Work Method – What’s Yours?

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  • #35489 Reply

    “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

    – Eleanor Roosevelt

    62 here ya all made my day

    #35492 Reply

    I dig that quote. ^^^^

    For me, it’s usually 2 tracks at a time. Specifically when I have started a mix for one track in the morning with fresh ears, I use the second half of the day to start or continue writing a second track. I will do that for a few days and try to get ‘fresh ears’ on the first mix a few days in a row. I might even give that first mix a day off, just to gain perspective. By the time the first track is done being mixed, the second is written and ready for mixing. Then the process starts all over again.

    I’ve heard someone call mixing the ‘bronze medal’ in library writing, and totally don’t agree with that at all. The mix is likely to be the last moment you are going to spend with that track, so it had better be amazing.

    Just my 2c

    #35493 Reply

    Really interesting posts guys! It may be a good idea to alter the routine. Could have some interesting results. Some of my writer friends prefer to start with the chorus, and fill in the verses later. That’s an idea for songwriting, not sure about instrumentals. I always start in the beginning. Compose an interesting 8 measures, then a variation of the first 8, then part B, and back to the first 8 with variations, and end with a button coda.

    #35498 Reply

    hey johnnyboy, my main inst is guitar so maybe its a bit different from piano sketchingwise. how i start depends on the genre. if rock, metal, blues, or any gtr focused track i start with the main riff and build around that. for EDM i start with sound design as that will dictate my approach to the texture and melody of the track, with hiphop i start with the groove. with flamenco, jazz, or neoclassical piano pieces i approach it as a songwriter with an ABA format.

    I have tried to muscle through finishing a track in a day but couldnt do it (unless its ambient drone or tension). not that i literally couldnt as ive done 3 in a day before, i just cant leave it alone the next day, especially if i have a few days left before deadline. nowadays if i hit a wall i just take a break and do something non music related and not force it. an hour or 2 is usually enough for me. im also comfortable now to take weeks off and come back and still hit my monthly quota (10-12/mnth)

    #35544 Reply

    This has been a great discussion! I’ve been more of the one-track (at a time) mind, but have been thinking lately that I need to mix things up, as I’ve noticed the following arc: The initial ideas have usually been fairly easy, but the implementation–especially on larger productions–has almost always been laborious. Still, I soldier through, and by the time I’m mixing, I’m back to liking the concept again. I’ve been too compulsive to let things go, and thus it’s often been a wrestle-to-the-death thing, which hasn’t always felt great. I’ve spent the vast majority of my time scoring to picture, and never had quite this battle. Sounds like stepping away has worked well for others here, so great.

    I’ve been usually included on projects that require the bigger sounding productions, and I’ve found the tracks are taking about a week each.

    I’m wondering 2 things at this point: Have folks who’ve done both long-and shorter-gestated tracks, have you found in general that you can say the tracks that have taken longer to create have done better than the (most likely) simpler tracks you can crank out in a day? Also, for the guys who are cranking out a track a day, how complex are they? My larger tracks have a lot of layers, but mainly to make them sound rich, as opposed to necessarily complex. I’m not sure, though, that under all the VO, it’s worth the time, other than my pride.

    Thanks for your thoughts,


    #35545 Reply
    Art Munson

    have you found in general that you can say the tracks that have taken longer to create have done better than the (most likely) simpler tracks you can crank out in a day?

    It can work both ways. One of our most successful tracks took about 3 hours. Still, I prefer to labor over them. I guess I’m a gluten for punishment!

    #35546 Reply

    Some of my best running tracks were made in 4-6 hrs in one go. I think autenticity and having something to say is the point. My big problem is titling I hate that.

    #35547 Reply

    Yes, a lot of interesting ideas Len.

    Seems there are so many possibilities. I’m pretty much in a working rut. About the same every day – though the music changes. Most my tracks take one day. Although, I do a lot of piano work. How long a track takes doesn’t seem to matter with placements or quality of work. Some of my favorite tracks only took a couple hours.

    #35548 Reply
    Art Munson

    My big problem is titling I hate that.

    I hear you but I have found over the years I have gotten better at it (at least I think so). Doesn’t come naturally to me but it can be learned.

    #35549 Reply

    I agree with Art. Titling takes some thought. I have about 4-5,000 titles. I’ve overused some keywords like “melancholy, Café, Romance, and many more. I think I used every romantic city in Italy in titles. The good news is all I have do is place a search, and I can make sure the title wasn’t used before. I like to choose a title before I start work. Seems to inspire me. Seems my titles get longer every time – ha, ha.

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