How I organise my sessions

I think I’ve recovered from last week’s adrenaline rush of a recording session.

This is my sixth album, and producing them are always an enormous undertaking, especially the ones I do on my own so I have to have a system in place to which I can organise everything because otherwise, I’m drowning in hundreds, maybe even thousands of audio files! I thought I’d share some of the administrative processes I have in place.

Here goes.

1. Title everything properly

Give each song a working title that’s clear and distinct. It’ll save you time as you won’t be trying to remember what the name of the demo is when you’re trying to open it up!

2. Mark all arrangements

Write in where your intros end, your verses, your choruses etc. Visualising the arrangement of your song makes it so much easier to get a macro view of everything!

3. Colour code everything

This is another essential visual aide. You’ll be able to see your drums, guitars and vocals etc. much more clearly. Also use different shades for different things of the same instrument, for e.g. clean and distorted guitars. Also colour code your files! Mine are red.

4. Write up documentation on track progress

Track what progress you’ve made and outline what you need to do next. This could be a tick system. I like using tables these days. It is an aide to helping you see how far you’ve come along on your creative journey and what’s to be done next!

5. Journal conceptualisation

Lyrics, track titles, orders, artwork, additional personnel. Keep it in a handwritten journal and document all your thoughts. It’s a great way to gather your ideas and make concrete choices moving forward.

6. Have a ‘Finals’ folder

Final mixes, final masters, final artwork, final liner notes. Move it all to a designated and clear folder to which you can scrutinise every detail with a fine tooth comb and declare that it is all ready to launch!

7. Back everything up!

The much needed contingency for accidental deletion or computer malfunction. Back it up on an external hard drive and back it up on the cloud. It’s an act of kindness for your future self!

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