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File Management in Mac OS X and Logic 9

How many times have you wanted to go back and work on a project that you did a while ago, only to realize that once you open up the folder, you have no idea what the last Logic file you worked on was? This is where file management becomes vital; it can save you time, and maybe even a few missed heartbeats.

01 - File Management 101: Naming your files

Does this look familiar? A folder with a whole bunch of Logic projects and you have no idea what the latest one is.

For one, you could right click on the file name and choose: Get Info. This will inform you when the file was last opened and modified. You might be right here but this is not a clear indication that this is the file you wish to open.

I like to name my file names like so - songname_date (year/month/day). So for examples it could be: Place of No Return_20110105. The track name is Place of No Return, and was edited on the 5th January 2011. The nice thing about dating it like this is that Mac OS will now alphabetically and numerically file the names, and you will be able to easily find the file you were last looking working on.

02 - Color Coding your File Names

I find another very helpful tactic is to color your file names. This can be easily done in Mac OS. Right-Click the file, and at the bottom of the contextual window you will notice a selection of colors that you can choose to color your filename.

I find this handy when you have worked on numerous Logic projects, and you find that a previous project is more appropriate. You can then color code that filename, so that you know in the future that was the final Logic project you decided on using.

This is also helpful from a backup/ archiving point of view. When you revisit a project you archived years later, you don't have to open each project to figure out which one was the right file. You can simply see which one is color coded and open that project.

03 - Logic and OSX's Screen Captures.

You will notice that when you save a Logic 9 project, Mac OS creates a screen capture of what you had open in the project at the time. This helps when you want to get a quick look at what the project looks like without having to launch the project in Logic.

What I do is, I save my Logic project twice. One with a view of the Arrangement and another with a view of the Mixer. This way I can use Apple's Preview or QuickLook feature (press Spacebar when a file is selected to open up a file with QuickLook) to scan through my saved files and see what instruments and audio files were used in the project without having to open the whole project in Logic. It is also helpful to see how the song was arranged at a glance.

Arrange View in the Finder

Mixer View in the Finder

Press SpaceBar to Quick View the selected file

Check out Rounik's tutorial on Previewing your files with QuickLook to get further understanding on the QuickLook feature.

Also the MacProVideo tutorials on Mac OS will give you a better understanding of the workarounds in the Mac operating system, tools, tips and shortcuts.

Mac OSX 101 and Mac OSX 201 Advanced Snow Leopard.

04 - Date your Bounces

It is also good practice to date your bounces so you know which one is the latest. I always save my bounces in the Bounces folder, which Logic creates when you create a new project. I used to save my bounces all over the place and it became a complete and utter mess. Use the same naming convention as mentioned above - name and date order.

05 - Keep your Mac file Management Spic 'n Span

I hope these tips help you out. I have had my fair share of experiences where I have had to open an old project that had no file management conventions, only to find myself completely lost in my own project, not knowing which is the right project to open. Keep up the File Management, it will really stand you in good stead.

Gary Hiebner

Gary Hiebner | Articles by this author

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he also dabbles in Cubase, FL Studio, Studio One and esoteric sound design tools, such as Max/MSP and CSound.


Mar 10, 2011
Hey Gary,
This is awesome! A simple, straight forward, yet invaluable tool for organization.
Mar 11, 2011
+1! The naming your files tip, alone, will save sooo many Logic users sooo much time!
Jun 08, 2011
everytime i save the project with a new date, it creates new folders... How did you go about changing the date in the project file name without creating new folders with assets and backlogs?
Jun 09, 2011
You need to save as inside the existing project folder.

Jun 09, 2011
i did but it just creates a new folder with the new filename date and in that new folder an extra folder with assets.

It also creates a new folder of backlogs for the filenames with the new dates.

How do I go about just keeping things as neat as in the pictures above?

Thanks in advance for the help I really appreciate it :)
Jun 09, 2011
Hi xXxKoPxXx,

1. Make sure to choose: File > Save as...
(NOT File > Save a copy as... - which duplicates the entire project folder too).

2. Next, make sure you are inside the project folder (you will be able to see the original logic project file).

Does that work for you?
Jun 11, 2011
I do this and it still creates a backlog folder for the new dated logic project. Is this supposed to happen?
Jun 11, 2011
hmmm... No, this isn't supposed to happen. Are you creating any extra folders? (you shouldn't).

If you still can't get it to work please start a new thread on the macProVideo.com Logic forums:

It'll be easier to troubleshoot what's going on for you there.

Jun 14, 2011
Gary Hiebner
Hi xXxKoPxXx,

Did you come right with your "Save As" in Logic?
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