Procedural Question - file naming and organization

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Matt C.
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Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by Matt C. » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:37 pm

For those of you who work with other bands on a vaguely professional level, I've got a question about file naming when you bounce down mixes. Basically I'm wondering how you label the batch of mixes that are intended to be the final mixes, but still allow for the possibility that there will be tweaks in the future.

Obviously writing "final mix" on stuff is a little presumptuous since we can't predict the future. But they should also be labeled more "officially" than the first round of mixes from weeks earlier.

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losthighway
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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by losthighway » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:09 pm

This is often denoted in the correspondence I have with the band, as opposed to the actual file.

At times I'm a good librarian and show generations of mixes with letters or numbers, i.e. "Skull Bong vers C". This is best practice, but I've found most everyone I work with listens extensively to the latest for a short time, and tend not to refer to previous mixes. In other words, the problem seems to solve itself informally without anything systematic on my part. Although I'm sure some of the hardened professionals on here have more diligent methods they prefer.

Also, I tend to have a zip folder titled "for master" with the ultimate mixes, but then again that wasn't your question.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by Matt C. » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:26 pm

I have started diligently using a system for naming successive generations of mixes (Smoke Wizard 1.2, 1.3, etc) and it works well for me, but I'm still a little stumped on what to call the batch that should *hopefully* be the finished product. "For Mastering" could be useful.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by losthighway » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:28 pm

When I used to burn more CDRs I had a habit of writing The Scibbles- final(?) mix.

Seemed honest.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by kslight » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:40 pm

Everything is “Dope Name 000” through infinity, until it’s done, then it gets an ‘f’ at the end when it’s not gonna get touched again.

To me this has seemed like the least ambiguous way to name things that will be probably have multiple versions, rather than writing in revised 1, 2, dates, Final, Final Final, Final Final no really this time, Final Final Final revised....

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by drumsound » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:16 pm

I swear I typed this earlier...

I put the song name with mix numbers. I do "save as" at the beginning of each mix, so I save the project that matches. So Rock Song MIX 1. I send that to the client and and get a a list of revisions. I then open the project, do a save as and new playlist, now Rock Song MIX 2. Lather, rinse, repeat. Generally its the highest number that is the final (sometime not). I make a folder with titled Band Name for Mastering, and export each of the high res chosen mixes, which more often than not, is then sent to More Space Echo.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by vvv » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:29 am

I do a lot of internet collab'ing so I have to have a system, particularly if there is more than 1 other participant.

My tracking naming sequence will look like:
Newsong_Dr+Bass+Vox_RUff_122918
Newsong_Dr+Bass+Vox+JoeGtrs_RUff_122918
Newsong_Dr+Bass+Vox+JoeGtrs+PetePiano_RUff_122918

When all instruments are tracked (before mastering) a mixing naming sequence will look like:
Newsong_RUff1_123018
Newsong_RUff2_123018
Newsong_FinalA_123118
Newsong_FinalB_123118
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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by losthighway » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am

drumsound wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:16 pm
then sent to More Space Echo.
Always a wise move.

What you do seems to cover the most bases, but I always wonder: have you ever had a client listen to mix 4 and then say, "You know what, we're crazy, let's use mix 2. We should have left it." ?

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by kslight » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:36 am

losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am
drumsound wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:16 pm
then sent to More Space Echo.
Always a wise move.

What you do seems to cover the most bases, but I always wonder: have you ever had a client listen to mix 4 and then say, "You know what, we're crazy, let's use mix 2. We should have left it." ?

That’s why I save incremental pro tools sessions as well. The file size is insignificant, and it’s sometimes interesting to revisit where the song started.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by drumsound » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:21 pm

losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am
drumsound wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:16 pm
then sent to More Space Echo.
Always a wise move.
He does wonderful work, and is stupid fast!
losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am
What you do seems to cover the most bases, but I always wonder: have you ever had a client listen to mix 4 and then say, "You know what, we're crazy, let's use mix 2. We should have left it." ?
That has happened. Its the Billie Jean syndrome. (Mix 2 was the international hit)

It happens more often when there are two band members who are studio savvy AND have differing opinions. Usually its the second to last mix then, because member A doesn't like the revision member B suggested.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks for the kind words you guys, really means a lot!

Didn't they do like 96 mixes of "Billie Jean"? Kinda reassuring to know even the greats can drive themselves crazy. At least they had the wisdom to go back to the second one.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:42 pm

Sometimes when I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of revisions with a client it’s refreshing for us to go back to an early mix for a quick listen. It’s usually not quite there but frequently has more vibe and life then the dead horse we’ve been flogging forever.

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Re: Procedural Question - file naming and organization

Post by drumsound » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:08 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:35 pm
Thanks for the kind words you guys, really means a lot!
Its earned and deserved.
MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:35 pm
Didn't they do like 96 mixes of "Billie Jean"? Kinda reassuring to know even the greats can drive themselves crazy. At least they had the wisdom to go back to the second one.
The legend goes that they worked on mixing it for 2 weeks, and had a stack of 1/4" reels up to the ceiling. Michael, Bruce and Quincy were in the control room, still not happy as then listened to the current mix. Michael says "I remember liking mix 2." The dug through the stack and put Mix 2 up. About half way through Q notices that he, and the others are bobbing their heads, enjoying the music. It was decided in that moment, to use Mix 2.
A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:42 pm
Sometimes when I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of revisions with a client it’s refreshing for us to go back to an early mix for a quick listen. It’s usually not quite there but frequently has more vibe and life then the dead horse we’ve been flogging forever.
It is. The last record I did with Backyard Tire Fire we worked in a different manner than the previous 3. We were doing a song a day, though not mixing. Because of this I wasn't as familiar with each song and production as I would be when a song may have been worked on several times. So I decided to do quick mixes of each song first. I'd spend an hour at most making a mix. Then I went through and did "real" mixes. Those had band comments and revisions, the whole magilla.

When Ed the songwriter/leader of the band and I were at the mastering session with Carl Saff, as he was doing his thing on one of the songs, I wasn't feeling it. I said to Ed "I really liked the quick mix on this." Ed suggested we take a listen. So I had Carl switch reels, and half way thought the first verse all three of us said "Yeah, that's the one."

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