These days you have everything you need to work in a creative bubble if you want, but some of us prefer to work with others, It has never been easier to collaborate on projects, but it can be a pain if you don’t get into some effective work flows. Here are our top 5.
- Make sure you label everything so well that if you got hit by a bus then someone could still find their way around your stuff. Label your audio, your sessions, your channels, your files and your folders. Assume nothing. Avoid any ‘in-house- naming conventions on stuff that others need to work on, an audio file called ‘MVT8-212’ may mean take eight of a main vocal on the 21st of Feb to you, but to anyone else you might as well label it in Chinese.
- Make sure you are clear about the key, time signature and tempo and make sure it is documented. The amount of times I’ve had to use identify beat or simply had to spend a few minutes figuring out the stuff I should have been told is more than enough. Include a text document with instructions.
- Keep things tidy. If you’ve been comping tracks like vocals or drums then either consolidate the regions (clips) or group them, then when the session is open it’s less of a mess to move around. If you are sending to someone who doesn’t have Pro Tools or vice versa then use the select all tracks function, mark the timeline from beginning until the end of the song and then consolidate the audio. Then make sure it is named with meaningful names and export the audio to a folder for sending.
- Get some kind of cloud based storage option. There’s Gobbler, Dropbox, and Box to name just three, it makes more sense to upload and share via one of these services, rather than trying to email the audio, that is just nuts! Also only send what they need, if you need a drum track, then the drummer may just need some stems with a click track rather than everything including the kitchen sink. If they live nearby then it might be quicker to put it on a stick and take it around rather then sending a huge file.
- You should be able to guess number 5. Back-up everything and after you’ve done that make another back-up. Never send the original file and then delete it, that’s asking for trouble. You may think no-one is stupid enough to do that… sadly there are plenty of people who trust their greatest creative efforts to an ftp or cloud folder and then never see it again. Remember when Apple lost a load of user accounts?
So there are our 5, what about you - we love hearing your ideas.