About Organizing your Channels in Ableton

DSM-logo2Maybe, you started like I did with a soundlib which fits on a bunch of discs (disquette not hard disk). It was more a few pages of a book than a library. You knew each sound like the back of your hand. Now, you have a soundlib of several gigs of space + potential free downloads from the internet and you ask yourself pretty often “where is that damn sound again” or “is there a matching sound to idea x in my library”.

Organizing stuff becomes important.

Concerning channels in the mix the situation it’s quiet the same: I started with a shared 4-track recorder (I added the wikipedia link for the younger reader), bouncing mono tracks until the audio quality was – what you today call – glitch. When all tracks were used, the song was done.

Now, I have a (virtual) unlimited number of tracks to use. Again, I need to organize to find my stuff and stay happy during creating. You don’t want to stop the flow after you tried for hours to get there, right? If the other is yes, I have a reading recommendation for you.

“4. Organize your Project.

Group your channels into busses that need the same type of processing. Name your channels, color them, sort them by the roles they play. For instance, I’ll group all of my drum channels into one buss, name it ‘Drums’, color it white, and have it be the 1st buss on the left in my mixer. Then I’ll group all of my bass sounds into one buss, name it ‘Bass’, color it grey and put that as the second channel in my mixer.
Going left to right, I’ll do the same for all channels/busses based on their role in the mix. Because I know that the drum and bass channels are occupying the lows, and that the lows form the foundation of my overall mix, I put them right next to each other – for easy back n’ forth tweaking.
If I flatten something to audio, I’ll first duplicate it, deactivate all the devices on it, color it black and move it all the way to the end of my channel strips. That way it’s not taking up valuable workspace but it’s there if I need to re-activate it and manipulate the source parameters again.
Keeping your workspace organized like this makes it easy to glance at and know what’s going on right away. If you leave the project and come back to it, there will be no guesswork and you’ll know exactly where to start again.”
(Source: http://www.deeplysubjectivemusic.com/organization/)

The other 4 tips in the article are worth your attention, too. Give it a try.

-mE

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