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selig 2011-06-07 18:47

Record: Song File "Versions" w/Data Import
[EDIT 2013: also applies to Reason!]

OK, I understand the reason to self contain the audio, although I'd prefer to have it in it's own folder. But the BIGGER issue is when you want to save a version of the song you are working on to try some complex edits that go beyond the undo buffer (or any number of other reasons to want to save a different version of your song). There's no way to quickly save a different version of the file - and if you DO this more than a few times things get messy quick. So here's one way around these problems - "Versions".

Since the Record Song file is already a 'self-contained' file, why not use it to contain a few more files, namely the song file data (minus the audio). By 'containing' different version of the song within the main song file, you keep the audio and song elements together and organized, but you allow switching between different versions of the song (best of both worlds).

When you open a previously saved song with versions, the current version will be the last version saved. From there you can switch to a different version or create a new version (essentially a self-contained 'save as' feature).

Auto Save
A 'bonus' feature to this idea is Auto Saving for backups, which would appear in it's own 'window' or folder to keep them separate from user-created versions. Set Auto Save to save one 'version' every so often, and set a total number of versions to save with the file. Now if you do something silly (who hasn't), you can perform a virtual 'time machine' function, and go 'back in time' to the version prior to the 'silly' one!

Data Import
This feature allows you to combine tracks or other elements of one mix with another. Say you have improved the vocal settings but have ruined the drums on your current mix 'version'. Either go back to the version with the good drums and import just the vocal channel data (EQ, inserts, etc) to the current vocal track, or import the drum setting into the current mix. Either way, instant fix!

Data Import can also be used to import the setting from another song file into your current song file, like your mastering settings or favorite vocal chain. This is also handy for mixing multiple songs from one tracking session. Once you have the drums EQ'ed etc, on the next mix you could just import the EQ settings and use them as a starting point for that mix. This is re-creating what happens on an analog console when you have mixed one song and go to mix the next song - the console stays setup allowing you to use the settings from the last mix to begin the next mix (sometimes with very interesting and unexpected results!).

The types of data you can import will be similar to the 'copy channel settings' in the mixer, and will also include fader/mute/pan data, and sequencer tracks/data. You can import the data to an existing track, or even use it to create a new track. You can of course import multiple tracks of different data types to different (or the same) destination tracks, all in one command.

That is all. :-)

JiggeryPokery 2011-06-07 20:58

Wow, you're on a bit of a roll today, GR! ;)

AndrewBest 2011-06-12 04:22

Yes! This is a great idea. In the Versions feature it would be nice if there could be some way of highlighting which settings are different between two versions. Similar to the green automation highlight there could be a different color highlight on knobs that differ from the current version. Or that information could be shown in a list. Software developers couldn't live without version control. I'm surprised it hasn't crossed over into music production software.

AndrewBest 2011-06-12 04:55

One other thought. Your Data Import idea would make collaboration work a lot easier. Despite good intentions of keeping files in sync, it always ends up the case that two people were accidentally changing the song at the same time. And someone ends up having to manually integrate the other's changes. Seeing the differences between the two files and being able to choose which settings to keep and which to overwrite when merging would be great.

EpiGenetik 2011-06-13 04:16

This is an excellent idea Selig! I also like Andrew's collaboration addition.

good stuff guys, keep it coming.

pushedbutton 2011-06-13 11:41

I'm on board with this. I made a similar thread but this one explains it better.

BonezMcCoy 2011-06-13 12:34

I'm all for this!

Makis 2011-07-14 12:04

Cool idea.....

reflectionjack 2011-07-14 14:42

i'm not sure if i'm for auto-save. it really works badly in most daw's interrupting workflow- but that's just my opinion. i think versioning isn't that bad of an idea. data import is VERY needed. to be able to take settings from a song you did earlier and use it on another is great. i thought this was possible though? could have sworn i'd copied compression settings then imported into another record file. as long as the original is open, can't that work??

reflectionjack 2011-07-14 14:44

what i will usually do is take the original and export all audio files, etc into it's own folder then refill the entire thing and never touch it again. then save different versions of that original without self-containing all the files. so that way each refers to the same samples reducing size immensely.

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