Pro Tools Session File Repair, Conversion, Relinking

Using a modern Pro Tools setup (on either Mac or Windows) you might run into problems opening sessions created in the 90's to early 2000's (PT1 to PT 5) on Mac System 7.x, 8.x, and OS 9.x, OSX 10.0.x - 10.4.x which may report missing audio files. Even after searching and locating the files on the hard drive, Pro Tools will often still be unable to bring them into the session. This is an issue with the Sound Designer 2 (aka SD2 or SDII) file format, and often occurs when the project files are stored on a disk that is not the HFS (Hierarchical File System) native Mac format, such as a Windows disk format like FAT32, ExFat, or NTFS without first being zipped (.zip) or stuffed (using Aladdin Systems Stuffit .sit format). This can happen if the files are move from a Mac to PC on a USB flash drive or hard drive that is FAT32. SDII files lose their resource fork, which is a kind of meta data that contains the bit rate and sample rate, when not stored on a disk using HFS. PT 10 was the last version to work with SD2 files but the on-board re-linking and converting to .wav files does not always work right or can be very cumbersome to relink manually. Deep Signal Studios can resolve these issues and repair Pro Tools files in situations where SD2 files can not be played in the session file. We can also convert Pro Tools sessions made in 10 or 11 to PT7, PT8, or PT9 session. In addition to repairing and restoring Pro Tools files, we can convert your Pro Tools projects for use in other DAW formats including Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, Ableton, Garage Band, or any other DAW or sequencer file format you wish by exporting each track as a .wav file. We can retrieve sessions from Jaz, Zip, DDS tapes, or DVD-RAM.

Pro Tools 2 Over the years, Pro Tools has released many versions of the software, ranging from HD (aimed at the professional market) and more basic versions like Pro Tools SE and LE. In 1995, AVID acquired the Digidesign and over the years, Pro Tools has gone through many changes, including dropping TDM and then RTAS plugin support formats, introducing the AAX format in Pro Tools 11, and also changing the native audio file format from SDII to WAV while AIFF is still an option.

Pro Tools 11Pro Tools, originally named "Sound Tools" was first launched in 1989. At that stage it was a basic audio editor for stereo files. After further enhancement, a new version of the program was developed and renamed Pro Tools, which offered 4 tracks of digital audio recording. Digidesign continued to enhancement the Pro Tools software, added a MIDI sequencer and multitrack recording at 16-bit / 44.1 KHz. By 1997, Pro Tools reached 24-bit, with support of up to 48 tracks. Since the late 1990's Pro Tools has become the industry standard for disk-based digital audio recording. Pro Tools files or OSX and Windows can be identified by the file extensions .PTS, .PTF, and .PTX. Pro Tools on Mac System 7.x, 8.x, and OS 9.x have no file extension. Pro Tools 11

Sending Your Files

ALWAYS zip your files before sending them to us. Mac Pro Tools files made with PT 1 through 8 will need to have always been stored on a Mac HSF file System during their lifetime like a hard drive, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DDS tape. If they were ever stored on NTFS, ExFat, or FAT32 (Windows file systems) they will be corrupted and the session file cannot be recovered. The sd2 audio files can be converted but if you made edits it will be painstaking to reassemble the hundreds of audio files some sessions have without the session file. DO NOT TRY TO OPEN VERY OLD PRO TOOLS SESSIONS in current Pro Tools that do not have file extension by adding .ptf or .ptx, you will damage the file! Just get them to us using Usendit, Dropbox, Wetransfer, Starchive, etc. You must Zip them first. If you use Google Drive use the option to share with anyone with the link. If they are on a PowerMac, G3, G4, any other Mac who's browser cannot connect to the modern internet DO NOT move them to a current computer by using a USB flash drive that is not formatted for MacOS in HFS. Most USB flash drives are formatted in ExFat or FAT32. While early version of OSX can read these, copying native Mac OSX files to them without formatting them in HFS first will corrupt the files.

Pro Tools 4 Pro Tools 4.2 Pro Tools 5 Pro Tools 5.1

If your Pro Tools session files have one of these icons visible in current MacOS (or still using a machine from that period) they will be OK. Pro Tools Windows session files will not have any of the above problems.

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Why Choose Deep Signal Studios?

  • File conversion work and tape transfers can be tedious and frustrating. Your time as an artist is better spent working on your music and mixes on a platform you know.
  • All work is completed by certified engineers with over 20 years experience with DAWs, MIDI sequencers, notation software, synthesizers, samplers, and tape machines. We have comprehensive knowledge about everything that has come and gone, as well as all current and emerging platforms.
  • Services are performed by native English speakers in the recording capital of the world, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Your files are secure. All work is performed in-house and in strict confidentiality. Client files are archived for 30-days upon completion of the project, and promptly destroyed thereafter.