Working Strategies

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    I was wondering how many pieces people work on at once or do you stick to one piece from start to finish?

    Also, are their times when you feel like doing more technical stuff,like mixing,admin and other times when you simply want to create and write?



    I try to do the admin and technical stuff in batches, like 1-3 days in a row. That way it doesn’t constantly interrupt the creative flow.

    I usually work on one track at a time, I find I’m more efficient that way. I have an assistant who helps me with stemming and uploading files, which has been a huge help.

    Art Munson

    It’s funny to see this question today – I believe that I set a personal record by writing 4 cues and starting on a fifth (cue, that is – I’m not a drinker). These are sketches, mind you, not fully produced. I’ll take care of that over the next few days. The reason I wrote so much today is because I’m working directly for a production company and, as usual, the turnaround time is tight so it behooves me to get rough sketches to the supervisor so that I can get feedback so as to avoid fleshing out tracks that aren’t going to work anyway. It’s actually kind of fun to work this way, albeit a little nerve wracking. I have to be very careful to keep the tracks distinct from one another.


    I try to write a 4-5 tracks in a week. Normally I start to write in the morning until the afternoon. If the idea is good and the instruments are recorded I leave this track behind for a coule of days. In the early evening I mix and master a track from the days before. That is my workflow. I now also have someone who helps me with the metadata, uploads and to promote my music.

    Art Munson

    I stick to one cue at a time. I do my admin stuff in the morning, write a few hours in the afternoon and average one or two cues a week. I can write faster and have but I enjoy being a bit of OCD with my music. Then again I’m at a much different stage of life than most folks here.


    I work on one track at a time, and am averaging about 2-3 new tracks per week. Like Art I do admin stuff in the morning and spend about 3-4 hours working on tracks in the afternoon. I’ve also started to not record and mix the same day. After hours for recording I find I get ear fatigue from wearing phones, and like to start with a fresh set of ears the next day for mixing and mastering.


    Most often only one track at a time, and average 1 track a week. Don`t have time for more as most of my income is from touring and gigs.

    I most often do a lot of rough mixing during the production stage, so there is actually not a whole lot of work left for the final mixing process. But there is of course something left so a final mix will most often take me a couple of hours, which i prefer to do as the first thing in the morning (after a cup of coffee off course 🙂 ).

    I try to not do any of the admin stuff during my production time. Usually i dedicate 1 or 2 whole days each month to only admin stuff. This would include uploading, writing descriptions etc.. and also all the admin related to my touring, like sending invoices etc..  Regarding descriptions, I do make some notes during the production stage of the track.

    There is off course a small amount of admin that would have to be done on a day to day basis, like reading e-mail and stuff. I do this around noon every day combined with a little lunch break in my studio to rest my ears.

    Pretty organized guy here, but I guess you need to be if you`re going to live as a gigging musician combined with running a studio and running a family 😉


    I avg 2 a week generally but depends on what’s involved. I also do one track at a time from start to finish. Sometimes if I just can’t get an idea to gel to my liking in a reasonable time say a day, I’ll put it in my “rough ideas” folder to fight another day and start again with something that better suites my mood. I made a mix buss template from cues that have worked well for me that with each new project  and  I mix into them as I go. When my song is done, so is the mix for the most part as I will only need to do minor tweaking of the mix buss plugins depending on the type and style of music I’m doing. I also setup a mastering chain template the same way. I save many hours I used to spend mix and mastering. I then do my edits then metadata then submit to all the libraries I deal with then start over.


    I currently record live sessions in a studio i like. I do one and sometimes more recording sessions a month. I pick a theme or style for the session (based on my publisher requests or pitches i see on taxi etc) decide what musicians to hire, and spend  4-5 full days writing and arranging 6-8 tunes for the band. I usually have 3 or 4 additional compositions sitting around – things that have either never been recorded or can be re-interpreted in the style of the session i’m writing, which I to add to the session. I book my musicians on a work for hire / buyout basis. I spend a couple of days before the session polishing charts and putting together books. I book a 6 hour block and consistently get 8-10 good tracks out of a session.

    I prioritize mixes based on existing deadlines. I usually mix at night. I end up with 8-10 new tracks a month. I’m moving across country, so my new challenge is to start finding new musicians and studios i have confidence in. I crammed 5 recording sessions into the last 2 months so i have a big backlog of mixes and administration to work on while i’m getting set up in my new hometown – Philadelphia.


    @Stevericemusic. Just sent you a PM.


    This is a great topic.   Interesting to see the subtle differences in how people work.  I write and record 5 cues or so one at a time.  I then send them to my business partner who mixes and masters them.  While he is doing that I switch to admin mode and do descriptions, tags and registrations.  When I get the final mix I change or add anything in the descriptieft affected by the mix.  Then I handle uploads and delivering the music to the various libraries I work with.   Then it’s back to creative mode all over again.


    I think this “stick to one cue at a time” method is very effective but unfortunately that didn`t work out for me. I was so into a particular song that I wrote, produced and mixed in 1-2 days, including sending the track to the particular library, that I often overlooked little mistakes. Of course in production music it`s good to have a healthy balance between quantity and time but the quality should always be good.

    Months or weeks later, I would hear my tracks and think: “Damn, here is the bass or the snare too loud or the acoustic guitar too quiet, too much reverb or a frequency is anoying me now !”

    That`s why I write and produce the song in a row but I mix, master and uplaod a track often a week or two later.



    I find myself working on several cues at once.  Little ideas will pop into my head at random times and I usually try to start writing/recording them as soon as possible.  Sometimes this will result in my writing the entire cue in that one sitting, but often times, once I get the basic idea down, I won’t exactly know where to take it so it gets put in a “Cues to finish” folder.  About once a week I’ll scan through the folder and listen to all of the cues I have started, and when one of them speaks to me I’ll put some more work into it.

    I also end up doing basic mixing as I am tracking, so by the time the piece is fully written and recorded the mix is about 80% there.

    This process results in about 1-3 cues a week, depending on how much time I have to write that week.  I’ve only been library writing for a few months now, so I’m sure I do not have the most effective system in place yet…


    usually 2 -3 tracks a week ,lots of energy in the morning after the cafe and when kids are out of the house I start setting up the mikes.

    in the afternoon after lunch comes a dead time as to creativity , nothing until 5 or 6 pm so I go surfing or read if not then administration, internet,metadata etc. .

    some tracks sit around for weeks some are done and finished in the week,usually record most of the track in couple of ours mooving from one instrument to other, that’s the most fun part.

    Next day I select the best cuts from those  and arrange them in the song structure and edit, add efx and mix.
    I adjust the mix and master befor 2 weeks time.







    Hi ,Mark,Kiwi,Wildman,Art,Gary,Kenny,Pat,Steve,Michael,(the other one!) : } yzzman,m,scott,andrei,

    Thank you so much for sharing your working strategies,it’s a fascinating insight in to how we all have the same destination but take varying and diverse routes to get there.

    Just lately I have been using a production line technique,I use Logic Pro and it gives me the option of 25 Most Recent and 20 are currently in use and the other 5 are for starting new ideas.If I can’t think of anything within one or two listens I move on to the next,it’s very rare that I don’t make a change even if it’s to take something out that I thought worked but didn’t.
    The great thing is that we are making music.

    Thank you all once again,


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