Cue Naming Discipline

It is incredibly important to have a strong discipline regarding naming, sorting and organizing versions of music cues. Sometimes you need to write several versions of a cue, sometimes you just need to change small things several times, and every time, you need to be absolutely sure that you’re working on the right version.

The first important rule: always save a new version. Never overwrite or even delete an old version, you might need to come back to an old version later. Also, be absolutely clear about naming these versions. I’m using a system of giving consecutive numbers to major version changes (like complete rewrites or complete new sections) and consecutive sub-numbers (e.g. V1.1) to small fixes (like switching around an instrument etc.) so my cue versions look something like 3M5-3.2 meaning it’s the cue 3M5 which has been rewritten for the 3rd time and this version has had small changes for the second time.

This is of course just my system and you can come up with any other system that helps you. Another good way to keep the overview is to have a cue sheet which always has the name of the latest version on it and it is also tremendously helpful to write in the version in the score sheet when you’re recording it with an orchestra to make sure absolutely nothing gets mixed up.

This might seem like an overly redundant system but there is nothing worse than sitting at the scoring stage and just realizing that this is the wrong version which got somehow mixed up in the last few crunchy days composing.

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