Commercial work In the USA with Ardour

I have the opportunity to get some commercial sound design work again. One of the reasons I stopped doing this kind of work was directly related to Pro Tools and commercial DAW applications. I’ve been using Ardour off and on for personal projects for the last two years. These projects don’t have deadlines, compatibility requirements and assets from multiple parties. So…

Who has had success with doing commercial sound design work with Ardour? Would you be willing to share a story about the project? I’d be particularly interested in how you overcame collaborative issues regarding file formats and imported media.

For example, I’m worried that I’ll accept a job, ask if I can use any software I want for the job, be told yes I can then have a hard disk of Pro Tools sessions dropped in my lap with a response of “what do you mean you don’t have Pro Tools? I’ll find someone else, thanks.”

Just tell them you accept sessions as Broadcast Wave Files (BWF), and industry-standard format that can be loaded by almost any DAW (including Ardour). They should export/bounce each track to that format. People even do this between ProTools systems, sometimes.

First of all before taking the job, I would ask, if project you are going to work on has any particular technical requirements you should know about (would be good to have it written down in contract anyway). In case task looks too hard/complicated/sophisticated/ etc., I would pass. It is always better to say “sorry, I can’t…” before it even starts, than to make bad impression later.

Paul above is right, BWF is the most simple solution and probably the best.
I use BWF all the time, never had any problems while working at studios equipped with ProTools, Sound Designer, Soundscape or any other DAW. It works on every contemporary Operating System and probably on every hardware DAW platform.

Of course you might encounter inpatient audio engineer in the postproduction studios who would be angry to waste his time importing all your tracks into his ‘amazing’ ProTools. Don’t worry, just say LOUD that your sound designing job was done on Unix workstation and knowing about too many differences and bugs in some versions of ProTools, it is much safer by BWF import. The part about “Unix workstation” works really nice :wink: as most phony people not knowing clearly what you are talking about would not dig the subject, probably in fear of casting a shadow of incompetence or something. :slight_smile:

To speed up the upload/import process at the ProTools studio, just bring your files on external FireWire hard drive not on CD-R or DVD-R. Impatient studio personnel will be appreciated. :slight_smile: