Process of creating a final track
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Old 17-05-2014, 09:11 PM   #1
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Process of creating a final track

Would you say its a case of once you have an idea and developed a full track structure listening back and forth,editing bits, adding in new bits and taking away some bits and repeating the process over and over.

For example, a track i made a week ago. I wouldve previously left it as completed and moved on but instead as i like it and keep listening back to it im always hearing new ideas and put them in action. This has been non stop for 3-4 days I keep changing it. When does it end?

Is this what happens with most of you guys when you work on a track.

This is new to me as being a newbie id just make a track then move on..but Ive made a track go from decent to very good to my ears by repeatedly listening and working on it.

I guess this could be applied to all my old trax as well.

So how long do you work on a track even after u have made 1st completed draft.

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Old 17-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Originally Posted by JayMSay View Post
Would you say its a case of once you have an idea and developed a full track structure listening back and forth,editing bits, adding in new bits and taking away some bits and repeating the process over and over.
That is how I work. I start out with an idea I think is worth working out and continuously change things. Over time I'll come up with an arrangement and a general concept behind the track.
It's done when I'm fully satisfied with it, this doesn't mean it's perfect but rather that I don't hear anything I don't like any more.

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So how long do you work on a track even after u have made 1st completed draft.
For me this process happens over a couple of months, I really don't get how you guys can make something in just a week time and still be satisfied enough with it to share it with other people.

Over these months I'll listen to the track a lot, mostly when I'm walking somewhere random (walking around is great for thinking). I'll keep on thinking about new parts, more experimental ideas or just some small improvements. It becomes a large part of my daily life, the track becomes drenched in my current emotions and is something I carry around all the time.
For me coming up with good ideas isn't a sudden revelation, it's careful listening and thinking about how I really want it to go. I'll re-listen and re-evaluate what I've done all the time. By the end of this process I'll have something I don't dislike any more. Then it's finished.

I think making music should be a process of iteration: how can you be satisfied with something (and stay satisfied after a couple of months) if you haven't re-evaluated it a thousand times, in different moods and settings?
I recommend you to regularly take your track outside of your studio and to listen to it while walking around, while you're in the car or whatever. Just listen to it a lot at random moments, think about how it sounds at that moment and how you want it to sound. Note down what you don't like and fix it later. Repeat.

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: Process of creating a final track

Pretty much exactly what Nyul said. Although my start to end time is two weeks to 30 days. I usually don't sit on anything longer than that. I feel if I press on much longer than 30 days the only thing I'm going to do I'm going to do is ruin it or lose whatever magic it had in the early stage of composition.

How do I know when it's done?

Again, pretty much what Nyul said only as I'm listening through at various phases I make a written list of things I want to add / fix. The list changes in nature according to what phase the track is in ie. Composition, arrangement, glitch, mixdown. I don't move on to the next phase until all the ideas from the previous phase are crosses off and I don't call the track done until everything on the list has been implemented or tried but not used.

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Originally Posted by Nyul View Post
That is how I work. I start out with an idea I think is worth working out and continuously change things. Over time I'll come up with an arrangement and a general concept behind the track.
It's done when I'm fully satisfied with it, this doesn't mean it's perfect but rather that I don't hear anything I don't like any more.


For me this process happens over a couple of months, I really don't get how you guys can make something in just a week time and still be satisfied enough with it to share it with other people.

Over these months I'll listen to the track a lot, mostly when I'm walking somewhere random (walking around is great for thinking). I'll keep on thinking about new parts, more experimental ideas or just some small improvements. It becomes a large part of my daily life, the track becomes drenched in my current emotions and is something I carry around all the time.
For me coming up with good ideas isn't a sudden revelation, it's careful listening and thinking about how I really want it to go. I'll re-listen and re-evaluate what I've done all the time. By the end of this process I'll have something I don't dislike any more. Then it's finished.

I think making music should be a process of iteration: how can you be satisfied with something (and stay satisfied after a couple of months) if you haven't re-evaluated it a thousand times, in different moods and settings?
I recommend you to regularly take your track outside of your studio and to listen to it while walking around, while you're in the car or whatever. Just listen to it a lot at random moments, think about how it sounds at that moment and how you want it to sound. Note down what you don't like and fix it later. Repeat.
Thats great man i agree.

Im to hastey and like to get my tracks up and running in 1-3 days but you are correct if you listen back and improve over the months it will then be something much better.

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
Pretty much exactly what Nyul said. Although my start to end time is two weeks to 30 days. I usually don't sit on anything longer than that. I feel if I press on much longer than 30 days the only thing I'm going to do I'm going to do is ruin it or lose whatever magic it had in the early stage of composition.

How do I know when it's done?

Again, pretty much what Nyul said only as I'm listening through at various phases I make a written list of things I want to add / fix. The list changes in nature according to what phase the track is in ie. Composition, arrangement, glitch, mixdown. I don't move on to the next phase until all the ideas from the previous phase are crosses off and I don't call the track done until everything on the list has been implemented or tried but not used.
but if you guys are 14-60 days on one track do u have multiple tracks on the go at the same time?

I think it be hard for me to stay with only 1 idea for even just 2 weeks.

I make new ideas almost every day or 2-3 days at worst..Even if im working on a track i just like to make new ones

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:25 PM   #6
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Re: Process of creating a final track

^Never.

I'm a one track at a time track maker. I think the single most helpful thing in getting better is finishing tracks. If I have 2 or 3 going at once they're not all going to get done. I don't abandon work, ever. As such Iddon't start anything until the previous us finished.

Most people I know however do not work this way.

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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...
Cool to hear someone else has a same similar approach

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Originally Posted by JayMSay View Post
but if you guys are 14-60 days on one track do u have multiple tracks on the go at the same time?
No, I do work on a couple tracks. Not at the same time but mixed up, alternating each other. Like one week I'll feel more like a certain idea, the next week another track seems to work better etc. It enables me to take breaks when I'm stuck.
All the tracks I work on at the same time are very similar though, they carry the same emotions and become related.

edit: I keep it limited though, around 2-3 maximum and they all stay in my mind. I finish them all in the end.

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Old 17-05-2014, 10:44 PM   #8
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
^Never.

I'm a one track at a time track maker. I think the single most helpful thing in getting better is finishing tracks. If I have 2 or 3 going at once they're not all going to get done. I don't abandon work, ever. As such Iddon't start anything until the previous us finished.

Most people I know however do not work this way.
yeh i agree that to stay focused and work on one track will improve you BUT I felt personally that as a newbie there was no point working on some average track for 2-4 weeks to improve it yet it will still be a poor track as im new.

When youve been making tracks for a year or so i guess then is the time u can afford to focus more and spend longer to perfect one track as the tracks you should be making now should be pretty good and worth working on to improve.

At this stage i felt i would learn things faster by making more and varied tracks as often as possible.

However having been doing that almost half a year i think time to commit more effort to each song which i have done for my last tune. It helps learn more production things as well in the panning, eqing and mixing etc..as well as other things.

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Old 18-05-2014, 12:00 AM   #9
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Re: Process of creating a final track

I need time to let things soak in. I don't have a period that, after it ends, I feel like I can't improve on something, actually. That space of time seems to work in my favor. We all get stuck on some ideas. It happens. We all also have those times where you're giddy with a new idea and you want to finish it asap. I have that going now, which is great and I'm heaping onto the pile of ideas like a motherhumper right now. But can I completely finalize a track quickly even with all the music laid out, no. I don't see a song ever being 'finalized', just 'done'. Some people lie rare meat, some people like it well-done. I'm a well-done guy, to put it onto a whole other fucking category

And look, i made seriouses in a JayMSay thread! wowzers.

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Old 18-05-2014, 12:56 AM   #10
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Re: Process of creating a final track

^^^Well this thread has a specific purpose, so I think it's easier to answer.

I'm finding it can get messy sometimes. Especially when I let a track sit and I come back to it with a new direction. Today I finally had some free time so I pulled out a few tracks. I came up with some awesome sounds by fiddling around however the sounds do not fit the track I was working on...

I am really good at generating new ideas. I think that's why I need to be a one track person like others have said. Or it just becomes one big circus.

Finishing forces you to do the less fun stuff, just like anything. Starting a new track is like having one night stands. Have fun and then start another.
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Old 18-05-2014, 01:10 AM   #11
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Finishing forces you to do the less fun stuff, just like anything. Starting a new track is like having one night stands. Have fun and then start another.
yeh defo

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Old 18-05-2014, 02:47 AM   #12
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Re: Process of creating a final track

I spend about two weeks in session mode and two weeks in arrangement mode, per track. Track is done once my "to do" list is out of items.

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Old 18-05-2014, 03:25 AM   #13
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Re: Process of creating a final track

Thats probably the best way to do it
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Old 18-05-2014, 04:35 AM   #14
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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Originally Posted by strkssinthes View Post
I spend about two weeks in session mode and two weeks in arrangement mode, per track. Track is done once my "to do" list is out of items.
session is what? making new ideas and adding parts?

arrangement is fixing structure?

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Old 18-05-2014, 04:44 AM   #15
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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session is what? making new ideas and adding parts?

arrangement is fixing structure?
It's an Ableton thing.
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Old 18-05-2014, 05:47 AM   #16
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Re: Process of creating a final track

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but if you guys are 14-60 days on one track do u have multiple tracks on the go at the same time?
You've probably already gathered from previous replies that this depends on the person. Some artists are capable or working on multiple pieces of music simultaneously, others can only focus on one at a time, others still can manage multiple projects that are in different stages of productions (eg: mixing one while composing another).

In my process, I very rarely even start arranging until I've had a month or two with the instruments in my tracks. I'll start with a few key sections and themes and then over the month come back to them and play and improvise and experiment with different arrangements. It would be impossible to do this with only one piece at a time because I would get bored, and my workflow would drag out to infinity.

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Originally Posted by JayMSay View Post
I think it be hard for me to stay with only 1 idea for even just 2 weeks.
If you're losing interest in something after such a short time, there's very little likelihood that it will ever be "finished". What you need to understand about successfully writing music is that once you write it, it's going to stay with you for a very long time. You are going to have to listen and play that track over and over again, so you need to be committed to it.

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Originally Posted by JayMSay View Post
I make new ideas almost every day or 2-3 days at worst..Even if im working on a track i just like to make new ones
You're still in a very early and experimental stage of your learning. At this point, you're unable to make the distinction between tracks and ideas. Ideas are things that you spend a couple of hours or weeks playing around with. Tracks are things that you spend a couple of weeks playing around with and then a few more weeks refining and then a few more weeks producing.

That being said, there are plenty of stories of producers writing tracks on airplanes and in hotel rooms and then dropping them at the club that night. On the surface, these stories can appear to refute the idea that a track requires time and craftsmanship to complete. However, that initial session in some hotel room is just the first stage in the process. The producer then listens to a track in the club, gauges crowd reaction, goes home and rinses and repeats. Then, once the tour's over, the go into the studio and do the same again until it is ready for mass consumption. Those stories are great for marketing hype, but don't think for a minute that the original session is wholly representative of the final release.

Good things take time.

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