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Some of the recent discussions here keep bringing to mind an article from Sound On Sound in the early 90s (might have been earlier) proposing a Musicians Revolutionary Army!! Can’t remember who wrote the article but I wrote to him, fully prepared to get “tooled-up” and take no hostages – he told me he was working on it from the inside! Maybe it is now finally time for the MRA 🙂
There’s at least one exclusive library I’ve spotted who have plenty of 30 sec edits ringing out from 25 and ending at 35!
So it surely can’t be down to what the end user is dictating, with so much variation in what libraries call a 30 sec edit? Very confusing when making “general” 30 sec edits though.
No, just 25 tracks of 1:30-2:00 mins. So maybe not amazingly productive for most people here.
I think more than anything I was trying to get the point across, no doubt a bit longwindedly, that even little “tricks” like taking regular breaks can drastically increase productivity, and help to stop those silly things that get in the way.
Talking of piano tension tracks. I once ignored a brief from a library for custom “piano tension” type tracks until the last couple of days before the deadline, because I’d never done anything like that before and assumed they must have loads of composers who really knew what they were doing and that anything I did would probably sound quite infantile in comparison. But with the deadline looming I just gave it a go anyway, using the foolproof lots of breaks method 🙂 I managed 10 tracks that weekend. I submitted 3 which were all accepted.
The reason I’ve rambled on again with this little example is that I think, for me at least, restricting the palette, taking loads of breaks, sticking to a theme/mood (I never do deliberate genres), and having a deadline can be a magical combination!
Firstly, I’m the procrastination and indecision world champion!! So getting into this routine was literally lifechanging for my music. It helped me ralise that even I could work fast and be decisive!
My experience of working fast is not quite 2 tracks from start to finish every day though, but about 25 tracks in one month.And what worked for me was to do things in stages, so this may not help you if you are determined to start AND finish 2 tracks in one day. But it may help someone.
Basically, first I restricted the palette to 3 instruments – like piano/bass/cello. This stopped my usually indecisive nature taking over and sabotaging things!
I spent the first few days doing a few sketches a day. And taking loads of breaks, as Daniel says!! I’ve never taken so many breaks and never been so productive. It was a bit like when you have a spare 30 mins and you decide just to play about for fun without putting any pressure on yourself, suddenly a track appears from nowhere!
Taking breaks is key to this, I think. It helps to curb that overthinking and questioning you mention Chuck.
So by the second week I’d decided on about 25 tracks to concentrate on, and this week was spent mostly on structure, as the original sketches were just 8/16 bars.So I was just going from track to track all day and taking loads of breaks. It was (almost) fun as I wasn’t getting bogged down by one track and the usual indecision stifling my enthusiasm.
The third week was mostly adding other colours to bring out the identity of the tracks. But also as Daniel mentioned, trusting intuition and not over thinking things is really important. That’s why I found it worked best having a load of interesting sketches I could flick between, and as soon as I started fidgeting and staring out the window I’d make a cup of tea and move onto the next track.
Amazingly (for me!), by week 4, as if by magic, I had 25 tracks that basically just needed mixing.
I think the most important thing of all is setting a goal in the first place, as we hear all the time. If you make the decision to do 2 tracks a day I’m sure things will fall into place and you’ll find a way of doing it that works best for you pretty quickly – if not the first day 🙂
Wow, thanks for the reply Lee! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain things so fully. I’ll get onto PRS tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
I know anything I post on Reverbnation appears on my Facebook page so I guess there must be lots of other sites that can also do this automatically. Steve