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Tuesday, 27 January 2015 00:00

Creative Organization

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Creativity and Organization are not polar opposites… No one multi-tasks quite like modern radio people do.


The number of hats warn in any size market can be mind numbing. In markets from small to large, we’re doing jobs that 3 or 4 did years ago. Getting organized can save you time, time you can use to be creative, and/or get home before the sun goes down. So I’ve produced 2,914 promos and sweepers for CBS Radio… this year. Here’s some of the systems I use to try to say sane, creative, and get everything done in time to have time for my family." >FILE NAMES

Pick a system that makes your sessions searchable… and ideas rediscover able. For me I use a Year Month Day system, a 3 digit code for content type, including the station name and topic in every file name. So I can run a search by station, topic, or whatever and because I use the Year Month Day filename it automatically sorts in every computer.

For example the second Taylor Swift Live On Letterman promo I just cut for WQYK is:

121002pro – WQYK_Taylor Swift Letterman


I use Master Directories for the type, and breakout from there. WYCD, WQYK, WOMC, etc they all have master directories for VO, Session, and Mixdown directories. I have every session, every VO raw audio file, and a mixdown of each one for in most cases almost 10 years. 

But unlike alot of folks, I do NOT copy every file used in a session into it's session file. instead, for example I have a Master SFX directory where everything is orginized. Audition will pull everything in from where it is, not needing to dump a second or third copy of everything across my drive. Keeps Dups down, and keeps backups FAST, since the only files that change are the Voice, Session, and Mixdowns. The Master directories for audio elements are SFX=Imaging FX, Loops and virtual instrument files, FX=realistic Sound ideas type, Music, Commercial Beds Drops, Listeners, and Artist actualites. So since I have 265 Tim McGraw sessions, I can load a promo from 5 years ago, and still loads 95% of the time finding every file, but I don't have 265 copies of Don't Take The *fricken* Girl on my Hard Drive!

The Good part of this, it keeps fragmentation on the Hard Drive to a minimum, and creates the possibility to backup my latest work super quickly. Plus by keeping duplicate files to a minimum I have have 20,701 sessions on my hard drive at the same time... Yes 20,701 not joking!


I’ve survived 4 hard drive deaths, and 2 studio floods… literally. All with almost no data loss. How? Simple, off site backup. Today it’s easier than ever with online services like Carbonite, and low Hard Drive prices. Plus since the master audio directories stay mostly the same (new VO, new music, and SFX are added but not on every session in just one file) I can quickly and easily sync the home studio and have 100% digital parity on the portable hard drives I use every day at CBS Detroit... and even a quick bus powered USB for on the go.

So whether this seems hopeless anal, not your way, or a good idea, the bottom line is when you feel like your trying to keep all the plates spinning, or feel like your juggling chainsaws, you can shave time off of that next Taylor Swift promo, where by loading an old session, you can at least start with your songs, hooks, already edited… Then go home at a decent time for once…

Ideas and input always welcome...

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