  • Clip positions—an OMF file's EDL edit resolution can be either frame accurate or sample accurate. SONAR can read either, but always writes sample accurate. The clip position is specified in absolute samples.
  • Slip edits.
  • Fades and crossfades (as destructive edits)—SONAR renders any fades when it writes OMFs, creating separate clips for any fade-ins or fade-outs. SONAR slip-edits the original clip to make room for the fade-in and fade-out clips. If you export to an audio program that supports slip editing, the user can delete the fade clips and roll out the original clip to return to the original raw audio (without fades) if desired.
  • Sample rate and audio bit depth.

The OMF file does NOT supply the following data and information:

  • Volume and pan envelopes—OMF does actually support limited automation. However, as with Nuendo and most other OMF host programs, Gains and Pans are ignored (on both read and write) in SONAR as they are only supported on MONO tracks (OMF limitation).
  • Plug-in effects.
  • MIDI data.
  • Tempo.

Whoever supplies the OMF file that you want to open in SONAR should also send along a text file containing all pertinent information about the project, especially tempo.

To Open OMF Files in SONAR

1. Use the File | Open command, which opens the Open dialog.
2. In the Files Of Type field, select OMF File.
3. Navigate to the folder that contains your OMF files, select the OMF file you want to open, and then click the Open button, which opens the Unpack OMF dialog.
4. If you know the exact tempo of the file, enter it into the Initial Tempo field. It is always preferable to know and enter the project tempo at this point. If you don't know the project tempo you can open the file at the default tempo and then change the file's tempo later, but this will cause the clips to move.
5. If you have previously enabled SONAR's Use Per-Project Audio Folders option, which is located in SONAR's Global Options dialog, then the Store Project Audio In Its Own Folder checkbox is already enabled, and the fields under it are available. If you want to use this option, fill out the fields below the checkbox; otherwise, disable the checkbox.
6. Click OK.
7. SONAR opens the OMF file.

You can also export SONAR projects as OMF files (File - Export - OMF command).

Part 2 - Exporting OMF Files

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