this is the place to find everything you need to produce your album at Azusa Pacific University

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.


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.

Leave a Reply