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Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

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Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:51 pm

I am looking for some advice on some best ways to get organized with regard to keeping pieces of songs and instrument mixes organized as I write parts of songs and audition various virtual instrument presets. More specifically, when I write something I like and have a mix of virtual instruments that I really like, what are some best ways to catalog the parts of songs and instrument mixes to recall at a later date when you I come up with ideas for the rest of the song? Hope this makes sense. Thanks.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:34 pm

What system(s) are you using? Different DAWs will have different mechanisms for identifying and naming parts etc.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby Wonks » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:41 pm

Simply saving versions of the project with a suitable unique name will allow you to go back to mixes you've liked. It's really up to you to find a way of naming them so they mean something to you. just adding a few numbers to the basic track title won't tell you a lot. You might find that a combination of that and a notebook you can write a fuller description in (or Word file or Excel spreadsheet etc.) is enough.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:53 am

I'm using Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Studio One. I guess the problem, perhaps due to self imposed limitations, is that I am in one DAW file auditioning different instrument presets with different midi tracks. I guess what you are saying is save this file as multiple versions and name them with relevant names, using Excel do explain more if needed. That's what I thought might be the solution, but seems like workflow stopper. I guess it is what it is. Thanks guys.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:07 am

I wish there were a way to be able to round robin though all of your items and instrument mixes. It's also burdensome to have to go opening a bunch of DAW files to find your past ideas and instrument mixes. If only there were a better way.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:18 am

You can also export an audio mixdown of each saved version, saved in a dedicated folder, so you can listen to the mixes in that folder without having to re-load a project each time. And I did first suggest a pen and paper reference system, as it's slightly less disruptive to the creative work flow than having to open another program each time (if you don't want to leave it running in the background taking up some computer resources).
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:38 am

alexlimbert wrote:I wish there were a way to be able to round robin though all of your items and instrument mixes. It's also burdensome to have to go opening a bunch of DAW files to find your past ideas and instrument mixes. If only there were a better way.
I have a bunch of rough mixes sitting in my Dropbox that go with me everywhere. Once in a while I will go through them and see if inspiration strikes. If anything in there starts to age I delete it and move on.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned with my creativity is being able to let go. That amazing riff you created 8 years ago will most likely remain just that - a riff and no more...
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:30 am

Wonks wrote:You can also export an audio mixdown of each saved version, saved in a dedicated folder, so you can listen to the mixes in that folder without having to re-load a project each time. And I did first suggest a pen and paper reference system, as it's slightly less disruptive to the creative work flow than having to open another program each time (if you don't want to leave it running in the background taking up some computer resources).

Thanks for the advise. I started adopting this with the addition of a few extra steps that haven't been workflow killers.

1. Bounce track to WAV in dropbox folder X with the name Y.wav
2. Take a screenshot of the virtual instruments and screenshots being used. Save it to dropbox folder X name Y.jpg
3. Save the midi clip(s) being used to dropbox folder X with the name Y - Drums.mid, Y - Melody.mid, etc.

The files are all together since they all have the same name from left to right, with only slight modifications towards the right side of the names.
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:32 am

The Elf wrote:
alexlimbert wrote:I wish there were a way to be able to round robin though all of your items and instrument mixes. It's also burdensome to have to go opening a bunch of DAW files to find your past ideas and instrument mixes. If only there were a better way.
I have a bunch of rough mixes sitting in my Dropbox that go with me everywhere. Once in a while I will go through them and see if inspiration strikes. If anything in there starts to age I delete it and move on.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned with my creativity is being able to let go. That amazing riff you created 8 years ago will most likely remain just that - a riff and no more...

Great ideas! Going with them. Much appreciated!
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby Wonks » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:59 am

Glad you've found some methods that don't slow you down! :thumbup:
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby alexlimbert » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:54 pm

Thank you. I realized I messed up above. This is what I meant to say.

2. Take a screenshot of the virtual instruments and presets being used. Save it to dropbox folder X name Y.jpg
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Re: Newbe wanting to get organized when it comes to storing songs and instrument mixes

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:04 pm

I cringed when I read you're using 3 DAWs. ouch.

I gave up on PT when it started deleting .wav files on me. But versioning and file storage is one of my biggest challenges. I think big studios have interns for file maintenance...

I've been trying to train myself to set up a folder system that's both flexible and clear. One of the things I've had to do to support this approach is update the default save locations in both the DAW and larger, more sophisticated instruments like Superior Drummer 3. for example, I try to avoid using the default preset folders for my own presets. I put them in a different folder and organize them by software.

I can't say it's been wildly successful, but then again I can't say it's been more trouble than defaults and at least I can credit myself for the resulting headache :-)
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