I don’t like wasting time while working on a mix. Being organized in a session is critical. A lot of time can be wasted looking for tracks again and again and again! (Like I used to do in the early days!)
Because I use templates (see the post dated Feb. 23, 2015 ‘Creating and using templates in Pro Tools 8’), a lot of my tracks are already organized how I like them, before I ever start. Sweet!
It is important to set up all your sessions the same way. That way you always know where certain tracks are going to be and can get to them quicker. A lot of time can be wasted looking for the aux track that has the reverb for instance. Or trying to find the bass track. Or . . . you get the idea.
I always organize the mix window from left to right (top to bottom in the edit window). I always start with the click track. Next are the drums (kick, snare top/bottom, hh, toms, overheads, room), Bass gtr, keys, guitars (elec. then acoustic), lead vox, background vocals. I follow this with a group of Aux tracks (for reverbs and delays). And then last is the final master fader.
The click is always far left – the master fader is always far right. I always know they are there. Or in the edit window the click is always at the very top and the master fader is always at the very bottom.
What if you have a percussion part or a tambourine or something else? I worked out an order (for me) that puts these extra parts in their respective group. Basically I go low to high (in sound or timbre) or main instruments part and then auxiliary instruments.
In a later blog I will talk about sub mix groups.
And HEY! Make it a great day!