In the daws that I am familiar with, you have an undo/redo function that’s limited to one branch of your project. So if you undo some steps, then record some new changes, you lose the backup of the first version of the track. You won’t be able to redo back to that.
Zach Barth from Zachtronics (video games) was talking about his development process and explained that in the program he uses to code, all branches of the versions of code are automaticaly saved and backed up. Any member of the team can pick up on any of these branches and expand on that code. So any version where there is a switch between undoing or redoing, the branch is split up in two new branches. This way you can code with abandon and make any quick, drastic changes you feel like without worrying if it is the right choice to add or remove something.
If you need to backtrack two months back, because something got stuck and did not work, you can easily do that without having to Frankenstein your way back to that point.
This frees up a lot of mental bandwith if you are someone who overthinks easily or does not like taking risks in creating.
Because of this talk, I got into the habit of saving every version of a track I work on routinely, before undoing or redoing. Naming every version “trackname1.1”, “trackname 1.2” and so on. When a materialy different version of the track comes up, you start that branch out as “trackname 2.1”, “trackname2.2” and so on.
Another reason why this is a good practice, is what Brian Eno talks about. He tells the story that any time he worked on a new track, which has several parts for instance. He would at the end of the day, being tired and worn out from the hard day’s work, make a version of the track with most of the instrument parts cut out and often make it slowed down and extended in length. Then more often than not he would end up liking that version of the track better than the song he actually composed, when he would listen back to them the next day.
Which is similar to some stories told about the invention of dub music in Jamaica. Where the engineers, or producers would make mostly instrumental versions of the song they had worked on all day long. They did this to amuse themselves after all the work of that day.
These are some examples of why versioning while composing or mixing is important to think about for process.