New years resolutions tend to be very much drugs based. I will give up/cut down smoking, alcohol, late night chocolate binges, red bull etc. Having reached an age where I have pretty much given up all I can, or am willing to, this years resolution will be of a different nature.
This year my resolution is to maintain a tidy recording session. This doesn’t mean that I will be sweeping the floor between takes, but rather record in a neater more orderly manner. Our studio is primarily Logic based. As with all DAW’s track counts are virtually unlimited. The ability for a session to logistically spiral out of control is always a retrospective nightmare for me. It isn't until it is too late that you realise you have eight tracks of guitar, and no idea which take was the one you finally were happy with. I recently mixed an album where every guitar part featured at least five microphones and a D.I. channel and the sheer number of tracks was overwhelming.
So my resolution is to name as I go along. This just needs to be something to jog your memory like ‘choppy guitar/chorus’ or ‘moody keys’. Colour-coding is also easy and helpful. This way when it comes to mixing you already have some idea what is what, and don’t have to endlessly solo tracks to find out their musical role. I have also taken to muting unused parts as I go. If you do seven versions of the guitar solo, and you are pretty sure that actually version six was the best, but you want to procrastinate and put off the decision to mixing, then just mute all but that part using the mute tool. It will save time in mixing.
Of course I know that I won’t actually manage to become organised overnight but you can force good habits on yourself. So here’s to a nicely-organised session in 2015, and maybe a few more drink-free nights during the week...