3 Tips For Producing Music Faster
Here’s a set of tips to help you separate out your production processes and make the time you spend more effective and efficient.
KEEP ‘EM SEPARATED
In the process of production, it can become easy (if not a subconscious action) to get caught up in the minute details of a track: if you’re not careful, you wind up spending excruciating hours on a kick drum or synth line, only to come out of the process confused, uninspired, and exhausted. The easiest way to fix this mental exhaustion is to split your production into three distinct processes and stick to this division of labor religiously!
First: Creation This is where you let loose on a track; be as creative as you can be with sound design, instrumentation, orchestration, structural elements and experimental sonic textures. Instead of worrying about how the sounds are meshing, focus instead on the general thematic and structural elements of the track. Ask yourself:
What do you want the mood to be?
What sort of tempo and energy level do you want to evoke?
What sounds do you want to make prominent and noticeable?
During this entire process, see if you can manage to leave the volume faders as they are: you might redline a little (or a lot), but you’ll be surprised at how fast the track comes together when you’re not sweating the small stuff.
Second: Mixdown This section can be easily blended with the creative process if you’re not careful, so be sure to catch yourself when you find that you’re tweaking small details in the mix during the creative process. Once you’ve finished the track itself, give it a couple hours – or even a couple days – sit down with fresh ears, and just fix everything you notice. There are literally hundreds of different techniques to mixdown that aren’t coverable here, but your core focus should be 3 things: levels, EQ, and compression. If you master those components, you’re well on your way.
Finally: Mastering If you’re doing your own mastering, which is inadvisable for important releases but fine for a quick edit or club track, then repeat the steps before mixdown (take a few days off, fix everything you notice), but bounce the track so you don’t tempt yourself into adjusting the mix and the master at the same time.
Keeping your processes separate is crucial to creating a sustainable and enjoyable workflow. While not an exhaustive list, this table might help guide you through which process occurs when.
This article was originally posted by Nick Perloff of djtechtools.com.