Session Interchange

I’m guessing it’s primarily there for legacy, but does anyone use the AES-31 for anything? Since using it, I’ve read a bit about how it’s been superseded by AAF and OMF, and wonder if anyone makes use of those either for session interchange between programs. And their connection with the existing Wavelab XML export and import. Is the XML in Wavelab a generic import/export that’s close to being AAF or OMF with a few mods? And do they all use XML? Is the Wavelab XML for Wavelab only or is it read or writable by any other programs?

The WaveLab XML is only for WaveLab.
AES-31 is used by people more in the way “import into WaveLab”.

What is your need?

We would be DEAD (or at least wasting several hours per day) if we did not have AES31 import-export available.

The average length of our production is 6-15 seconds long. Average order by client=12 cuts, with 5-8 mixes per cut = 96 mixes per client. We record and mix in Nuendo, export mixes via AES31. Import AES31 into Wavelab. Do this 2 to 3 times per day (we can produce several clients per day)

Why AES31?
If you try to cut and paste, or AAF, OMF, WAV import. The mixes would be imported in Alphabetical order, not mix order. If you had an edit between 2 mixes, WL would create 2 separate mixes out of it. You would spend quite a bit of time ordering your mixes the way you intended.

With AES31, it imports the mixes in the correct order, treats edits properly AND it imports markers that give us yet MORE information. AND with AES31 you are not Copying files (creating more unneeded drive usage) you are simply creating a audio decision list (no bulky audio files) just pointers on where to access the files.

And all of this great benefit takes 10 seconds to export in Nuendo, and 10 seconds to import into Wavelab.

I feel like I have only scratched the surface of why AES31 is useful to us, and perhaps explained it badly, but …
Time saver, labor saver, Priceless !!!

Yes people out there use this feature.


Thanks for the explanation Brain. Very cool. It’s a moot point because Wavelab doesn’t have AAF or OMF, but I would hope those would be configurable to be as functional as AES-31. I heard that Pro Tools dropped support for AES-31 and only supporsts AAF or OMF anymore. But AES-31 seems to be the ticket for you. I found it very simply and logically laid out just in the code. I bought SSL Pro Convert a number of years ago and for various reasons ended up not using it
for anything, but as I recall it included AES-31, AAF, OMF, Steinberg XML as well as more specific program versions (Wavelab, Nuendo, Sonic, Pro Tools, Logic, Samplitude/Seq, pretty much everything). But if AES, AAF, OMF are in every program anyway these days, the SSL program would seem unnecessary in most cases. Not sure.

Thanks again for your post.

p.s. So AAF and OMF don’t always create the new program sessions exactly as in the original programs? (EDL region / clip pointers to the original soundfiles ?). I thought they probably would, since AES-31 did.

I don’t have a pressing need. I’m more interested in how comprehensive it is. It doesn’t seem to transfer volume automation, which, from what I’ve read, is possible. But if no one has asked, not worth you spending time on. Also, fades (other than linear, which are perfect) appear to be approximate. Extremely close, but not exactly the same shapes according to a delta file. Are exact curved fades just not possible in AES-31? Other than that, edits, markers, and clip placements seem exact. I also expected that I might see plugins with settings translated, but don’t see it, so I’ve also wondered if that’s something that’s possible in OMF or AAF.