Final Cut to Soundtrack OMF bug: A workaround

Spent most of the afternoon trying to chase down a Final Cut Studio bug.

Today’s task was to generate an audio-only OMF version of my movie for the sound editor. I wanted to check the OMF included the handles and keyframes that I had specified. As Soundtrack can import OMFs, I tried that.

My audio OMFs exported from Final Cut Pro 7 weren’t importing into Soundtrack Pro 3. There was no error reported, the command just did nothing.

After some trial and error, I discovered that OMFs won’t import if they have any clips created using the Bars and Tone generator.

Ironically you are more likely to use bars and tone generators in timelines you export as OMF, as sound editors like pops at the start and finish of sequences on all tracks to make sure everything stays in sync.

The workaround is to make a QuickTime pop by exporting your Bars and Tone frame as a single frame movie, import it and replace the generated tone on all your audio tracks.

PS: Don’t use OMF to transfer information from Final Cut to Soundtrack, use ‘Send to Soundtrack’. I wanted to use Soundtrack to check the OMFs to see if they’ll import into ProTools.

  1. Perry Grinn Music and Media said:

    Hey Alex,

    OMF has been a problem format for almost as long as its been in existence. The pro audio community has offered it up as a sacrificial lamb toward a broader knowledge base of what not to do in software engineering.


  2. seems you wrong. OMF from fcp always worked for me in both protools or stp.
    done that stuff with bars and tone thousand times with no issues.

    • Alex said:

      That’s great for you. All I can post is information that worked for me. With the specific combination of Final Cut and Soundtrack, I got repeated errors until I got rid of the bars and tone generator.

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