Before finalizing your project, you might want to bounce to audio. This can yield many benefits. Let’s look into a few.
1. Clarify and cement
Bouncing tracks to audio cements your ideas and crystallizes your focus. It keeps you from drifting into that vicious cycle of changing things up repeatedly – only to end up with no direction and lost momentum.
2. Further options
It gives you further options for creative processing. Working with audio allows things like reversing, time-stretching, slicing up & rearranging, etc.
3. Easier arrangement
It makes arranging easier. It’s much quicker to try different arrange options when all you have to do is throw big blocks of audio around (instead of small chunks of MIDI note data and bits of automation).
4. Easier to visualize
It keeps the arrange page tidy and makes the structure easier to visualize.
5. Waveform-level timing
When you bounce to audio, you can see the actual waveforms in the arrange instead of just midi notes. This provides a much more exact vision of what’s going on and allows for ultra-precise editing of the timing and phase.
6. Easier collaboration
It’s often better to just swap audio files when collaborating. Even if the people I work with are using the same DAW, we hardly ever swap project files. We usually just send wavs. It really seems to help us finish things better and doing this has probably very much contributed in developing our own sound too.
7. You’ll be backed up
You’ll have stems ready for future remixes/rework. Too many times I’ve tried to open an old project of mine in order to do a remix, only to find out some of the files or plugins have been lost for ever.
8. (I lied) It frees up resources
It sucks having to think about CPU or memory limitations when mixing. If you bounce to audio before final mix you free up some of those critical resources.