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Is there a way to transfer .WAV files that were say recorded in Pro Tools LE onto my fostex mr-8?

Say like I recorded the bass and guitar at my friend's studio on Pro Tools, and then I want to finish the rest at my own home studio. Would I be able to put the wave on a DATA CD, and via USB put it on the mr-8?


anonymous Mon, 01/24/2005 - 09:20

Hmm it's tricky but it can be done. If your fostex can import and export WAV files it should be easy. Just have your friend do a rough mix to wav file and copy that wav to a cd-r. Then import the wav file onto your fostex and voila. You can now do your overdubs. When you're done just export your overdub tracks to wav and fly them into protools. If everything is done right, the tracks should line up perfectly and be in sync.

Stuart Thu, 01/27/2005 - 17:11

I've done it. Requires just a little hacking.

On Windows, you'll need the MR8 WAV MANAGER, which knows how to import and export tracks. If you are a linux user, like me, there is no formal support for importing wave files with the fostex. However, the recorded tracks are stored as RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 16 bit, mono 44100 Hz.

  • Convert your wave into one or more mono files in the above format.
  • Create a new song on the MR-8. Record a few seconds of silence into a track for each wave to import.
  • Since Fostex screwed up the USB interface (requiring a Windows driver for what should be a standard USB storage interface), I then turn it off and move the CF card to my card reader on Linux.
  • I then copy the waves files to be imported over the dummy wave files created on the MR-8.
  • I use sox to determine the elapsed time of each wave. Edit the .adl file in the song directory using your favorite PLAIN text editor (E.g. Notepad on Windows or Vim on Linux). Look at the EVENT_LIST section. Each event has the track it applies to in column 81. Edit the elapsed time field that looks something like ( for each track to match the valued determined earlier. I don't know what the field after the '|' is for. Leave it alone. Don't break any lines. Or change the size of any lines.
  • Unmount the CF and return it to the MR8.
  • Select the new song. Play the imported tracks. You will get an error at then end, because whatever elapsed time value you got is not exactly right for MR8s needs. Use part edit and erase the parts on each track after the error. Now everything is hunky dory. You might need to reimport with a slightly longer estimated elapsed time if you lost the tail end.

It should also be possible to import waves into an existing song. Just create a dummy recording on the track first, find the wave file name in the EVENT_LIST using the track id column, and edit in the elapsed time of the import. However, backup the song first if you try that - this is not a supported procedure :-)

CAVEAT - I have not tried this with the USB interface (indeed, I can't - not having Windows). Since the USB interface only works on Windows, you should use the MR8 WAV MANAGER instead of the above procedure.

You might also use your utility to report the size of the waves produced by the MR8, and compare with the abs time of the end of recording shown by the MR8, and help me figure out precisely what MR8 stores there so as to avoid having to "fix" the end when importing.

On linux, I also skip the "export to wave" step. The sox sound file utility is perfectly capable of converting two mono waves to a stereo wave with the CF or USB drive mounted. Just find the names of the wave files from the EVENT_LIST (the names keep changing each time you record since this is how the MR8 implements undo). This avoids having to reserve space for the final export on the CF card. Not only that, but you can do it with *any* two tracks - not just 7/8. For instance, exporting 5/6 is handy. Sox is also available on Windows - go for it. This is certainly safe to try as long the output file is not on the MR8.

CAVEAT: If you have done any part editing, or redoing starting in the middle, the affected tracks will be stored as multiple wave files. They will be listed in the EVENT_LIST, with the beginning and ending timestamp of each part. In theory, you can convert these to raw, paste them together, then convert to stereo. However, this is complex enough to either require a script that does it automatically, or just go ahead and use the software on the MR8. (But you'll need enough free space for the stereo wave.) I am not sure if MR8 WAV MANAGER handles this for you on Windows. You can avoid this situation if you erase the output tracks before mastering, and don't redo any parts of the mastering process.


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