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Keeping Track of Your Recording Tracks

One of the great things about digital recording systems is the number of tracks that are often available. Computer-based systems, for example, often have unlimited numbers of tracks (or obscenely high numbers), and many SIAB systems offer virtual tracks. Virtual tracks are additional tracks that are hidden behind the basic tracks of the system.

They allow you to record various takes of a performance on separate tracks, but only one virtual track can be played at a time. Virtual tracks are great when you’re not sure whether you like a particular take but it’s not bad enough to record over.

Having all these tracks is great except keeping (ahem) track of them all can be daunting. The typical recommendation: Use track sheets to document all your tracks. Track sheets are forms where you enter basic information for each of your recorded tracks, such as what instrument, take, and performance section are included.

This gives you a visual representation of your song’s components and makes it easier to choose which performances to include in your final mix. Here are some Internet resources to get you started:

  • Ultimate Track Sheet (http://www.ultimatetracksheet.com): This page offers track sheets for 8- to 48-track sessions for $1.00.

  • VS-Planet “User Track Sheet” Collection (http://www.vsplanet.com/Pages/UsersArea/Downloads/index.html): This page is part of The VS-Planet, which is a site dedicated to Roland VS-series recorders. Scroll down the page until you get to The VS-Planet User Track Sheet Collection. You can also find studio-organizing forms on this page (located just below the track sheet downloads).

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