Whether you’re just beginning a career in recording or you’re at the top of your game, documentation is key. Imagine you’ve just finished a killer tracking session, one you may want the ability to recreate someday (hint: that’s potentially every session), so now what? I’m generally confident in my memory for microphone placements and studio setup for a few months, however plans change over time, and what may have been easy to remember tomorrow suddenly needs to be compartmentalized until everyone is available again next month. Plus, there’s no remembering compressor or EQ settings, let alone values for gear that has less than descriptive faceplates.
So, what’s an engineer to do? Well, the obvious answer is documentation of some form. If you’re serious about this business, you’ll be documenting your session. After all, you never know what may become of that last-minute project you did last week, and it’s always valuable to be able to look back. All this having been said, what form of documentation you use depends completely on your work-flow and needs. There are many important items which should be included in your documentation, as discussed by David Miles Huber in his newest version of Modern Recording Techniques, 8th Ed.
For David’s thoughts on documentation as well as sage advice from Kyle on the various forms that production documentation can take, be certain to click through to AudioUndone.com for my complete article.