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Using Apple Automater to Change Sample Rates

apple_automater_icon.gifApple has a little known program called Apple Automater that is bundled with OS X 10.4. It lives in the Applications folder. This program is a gem! You can use Automator to perform tedious tasks, such as image or audio processing.

You can even download additional automater actions that provide functionality to create a 'Magic DVD'. In other words, you could drag some media files onto a automater icon, and a DVD would be created automatically! Or you could create an action that exports media for the iPod. The possibilities are endless. After you've created your Automator action, you simply drag your files onto the 'Automator Robot' and everything is processed automatically.


For those who program with Apple Script, you can even create your own Automator actions that tie to your favorite programs. Fortunately, the Automater comes with a hefty set of prebuilt action for a variety of built-in programs that ship with OS X. Better yet, if you have Final Cut Studio installed, there are several pre-built actions that take advantage of SoundTrack Pro's capabilities.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create an Automator action to automatically convert audio files to 48 KHz.

save_as_menu.gifFor Final Cut Pro users, you always need to be careful that your audio files are 48k. Although 12bit or (32k) audio files are supported, Apple has purposely removed the 32k capture preset to avoid potential pitfalls.

Most Final Cut Pro users discover that they can use QuickTime Pro or iTunes to peform a 48k audio sample rate conversion.

A more efficient method would be to create an Automator Action that performs the conversion for you. Using an Automator Action, you can perform a batch conversion, and specify a path of the new files. Here are the steps:

1. Launch the Automator program which is located in the Applications folder on your MAC Hard Drive.

2. In the Library Window click on the Soundtrack Pro Application icon.

3. In the Action window drag the 'Save Audio File' action into the Workflow area off to the right.

4. Within the 'Save Audio File' Workflow make the following adjustments:

- Save: All open audio files documents
- Save a Copy as:
- Use Original File Name
- Save in: Desktop
- File Type: AIFF
- Sample Rate: 48 KHz
- Turn on (Close Documents after Saving)

5: Now you should tell SoundTrack Pro to quit after it's done performing the audio sample rate conversions. Drag 'Quit SoundTrack Pro' from the Actions area to the Workflow area just underneath the 'Save Audio File' action.

Your screen should look like this:












6: The last step is to save an Automater Application Icon that can be used to automatically launched the action. Navigate to the file menu and choose: Save as.


7: Make sure you change the File Format to: Application.

That's it! You should now have an automator application icon on your desktop. All you need to do is drag your audio files onto the Automator and everything will process in for you.

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Editing To The Beat in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Changing duration of multiple final cut pro clips is the next entry in this blog.

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