Is file naming the most boring, uncreative topic?
But based on my experience there is a need for this post. Some thoughtfulness and organization goes a long way when it comes to sharing audio files.
As a music producer , it’s all too common that I will receive tracks from an artist with labels like:
Names like these are unclear and difficult to organize, which can eat up time.
Luckily there is a better way!
The better way:
In order, here are the five parts of a clear file name:
- Instrument name first
This makes it really easy to scan for in a folder or DAW. Something to add here is that it is helpful to have some clear abbreviations for common instruments. For instance, abbreviate Acoustic Guitar to Ac. GTR, Electric Guitar to E. GTR, Vocals to Vox, and Background Vocals to BGV.
- Number the take (versioning)
Versioning keeps takes organized and is one of the most important parts of the system.
Never again write the date or “final”
- Name the part
If you send three different vocal parts, give them clear names like VOX1_Verse, VOX1_Bridge, VOX1_Chorus)
- Microphone used
Note the microphone model. It’s crucial if using multiple microphones. It’s also helpful info for a mixing engineer.
- Song Name
Finally write the song name. No spaces necessary.
This is a simple, but effective system to name your individual audio files. It makes collaboration easy and efficient.