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Surfing the Broadcast WaveTaking a file on a roundtrip through multiple DAW applications
|This file began its life as a guitar solo recorded in SONAR. It didn't start until midway through the track, as the gray area to the left of the waveform indicates.|
The Broadcast Wave format is an extension of the WAVE audio format, and its extra information includes details such as a files SMPTE Time Stamp reference. When an encoded file is imported into another application that supports BWF, the file lines up precisely at its original position on the timeline. The BWF format also includes metadata information about the origin and history of the file, including an artists name, the take number and the recording date. All of this makes it a seamless format for cross-platform collaboration and archiving.
For instance, a project that was recorded with Cakewalks SONAR 5 on a PC can be edited with Apples Logic Pro 7 on a Mac or vice versa. Many DAW programs on both Mac and PC now include BWF import and export capabilities. In addition to SONAR and Logic Pro, other DAW programs with BWF import/export capabilities include Pro Tools, Nuendo 3, Cubase SX 3, Adobe Audition (just added in version 2.0), Soundtrack Pro (import only), Tracktion 2 (import only) and others. A number of hardware recorders from companies such as Zaxcom, Nagra, Tascam, Fostex, Marantz (and many others) also support BWF format.
|Broadcast Wave export option in SONAR|
It worked perfectly in each case. But if the file had not been in the BWF format, it would have simply started at the beginning of the track into which it was imported. That would have meant manually lining it up relative to other tracks. Although this can be done by zooming into the timeline and dragging the file left and right until its in the right place, this is not practical for a multitrack projects worth of files. For this example, I used only one file, but the same procedure is used to export an entire project in the Broadcast Wave format. Each file in the project, regardless of its length or position, will fall into place when its imported into another application.
One important caveat: When choosing a file or files to export in the Broadcast Wave format, the cursor must be at the beginning of the track, or else the Time Stamp will not be correct.
|File lined up in Logic Pro 7, and then was reexported and sent to Audition (below).|
|Imported from Logic Pro into Audition, and then reexported again.|
|The roundtrip was complete when the file was imported back into SONAR|
Related Keywords:Broadcast Wave, BWF, SMPTE, Time Stamp, WAVE, audio, import, export, multitrack, European Broadcasting Union, SONAR 5, Logic Pro 7