Keeping track of tracks and settings

wheat's picture

Here's a question for anyone who records, whether you're brand new to it or have been at it for years: how do you go about keeping track of track settings and other notes about what you're doing in a recording session?

Here's the situation: say I sit down to work on some music, but I know I'm not going to have time to finish the project. In Live, I can label my tracks, but the space for a label is pretty short. So, I might have drums, bass, bass2, rhythm gtr, lead gtr, piano. But each of the stringed instruments will be fed through Pod Farm, using a particular amp/cab/mic combination. Each of those has a name, too. But there's no way to create, say, a sticky note in Live telling me which model I'm using.

There are a lot of ways to handle this, of course. I'm not a big fan of paper, as I can't ever keep track of it. I've tried using text files on my computer, and that might work. Lately, I've been using Evernote, taking a screenshot of my settings in Pod Farm, and typing a note with the Live project name and track name, then tagging the note with the project name (and "track notes"), so I can find it easily later. Here's an example. This might be the answer for me, but I'm curious how other people do it.

Wheat

Paul Warren's picture

PGMusic's RealBand has track

PGMusic's RealBand has track names and a memo for notes. It's really nice to have since I generally can't remember my own name these days.

Hazz's picture

I sit down (or stand up),

I sit down (or stand up), record and when I get something I like I hit the button that says "Save Project as"

It can be difficult but it works ;^P

Top track = bed track (if I have a bed track
2nd track = bass track
3rd track = drums
4th track = percussion
5th track = rhythm geeter
6th track = lead
7th - 10th track = strings
11th track = lead vocals
12th track = back up vocals

I do not even label them, I just remember which is which and always use that order, I bunch similar instruments together.
I once did an online mixing/mastering class and I was doing an orchestral version of "Can't You See" so I did take the time to label the tracks as I was working with 20somthin' of them I believe.

Hazz

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"Carburetors man!! That's what life is all about."
Musicians Collaboration Studio

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"Carburetors man!! That's what life is all about."
Musicians Collaboration Studio

wheat's picture

That works

That works pretty well, Hazz. I generally go ahead a label mine (Command-R) in Live. But how do you keep track of other sorts of things, like amp (or amp simulation) setting? How about any other general notes on the track (like that it's a scratch you want to rerecord or some general note abou the direction you want to go with it the next time you sit down? Do you have a strategy for that?

Wheat

bassplaying.com

Hazz's picture

Well, I record every thing

Well, I record every thing dry and direct so there is not much to comment on.

If I do add an amp/effect etc etc etc then I will do a pre-final mix, group the instruments, add the desired effect, and then re-mix. I tend to remember all the setting so I never really write them down. Now if I could only remember theory as easily I'd be set.

If I record a scratch track that I want to get back to then I have a separate folder I toss those in and name them something simple such as "Twinkle_G" (a tune I am writing for the Princess) that reminds me of which tune is which and all the others peramiters just came back to mind.

Hazz

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Carburetors man!! That's what life is all about."
Musicians Collaboration Studio

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Carburetors man!! That's what life is all about."
Musicians Collaboration Studio

wheat's picture

Thanks, Hazz. It's helpful

Thanks, Hazz. It's helpful to hear how other people go about it.

Wheat

bassplaying.com

Dave Magaro's picture

I keep a studio log. A

I keep a studio log. A notebook and a pen. Sorry, Wheat, but that's how we did things before there was computer recording. Then you just put your studio log inside the tape box when your done. Then if you pull the tape out years from now you know what's on it. Come fall I may dive into the digital recording world. But, what will I say to bands I record. Now what I say is "OK your tape's rolling". Then I hit play and record. What am I suposed to say when I get an Alesis hard drive recorder? "OK you're hard drives spinning"? "OK your tape's rolling" is so soothing to the soul. It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Yet another problem with digital recording....LOL!

Dave

wheat's picture

When I'm recording someone

When I'm recording someone else, which is pretty rare, I still say "we're rolling" or "we're live."

I think hard copy might be a good way to go with this, especially since all of my screen is eaten up with recording software. :) Maybe a little notebook dedicated to my musical projects would be a sound and practical investment.

Thanks for your input.

Wheat

bassplaying.com