Here is another option to try. This is what I do when I want to do color correction on an entire sequence in Pr with 100's of clips, but keep it dynamically linked:
You can select all of your video clips on the timeline in Pr
Open up a blank Comp in AE that matches your sequence settings
Paste the clips into the comp - each clip will show up on its own layer (with most transitions and effects intact from Pr) and AE will bring over the references to all of the clips into the project window.
Do your work in AE.
Back in Pr, you can go to the Dynamic Link menu item and bring in that comp from AE back to Pr.
Add that DL onto a new video track - this keeps your original sequence intact - with all of your audio work - but overlays a DL layer of all of the AE work. Any changes you make in AE will be reflected on your timeline. When you are finished, you may want to render out that sequence in AE and add it on its own layer in Pr so you will never be stuck with a failed DL error, just in case.
So, what you are saying is basically my third option, only adding the step of adding the comp into PPro to keep the final render in premiere and by that keeping the soundmix...
I'm guessing this is why feature film colorists still work in reels even though there's nothing technically stopping them from doing it all in one huge comp...
I'm leaning more and more towards either that option... or my first. Just render clip by clip... though that makes it hard to keep color consistency when I need to correct just the background... so yours is the prime candidate right now.
Generally speaking, there is no 'one & only' proper workflow. Just keep in mind the following:
- not all effects and transitions are properly translated when travelling from PrPro to AE;
- in Dynamic Link scenario PrPro communicates with AE projects via single instance of headless AE, which creates a bottleneck. See this good old thread on Dynamic Link workflow, pay attention to Todd's comments;
- since AE allows to set a DI as a proxy to dynamically linked comp, with reasonable amount of dynamically linked comps in PrPro project you can enjoy the best of both worlds, instantly switching between a DI and dynamically linked comp back and forth with no needs to replace anything in PrPro timeline. Test on your own with which amount of dynamically linked comps setting DIs as proxies still work. For my rig test 30 min sequence built out of 935 dynamically linked comps, which are just source footages in their own comps, hence, the equivalent to rendered DIs set to proxies, takes around 27 hours to render, while 30 min sequence built out of the same 935 source footages renders in real time.