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Session Organization
Old 8th March 2011
  #1
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captainate's Avatar
 

Session Organization

In short - what do you do to keep audio files organized so people not involved in the session (and even those that were) know what's going on? How do you utilize tracking sheets? How do you organize different takes of the same song? Etc.

I ran a big session recently and screwed up the organization pretty badly, leaving me a lot of cleaning up to do and costing everybody time. So advice is welcome! Thanks ~
Old 8th March 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainate View Post
In short - what do you do to keep audio files organized so people not involved in the session (and even those that were) know what's going on? How do you utilize tracking sheets? How do you organize different takes of the same song? Etc.

I ran a big session recently and screwed up the organization pretty badly, leaving me a lot of cleaning up to do and costing everybody time. So advice is welcome! Thanks ~

In the past I had created separate files on the computer for each song. Took wayyyy too long. In a session the other day, I decided to just let it play through. I set up the tracks, and after each take I stopped, saved, and noted the time on my sheet. When I finished the session, I created an individual file for each song, and copied all of the recordings into their respective files. Worked very well. Hope that helps
Old 8th March 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Drooh's Avatar
 

I keep everything in folders,

Band / Album / Song / Protools 9 session files

And then within protools I use the playlist to organize different takes.
Start your organisation from the start and you won't have any problems.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #4
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That's all great but I have old projects that won't open in the newest release of Cubase or they fail to open correctly. The only real way, after the project (song) is complete is to render the tracks to wav files that all start at zero. Render them with and without plugins because who knows when Protools 11 or, in my case Cubase, if the projects will open and you still have the same plugins.

You have to back up everything, both to another drive and to DVD's too. I started recording on Digital Tape and many of those tapes won't play and it is only 10 years old.

Gary
Old 2nd January 2012
  #5
RiF
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During tracking, things can get out of control very easily for me, so I try to stick to the following rules:
- Setup all needed tracks for the tracking sessions upfront. Name them properly before you hit record.
- Use playlists for different takes. Directly after the recording of the take, I postfix the playlist (or recorded wave file) with a comment about the take (good, bad, out of time, wrong note whatever) to make it easier to tell them apart the next day or so. Mark those that you find to be a good take right after recording (like postfix with "!!!", easy to type...).
That said, I am trying to stick to a single "Gtr Solo" track (for example), but which can have multiple playlists.
- Just make sure sure sure, you don't end up with tracks named "Audio 23" or "Vocals 2.23" without knowing what it is or was.


After the tracking session, the project needs cleanup:
- Decide for the final takes.
- Consolidate all final takes into audio files that start at bar 1/beat 1 of the song
- Save into a new folder, so that just the final audio files are used in the project

Regarding backups, the highest priority should go for the consolidated final tracks. And they take up the least amount of storage space as well, so there's no excuse for not backing them up to even multiple media.
You should backup all the crap that got recorded, but I would not care too much about that after the song has been finally mixed. Nobody will want go back to those, probably... err.. hopefully...
Old 3rd January 2012
  #6
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Yeah! Let's keep it going. I always wanted this thread to go somewhere.

Also, for all the Logic users out there, the "Clean Up Project" and "Consolidate Project" features can be useful if you're worried about space.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #7
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grammy.org specs work great for me. You can send the info in this link to anyone who is working with you and say "please follow this" and everything will go smoothly.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #8
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captainate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzujan View Post
grammy.org specs work great for me. You can send the info in this link to anyone who is working with you and say "please follow this" and everything will go smoothly.
GREAT link. Although some of the information seems a little redundant/not useful for people at the level I'm at. I think I'll steal the format and many of the ideas to compile a spreadsheet that works for me. Thanks
Old 3rd January 2012
  #9
Gear Addict
 

The key is to prepare and plan ahead of time. You can get yourself into trouble saving all the songs to one session, especially with pro tools. My folders are organized by "artist"/ "song".

Mic setups and patching notes are all typed ahead of time and three copies are made (one is kept in the tracking room, another in the control room, and the last is given to any assistants working). Any changes are notated on all three copies. Pro tools templates are made ahead of time too. During the session "import session data" is a wonderful tool that is used constantly.

Really, the best way is to prepare. You just need to learn how to anticipate possible problems or issues, and make a plan to deal with them. Also, while you need to move quickly, give yourself enough time during the session to stay organized and follow whatever system you have created for yourself. Rushing through that will just create chaos later.
Old 4th January 2012
  #10
TLS
Gear Maniac
 

Along with the Grammy notes here's another link to check out Mix session layout and suggested naming conventions
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