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First Rough Demo, File Naming System

posted on January 26th, 2013

The basic framework of the song is starting to come together, as least enough to bounce out a demo. Everything is still in flux, and I haven’t heard back from the vocalist yet about the key, so that may change things.

TIWIA_ruff_012613A

Let me take a minute to talk about my file-naming system. This kind of production means moving a lot of data around, and often sending multiple version of different files back and forth. It can get easy to lose track of what’s what. I use a 4-part naming system to help keep things straight.

  1. Song Name, usually abbreviated. In this case, “This is Who I AM” becomes TIWIA
  2. File type, as in rough demo, tracking mix, final mix, master, etc.
  3. 6-number date designation. January 26, 2013 becomes 012613. This let’s me quickly and easily see what date I generated the file, so that I know which is the latest.
  4. A revision letter, as in A, B, C. I will sometimes send multiple revision of a file on the same date, so a revision letter helps me keep track of which is which. If a client and I are exchanging notes on a mix, and I’ve sent them 3 version already that same date, it helps to make sure we are both working on the same revision.

I use this system for everything, including session names, audio files, PDF charts, and client notes. Because of the detail in the name, I can glance at a project folder that’s 2 years old, and still know how everything fits together.

You don’t have to use this system, but you do need to have some way of keeping track of what’s what.



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