Batch export for multi episode podcast

I’m not sure if it’s possible to accomplish what I have in mind but am hoping others have already considered this and have a better solution than me.

I’m working on a podcast, so there are multiple episodes. The intro is common to all, so that’s a few tracks starting at 0:00. Each episode has some background ambiance and the voiceover, and then the outro music, since it has to be positioned at the end of each episode (they vary in length). This is four tracks, which I put in a folder. So, for a dozen episodes, I have a dozen folders, each with these four tracks. To render, I have the intro always unmuted, and then unmute the specific folder that I want to print.

There’s a change I need to make, so I have to re-render all episodes. I thought batch export might be able to help, but adding to the queue doesn’t remember the state of the mix. At render time, it renders as things are the moment you start the render. This means I can’t unmute episode 1, add the queue, then mute it and do the same for episode 2. I tried, and both had episode 2 since that’s what was unmuted when I started the render job.

The current approach is that I have to render each episode one at a time. I’m realizing that the batch export feature was designed with stems and multiple render formats in mind rather than what I’m attempting to do, but I’m still trying to see if there’s a way I can make it work. A change to a dozen episodes is one thing. Having to manually render a hundred becomes a very long night.

I’m sure there are many of you who are doing some kind of episodic content like this, and was wondering how you go about skinning this particular cat. Would be grateful for any ideas and suggestions you might have.

Can you post a screenshot of how you have setup the Export dialog.

Also what version of Cubase are you using - things can be done in Pro that can’t in Elements, so it helps to know what’s possible.

Oops. Got used to having a sig with the version in the old forum software. I’m using 11 Pro.

As for the export dialog, I don’t currently have a working solution for the episodic thing, so I’m just exporting a single file from the Stereo bus, same as I would a song.

At the moment I’m experimenting with putting the episodes in linear sequence and assigning a cycle marker to each. I think that might work with the batch export, although I have concerns about having a Cubase project that grows to a week and a half in length as episodes get appended.

In this approach I also lose the ability to have the intro appear only once at 0.00 and have to copy / paste it to the beginning of each episode. And if I want to, for instance, make the intro a little longer (such as a pre-roll ad), I can’t just select all the episodes vertically and move them forward 30 seconds.

There will be trade-offs with any solution, but this is the path I’m currently on. Be great if you know of some tricks that would allow for batch rendering without the problems with building on long, linear project file.

I think you can simplify the task by using Group Channels - one for each episode. Take each batch of 4 Tracks for an Episode and rout them all to a Group. Now you shouldn’t need to worry about muting/un-muting Tracks for different episodes. In the Track Export dialog on the Multiple Tab set it to export each Group individually. That will Solo Each Group as it is Exported.

You could create an empty set of Tracks plus the Intro and replicate that to create each new episode’s Tracks. Probably can do that with a single Key Command and the PLE.

On further reflection (since happy hour has arrived in California) what I’d do in your situation would be to create a Template with the Tracks described above replicated for however many episodes are in a season. Then each Project is a season and each folder an episode.

Worth some thinking on that approach, thanks man.

And here’s to happy hour! :slight_smile:

Spent some time playing around with both approaches. The problem I realized I had with the group method was my vocal chain. On the vocal track I have a handful of plugins. In the original configuration I could point all the vocal tracks to a single vocal group and put the chain there. However, creating multiple groups meant I’d have to replicate that plugin chain on each episode. Instead of six for all vocals, even a dozen episodes puts me at 72 instances. While I’m sure the system could handle it, continually adding that chain seems inefficient at best.

With the linear approach, I have to duplicate the intro audio event for each episode, but with only a few audio tracks to deal with I can greatly reduce the number of plugin instances. It’s still a hassle if I have to do any kind of edit such as inserting an ad later. I handled that by rendering both the mp3 and a wav version. If, in the future, I have to do something like that I can drop the waves into a project, do the slice and insert on them, then render the mp3s. Batch render was very nice for this two format export, which of course is more in line with the original intent.

One flaw I see in batch rendering mp3s is that while there’s a naming convention you can use for filenames, there’s no similar functionality for the mp3 ID3 tag so that was a post-render job of editing the properties on each file.

Overall I’m pretty happy with what I can accomplish using the batch export. It’s a great new feature, and while there are always trade offs in any approach, this is far less painful than manually rendering one at a time, waiting for it to finish, then doing it again ad nauseum. Great stuff.

(rant on)
I think most folks are way too concerned about supposed ‘efficiency’ when using their computers. Now of course if you are at risk of maxing out your computer (or getting a bit too close), you need to avoid that. But most of the time it is not worth it to try and reduce the computing resources used. This is because computing resources are transitory, they only exist in a single moment and then disappear. So at any moment either you are using those resources to do something useful, or they are being used to do nothing.

An analogy is to think of eating a meal. Trying to save resources is like eating eating part of a meal and saving the leftovers for later. But computers don’t work like that - anything you don’t eat right then gets thrown in the trash.

So go ahead and duplicate those effects across a bunch of Tracks, especially if doing so makes it easier for you to work. If you have unused computing resources and use them to make your life easier, well isn’t that why we use computers in the first place.
(rant off)

:grinning: Yeah, point well made. In my defense, I’ve been a professional software developer for three decades now, so my thought process has been abused in any number of ways. At first I considered therapy, but it turns out tequila is cheaper.

Well there you go!