Project Version Control

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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BillW
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Project Version Control

Post by BillW » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:07 pm

I seem to get int Mixcraft for intense periods and then set it aside for months. I'm back into an intense period and forgot something basic. This is a no brainer for most of you - but a tip or reminder for those who may be new to this (like I feel I am every time I get going again).

Save your project as multiple versions. The frequency of that is up to you, but in case you go down a road in mixing you wish you hadn't, it helps to have a "cleaner" version to restart from.

Actually, my issue that made me remember this is more confusing. I thought I could steal some time for mixing during my 45 minute train commute. But in the cramped seat on my commuter train, it was a bit difficult to navigate the keyboad and track pad. Somehow I hit many several wrong key combinations and (long story short) ended up copying bass tracks to sax tracks, deleting some riffs, creating snippets in new track. A real mess that I didn't even know happened until I listened to the project - thinking I was going to be pleased with what I (thought) I did.

Well, as is my habit, I saved the project before playing it (because my somewhat underpowered laptop will occasionally lock up Mixcraft and I have to restart it). When I listened, I was shocked to hear how messed up things got - and I had no prior version to go back to!

So I had to find all the messed up pieces, tried to put it back together, and had to redo much of what I thought I did.

So now I don't just save often - I save as different project names at key points.
Mixcraft 8 Pro (32bit) runs fine on a Toshiba Satellite C55-B laptop with a wimpy Celeron N2830 (dual core). Now using 64bit on a "less wimpy" Dell 660S/Dual Core Pentium/8GB RAM.

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Acoustica Greg » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:11 pm

Hi,

Making backups is always a good idea!

Mixcraft does create a backup project every time you save. It's located in the Backup folder inside your project folder.

Greg

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BillW
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by BillW » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:50 pm

I'll have to check that out next time I'm at my Mixcraft computer. Thanks Greg.

does it only save one backup? From what you say, if I save now it will create have the prior version (the one I opened) in the Backup folder. But if I do more work and save again, do I now have two backups - or does it only store the one from the prior save?

If just one, the backup probably would have saved me. But if I did a subsequent save before realizing the mess I had, perhaps not?
Mixcraft 8 Pro (32bit) runs fine on a Toshiba Satellite C55-B laptop with a wimpy Celeron N2830 (dual core). Now using 64bit on a "less wimpy" Dell 660S/Dual Core Pentium/8GB RAM.

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Starship Krupa
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Starship Krupa » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:10 pm

If you have Mixcraft 6 or 7, it makes a backup every time you Save (since project files are tiny, this is no big deal).

This fact has saved a certain amount of bacon in my studio.

You project is probably fine and sitting somewhere in that backup folder.
-Erik
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3.4 GHz i7-3770, 16G RAM, Win 10 64-bit, ATi Radeon HD 5770
2X PreSonus Firepods, Event 20/20's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Alesis Point Sevens
Mixcraft Pro Studio 8.5, Cakewalk by BandLab

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Studio 919
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Studio 919 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:14 pm

Hey BillW,

As I understand it, Mixcraft creates a new backup each time you save, which means you will end up with multiple backups. For example, let's say you create a new project and lay down a couple tracks. When you exit AND SAVE the project, a backup is created. Some time later you go back in to this project and (for example) lay down another track or two. When you exit this time AND SAVE the project, a new backup is created. Now you actually have two backup files and each one shows the date and time it was created. This way, if you want to go back to the original, simply select it from the backup folder.

Hope this helps.

Barry
No matter where you go, there you are.

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aquataur
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by aquataur » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:21 am

Also, my "teacher" ( sort of) in this craft, Mike Senior with his book on Homerecording, recommends to write out what you are doing to a track, what filter settings, what compressor settings. Through hardware and/or software changes something might not load any longer and you have no chance to find out where this was and what settings.

Although this can be quite labourous, it can save you huge amounts of work, if at all this can be retrieved.

I once had a plug-in using CUDA and when I moved to a non-CUDA PC (with CPU based graphics) the plugin would not load. Luckily, I knew about where it had been sitting, but the settings were gone.

I have filed a suggestion entry for Mixcraft to have MX produce some documentary on the used plugins and settings per track, but this plea died off unheard. Or did you, folks? 8)

-helmut

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MeanMrMustard
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by MeanMrMustard » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:04 am

Acoustica Greg wrote:Hi,

Making backups is always a good idea!

Mixcraft does create a backup project every time you save. It's located in the Backup folder inside your project folder.

Greg


Nice ! It's becoming more and more apparent to me that M7 was written by musicians for musicians...as it is very well thought out.

Still new, still learning :wink:

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:39 am

aquataur wrote:write out what you are doing to a track, what filter settings, what compressor settings.
It wasnt that long ago that manually writing notes was the closest thing to a backup you could have......

Personally I find it helpful an larger, more serious projects, to create my own backup versions at various critical stages, named accordingly.
Final arrangement, rough mix, a vocal or instrument comp, many potential versions to fall back on if something goes wrong, I get lost, or simply don't like a direction something has gone and want to start over from some previous point.
I like to take control of a process and not depend on any program or anything/anyone too heavily.
Stay in tune, Mark

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aquataur
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by aquataur » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:18 am

Mark Bliss wrote:Personally I find it helpful an larger, more serious projects, to create my own backup versions at various critical stages, named accordingly.
That would not help you in the scenario I described. If you try to start a plugin that is no longer hardware compatible, it fails loading and Mixcraft produces an error message.

Unfortunately, if it was something like a filter used extensively across individual tracks, having backups would not change a thing. You would need to undo the hardware change and this is not always possible.

And I did not want my 32bit machine back, particularly after its interior was butchered :lol:

No, I think this is still a good idea to have written notes. I think since the Host knows all the settings anyway (you can automate them via host) it might as well produce a text dump of some sort.

As far as being eager to write - ashes on my head. :roll:

-helmut

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:29 am

Yeah Helmut, I was speaking of backups in general. The scenario you write of is the exception and not addressed by common backup methods.

The idea of an inclusive backup data dump is of interest. I have no idea what it would involve to accomplish. I have faith the suggestion has been heard and considered.
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

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Starship Krupa
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Starship Krupa » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:07 pm

What Helmut suggests is a great job for TrackPad or TrackNotepad, which are freeware VST's that are just simple notepads.

You put it on a track as an effect and then make whatever notes you need to.

I know that Mixcraft allows for Project Notes down at the bottom, but sometimes it's handy to have track-specific notes.

So for each track, you could have a TrackPad (or multiple) with the list of plug-ins and their settings, recording date, name of talent, mics and instruments used, etc.

I have not been doing this as much as I should, as I kind of forgot about these plug-ins, but now that you all have brought it up, I shall start doing so. I'm a fiend for reading all of that tech information about records.
-Erik
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3.4 GHz i7-3770, 16G RAM, Win 10 64-bit, ATi Radeon HD 5770
2X PreSonus Firepods, Event 20/20's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Alesis Point Sevens
Mixcraft Pro Studio 8.5, Cakewalk by BandLab

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aquataur
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by aquataur » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:16 am

Thanks for this tip.
Stuff like that can be a great help or a great curse - it is not fail proof. A peace of paper is fail proof.

The idea of paper print aims into a direction of a non recoverable software or hardware change.
What if this plug-in were for some reason not compatible with an updated software version and you had some crucial tweaks in there?

The idea is to rely on a medium that is not affected by computer problems, like a plain text file or a printout thereof.
There is no need for fancy formatting, just a dump.

I do not know how much the host knows about the plug-in´s settings. I presume it does, because you can access them with the host´s automation mechanisms. I also don´t know if all plug-ins (have to) make their controls available outside.

Nevertheless, the notepad plugin is helpful, thanks. It is, however, severely more pain to document your fx chain actively than to hit a button and have this done by the host.

Maybe this can be achieved fairly easy or it could be a mega job.

-helmut

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Project Version Control

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:31 am

aquataur wrote:Maybe this can be achieved fairly easy or it could be a mega job.
I think that's the big question about that whole idea.

For archiving open projects, one problem when I revisit them later is that I cant remember where I was at or what the thought was on some of those tracks. Comps, inserts, a bunch of stuff, and if I come back to it after some time, I just look at it and am lost. Where was I? Data or not, there's just too much to remember. Even my notes are often no help.
What I have done about this, might also be worth considering for the problem of potentially lost, inoperative or out of date plug ins.
Save a project version that has the tracks individually "printed" or rendered. At least you still have the stems without all that lost work.
Stay in tune, Mark

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