One of the most common Media Composer workflows is sending your timeline or more specifically an audio session to an audio engineer to have them give it a much needed standard mix, 5.1 mix, check it’s loudness or any one of the many tasks that your audio needs to go through, before it’s exported with your video on your finished master. I’ve been a Media Composer editor for a long time, and was part of the editing team that did the very first Media Composer -> ProTools -> Media Composer digital roundtrips, when I worked at the Discovery Channel Canada a long time ago. Believe it or not, as much as the process has changed with the updates to Media Composer (and ProTools for that matter), it’s also remained relavitely unchanged, and can be a simple process if you follow this single piece of advice. Listen to your Audio Engineer/Audio Post House.
The reason that I say to listen to your Audio Engineer is that every Audio post house is different. Some want their audio embedded in their AAF….some don’t. Some want the video included as a mixed down Media Composer file, and some want a separate DV file (yes, some Audio houses still use DV widescreen files as their reference files). The point is that once you know exactly what the proper process is for getting the audio out of Media Composer, everything else is in the fine details. In this lesson, we’re going to look at the two most common export methods. AAF Embedded audio and Non-embedded audio. Which one is better? Well, one has a definite advantage over the other, the question is, which one is better for your workflow?