How to Organize your Recording projects

Unfortunately, we have all had to learn, mostly the hard way, that establishing a system for saving what you create is a necessary evil.
You may find a system that works better for you, but this may give you a place to start. The amount of information that can be stored on a computers hard drive is Huge and without a system of some sort it is like a giant garage where you Know you left the tool, but where?
Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful in my quest to organize and believe it, simplify. You will have to try this yourself to really understand how it works:
You only have to do steps 1 and 2 once:
1) In Windows, Create a Working Directory on a second hard drive, something like (drive letter: ) Music Temp Files.
2) In Ntrack In the Settings > Preferences > Paths set your default to “Record all wave files in the working directory.”
(Note: Windows and Ntrack will try to put everything onto the C: drive in a Documents folder - the path is way too long for me!)
These steps you do Every Time!
3) Before you start to record, do a File > Save As and name the song. Make certain that the File > Save As is going to save to the working directory (OR, you can create a new directory with a unique name at this time to hold the recordings)
The advantage is that all of the files that you are creating will have this name when created and be saved where you have asked with the Save As command. (Ntrack creates every wave file with a default name of Song,wav)
4) Do the recording -
5) Save the project with all the files as File > Save or double check with File > Save As. This creates a “control” file of all the changes that have been made since you did the first Save > As
6) Do File > Move/Rename Song
Step 6 is the most important to me: with this command you can move everything that you have done on the song/project to a unique sub directory - this gets everything in one place, in an identifiable location on your computer. Also, if you have files that you have not named for the song that they are, you can do it here.
> So, I did some recording of the song “Goodnight Irene.” I started by doing a File > Save As > Goodnight Irene and recorded 16 tracks all named "Goodnight Irene (track number is added by ntrack).wav
> Then I Saved the song as Goodnight Irene.sng - this is the ntrack “control” file that store the information about what sound files go with this project and what settings you have added with ntrack
> Then I gathered up all 16 tracks and the control file and I move everything to a sub directory I name
Music / Goodnight Irene

Side note: Windows still use a system from DOS to identify what a file’s purpose is. If you set up your Windows Explorer to show the file extension you can see these - they are the three characters that follow the dot at the end of the files name.
files used by Ntrack
(filename) .sng the sng identifies the “control file” that saves all the changes you make to a songs, what sound files are used, what settings or non-destructive setting did you make. It is created when you do a File > SAve or File > Save As
(Filename).wav (or MP3, WMA, or other) the actual sound file. The sound file is created and stored to the hard drive as you record.
(filename) .npk a small file created by Ntrack to make processing faster. This file is created automatically by ntrack

ReAdInG… :) :p :laugh:

Very useful info, Bax. I’d often considered having each song in its own folder, and then when I’m done farting around with the whole project, saving all the files on a separate cd or dvd for archival purposes so my hard drive won’t get filled up with old projects… (believe me, there have been times when there were easily 100 wav files in my studio projects folder, lol! )