Adding text to projects is essential if you are working with other people. In yesterday's post, I talked about adding text to a track as a title. Today I am going to show you a brilliant VST notepad from a brilliant suite of free effects plugins. It is called MNotepad, by Melda Productions, available here. So, Why is having text in your project so important? It doesn't affect your sound, so what's the point?Firstly, if you are working with other people, it is essential you communicate everything you are doing. You don't want to spend 20 minutes on the perfect EQ curve if they go and just remove your whole effects chain on that track. That is why when you send your project, each track should contain notes about what you did and why.
Here are some of the notes I made when I mixed and mastered
my friend's song. I sent him the notes so he could follow what was
done and make according changes if need be.
If you are working on a professional project, you should send back not just the finished piece but the stems, various stages of the mix and your notes. Not least so you can justify your hard work or prices. It bodes well for people to see what steps have occurred so they may to learn, or identify any issues needing resolved.
Let the person on the other side know what plugins and presets you used to save them looking through each chain.
If you are making a remix or collaboration remotely, you are going to need to describe what you are doing to the other person, just as you'd expect to know what they are doing too. By adding a notepad on the end of each track chain you can tell them to leave the synth sound as it is, or allow them to tweak it to fit their modifications.
When you start mixing a track, you may want to add notes before effects that outline what you want to do to each track, this can streamline your process and means that you aren't adding VSTs just to try them out. You have set yourself and end goal.
Other uses include adding lyrics to the vocal tracks or even ideas for remixing the song you are currently working on. Sometimes it is also good to outline why you didn't add effects to that particular track to stop you coming back later thinking it needs some.
Finally, as mentioned previously, if you can't justify why you added an effect, you probably shouldn't have it in your chain. It is good practice to add notes to let yourself know why you added two compressors in series as opposed to one.