Organizing Songs in your DAW...



I'm making the transition from the old-skool analog realm of mixers and outboard gear into the DAW world. I won't go into the numerous headaches and frustrations (in general, I'm enjoying it), but rather just ask a somewhat philosophical question:

How do you approach the management of songs?


  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Do you have multiple songs within one project?
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If so, how do divide songs among the project? Set multiple in/out points? I still haven't found a way to really "label" songs well in Cubase (if you know how, please let me know!).
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">How do you label your mixer if you have multiple elements on one channel between songs? Or do you have dedicated channels for particular instruments?(I've been using old projects that were track-constrained, so this question may be sort of irrelevant)
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">How do you handle radical changes in plugin settings between songs? In depth use of mixer/plugin automation? Or do you simply concentrate on producing one song at a time, and don't really worry about having total-recall of settings song-to-song?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">[*]<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">One project for each song?
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If so, how do you handle consistency of settings between songs - for instance, if you want the same drum settings song to song.
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It seems like doing this would make archiving easier, but it seems totally impractical.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">[*]<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Does it just depend on the nature of the song?[/list:u:fdadebfb3a]<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
Also, how do you guys handle archiving of projects (audio in addition to mixer/plugin data)?

Sorry if I've missed a FAQ or relevant post. I did do a search and didn't really find anything...

FWIW, I'm using Cubase SX 1.6.
Last edited by a moderator:

Tore Nylund

I think that Cubase SX is great when it comes to this kind of questions.
One project for each song is the way to go. Then you know where all your files are.
If you want to have special "sets" so you can start a new song with all the VST's and VSTi's that you want, then you should open a new project and add all the features that you need ( like how many Audio tracks and Midi- tracks), add the VSTi's and effects, name the channels... When you've done all that then go to "Save as Template " and pick a name that suites (like "soft ballade", "Retro-pop" aso..) So the next time that you're going to start with a new song just load the template that you've saved for that kind of song... and voil´a... all the selectedplug-insand tracks are there for you!
I hope that this made sense....


Would you do this while tracking a group? My sessions are usually with relatively inexperienced bands where time is tight. If they're really new to it and have the shakes, sometimes I'll just say "Don't stress out, I'm gonna let the tape roll and just play the songs twice...". So, it seems like for the situations I'm in maybe breaking them up later would be best?

But again, with doing one project per song, how would you maintain consistency between the tracks? Say I want the same general drum settings for 5 songs - what's the best way to accomplish this after the stuff is tracked?

Thanks for the input!