Keeping track of multiple revisions on a mastering project

If a customer wants multiple revisions on a mastering project, how do you guys keep track of each version? It’s fine just saving the montage after I edit clip FX each time - as long as the client is always ok with the most recent version… BUT if they ever want to go back to an older version, the montage has already been updated - the old version has been saved over, and all clip FX settings from before are lost.

How are you guys dealing with this? I see there’s an option for “save plugin chain” under the menu… maybe I just need to save a plugin chain for every single clip, and for every single revision of every clip, and then keep track of the presets?

PG - maybe there could be a way to have plugin chain “versions” that we could name and save within each clip or something… so each clip could have many “plugin chain versions” that could be named and loaded at any time… and all “plugin chain versions” could be saved with the montage? I’m not sure the best fix for this, but it’s an issue that occasionally comes up.


Copy the clip to another track and then make changes, so you still have the old clip with the previous settings. If you have to change the whole album, duplicate the track and it does the same thing. “Replace audio file” is also useful if you get a new mix and just want to replace the file in a copy of the old clip starting with the same settings.

Copy and paste the whole clip plugin chain works too.

I deal with this quite easily by calling my initial montage version Artist Name - Release Title V1
Then I render a DDP or files for approval called Artist_TItle_DDP_V1 for example.

If they ask for a new version, I open the V1 montage and immediately Save As… and change the name from V1 to V2.
I make the requested changes and render a new DDP called Artist_TItle_DDP_V2

This way, my montage settings are never erased and if they need me to revert some settings or split the difference on something, everything is still accessible in the previous version(s).

Once the project is approved I render all the additional master formats for the project and use the same naming scheme such as Artist_TItle_2496_WAV_V2, Artist_TItle_1644_WAV_V2. Artist_TItle_mp3_V2, Artist_TItle_VINYL_V2.

I find this very easy to look at and also reference months/years later.

I don’t create new source files for each revision, just a new .mon motange file which is very small. I may end up with two or three versions of a .mon file for a project but it’s not a big deal.

As Bob mentioned, the Replace Audio File… feature is nice for when a new source file is needed for the montage, but often it’s just tweaks to Clip FX, spacing between songs, CD-Text/Metadata, or maybe the overall loudness via the final limiter.

For revisions, I couldn’t imagine just changing my singular montage blindly without a Save As… to fall back on, and not having a way to get back to it if needed to reference any settings, or if the client decided that the change they requested wasn’t a good idea, which happens :slight_smile:

This is what a folder structure of a project that was approved on the 3rd version looks like:

So bob - you’re suggesting just having duplicates on other tracks - and then just keeping those tracks or clips muted during final export?

Justin - So if a client wants more high frequencies in just one single clip, you save a new montage as V2. You’re then sending them a ddp? This client has requested 320mbps mp3 files so we’ve been doing that. But let’s say they want V3 of most clips, and then decide they want V1 and V2 on a couple clips - do you then open an older montage and import all V3 and/or V2 clips into the older V1 montage to save as V4? - or do you somehow transfer the V1 clips into the V3 montage? I guess how do you transfer clips around between montages with effect chains, etc? I’m a bit confused and not sure I’m understanding how things would work in that case.

Yeah, I like to render a new full project master again whether it’s reference mp3 files or DDP. It’s just part of my workflow. This way they are hearing my actual file renders should something go wrong randomly on a render which is rare but happens. Track by track renders can be iffy when songs overlap or cross fade so I like to make a full continuous render of the project first, before going track by track.

But yes, if after hearing version 1 they want less high frequencies on one song, I’d save the montage as V2, make the change to that song’s clip FX chain, and render a new master of the entire project. You’ll likely need it when it’s approved anyway. Whether you deliver them an entire new master to approve or just the changed songs is up to you but I really value delivering as DDP so they can be 100% sure of the track spacing etc.

Then if they start needing to combine versions such as the track one V2 and track 4 V1, it’s easy to copy and paste FX chains and clip envelopes to recreate how things were in a previous version.

Once the project is approved I render all the master formats based on the approved version and everything is as it should be.

Hmm… both are good ideas – I’ll give them a try. Thanks for the feedback… more soon!

I render all versions as we go … naming them EQ (date). I personally prefer to work with the master section and save that as the same EQ (date).

This means that all rendered versions are in my project folders which are organized in a way that supports this (post/post SRCd/masters).

If there are changes required to the montage (a revised fade for example) then I would save that montage as a renamed version.

We all work in different ways, and I primarily think “streaming” before CD. So, I tend to separately assemble a CD montage (if required) from the masters. It takes very little time.

So, as happened just this morning, when the client emails saying that they like the tape transfer versions of three tracks and the all digital of one, that’s no problem because all of the rendered versions are available.

Hope this also helps.

All of these work, but I see we’re all doing different things - and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks… and all of them though could be simplified - maybe PG will consider adding a new feature?:


Within the montage - Plugin chain “versions” for each clip - so each clip could have many “plugin chain versions” that could be named and then loaded/recalled at any time… and all “plugin chain versions” for each of the clips could be saved with a montage? This would make revisions a piece of cake.

It sounds like you are referring to something similar to how Pro Tools handles audio playlists but for plugin chains. This way you don’t end up with tons of plugin chain presets you’ll never use again and have to clean up.

I could see it being useful but I also would still prefer my method of a new version number for each .mon revision because there are often too many details to manage like song spacing, titles, plugins etc.

The way my brain works, I need to have dedicated .mon versions to go back and reference at times.

We may still use multiple versions of montages (for fade changes, etc), but being able to save plug-in chain versions for each clip would drastically simplify the whole thing.

Right, for the time being you can assign a shortcut to copy an entire FX chain and another to paste it to another song or another montage if needed.

But if you need to do it with 4 or 5 clips, it wouldn’t work so well. In that case, you’d probably be better off saving all of the plugin chain presets and then loading them all into the new montage… lots of work and time either way though. If you already have multiple versions of your montages, this could get really complex…

I vote for clip plugin chain versions. :slight_smile: Would you guys use this feature, and be happy if PG was willing to implement it?

I vote for clip plugin chain versions. > :slight_smile: > Would you guys use this feature, and be happy if PG was willing to implement it?

Good idea indeed.

I’m not against, but wouldn’t use them. I work the way Justin does, with renamed .mon files.

Same here. I need with 100% certainly to recall every minute detail of a previous master version and since I work with a of EPs and albums, I just do a full rendering of the project even for a small one song change so that all the plugin processing is locked in on one pass.

I’ve had too many small glitches at overlapping track transitions related to plugins to do it any other way.

For me, clip FX are the main thing I end up changing, so this feature would be a huge help and would reduce the number of duplicate montages I end up creating… In fact, in most cases, I would only need one montage version if clip effect versions are possible.

The only time it could become an issue… sometimes, I need to import a new mix version if the client updates the mix. In that case, I might need to save a duplicate montage - UNLESS, the new mix could somehow be imported to a clip and become a new clip version, and the old clip versions would still be available. Maybe clip versions could save fade points also? So the new imported version would just not have fade points yet… and the restored clip versions would have the old fade points AND the old FX. Not sure the best way for all of that.

I will think about some versioning system. Indeed, we deal today with so many files, it’s would be good to have some help on the WaveLab side.

I hadn’t really thought about the impact of a new mix on a version. Versioning would need to include volume envelopes for me. Also an easy way to A-B current vs previous. It’s an interesting idea. Just don’t know if it would work out better or worse for me.