HomeBlogsbillhare's blogWhat's in a Name?

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Hello, Everybody!  Sorry I’ve been such a stranger lately, but things have been busy in Studio-land, and plenty has happened for me to rant and complain about! Others’ mistakes can become your gains, so learn from their experience and save your group some money in your mix!

If your group is doing the “record-it-yourself-and-send-it-out-to-be-mixed” route (which is fast becoming the norm in this business), let me give you a few tips that will help your friendly mixer-person stay friendly towards you, as well as help him or her do the job much more efficiently (ahem…cheaper).

Let’s start with names.  A very basic thing, the name of a song… or so you would think.  Let me give you a list of random songs that I recently received to mix from various groups:


•jjh3 081907

•john’s edit



…and the list goes on.

These titles probably have deep meaning to my clients, but my psychic abilities can’t even tell me which clients these songs belong to, let alone which songs they are!  This doesn’t only apply to electronic file names.  I am now looking at a DVD on my desk that was FedEx’ed here a couple days ago.  It’s marked “Bill for fri”, so I have no idea who it belongs to, but I guess I’m working on it Friday!

Of course, when I open this stuff up, I’ll probably be able to tell whose it is, match songs to projects, etc, but if I don’t need to take the time to decode your ciphers, I’ll have more time to actually mix!

One note I will make here is this isn't just happening with do-it-yourself-ers, I'll get these cyphers from the pros from time to time.   If they don't stop, I'll start listing their names... ;-)

OK, so I’ve finally figured out that IWSNT1207Edit is the song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (again??), so let’s look inside:

Hmmm, several Pro Tools sessions files… let’s see what they are called:


This sort of stuff really DOES happen!  I can’t tell which one is the one I’m supposed to mix, they haven’t told me, and any one of these titles are saying to me that they might be the version I’m supposed to use.

I can look at the modification dates, but even that isn’t a sure thing – maybe some experimenting was going on that they decided not to use, etc…  OK, now I’ll take some time to call the clients and make sure I’m working on the right one…. Well, my contact in the group doesn’t know, and he tells me the guy who would know is in class at the moment, so it’ll be a couple hours for me to find out.  Sigh.  Do I charge them for the time I’m waiting around, or shall I try to figure out other ciphers while I wait?

This all would have been avoided had they just taken 10 seconds to change the name of the folder to “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, put all of the unused sessions into another folder (or just deleted them), and left me with one, obvious, session file (preferably called “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.ptf”)!

Now that THAT’s all sorted out, in my next article I’ll tell you what I found in the session itself!