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What are you standardly naming your different groups/element? Not satisfied...
Old 18th May 2019
  #1
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
What are you standardly naming your different groups/element? Not satisfied...

I'm going along working on my songs, I'm pretty satisfied but there's just one thing, I'm getting crazy about figuring out how I want to name my groups of instruments/elements.

I know I've raised similar questions here before without that much interest but I figured I'd give it another go and make a thread just about the naming.

I've tried different stuff such as
- Drums, Synths, Guitars, Vocals..

^ that one was terrible for me since most of my tracks are synth tracks and it's just getting confusing.

Other ones includes groups/elements such as Rhythm, Melody/Melodic, Harmony, Atmosphere/Atmospheric, Chords, Plucks, Keys, Strings, Pads, Lows, Highs and on and on it goes....

I just can't seem to figure something good out and I need it to make things a bit more structured so that I can finish my songs, even when the tracks had built up, because right now I just get lost and loose interest in it and start something new.

I'm sure someone could be willing to share how they structure things grouo/element wise?
Old 18th May 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Why don't you try without any groups for a while?
Old 18th May 2019
  #3
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
Why don't you try without any groups for a while?
I did but it's really messy without but well it's not perfect with groups so maybe it's not the way for me but not sure what the else there's to try to create a better structure.
Old 18th May 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 5072d97 View Post
right now I just get lost and loose interest in it and start something new.
Seems you have bigger issues to deal with quite frankly.
Old 19th May 2019
  #5
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Seems you have bigger issues to deal with quite frankly.
Well yes but the thing is that I've been hung up on trying to design a good template to help myself keep going when I'm in a songwriting / production mood.

My personality kind of works against itself because the project needs to be nice and tidy to keep my inspiration and interest in it going but if I stop to fix these things as I'm working on a song I loose my flow and inspiration, then I take a break and usually doesn't come back to it because well, the inspiration is gone and energy levels are getting low.

I have written, produced and finished tracks before (mix and mastering was done at other studios by real engineers though) and even released them on 7" EP and a 12" album (10+ songs but also written and finished about 10 other songs not as profesionally produced and some not released and also did a remix for a song that was released on for a major record label for one of their upcoming artist but this was before these issues really started for real which I guess was about the same time as my 2 years pause on making music.
Just to clarify that I've not just started trying to make music but I have done so for the last 15 years minus about 2 years.

I surely have bigger problem and if you want to help me out with them or give me some tips you're welcome to do so, if it's off topic you're very welcome to send me a pm, I would gladly read it.. but if I'm not just paranoid and you're trying to give me that ****ty gearslutz attitude and came into the thread to make fun of me because of my issues which I most certainly have due to my ADD and Atypical Autism, please just let the thread be. You're really not spending your or my time any wise. If I'm just paranoid and read something into your post that you did not mean I'm sorry to accuse you. I'm just a bit tired that Gearslutz doesn't seem to be a forum that you can ask for advice and help anymore. Or maybe I'm just asking it wrong what do I know..

Okay now you got me going with my typing... but I'll try to mark out below what's not really relevant for the simple question for this thread.
So for those not interested or mot feeling the need for me to motivate and justify my request you can skip this quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive/Justification for requesting examples for those of you that need it
Please. I'm just interested in solving the issues I've currently got. Naming structure might seem like a non issue for most of you but it's one of those things I've gotten hung up on and I'm trying to create a thread about this specific thing and not get out of track and bring up all my problems in one thread because that just makes it so confusing to read.
As soon as I've gotten this thing sorted out I can move on with my other issues as hopefully move forward in my progress.

I've got a very strong feeling about the grouping/elements I use in my songs but I've got a pretty hard time setting a name for them. That's why I'd like to hear how others think about these things since it seems to come rather easy to most of everyone else.

I also feel that my type / genre of music is not very easy to specify in one category at least for me and I'm sure a lot feel the same, which means I cannot go to YouTube and search for "start producing hiphop" or "how to record rock" or "advanced beat making EDM" or "how get your House music to sound like the top producers" etc etc...
I kind of see it as if I try to both write my music as a one-man-band and as a producer, both workflow mixed, maybe that's my problem but it has worked very well for me before and was probably the reason I could finish the previous songs I made rather quick and easy.

Since I'm unable to come up with a song and write it down on a piece of paper and remember how it was supposed to be played and sung I prefer to record it as I go, I do however see it as a demo and I've got well over hundreds of them (some duplicates and some very basic starting points but lots of them original songs with a verse and a chorus, missing some of their lyrics or such) but with a lot of them I will reuse tracks on the final productio, so I'm trying to make the stuff that IS the song well made and well recorded and mostly throw away the stuff that I could change to enhance the feeling I originally had.


Working on a project that's a mess is painful though working on a project that's not setup before start (no template) is really slow and I kind of need to work fast because 3-4 hours into a song playing the same notes makes at least myself really tired and exhausted and to be able to come back and visit the song in the future the project needs to be rather tidy and well structured.
I only use hardware instruments such as synthesizers, guitars, electric bass, drum machines and mics for my voice.
So trying to keep things simple and straight forward in a template is kind of a must unless I could find a good system for making all inputs setup correctly quickly.
I really would apprichiate anyone's help with this and I believe I could have great use of examples on how everyone else does this because over thinking is the issue for me but it's very hard to back down when I've done it for so long.
Worth noting if it wasn't clear is of course that I only work with my own music (occasionally friends music as well..) and I do not have any clients.
Old 19th May 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, sorry, that came out wrong. I apologize. I was in a hurry and I should have paid attention to how I expressed myself.

To make the point I had in my head a bit more clearly and longer; You seem like a smart person and you seem to have identified your problem well. I don't think I or other people can really offer a different way of naming things where it'll make more sense to you, it seems unlikely to me. You know what your music sounds like, what your instruments are doing, and it all has to make sense to you.

In other words it doesn't seem to me that your problem is naming things but actually keeping things organized in the project / mixer. It's very hard to give advice if we don't know what your music is like or how you like to process things.

I don't do mostly music, but when I do mix music I'm pretty formulaic about it out of necessity. I typically mix what a composer has written and recorded. And what I do, which is maybe entirely personal, is to lay out things in a way I think is logical (to me)…:

Drums, Bass, Percussion - from left to right
Audio tracks to Groups to Outputs - signal flows "left to right"
Vocals immediately to the left of my groups

This way I know that my basic rhythm section is always to the far left, and my vocals are always to the far right (of my audio tracks). My groups are always to the right of the audio tracks, and my outputs far right.

My templates all have buses pre-labeled according to the most common instrument types or functions. I can quickly assign things the way I need them.

All audio tracks are mostly lower case, meaning "Kick Drum", "bass" etc.
All groups are all upper case and abbreviated "DRUMS" or "DR+PERC", "VOX" etc.

This way I know that if I see all-caps it's a group. If I see lower case it's an audio track.

But like I said, you seem pretty smart and thoughtful so I'm really not sure how much that helps... Maybe I'm misunderstanding your problem.
Old 19th May 2019
  #7
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
Alright thanks for clearing that out and it's more the posts I've recent years gotten to questions that I find relevant to me that made me jump to conclusion that you maybe were blowing off steam on me but I'm glad to hear that wasn't the case . So no problem!

Maybe no one can help me figure out my problems but just as listening to music can help developing your own sense your own music and your skills I still believe that seeing how others do things can help you if you find someone that match your way of seeing things. I might be wrong and maybe I've got a weird and maybe even wrong way of seeing things that needs to change but I hope not because I'm sturborn and will probably waste countless hours trying to work out how to make things easier to stop and faster to work.

You and I have a very similar way of looking at the rhythmic instruments and stuff like vocals. I too place the drums to the right / on top and vocals on the right / bottom (because that's the way u usually work it, at least a beat first because even though click can be great in some situations I don't feel it boosts my inspiration, though with that that said, for some reason bass has no clear place as it goes somewhere in the middle along with other Synths often even if it's electric bass but I might give it a go to go just below drums in my next try with a template seems logical and I guess that's what I need to figure out, what is logical because I'm not sure, I can see things from so many perspectives (with everything, of course I can make right from wrong but always need to point out there's a bit of objectively) and I get uncertain about stuff very easily, if it wasn't for that I would probably have a much more successiv.

I don't do a lot of mixing except fixing some mudd here and there or cutting or boating a bit to make things pop but I understand that organization is most important in mixing though for me i just want to know because I get extremely objective when listening so it's much easier just seeing where things are and where they're not and it's just really comfortable seeing everything straight forward. Since none of my friends think these sort of things is any fun to discuss I really apprichiate you taking the time to answer!

My genre is typical indie electronic pop/rock with different influences in different songs and I couldn't name any bands that sounds that has the sound I'm going for, but I guess that's just because I'm not very objective about it.
Added the latest track i had bounced I hope it works to listen. Hopefully it might help someone help me . But I understand it's not likely but still.
Attached Files

2019-05-16 Demo 2.mp3 (2.22 MB, 161 views)


Last edited by Deleted 5072d97; 20th May 2019 at 03:53 PM.. Reason: Yeah it seemed like the audio clip didn't work, re-uploaded it, so try again!
Old 19th May 2019
  #8
Don't use templates - it's pre-ordained clutter.

I start every project raw - one track at a time. I have fx chains that I'll load in sometimes but I keep the track growing organically.

I typically name groups of similar parts with a description fitting that riff - so if i have small group of guitars for a polyrhythm part - I would name that poly guit or something to that effect. I use colors to delineate as well.

Templates save time but it's just a big mess to load up and it locks you in creatively a bit.

I like the progression of a tune starting with one lonely grey coloured track. It's also easier to focus on building when you're not staring a screen full of empty prenamed tracks
Old 19th May 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 5072d97 View Post
for some reason bass has no clear place as it goes somewhere in the middle along with other Synths often even if it's electric bass
To me it's mostly about function, not what the actual instrument is.

Drums / percussion form the foundation for rhythm. Bass grounds harmony. The kick drum and the bass often conflict. So to me it makes sense to have those next to each other so that I can start by addressing the most important low end and the most important rhythmic bits, and it never matters to me if the bass happens to be a VSTi bass or a real bass. Bass is bass.

[QUOTE=Deleted 5072d97;13990851]Added the latest track QUOTE]

I think the upload failed.
Old 19th May 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
Don't use templates - it's pre-ordained clutter.
More the opposite if done right in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
Templates save time but it's just a big mess to load up and it locks you in creatively a bit.
Locks you up creatively. I would say this is highly personal then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
It's also easier to focus on building when you're not staring a screen full of empty prenamed tracks
It doesn't have to be like that though, there are a million different ways of setting that up. You can have templates that have tracks hidden, you can have templates that have them disabled, same with the accompanying VSTi, you can have templates with zero audio tracks and just groups/buses/auxes and outputs with processing on them...

So many different ways of doing it.
Old 19th May 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
if in Protools make tracks for any circumstance as a PTXT just make a session..save as a ptx..chane the extension put it in a new folder called track presets in avid folder..then when you go to create track it will be in the drop down named , color coded and all insert and sends and i/o's there

Last edited by Sigma; 4 weeks ago at 01:03 PM..
Old 19th May 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I often group more layered songs into folders (Reaper, maybe busses elsewhere) with an eye to ultimate mixing. So there will be a big drums folder with sub folders of lows, low mids, hi mids, highs. Similar for guitars, vocals, synths.

That tends to let me eq and mix them into pockets as well as find them easily.
Old 20th May 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratriplel View Post
I'm going along working on my songs, I'm pretty satisfied but there's just one thing, I'm getting crazy about figuring out how I want to name my groups of instruments/elements.

I know I've raised similar questions here before without that much interest but I figured I'd give it another go and make a thread just about the naming.

I've tried different stuff such as
- Drums, Synths, Guitars, Vocals..

^ that one was terrible for me since most of my tracks are synth tracks and it's just getting confusing.

Other ones includes groups/elements such as Rhythm, Melody/Melodic, Harmony, Atmosphere/Atmospheric, Chords, Plucks, Keys, Strings, Pads, Lows, Highs and on and on it goes....
How many tracks are we talking?

And what has/hasn't worked of the things you mention above? I'm not sure I see where your problem lies. Most of my tracks are synth too but they mimic various other instruments, so I just call them that.
Old 20th May 2019
  #14
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
Re-uploaded the audio clip again if you're interested in listening, it's not my best neither my worst, I just took the latest to get out of the decide-zone. Hope you enjoy it and understand what I'm going for, though other songs can be very different from that one.

Will answer you more in a while, sorry life happened and forced me to deal with it.. Might as well link it here, if it works, not sure.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/atta...9&d=1558364060
Old 20th May 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, I gotta say I think you'll need to reconsider other things to be honest. The track you shared is pretty sparse, so I really don't know how relabeling tracks will help. I mean, if you say it will I suppose I should trust that, but I know that if it was me then labeling / organization might not be the solution to be honest.

A fair amount of people here have channel counts beyond 100, so it's a bit difficult to 'relate'. That's not criticism of any kind, just saying that so you understand why you might not get the responses you're looking for. And come to think of it it might be better to simply start a new thread asking for advice by others who also suffer from ADD and a problem concentrating. Perhaps others have solutions to that but won't open this thread because it talks about labeling rather than concentration. Know what I mean?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
I wrote something for 30 minutes on a ****ing phone and then it just disappears.

Sorry if my mood dropped like murderously.

Anyway gonna try type this fast.

Yeah that "song" is just a demo where I tried to write a full song fast. Having a maximum of 3 instruments playing before I add more stuff so for that purpose it's no good example but I get your point. I do have projects with lots of more recorded tracks (this project was based on a template that has an audio track for my Juno, my JD-800, my Prophet 6 etc in each group (Chords, Melody, Lows and I can't remember the last ones but I believe there's one or two more groups...) but no I'm not one of those with 100 tracks, my track count varies a lot of the songs and as I said I've not finished a song in several years but I've got some songs thst are as good as finished except a decision or two and of course mix and master but I pay others for that.

Anyway I get a bit confused at like 5 tracks and if I don't use templates with pre named tracks and groups I'm even more confused because I do a terrible job of naming them when I'm inspired and in a session..

Anyway the idea with a thread for ADD people's tips and tricks is really great. i might just go and do that. In Sweden it's very popular to talk about these diagnosis as a super power, someone actually recently just released a book named it (I'm guessing it's an easy way or making a profit from all the mums and dads that had kids with these diagnoses and are desperate to make believe their kids won't have a harder time in life than, which they defiantly will, I know I did and doctors have even been chocked about my story and I'm even rather well fitted to society for now, even though I feel an enormous hate towards it..) blabla, lost track for a second there anyway where were I? super-power.. That is something that I just think is silly because it really isn't, but sure some of the issues you have when you have these diagnoses could make you better at X and Y.

But I'd still like to continue this thread because even if I would never benefit from better naming there are people that would and could find it.. Though I still believe that could help me but I couldn't know before I've tried.

Since I started thinking about these things (post the start-a-new-session-from-scratch, I've gotten tremendously better at finding my way around projects, even though the song you heard probably wouldn't be an example of one of those projects...).
The goal is not to have 50 or 100 tracks that I know exactly everything about but to just better understand what is happening in my project and be able to fast locate the track with an issue and fix it fast and just have a better overview, even if it's a project I didn't finish but decides to open after a year.

I'm sure there's a musician out there that has the formula that would work for me or at least a formula that would make me see the right way for me.

I'm already making my custom icons and setting them on tracks in groups but they haven't really helped me that much because they haven't felt "right" for me and that's what gets me back to the topic. Because the labeling that I've used haven't been right for me and I don't know why that is and put my finger on it which might mean you're completely right about my issue not being with labeling at all but I still believe that it's something I want to try to the fullest or until I've realized I was wrong.

All I'm basically for is examples on how you're labeling your tracks and your groups. I'm not sure if this is something really weird to ask for or like an unwritten rule not to ask about but I believe it's more that people don't see why anyone would have any use for this type of thing and I totally understand that there's no way someone else's labeling would fit my workflow but I'm sure there's some stuff that I easily could pick up on and have use for from some of you.

It's just as with music. You can listen on it to understand and pick up on the logic behind the music in a more "practical" way rather than reading about music theory and get your knowledge and logic from it. You might not be able to learn everything from one of them but depending on the type of learner you are you might pick up better from the other and get a more complete understanding out of it if you do them both.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
And just so you know I'm listening I will change my template once again after getting feedback from you. And just start out with one track of each input, hopefully with a better name than previously.
Though I wish I could be more "trapped" by my template and have less ways of being creative. Just have a canvas with most of the lines pre-drawn in a way that fit what in trying to do, just to fill them in and maybe draw a couple of my own. I mean just for a while, so that I could just paint the painting and actually finish something and from the result of it decide what I want to keep in my "final" template.
Because building from scratch is probably fine if you work fast and can keep it going for a while but I need a really really great idea to do so but I still get the urge to create something new after the parts of the tracks kind of are finished and I'm still left with a project that isn't finished...

Not sure why I have this problem because I used to be able to finish at least half of the stuff I started.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
What I like about a specific audio track for each "element" or group is that I can set up the groups in the template, with icons (started making some new ones for a different setup, hopefully more to my liking).

When I setup a simple template with just one audio channel for each synth and one channel for the kick, one for the snare and so forth. I can't create pre-setup groups to record to which means I'd have to do it while I'm in a session, which takes a lot of energy from me (because I'll do something wrong, have to fix it and by then have forgotten my idea, or the other way around, I record my idea but I'm too eager to move forward that I'm lazy with the labeling and grouping which means it will become chaotic really soon.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Guru
 

I don't normally use full-on templates to start my songs. But I do have "sub-templates" that I import session data in from. For example if I am starting a mix I import whatever reverb auxes I need from a reverb template. I have a drum tracking template so that I don't have to make 8 tracks and name them kick snare overhead, etc and assign all the inputs, plugs, sends and so on

As far as naming, I like to use abbreviations in all caps. Pro Tools will start abbreviating anyway so I am making a preemptive first strike.
vocals are VOX
backup vocals are BUV
drums are DRM
guitars are GTR
bass is BAS and so on

kick drum is KIK
toms in descending order are T, TT, TTT
I also put the name of the track or group in all caps at the top of the Comments section, as that does not change when you duplicate the playlists and start getting "VOX_01".

Color coding can help. If you have too many synths, you can make groups for "green" synths and "blue" synths, and maybe invent some convention for which instruments go where. Maybe foreground and background sounds. Leads and Pads. Sines and squares. Attacky things vs sustainy things.

IMO it is not that important what your system is, compared to the fact that you have a system. If you are consistent, you have fewer things to remember from session to session, which allows you to work faster and focus more on the music and less on the mechanics. If I am forced out of my System by some unique circumstance in the session, it's no worse than if I didn't have a system. Plus I only have to remember the exceptions to the rule - oh yeah, there is a third group called Red synths in this song. Or oh yeah this drum kit has 5 toms.

Pro Tools (for one) allows you to name your busses. I am used to my reverb system so I have the numbers already memorized for my reverb starting points, but you could actually just name bus 1-2 as "small room", bus 3-4 as "plate", and bus 11 - as "vocal sidechain". Want two plates in this session? There is only one thing to "remember": that bus 1-2 "small room" is now also a plate.


Quote:
... or the other way around, I record my idea but I'm too eager to move forward that I'm lazy with the labeling and grouping which means it will become chaotic really soon.... Because building from scratch is probably fine if you work fast
having someone else do the housekeeping for you so that you can focus on creativity is why people hire engineers - to do the grunt work so that they can "just play". If you can't do that, then maybe you can separate the grunt work by doing it at a different time. Making templates ahead of time is one version of this idea. Another version is giving yourself a dedicated 'clean up' time when you are not going make new music but just go through what you have labeling it and so on. Maybe set aside 5 minutes at the end of every hour.

Quote:
talk about these diagnosis as a super power
I agree this can be wishful thinking. It's not much of a "super power" if the net result is that it slows you down or prevents you from finishing anything. I remember a (one-episode) comic about a guy with super-magnetism powers. He used his magnetic powers to stop a stolen car and draw it back to himself. He forgot that he was not also super-strong, just super-magnetic. So the car crushed him. The End. One episode.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb
Templates save time but it's just a big mess to load up and it locks you in creatively a bit.
But compared to how your creativity is stifled by the need to stop the music to "do computer stuff", I think the trade-off is a bargain.

Nothing stops you from making a new track and adding it to your session if your template is too limited. If you want an extra kick, make an extra kick. Nothing forces you to use all the tracks in your template, either. If you are bothered by empty tracks calling you to 'fill them up', just delete them. No template is going to be perfect, but any decent template can be a good starting point.

Make a bigger than needed template and toss the channels you aren't using. Make multiple smaller templates and import them in as "modules". Making and naming new tracks, and assigning inputs and adding your standard plugs and sends can be a momentum killer. I work as an engineer, and a point of pride for me is that I am always one or two steps ahead of the artist needing a new this or a double of that, so that they don't have to wait.

If you are your own engineer, it's nice to do some of that work ahead of time so that you don't have to wait.

Quote:
I'm still left with a project that isn't finished...

Not sure why I have this problem because I used to be able to finish at least half of the stuff I started. ... because right now I just get lost and loose interest in it and start something new.
This may go a bit deeper than ADD. Not sure it will be solved by a better naming system. Your situation reminds me of ball players who get the "yips". It is generally considered as part of a larger more general fear of failure.

Last edited by joeq; 4 weeks ago at 01:11 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Synth stuff I name by sound or function.
Stab, chime, warble, pad, haze, smooth bass, rough bass. Just what each one sounds like.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Deleted 5072d97
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry123 View Post
Synth stuff I name by sound or function.
Stab, chime, warble, pad, haze, smooth bass, rough bass. Just what each one sounds like.
That's a nice idea, I have such a bad recollection of what everything is called I know like stab, bass piano/ e-piano, Rhodes and pad.
Maybe I should just try to emulate the sound it's giving. BOOM, DAAANG, Swooch ... haha.
Or go ahead and learn it.

I guess I'll have a much easier time figuring all this out after I actually start finishing stuff again. Really need to do something about this mess om my brain, it's not like I've not got the stories and the right mind to tell them..

Anyway, I guess the best template is the one that is that's common between the last 5 projects you have made, stripped of all audio files and maybe a bit cleaned up and better structured.

By then I just have to figure out what names the tracks should have for me to understand exactly what they hold.
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