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INTRODUCTION
Collaborating with outside studios, co-writers and producers will involve exchanging proper audio and project files via the internet or by delivering the files on hard drive. Sorry to say, there are many things that can go wrong with file exchange that can cause you time, frustration and money if you’re not prepared. But you can avoid these pitfalls with a little basic knowledge of the process and by being as organized as possible.

Sending entire song file verses individual audio tracks.
First you will need to decide if you will be sending entire song files or exporting individual audio files to your collaborators. (Please refer to “Basic Recording Pre-Production” if you’re unsure of the difference).

You may opt to send the entire song file if:

  • Your project is complete and you’re sending it off to be mixed.
  • You’re sending your project to a collaborator for the first time that he/she will be working on it.

You probably should exchange individual audio files if:

  • You will be going back and forth and both working on the song at the same time.
  • You are using different recording applications and cannot find a common exchange format.

STEP BY STEP-(We’ll be covering the details in subsequent articles, but here’s the overview).

Transferring Entire Song Files

  1. Backup the entire song file onto a separate hard drive.
  2. Delete unused audio files from the audio files folder to reduce the size of the project. (STOP! Do not do this by looking in your audio files folder and guessing which files are in use, consult your manual or get some help.)
  3. Clearly label all tracks.
  4. Transfer either by physically delivering a hard drive, or sending over the internet.

Transferring Individual audio tracks

  1. Backup the entire song file onto a separate hard drive.
  2. Consolidate and clearly label the audio files you you will be sending.
  3. Export the audio files into a new folder.
  4. Transfer either by physically delivering a hard drive, or sending over the internet.

Whether you’re sending the entire song file or the individual audio files, being organized and providing clear documentation will make the process go much smoother. So lets get organized.

DOCUMENTING YOUR AUDIO PROJECT
In addition to your projects files, you will want to provide project information to your fellow collaborators, such a as:
Technical information

  • bit rate sample rate(24 bit, 16 bit)
  • audio file type (.wav, .Aif for ex.)
  • frame rate(if working to picture)

Song information

  • tempo (Very important to set this BEFORE importing audio tracks)
  • meter (Very important to set this BEFORE importing audio tracks)
  • chord chart and/or lead sheet
  • lyric sheet
  • notes (Anything and everything you’d like to pass a long, clearly and concisely, in one document is so much better than 10 emails!)
  • A rough mix

Summary
Decide whether you will be sending entire song files or individual audio tracks. Provide proper documentation including all technical specs and song information to everyone who you will be collaborating with. Backup up your files before preparing them for transfer.

NEXT: Preparing Audio Tracks for Export

Related Articles:
Exporting Audio Project Files
Basic Recording Pre-Production
Copyright 2014 Crit Harmon

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