Ok, so it's no secret we can use colours in most major DAWs to brighten things up and make our projects a little brighter, but get your colour coding system nailed down and you could make your life a whole lot easier.
I'll show you a few things I do in my Logic Pro projects, to make sure I can see exactly what's going on, even in a crowded track. I'll also demonstrate a few short cuts that will also help keep you on track.
Create a Personalised Palette
It may sound simple but take the time to create your own colour coding system. I have used the same one for years now and teach it to my students. I'm not sure where it came from ... maybe it was passed to me by a supreme being, or maybe I made it up during a errr 'smokey' studio session. Who knows, but one thing I know is that it works for me.
Mine goes some thing like... Red for drums, blue for bass, yellow for synths, green for FX, pink for vocals etc etc. The important thing is that you make up a palette that works for you and then stick to it. Trust me, learning this and taking the time to apply the colouring will make your sessions easier. You will be able to glance at busy projects and know what's where immediately.
A busy project with colouring applied
Using All Your Colour Features
Make sure you are using all the colouring features your DAW has to offer. For instance there are some great little things you can do in Logic, like using the 'Track Color Bars'. These can be accessed in the 'Configure track header' section of the view mini menu in your arrange window. When activated you'll get small coloured bars in each track and this gives you yet another way to very quickly identify your material.
Enabling track colour bars.
The track colour bars in action.
Colour Your Events and Your Channel Strips
When you are colouring your mixer channels it's important to colour your events in the same colours and vica versa. I'd suggest attacking the mixer first, I tend to have a session of colourisation towards the end of my initial creative outburst, this keeps things organised and clear.
When I'm done I go to the incredibly useful 'Color regions by Channel strips/Instruments function in the Region mini menu. This colours all your regions in the same way as your mixer channels in one click. Nice! You can also use the naming function here that names all your regions with your channel strip names.
Now get back to your music and keep it colourful !!
Coloring regions by channel strip colours.
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