MPC 101 - File Management Tips & Tricks
When making music with any software, it's easy to get carried away and forget about all the files and data that are being stored and recalled behind the scenes. Without proper file management and backup, one missing file can bring any creative flow to a grinding halt. In this guide, we will cover tips and tricks pertaining to basic project and file management, including creating backups, exporting a project as an archive, and freeing up extra HD space so you can focus more on your music.
- Basic Project and File Management
- Saving Projects, Programs, Sequences, etc.
- How To Save a Copy of a Project and Why
- How to Purge Samples and Why?
- Export > As Project Archive
- Further Technical Support
Creating a dedicated folder for each new projects is extremely helpful and a great way to keep all of the associated files together and organized. This means it will be easier to find things later and to move the project to a different computer or hard drive if necessary.
You may notice when you save your project, you will get a Project File (.xpj) and a "Project File_[ProjectData]" folder as well. (ex.Project "SwampMuzik.xpj" and "SwampMuzik_[ProjectData]").
The "[ProjectData]" folder contains all the associated components that make up your project, such as sequences, samples, programs, etc..
To recall or open your Project File (.xpj), it will need to be in the same folder location as its "Project File_[ProjectData]" folder.
By creating a new folder titled your project name, and saving, or copying the Project File (.xpj) and the "Project File_[ProjectData]" (.xpj) to the newly created folder, you will get the Project File (.xpj), and the associated "Project File_[ProjectData]" file all together in one folder location.
This also makes it much easier if you want to move saved project locations.
Besides Save Project and Save Project As, you have the power to save individual parts of your project, in case you want to use them in a different project entirely. Here's a quick break down of the available save options and their purpose.
- Save All Programs: Saves all Programs of your project and copies of associated samples into a folder of your choice. Now you can open a previously created program in a different project.
- Save Current Program: Saves only the current Program (.xpm) and a copy of the associated samples into a folder of your choice. Now you can open this program in a different project.
- Save Current Sequence: Saves only the MIDI Events of the currently selected Sequence into a file (.sxq). Now you can load the MIDI events into a new sequence in a different project, and then assign new samples or VST to be triggered.
- Save MIDI Control Scene: Saves your control mapping as you set it in MIDI Control Mode so it can be recalled instantly.
You have created your project, and happy with how it sounds, but maybe you want to change arrangements, instruments, etc. without potentially ruining the originally finished project. This is where saving a copy of a project before making drastic changes is best.
- Go to File > Save Project As..., you can then enter a project name (ex. Original project is saved as "SwampMuzik" see picture).
- Now you can make the desired changes, to sequences, MIDI events, etc..
- Once you have finished your changes, go back to File > Save Project As, enter a new project name (ex. New project name is "SwampMuzik_REV" see picture). Basically, you want to name the project in a way that will help you differentiate between the two versions. Essentially by doing this, you give yourself a "back-up" point.
You have finished up your project, and in the process, you have added plenty of samples, many of which have not been used in the project or even assigned to any program. When you save your project, everything is saved to the "Project File_[ProjectData]", including the samples in your project's sample pool that were not used. After making a few projects, this can start to consume HD space on your computer and begin to slow down the performance of the project.
The Purge Samples option is designed to remove all unassigned samples from your project sample pool, so now you can Save Project As... to get a new Project File (.xpj) and a new "Project File_[ProjectData]" Folder.
- In your Project, from the Main View, locate your Samples box to the right of the virtual MPC Pads in the software.
- In the top-right corner of the Samples area, click on the "Trash Can" icon. A small Purge Samples window will open.
- Select Purge Unused Samples only, and click Do It.
- Depending on how many samples are being removed, this process can take a few seconds to a minute.
Once finished, you will notice that all samples that were unassigned are no longer in the Samples area. Here is where the Save Project As... option will be useful again to save the project, so you get a new Program File (.xpj) and "Program File"_[ProjectData} Folder that will reflect the purging of the unused samples.
- Go to File > Save Project As... and save the project as a new name (ex.- purged project name "SwampMuzik_REV.xpj").
- Go to the saved project location. You will now see the original Program File and [ProjectData] Folder, as well as the new Program File and new [ProjectData] Folder.
In the picture below you can see the original project's samples and the purged project's samples.
- Once this is done you can delete the original Project File and the original [ProjectData] Folder, freeing your computer's HD space of unused sample files.
As a producer, you may want to collaborate with other creatives, or need to continue a project you are working on in a different location. The Export > As Project Archive feature is a great option when you need to make sure you have all the necessary components of a project together before transferring and opening it at another location or studio.
This option will export the entire project and contents to a single compressed file called a project archive (.xpa).
- First, go to File > Export > As Project Archive...
- When exporting the Project Archive (.xpa) file, in the window that appears, type a file name and set the save file location.
- When you go to your designated save location, inside the file will be the project file (.xpj) and the necessary "Project File_[ProjectData]" folder associated. This file can be moved freely to a new hard drive or computer.
- When the (.xpa) archive is opened, it will automatically launch the MPC Software. A window will appear stating "Select Directory to Extract Project Archive into". You can either select a destination or make a new folder for it to extract to. We would recommend making a new folder titled after the Project File's name.
- Go to the location you created the new project folder. You will find inside a Project File (.xpj) and "[ProjectData]" Folder, which will contain all parts of the complete project.
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