Author Topic: Finishing and Moving On  (Read 2012 times)

Slate

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Finishing and Moving On
« on: January 06, 2016, 02:25:45 am »
Hey guys, I thought I'd ask a general question, and maybe spark some discussion that I've had a serious problem with.

Often times I start a track, excited about the potential, and as I work closer and closer to the finish line, I develop a sense of uncertainty and doubt. The "magic" of my idea dissipates, and I'm left with something that I feel like sounds amateurish (We all hold ourselves to super high standards, it's hard not too after listening to producers like Zo haha).

Without rambling, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts about motivation to finish, and not end up like me, with 200+ 3/4 finished tracks

BrienWithAnE

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 02:32:11 am »
This sort of this definitely crosses my mind a lot.  An approach that I have started to adopt is the notion that when you get your initial inspiration or idea for a song, you should run with it and build up the project as much as you can right away.  Obviously this shouldn't take away from the quality... but if you have this vision for the track that you say you do, you should try to create a rough draft as soon as you can so that when you revisit the project, you have placeholders for all of those initial, creative ideas.

I can certainly relate to what you're getting at here!
~ BrienWithAnE

prodigal

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 02:43:09 am »
I once watched an interview with Morgan Page about his producing process.  His drive was to finish each song as quickly as reasonably possible so that you don't allow yourself to get so used to your own song.  I find myself doing this all the time.  I have yet to really put his suggestion into practice but I thought it was worth mentioning.  That also forces you to finish entire songs and really get used to the full composition process so that each song gets easier to finish.

Also I have totally gone back to 3/4 finished tracks and found huge inspiration in what I had left behind at the time.  I think it would be worth it to dig up the ones from way back to see what sort of good material you may have a different perspective on now.

I know I didn't say much, but I struggle with the same thing.  I thought I would share my uneducated thoughts at the very least.  Hahaha.  Cheers, dude.  Best of luck with your tunes.
I produce for Him.  Not me.

Slate

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 02:52:41 am »

I know I didn't say much, but I struggle with the same thing.  I thought I would share my uneducated thoughts at the very least.  Hahaha.  Cheers, dude.  Best of luck with your tunes.

Haha nah dude thats plenty helpful, it makes sense to me. I'm definitely going to revisit some of my old projects and see what I hear long after the fact. Cheers man!

Spectrym

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 03:05:12 am »
Hey man,

If you haven't I would absolutely watch ill gates methodology.  Its the first 40 minutes of his workshop and addresses exactly this.  He touches on the importance of finishing track and building the skill to finish tracks.  And once you can pump out quantity then you will begin to develop quality.  He also touches on a lot of other life aspects definitely worth devoting some time to.  Sam Matla from EDM Prod also has good resources and interviews and also his guide to workflow.  Hope this stuff helps!

Cheers,
Rob


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVQ8c19unnM


John Norlin

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 03:12:43 am »
Definitley for sure the Ill Gates course is amazing.
I agree for the most part with everyone else, my main addition would be that you should focus on creating an idea with your music first and foremost. A track that doesn't take you on a journey or evoke some sort of emotion isn't really worth listening to imo. As far as how that applies to workflow, think about what element defines a track the most for you, for many people that's the drums (for me it's the chords and primary sound design) nail that down very quickly so that you don't fall into any ingrained habits. DOnt dont dont start all your tracks with the same process because after a while they'll all sound the same. Of course mixing processes come into play at some point but writing a track should be a much separate thing than arranging or mixing it. A rough sketch is always a good idea, sooner or later you'll lose the feeling of the track because you overfiddle with small mistakes too early.

Also if you yourself stuck just leave the track asap. Coming back a month or two later, for me, is much easier than trying to force out a specific track from start to finish.

montawk

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 03:14:49 am »
This is something I struggle with as well. Last week, and I went and deleted a couple unfinished projects and left those projects with potential. What I have noticed, is that I get used to my own song and get either tired of listening when I hit a roadblock. So recently, I tried working in 30 minute intervals, and then taking a small break of about 5-10 minutes, and then going back at it. If my mind can't go on with the current project, then I switch to another project and continue where I left off. This has helped a little but, I still get the feeling, like you said, that I can't compare my amateur doodles to professional work I hear.

moonsplatta

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 03:16:18 am »
yeah this happens to pretty much everyone. The best thing you can do is try to work efficiently and quickly so you don't get tired of your own song from hearing it too many times. Making sure your library is organized and dedicating time to just doing sound design (while not arranging) can help a lot with this.. for example, having producing sessions where all you are doing is making patches, racks, processing drums, making risers and transition fx etc. and compiling all of those into an organized library while not worrying about an arrangement or any track in particular.. then when you are ready to compose and arrange a song, you have a bunch of tools and sounds at your fingertips and you won't derail your concentration by going back and forth between sound design and composition.

however, personally i still will do sound design stuff while composing just because i like to... but it definitely does make my process less efficient than it could be. When i reach a point where i find myself getting tired of a tune, i will usually just take a break from it for a few days and work on something else for a bit so i can come back to it with a fresh perspective. Sometimes when i do this i end up not finishing things because i decide its not good enough, but sometimes a break is all i need and the "magic" comes back

just keep at it though! this part is difficult for sure, but the more you do it the easier it will get, nothing can replace experience

moonsplatta

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 03:18:31 am »
Oh yeah, i see it has already been mentioned, but definitely check out the Ill Methodology workshops, there is tons of great advice on this exact subject in there

sleepy

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Re: Finishing and Moving On
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 07:23:11 pm »
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

- It's way easier to revise than it is to create from scratch.
If you get an idea and are feeling motivated, run with it. If you stop to work on any one section too much, there's a chance you'll lose track of the bigger picture then struggle to come up with other sections. Get a rough outline of what you have in your head, then go back and flesh it out later. If you have any ideas along the way for other things, write them down so you don't forget. If you're in the "arrange/compose" mentality, you should compose and arrange. If you switch to sound design or mixing, it'll be much harder to get back on the composition train. Kinda like how you could concentrate on studies and homework for a while, then check Facebook for two seconds, and then just not want to even look at your homework anymore. Think Newton's First Law of Motion :P

-Not all aspects of production are equally enjoyable, but all are required for a quality production.
As producers we bear the burden of ALL aspects of a musical product (well, us with integrity anyway). Mixing, for example, is often not going to be as enjoyable as composition or even sound design, but you have to follow through. If you leave a track half finished without mixing, you've only improved in whatever you worked on in the track. You'll make no progress in mixing. Focus on various aspects individually, but make sure at the end of the day you're as well rounded as you can be.

-Same applies to sections in a song.
The breakdown or outro might not be as exciting to work on as the drop or chorus of your track, but they're still important. A great track isn't just a great chorus (though you could get away with that), it's a great intro, breakdown, buildup, etc. If you leave a track 3/4 done you'll miss out on making progress in whatever you left out.

These are just some general tips I like to follow, obviously not universal rules that you NEED to follow. They've worked out for me, and they make sense, so I share. Hope this helped :)