Having an organized working environment inside your DAW is one of the things that can considerably enhance your workflow. Unsorted files or samples, followed by unnamed channels will surely slow you down. Think of your DAW and your projects as a workshop area. The tidier, and more orderly you keep it, the easier and better you manage to think clearly and finish your songs. That said, we will share some useful tips to help you organize your music working environment.
Templates are really valuable because they help you choose your favorite effects or instruments, and load them up with just one click. In essence, a template is a predefined configuration for your DAW to speed up workflow and minimize repetitive tasks. These tasks could include adding simple tracks, setting up reverb-and delay-sends, etc., things that you might find yourself doing in every session. Just create a template for it, and dive straight into making music.
Coloring the channels in your project
The larger the mix, the tougher it is to arrange and visually navigate your songs. One way to help you keep on top of what’s going on in your session is to color-code your tracks depending on the source type. For example, you could color-code all the drum tracks yellow, use different colors for all FX sounds, and so on.
Clearly named tracks is beyond a doubt one of the most critical features of a well-organized project. It can seem irritating at first, but you will inevitably get used to it and see the benefits. This will not only be useful to you, but also to other producers to whom you are sending your project if you choose to collaborate.
Tagging your favorite samples by key
Key-tagging your samples can be a huge time-saver. Just imagine that you don’t have to re-tune your drum samples for every new track. Wouldn’t that speed things up quite a bit? There are certain software programs that can scan samples and determine which key they’re in. You can then re-name the actual file. This will save you a lot of time and effort in searching for a “key-appropriate” sample.
Organizing your record drive
Your primary recording drive is another area that needs to be organized well. If you have recurring projects or clients, give each one its own folder. Make sure you set your DAW to save all your audio files to the appropriate places. By not doing so, you risk having important material scattered around your disk, which often results in lost data or incomplete session audio files.
Save, save and again save your project
Did you ever complete a long mix session and then listened to your mix on the following day? Were you always happy with the progress? Often, it happens that perspective is lost in a prolonged mix session, which results in making “questionable” choices. The “Save As” function is a life-saver solution for this. Do this step-by-step and use consistent and descriptive session names that will help you easily backtrack when things go the wrong way.