Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to use Folder Tracks (practical uses)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to talk about a way to organize our project (so we are in the Project Preparation phase, the one between the recording phase and the mixing one), grouping two or more tracks in one same folder (e.g. Toms) so that we can reach more easily the track we need instead of having to scroll down the tracklist all the time; this is really the best way to tidy up our session.

In large projects (especially those with big orchestral Midi parts), we can find ourselves with literally hundreds of tracks (I have personally worked on a project with more than 100 AUDIO tracks), so a good organization of the workstation is essential.
All the most advanced Daws have some way to visually group tracks in smaller folders that when needed can be collapsed, and each producer calls them in a different way (for example in Logic they are called Track Stacks), but today we are going to focus on the Presonus Studio One interface, because the Track Folder tool offers the same function of the others, plus some unique feature.

The first thing to do is to choose the tracks that we want to pack in the same folder (holding Shift), and then right click on the wave symbol of the first selected track and choose from the menu PACK FOLDER.
This way the Daw will create a folder track that we can name as we want (e.g. "Vocals", containing all the vocal tracks); note that this folder is NOT a group track, so if we click on the folder icon on this track it will show us all the included tracks and they can be processed individually, although we can mute or solo the folder track and it will apply on all included tracks.

An interesting feature that is more rare to find in other Daws is the fact that you can click on the folder track and select (where initially there is written "None") "Add Bus Channel", and it will create a Bus Track in our Console.
Doing so, we will also be able to control the bus volume directly from the folder track.

One last feature, which is exclusive of Studio One, is the Group function. In the folder track there is also an icon with 3 human figures:

Let's say we have in our folder several audio tracks with the recording of an acoustic drumset that we need to edit: by clicking that button we have all the tracks inside the folder grouped together and we can edit all of them at the same time, then clicking on it again they will be ungrouped so that we'll be able to edit individually each single track.
This function can speed up our workflow immensely, when editing.

I hope this was helpful!

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