Okay, ready?

I guarantee today’s tip will save you a TON of time one day.

Do you remember a couple weeks ago, when I talked about how I prefer to do no more than three versions of a mix?

There’s one thing I’d like to add.

It’s so simple I feel silly even sharing it with you, but I remember back when I was first starting out mixing. I didn’t even consider this as an option, and I wish I had.

It’s simply the “Save As…” command.

Let’s say I’m working on a song called “A Song for Pam” for a client. When I first start mixing the song, I’m going to save that session as “A Song for Pam – Mix 1”.

Once I’m done with round one, I’ll send the mix to my client for review.

If the client wants any changes made (which is totally fine), I’ll open up the file “A Song for Pam – Mix 1” and immediately use “Save As” to save a new version of the session. This file will be called “A Song for Pam – Mix 2”. (It’s really important that you do this before making ANY changes to the mix.)

I’ll make the changes, send the mix off to the client, and await a reply.

If the client’s happy, I open up “A Song for Pam – Mix 2” and bounce the final WAV file. Easy peasy.

If there are a few more changes he wants, I’ll save it as “A Song for Pam – Mix 3” and make those final changes.

Here’s the time-saver.

Let’s say after submitting Mix 2 to the client, he decides he prefers Mix 1. (This happened to me recently.) No problem. I just open up Mix 1 and bounce down the mix. Easy, right?

Now imagine that instead of saving separate versions I simply named the session “A Song for Pam”. With every change, I simply hit the save button, essentially replacing (and erasing) any previous versions of the mix.

If the client liked a previous version, I’d have no way to get it back. I would have to go back to square one and try to re-create the mix.

No. Fun.

Save yourself some trouble and use the cute little “Save As…” command.

And hey, if you want some practice mixing (and saving different versions), go here:

www.DuelingMixes.com

  • Definitely some good advice there. I personally do a mixture ov “save as” making new versions ov the project and just saving over the previous one depending on what I am doing with the mix. If it’s just tweaking a couple ov levels or EQs then I’ll just save over the original version as I don’t want endless v1, v2, v3 etc ov the project. However, I’ll do this when I am making a MAJOR change to it, such as replacing drums with different ones, bouncing plugins down to a rendered track or seriously editing the arrangement.

    It doesn’t matter too much if I need to go back to an older mix (in the case ov “overcooking”) because I will always have all the rendered versions ov the mixes. But for me, that actually has NEVER happened, although I consider it from time to time.

    As an aside, have you ever noticed how audio projects are a lot like baking a cake? The trax are the ingredience, the mixing process is the bit where you put them all in the bowl etc, and mastering is when it goes in the oven. 🙂

    • I think it’s more like mixing is the putting it in the oven. Mastering is decorating it with icing. It still tastes like the same cake, only better. 🙂