How to export an AAF from Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer

In this article we’ll take you through the correct settings for exporting an AAF from Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer. We’ll also run through the settings for exporting a Quicktime reference video file. An AAF file will export all the audio from your NLE timeline at the correct timecodes which we can then import into Pro Tools for editing and mixing.

Before you export the AAF there are a few things you need to do to prepare your session:

1 – Add a burnt in timecode(BITC) to your video

2 – Add a sync pip at the start and end of you sequence. This should be a one frame 1kHz audio tone placed exactly 2 second before the first frame of action and exactly 2 seconds after the last frame of action(download 1kHz Sync Pip). This will help us to see and hear if anything slips in the transfer process so we can quickly sync it back up.

3 – Label everything and organise your audio tracks in a logical order i.e:

1-10: Dialogue

11-16: Production Audio

17-20: SFX

21-25: Music

4 – Ensure any clips with effects on them have been rendered. Please leave the original clips on a separate track below the processed version(labelled appropriately).

Adobe Premiere Pro

1. File⇒Export⇒AAF

2. Settings:

Mixdown Video – Check

Breakout Mono – Check

Render audio clip effects – Most of the time you will leave this unchecked but if the effected is integral to the sound then check it.

Include clip copies without effects – If ‘Render audio clip effect’ is checked also check this option

Sample Rate – 48000

Bits per sample – 24

Files – Separate Audio

Preserve media directory name – Uncheck

Format – Broadcast Wave

Render – Trim Audio Files

Handle Frames – 150

3. Create a folder to export the AAF to and click save. Depending on how big the project is this may take a while.

4. Once exported in the folder created you should see an AAF Media folder with all the related audio files in, a MXF video file and the AAF file.

Avid Media Composer

1. First make sure the Audio Project Setting are correct:

Project Bin⇒Setting tab⇒Audio Project Settings


Sample Rate – 48kHz

Sample Bit Depth – 24 Bit

Leave the rest on the default setting

2. Exporting AAF – Select the in point at the beginning of the sequence and an out point at the end of the sequence. Ensure all audio tracks are selected

File⇒Output⇒Export to File

3. Click on Export Setting⇒Options


Export as – AAF

Use Marks – Check

Use selected tracks – Check

Include audio tracks in sequence – Check

Export Method – Consolidate Media

Handle Length – 150 Frames

Convert Audio to Sample Rate to Project – Check

Convert Bit Depth to Project – Check

Convert Audio File to Project – Check

Audio – Folder

Use Same Folder As AAF File – Check

4. Click Save and make a folder on drive to save the AAF and the Consolidated Media too

Export a Quicktime reference video

When exporting the Quicktime reference video please note the following:

  • Ensure it has a burnt in timecode(BITC)
  • Encoded with the Avid DNxHD or ProRes Proxy codec. At present please avoid codecs such as H264 as they are notoriously unreliable in Pro Tool.
  • Set resolution to 1920×1080
  • Include the audio mix from your NTL in the reference video. This will help us get an idea of the directors intensions for the mix as well as allow us to check sync against the AAF.

Now put everything into one folder and zip up the complete root folder to avoid anything being lost or corrupted in transfer. Upload it to us here.

If you have a question or need help get in contact.