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How do you organize your ideas and sketches?


eegee
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I have a folder called ideas and I'll save a Logic file when I stumble on something cool. So I'll have something like Cool Beat and then Cool Beat 2 and then Sketch in C Minor and etc. Well, after you get a bunch of these, they are hard to keep organized. I'm curious for suggestions on how others manage their ideas and sketches?
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I was thinking more along the lines of naming conventions and how you quickly find an old sketch/idea you want to revisit. I've actually also tried keeping all of my sketches (which are usually just on piano) as individual tracks in a single Logic 'ideas' file. But thats also not an awesome workflow.
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I guess there is no better way than the other,you have to find the way that is easiest to you.You can call your songs all kinds of names,but if you cant remember one from another it gives you the same result in the end.I also have single projects with a lot of different ideas and i just color them seperatly.In that way you can also name your idea projects,ballads,beats,rock and so on...
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would give it a descriptive title, but I'd also keep a separate text file or data bass, with more descriptions, as a second document to reference..

 

Song = TITLE: Sunday afternoon date made, - terms - lite jazz, Key of A,, syncopated piano, jazz like bass. nostaligic, hint of sadness, statley, 97 bpm,

electric piano, flute, acoustic bass, sparse drums, with stick.. song refs- 'killing me softly, slightly herby handpick.. Acoustic guitar solo.

 

Best way is to find what works for you.. some might even assign a color name to it.. intensity level..

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I use manuscript paper for pretty much all of my compositions including sketches and idea. (Currently, there are about 6 unfinished projects and/or sketches that have been started, some nearly 9 years old.) I recently purchased a cheap plastic "cabinet" to store all of my used and blank manuscript paper, which serves to organize everything. :D Other much older and completed, written out compositions are stored in boxes in my basement. On my computer, I create master folders by years, labeled "Original Compositions 2013", "Original Compositions 2014", "Original Compositions 2015" etc. I have archived folders on back-up disks (floppy disks, data CDs, HDDs, etc.), some dating back to the early 1990s, all safely stored in my closet somewhere, underneath stuff. (Unfortunately, I don't have a working computer that can open archived projects stored on floppy disks. Not good.)

 

With the exception of having archived projects stored on those "ancient" floppy disks, this system works for me.

 

(And. . . I'll probably always use blank manuscript paper to sketch out ideas and develop my compositional ideas.)

 

(I guess I'm hanging on to a pre-DAW way of doing things. . . )

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Paper is the best way I think.. John Lennon would write little 'bits' as he called them, sometimes only two lines, keep on a scrap of paper,and periodically pull them out when it was time to knock out a few hits. They wrote the movie title "Hard Days Night" the nite before they recorded it.. And then both John and Paul used some song fragments they wrote even before they were the Beatles for the last album.. If I'm noodling In Logic, I often take desktop pictures of plug-in and voice selected to remind myself..
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I began using the sound recorder app on my iPhone a few years ago, out of convenience. and now its my "Go to".

I will record a melody or lyrical idea with the phone, then e-mail it back to myself. From there I use folders and a naming convention such as

2014\Solo projects\12-13-14 Most of the Time 2b (added Vocals)

 

This way I have it organized by Year \ Artist \ date and title w progression.

 

Its fun to check that original voice recording against the finished (Semi) finished recording....

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  • 2 months later...
I'm curious for suggestions on how others manage their ideas and sketches?

 

Yes, after a while you lose track of that cool thing you know you did a few months back.

 

1) Even if its just a few bars, I always bounce to MP3 (with same name as the name of the Logic Project) before moving on to something else. These all go into a dedicated folder. Then when I want to review later, I don't have to open each project in Logic; I just open the folder in Finder, select a mp3, hit the space bar to have it play, use the down arrow to move to the next one.

 

2) I also use OmniFocus, where I have a Project called LogicTunes that has a task for the Logic Project name, a 1 to 5 star rating, and brief description like "Lydian descending bubbles w/ EX24 Pro One patch"

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