The Official KSAND Kent Sandvik Web Site

Producer, guitar player, composer and maker of noise.

The Music Oven

Posted on | December 30, 2008 | 3 Comments

PinnaclesIt all depends on the musician/producer but some of us create too much material. For a long time, every time I sat down at my DAW tinkering, I saved the results — just in case they would get better later. Well, in 999 of 1000 cases that won’t happen.

I noticed that today when going through my project folder with material to see if I could fix or reintroduce any of that material, just now going back to 2007, the rest is stuffed in archives.

Shortly, I have a very simple directory structure for projects:

  • Attic — anything that is good to have but just needs to be stuffed aside resides in there
  • Work in Progress — This is where the work is happening
  • Released — Released material
  • Private — all kinds of private material I need all the time but will never release it.

So the Work In Progress folder started to get really full. I always prefix the projects with a running number as well, so I could follow the always increasing number of projects, sigh. Some of the material was just very much outdated, too. I’m in the middle of cleaning this all — and got an idea I will test out starting now.

There will be a new folder called “The Oven.” What this oven is that every time I start working on something new, it will start in the oven. If it does not work out well, the cake is badly cooked, I just salvage the little I can from it, AppleLoops and so forth. Then I just throw away the uncooked product. If it makes sense and it is baking well, I move it into the Work in Progress folder.

I think this will somewhat eliminate the huge amount of wanna-be products that should not even be saved as they don’t make sense.

Does any of you have similar schemes concerning avoiding drowning in half-made projects that most likely will never be finished? Any other ideas?

Comments

3 Responses to “The Music Oven”

  1. Chris le
    December 31st, 2008 @ 6:24 AM

    Btw, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now… it’s great!

    I have three folders that make up my structure:

    “Current” : Holds all current work in progress. This includes any DAW tinkering that may eventually die off as well as projects that are moving along.

    “Complete” : Holds all project folders that are completely done. They have not been normalized or mastered but the settings to do so have been saved.

    “Releases” : Holds AIFF (16bit/48k) and MP3 (Id3 tagged, 320k/44k) normalized and mastered bounces of completed tracks.

    Every project in those folders are named “Month Date Year – Project Name” If the project name changes in the middle of the project, then I’ll change the folder name. I use the date the way you use a sequential project number because I can more easily remember when I started a project than a sequential number. It also helps me keep track of how long the project has been around. I try not to leave projects go that long.

    There’s also a folder called “Old Projects” and at some point once a year (it could be in the middle of the year when I have a cleaning fit), I’ll move everything except “Releases” in there regardless of whether it’s just a dead tinker or completed work.

    Everything is backed up to an external drive using an RSYNC script I wrote at the end of a day when I feel I’ve made progress with something.

    My only issue is when I switched from Logic to ProTools. Now half the projects are Logic and the other half are ProTools. Since reinstalling the OS and only re installing the plugs I most commonly used, I know some of the projects will not open correctly.

  2. Kent Sandvik
    December 31st, 2008 @ 9:31 PM

    Opening up old projects is indeed a pain. Even if I know Ableton Live and Logic tries to maintain backwards compatibility, if I have a chance I try to open and save them back in. Not to speak of old plug-ins that no longer works, ack. That’s a pain, too. This is where Logic’s freeze is nice but who remembers to freeze all tracks, or sit there and wait to get them frozen…

  3. Diego
    January 6th, 2009 @ 5:49 PM

    when im ‘cooking’ a new song i just name it “thing1” (and the one after “thing2” then “thing3” and so forth). If the song is completed it will eventually get a name, but i will always remember its original name (thing1).

    I used the same system when I had a band, every time we started an instrumental song, it was hard to put it a name as it had no lyrics. So we just named them song1, song2, and so on.. At the end even if in the cd they had a ‘real’ name, for us they were and will always be song1, song2, song3, song4, and song5.

    Luckily I have a very good memory, but if the folders start to pile up I will eventually divide everything in “The Things”, and a separate folder for songs recorded with different friends/artists “Dante”, “Mayra”, etc.
    And keep the rest in the root folder :D

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About

This is an area on your website where you can add text. This will serve as an informative location on your website, where you can talk about your site.

Subscribe to our feed

Search

Admin