Having your project organised & pretty whilst you work may seem like a miniscule thought in the grand scheme of audio production & composition; but even the smallest bit of logical organising can improve your workflow, especially on big projects. May I introduce you to Sonar’s Track Folders.
As you may have seen my previous ‘Templates’ tutorial, my projects can run to about 50 independent tracks, on a good day. There are lots of guys out there in composerland that use plenty more than that.With that many tracks on hand, it can get confusing when I’m trying to jump from one track to the next whilst sequencing my next masterpiece (*cough*).
So what’s an easy way I can organise my project so that I’m left without the headache of looking for ‘that damn Trumpet sFz track’?
Organising a Project with Track Folders
So, you have your unorganised smoosh of tracks of various types all set up and ready to go in your project. Before you jump in, think about how you should organise them. My projects are generally orchestral in nature, so I tend to group my MIDI tracks into instrument groups like those of an orchestra – Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, and then any other categories that might be appropriate. You might want to group your project in a different way, and that’s fine – just make sure that it’s logical FOR YOU, because this is all about making your project useful, not just pretty.
Something to keep in mind though – our track folders only allow for one tier of organisation. We can’t put a track folder within a track folder like you might do in Windows Explorer – so no sub-groups. Sorry…
Once we have a structure in mind – grouping into a track folder is as simple as:
- Highlighting a track (left-click on it’s track header)
- Right-clicking on the track header to bring up a menu
- Navigate to and left-click on Move to Folder > New Track Folder.
Immediately, Sonar will group the track into a new folder, which can be titled whatever you wish. You can add more tracks to the folder by Right-clicking on other track headers, and navigating to Move to Folder > [Folder Name] (the name being the folder you just made and titled).
By the way, you can select multiple tracks in a row by left-clicking and dragging over the numbers on the track headers, or selectively highlight tracks by holding CTRL & Left-clicking on the tracks you want.
Track Folders are neato – they put things into order and allow you to find things quickly. You can even go a step further in logically ordering your tracks – for instance, inside my ‘Strings’ track folder, I’ve organised my string articulations so that they appear roughly in score order (Violins at the top, followed by Violas, Cellos then Basses). Yes, Track Folders are small thoughts in the grand scheme of things, but I do recommend you use them; it’s definately a good habit to get into.
[NB. – I’ll be adding YouTube video versions of these tutorials very soon. Stay tuned!]