How do you send a project over the internet?

Hi - I signed up to Hightail (formerly known as YouSendIt), and sent some raw tracks for a project over to someone. It was a 4-minute project, and the stereo mixdown .wav file was about 86MB. There were only 10 tracks (each sent with and without automation) + the mixdown file, so a total of 21 tracks.

I realized after it got started sending that every track sent was 86MB, even though some of them only had a few seconds of actual audio on them. So this was almost a 2 GB “send”, and it took hours to upload, and will take hours to download at the other end.

This is the first time I’ve done this, and I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t do it right? I thought I’d read somewhere that it’s a good idea to send all the tracks with starts at the origin, even if the actual audio doesn’t actually play there. Is there a way to do that but not have an almost empty track take up just as much space as the finished stereo mixdown?

Thanks for any suggestions/help!

If it’s just the audio tracks you are sending - without a DAW project file - then yes, they should all start at the same time, otherwise it’ll be hard for the recipient to line them up properly. However, the endings can be trimmed off in the DAW to reduce the size of the file. Also, unless there is some specific reason to keep them in stereo, many tracks could probably be rendered to mono which cut the file size in half.

Great ideas, thanks! Especially the stereo to mono files. I noticed all the mono vocal tracks were converted to stereo by the rendering/mixdown process.

Does anyone know, if I check the 'mixdown to mono" box in the export audio/render dialogue, does the track come out the same volume, or twice as loud? I’d have to believe it would be the same volume, but who can be sure of anything w/ DAWs!

Thanks -

That is dependent on the pan law.

It’s easy to be sure. Just try it.

In regards to our earlier query about how to handle the audio files… if you want to mix down the files in place and not from th beginning to wind up with smaller file sizes, you would tell the person you are sending the audio files to what the bpm is, and then what you can do is label each audio file that you mixdown with the bar #.

So, you would have the following:


and so on. This way the person on the receiving end knows where to put the files in their seq.


My suggestion is to sign up for a Dropbox account, and get your collaborators to do the same. Once you do that, you can move files to the dropbox on your local machine, and they will automatically be synced with a dropbox on line, and that Dropbox will in turn get synced with the dropbox on your collaborator’s machine (assuming that they signed up to, and that you “shared” your dropbox folder with your collaborator).

I just got done collaborating on a video in this way. The upload and download is quick, and in the background. If the collaborator’s machine is on, and yours is on, and both have decent specs, the syncing can happen in real-time while you do other stuff, no problem. No dependency on someone going to YouSendIt to retrieve the file.

Another option is to invest in a top quality compression software, like WINRAR, and compress the bejesus out of the files. It won’t hurt them, and Wav. files compress pretty well. You can save a minimum of 15% doing that.

Last but not least—advanced—if you are doing to do this a lot, you could go the imaging route, getting software like that from O&O. What does this do? Imagine shipping your house over to your collaborator. Now imagine shipping a drawing of the house instead, so that your collaborator can build the house on the other side with his or her own materials. This is how imaging works. The software sends a PICTURE of your files (a FRACTION of the size) and your collaborators computer rebuilds the files on the other side from bits and bytes there.

That’s how I back up TERABYTES of information to a thumb drive in a fraction of the time it takes with idiot cloud backups.

Hope this helps!

Thank you everyone for your great answers!

1magineer, I can’t quite get my head around this part:

Is this a feature of Dropbox that is not available in Yousendit/Hightail? How is the sync accomplished between the two DAWs, is the “position” metadata embedded in the wave file somehow? Does the receiving guy need to have the same DAW software?

Thanks much, sorry for such basic (and probably silly) questions -

Dropbox for a while now teamed up with yahoo mail you can sync your yahoo mail account with drop box in one easy step and send much larger files via your e-mail.

They do recommend installing dropbox to your pc to get all benefits/features but it’s optional.all’s you need is the yahoo email to get started not already have dropbox.

Great for people just wanting to send a large file quickly to someone who doesn’t already have dropbox.

+1 for ZIP (or some other type of lossless compression). They can reduce file size enormously when you have sparse data (like audio tracks containing lot of silence).

Dropbox won’t magically put files into your DAW, and I am sorry if my original post gave that impression. You still have to pull files out of the Dropbox, and put them in the project… but the C7 Pool makes that easy, doesn’t it? :smiley:

As far as sync’ing things in the DAW, If you bounce/export your files properly they will all line up at the zero point, no matter how much silence is there. Trust me, it is easier to repeatedly edit out silence if you need to, than to align tracks.

Let’s say I am doing a vocal for someone. I record the vocal, edit it so that there is nothing but silence between phrases and breaths, BUT, then I bounce it so that there is a solid file starting at the 0 point through the end of the project. THAT is what I send.

With Dropbox, I don’t even bother to compress it.

Here’s how Dropbox works:

  • You sign up.
  • You have an APP on your machine that makes a Dropbox folder appear (seamlessly) as part of your documents folder.
  • You can create a folder here, and it is automatically created on the cloud (there is a mirror on the Dropbox cloud of everything you put in the Dropbox on your computer).
  • You can drag files into the Dropbox, or into subfolders there that you create.
  • You can SHARE any folder on in your Dropbox, with SPECIFIC people (and them only) which they can access with THEIR Dropbox account (but no others in YOUR Dropbox).
  • There is always a copy of the file in the LOCAL Dropbox on your machine, which is automatically synced with not only the one online in the Dropbox CLOUD, but also on every other machine you own that runs the Dropbox app, or that you share your folder with, that has access to folder in YOUR Dropbox account on the cloud.
  • Every time you put a file in a folder or subfolder of the Dropbox on your machine, it is automatically synced with the cloud, and then the cloud syncs with all others as soon as they are online.
  • You can run Dropbox in a browser, or with the app on your machine.

If I could do a drawing it would prove easier to explain. But go here and experiment! There is no risk!

+1 for dropbox. Although for big projects the free account won’t have enough storage space.

Aloha guys,

About ‘Dropbox’

I had never heard of DB until a few weeks ago when a forum member
mentioned it in a post.

I have alway been very very very very afraid of ‘Cloud’ services
(kinda like some guy standing in the alley whispering:
“hey buddy; I’ll hold all yer valuables. and for free” heh! heh! heh!)

But after doing my research of reading blogs. websites
and listening to podcasts, it seemed many many people swear by this service.

So I decided to give it a go.

I uploaded a folder of about one Gig of my most precious client files.

All went according to plan but the next day when I went to edit that folder.

and DB was now showing a message displaying some COMPLETE BULL CRAP!

I totally freaked! And I admit did not really thoroughly
read or comprehend the message but at that point I did not care.

I was insanely angry and that smug lil vox in the back of my head
was screaming at 124db: ‘I told you so’. ‘I told you so’. ‘I told you so’.

Of course I have many many back-ups of all
my stuff, so the info was easily retrieved.

However I will never visit that site again.

So these are just words of caution re: Dropbox.
Be careful.

I don’t care if it was my fault or DB’s fault,
I will never do any cloud stuff like this again. :frowning:
of course never say never



Use Dropbox all the time, never had any trouble with it.

That is a horror story Curteye :frowning:.
Did you use the website or did you install the dropbox client? I’m assuming the latter or I really have no idea how you could’ve lost that folder.

Yeah, same here, Split.

@Curteye: sometimes between syncs, Dropbox will show a folder on one machine and not another. That is a quirky bit that happened to me. But if you go online on the Web, you will see it there. Then you know that the local app just didn’t handshake with your file explorer (whatever you are using).

Anyway, anything I ever put in dropbox is a COPY. I always have an original of anything important in a different folder on my drive. Using the cloud is no different than using another drive on your own PC. If you are backing up, and making multiple copies of critical files, you’re fine.