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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Cubase
Music

The Pool Window in Cubase—Part 4

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Import Medium  

Use the Import Medium function to import media into a project or to the Pool window by selecting the file. This is just like importing the files normally. Use the Import button from the Pool window or click on Import from the Media menu.

You can import a number of formats, as given below:

  • WAV: Standard WAVE files
  • AIF,AIFC,AIFF: Files in the format of Audio Interchange File Format
  • MP3, MP2: These belong to the Motion Pictures Expert Layer Group 2 & 3
  • OGG: Standard Ogg Vorbis files
  • SD2: Sound Designer II files
  • WMA: Windows Media Audio File
  • REX, RX2: This is the default format of Propellerhead ReCycle
  • W64: This format is used so that it can overcome the 4GB file size limit of the standard .wav format
  • MOV, QT: These are the formats encoded by Apple’s Quicktime Video. Use this format to import video files
  • AVI: Audio Video Interleaved file formats. These are widely supported by the Windows platform
  • MPG,MPEG,MP4: These are the standard video file formats that are supported in Cubase
  • WMV: Windows Media Video is a codec used by Windows for their video files. Create files in this format using the Windows Movie Maker software
  • AC3: This format is supported by Dolby Digital. Use to import multi-channel files
  • DTS: These files contain multi-channel information. Use this format if you want to import 5.1 channels into your project

Before you import files into your project, ensure you have installed the correct codecs and drivers for the format. If they are not installed correctly they may not work.

Sample rate also must be same as the project’s settings otherwise the playback speed of the file will be affected. If the file that you are importing is of different sample rate, ensure you convert the file to the correct sample rate in Cubase or any other conversion software.

You'll have to create a new project, otherwise, with the sample rate of the file that you are trying to import.

Once you've selected the file that you want to import into the project, the Import Options dialog box appears. It contains various options that will help you configure the way that you want the file to be imported into the project. 

Copy File to Working Directory

The first option is the Copy File to Working Directory. If you activate this option, the file that you import into the project will be copied into the Project folder. This way, even if you move or delete the original file, the copy of the file will be there in the project folder. 

If you are planning to share the project with someone else, you don’t have to copy the original file, Cubase automatically links the file to the copy that is available in the project folder. 

If this option is not checked, then the file will be referenced to the original location in the project. So if you delete the original file, the file will be shown as Missing in the project. Ensure you activate this option for the safety of the project.

Convert to Project

The option Convert to Project means you can choose if you want to convert the file to the sample rate of the project. If the sample rate of the files are different than the sample rate of your project, the playback speed of the file will be different than the original. It will either speed up or slow down according to the sample rate. Ensure the sample rate of both the session and the imported file are same.

If you are importing multiple files of different sample rates, Cubase offers you the option to convert those files that are of different sample rate to the project. This option is called Convert and Copy to Project if needed. Note, these options are only available if the files that are being imported are of different sample rates to the project.

Split Channels

The Split Channels option splits the channels of the files and put each channel to a separate mono channel in the project. If the imported file is a stereo file, the file will be split into left and right mono channels. By activating this option, the file is copied to the working directory.

Here you can set the default Import Audio options
Here you can set the default Import Audio options

Click the Do not Ask again option to stop Cubase to prompting you to set these options every time you import a file.

This imports the files according to the settings already specified in the Import Medium dialog box. If you want to reset or change these options, click on the File > Preferences

Select the Editing section and select Audio. Adjust the settings under the On Import Audio Files section.

Convert Files

You can convert the files in a project using Cubase. Open the Pool Window and secondary-click the file to be converted. You can convert the following attributes of the file:

  1. Sample Rate: Choose to keep the original sample rate of the file or convert it from 8k to 96k. Note that downgrading the file will definitely affect the quality, but upgrading won't improve the quality
  2. Sample Width: Use this option to convert the sample width of the file to 16, 24 or 32 bit float. You can also choose to keep the previous sample size of the file
  3. Channels:  Select if the file needs to be split into mono or keep it as it is
  4. File Format: Convert the file to WAVE,  AIFF, WAVE64, BROADCAST WAVE or keep the current format
Convert Options
Convert Options

After setting up the conversion options, choose what to do with the converted files. You have the option to:

  • New File: Creates a copy of the original file and converts the new file according to the attributes that were selected in the convert options. This keeps the original file safe and if you need to bring back the file to the original state, you can select the file from the Pool window. This method is good but creates copies of the file and increases the project size
  • Replace File: This converts the original file and is referenced throughout the project. This saves hard disk space, but in case you need to go back to the original file, it will be pretty difficult
  • New & Replace in Pool: Creates a copy of the original file and converts it accordingly before replacing the original file in the pool with the converted file. It references the instance of the file with the new converted file. This is the safest method as it does not remove the older file

Importing CD

Importing Audio CDs is possible in Cubase. Go to File > Import > Import Audio CD. A dialog box appears showing the tracks that are available for import from the Audio CD. Select the files and click OK.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, I've show you how to use the Import menu and the options and advantages of each. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments section below.

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