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how long did it take you to write an entire track on a consistent basis?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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kg2600
KVRist
 
100 posts since 21 Jan, 2012

Postby kg2600; Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:13 pm how long did it take you to write an entire track on a consistent basis?

hey guys im wondering this question because i have been producing for about 10 months now and i still get stuck alot when im making a track and im wondering at what time did it take you guys to do it. right now i get stuck so hard that it sometimes takes me weeks to write a track. im really curious to know and thanks for reading.
rockstar_not
KVRAF
 
4826 posts since 10 Aug, 2004, from Colorado Springs

Postby rockstar_not; Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:23 pm

I'm trying very hard not to write a snarky response, but I'm wondering if you wrote this tongue in cheek?

How is it that you are a 'producer'?

Do you mean it's been 10 months since you've been using a computer to compose/write music?

Because that really isn't 'producing'.

Producing, as I understand it, normally involves helping others to achieve their creative goals by assisting in composition, editing, selection of arrangement, selecting the engineer for the project, sequencing tracks for a group track release (notice I avoided saying - album), etc.

I'm willing to stand corrected by others if my understanding of what it means to be a music producer is out of line.
dark_virus
KVRAF
 
1555 posts since 28 Jun, 2007, from Amazon rain forest

Postby dark_virus; Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:37 am

kg2600 wrote:hey guys im wondering this question because i have been producing for about 10 months now and i still get stuck alot when im making a track and im wondering at what time did it take you guys to do it. right now i get stuck so hard that it sometimes takes me weeks to write a track. im really curious to know and thanks for reading.

Years. Seriously.

I make some loops, take a rest (and make another loops). Then, some months ago, I return to the first loops, add a bass and some perc, and leave it again. And so on.

Fortunately, I don't make music for a living. :D
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topaz
KVRAF
 
3798 posts since 14 Jul, 2001, from Kent, UK

Postby topaz; Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:42 am

Watch this video when you lose your way,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_JReiE1uFk&sns=em
kelvyn
KVRian
 
812 posts since 9 Mar, 2008, from netherlands

Postby kelvyn; Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 am

I'm slightly confused! Does the OP mean writing a track or finishing a track?

Writing and arranging indicates to me the initial phase of producing a song/track... creating the foundation for the piece. Harmonies, melodies , rythme and lyrics (if there are any). Followed by the arrangement which normally means deciding what instrumentation the piece of music will be have. This phase can take between fifteen minutes to months depending on the creative juices.

The Production (finishing the track IMO) starts after the writing phase (but not exclusively) when the tracks are played in and then mixed. The speed of this phase is dependant on musician and technical skills. But I would normally figure on one day for one song plus a day to mix it.

A lot of people write and produce at the same time, so the time it takes can vary... but it's the songwriting and arrangingt that take the most time normally.
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synthmagic
KVRian
 
874 posts since 6 Jan, 2011, from UK

Postby synthmagic; Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:07 am

topaz wrote:Watch this video when you lose your way,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_JReiE1uFk&sns=em


No wonder I have about a million tracks on my hard drive that are not finished :hihi:

Good video - Is he saying don't even try and sequence anything until you have all the sounds that are going to be in the track prepared? - How do you know if the sounds will fit together in a musical sequence if you have not tried to sequence them yet?

For instance today I started a track with a pad sound and some basic drum loops and then added a bassline. Is he saying I should not of even started to write any musical notes, but instead just collected the sounds that are going to be used before I even write any music?

I have been adding sounds during the sequencing process which I can see may have taken me off in other directions and probably made me not finish the track.

Cheers.
ARP Quadra, Polymoog and other vintage synths for Kontakt http://www.synthmagic.co.uk
User avatar
topaz
KVRAF
 
3798 posts since 14 Jul, 2001, from Kent, UK

Postby topaz; Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:14 am

no, what he is saying is dont blur jobs.

dont start to master before you even have an arrangement etc.

ie, spending 2 hours eq'ing a kick drum before you even have the basic parts down.



synthmagic wrote:
topaz wrote:Watch this video when you lose your way,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_JReiE1uFk&sns=em


No wonder I have about a million tracks on my hard drive that are not finished :hihi:

Good video - Is he saying don't even try and sequence anything until you have all the sounds that are going to be in the track prepared? - How do you know if the sounds will fit together in a musical sequence if you have not tried to sequence them yet?

For instance today I started a track with a pad sound and some basic drum loops and then added a bassline. Is he saying I should not of even started to write any musical notes, but instead just collected the sounds that are going to be used before I even write any music?

I have been adding sounds during the sequencing process which I can see may have taken me off in other directions and probably made me not finish the track.

Cheers.
User avatar
synthmagic
KVRian
 
874 posts since 6 Jan, 2011, from UK

Postby synthmagic; Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:23 am

Thanks,
I have been jumping in and out of each phase - time to stop that then :)

Cheers.
ARP Quadra, Polymoog and other vintage synths for Kontakt http://www.synthmagic.co.uk
User avatar
topaz
KVRAF
 
3798 posts since 14 Jul, 2001, from Kent, UK

Postby topaz; Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:25 am

I have had years of experience, produced albums, sessions, etc and still get lost in geekery.

this video is like a slap round the face and shake up for modern producers and all their distractions. :-)

synthmagic wrote:Thanks,
I have been jumping in and out of each phase - time to stop that then :)

Cheers.
kg2600
KVRist
 
100 posts since 21 Jan, 2012

Postby kg2600; Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:34 am

hey guys this was a serious question i actually want to know. and what i meant in the first post was how long it takes you from the first time you insert the first note to the time when you say this track is done. im exporting it and posting it to where ever you post your music. im curious because i have been on the same melody that i made in october and i usually make the drop and then when im making the track realize it complete crap and only keep the midi file and scrap the rest. so i wasnt trying to mess around i was honestly curious. it wasnt my intention to rub anybody the wrong way with this thread.
timaeus222
Banned

Postby timaeus222; Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:50 am

ie, spending 2 hours eq'ing a kick drum before you even have the basic parts down.


I disagree; I work on dynamics while I'm writing, not after. I personally have a better sense of dynamics within velocities while I'm still working on the actual composition of the song, not after the song is already done. IMO it takes far longer to perfect a song if you go back and fix velocities than if you were to go back in time and write that section from scratch. In short, you have to be "in the zone" to have good sense in production. Mastering, however, of course goes last as you implied.
According to your example, the kick compression, waveshaping, overdrive, and all that should be left alone until later. I know someone who has written a fantastic remix, and he started with selecting and perfecting the drums and percussion first. One time, I wrote a song starting with a chord progression that inspired a specific sound. Another time, I started with a specific sound that inspired a chord progression. I'm currently writing a remix, and I started with layering a few bass sounds together. So everyone's approach is different.

--------------------------

These days, whether I get inspired enough or not, my speed for writing and finishing a track is between 20 hours and 3 months. I most often finish in a few weeks, and I often wait a few days between updates.

I have over 150 project files, and about 45 of them that I like. All of them are actually complete, though. I just left the ones I didn't like as they were and didn't perfect them.

Composer for 1.66 years. I'm almost to professional level. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I'd rate myself between 8.5 and 9.2, being as modest as possible. I usually learn faster than most people, so don't assume that 1.66 years is automatically enough to be "good". It is, however, a good minimum moment in time for you to start gauging your skill.
Cubehog
KVRer
 
7 posts since 26 Aug, 2012, from Magdeburg

Postby Cubehog; Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:52 am

kg2600 wrote:hey guys this was a serious question i actually want to know. and what i meant in the first post was how long it takes you from the first time you insert the first note to the time when you say this track is done. im exporting it and posting it to where ever you post your music. im curious because i have been on the same melody that i made in october and i usually make the drop and then when im making the track realize it complete crap and only keep the midi file and scrap the rest. so i wasnt trying to mess around i was honestly curious. it wasnt my intention to rub anybody the wrong way with this thread.


So you are the man with the 5 hats. I'm in the same boat.

What helps me to get a tune finished?

I start with "placeholder sounds". Much like in a band there is a leading/main instrument for a certain song. I am a guitarist, so usually it's chords, but it also can be drums and bass, or vocal lines. I don't think about sound design. Usually I have 1-4 tracks in my daw.
If the song is "done", I then leave it there on the hard drive, putting this rough sketch on my ipod and "test the song". Usually I notice unnecessary lengths and cut them out. Some ideas for breaks and fills come to my mind.


Next Step.
Think of a composer who hands the part over to an arranger. You have the sketch and then give it to the guy who knows which instrument should play in certain registers.
This process takes much more time, but I can always come back to the initial idea, because the outline is still there.
I usually like to finish one track (daw-track/lane) with the instrument "carrying the song", then move on to the next "band member" (i.e.bass) and finish it in sound design and raw arrangement.

Arranging is easier if you have an instrument leading the others on the timeline. It is also easier to put the other instruments into their respective "pockets" aka freq.-ranges.
If all instruments are in their pockets, mixing is also an easier process.

What helped me in the last months to finish tracks more efficiently was resampling. I commit to one detailed phrase and don't worry to look back. It sparks creativity and lets you stay in focus of the goal. Getting a song done. If it's not the desired result than I'll do another song.

You know what the buddhists say, right?

der Ivo
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Burillo
KVRAF
 
1707 posts since 15 Nov, 2006, from Hell

Postby Burillo; Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:59 am

with all the power the software gives you, i don't understand this whole "don't do this until you did that". in the olden days it may very well made sense as you typically couldn't get a touring megastar to get to the studio and re-record that rogue take, but now? granted, i'm a hobbyist and don't even write music (do covers mostly), so maybe i'm talking out of my ass. i just don't see the point.
From Russia with love
ksandvik
KVRist
 
388 posts since 25 Aug, 2005, from North California

Postby ksandvik; Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:05 pm

A good example of today's world where there are so many tools and samples, many free, so the plentitude will stop people from creating music. That and high-speed Internet and Netflix.
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robojam
KVRAF
 
21416 posts since 26 Jul, 2005, from Inside Schroedinger's Cat...or am I...

Postby robojam; Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:13 pm

kg2600 wrote:hey guys this was a serious question i actually want to know. and what i meant in the first post was how long it takes you from the first time you insert the first note to the time when you say this track is done. im exporting it and posting it to where ever you post your music.

It depends. Sometimes a long time, and sometimes I'll just post what I did running through first time with only a few FX and small amount of mixing added.

For example, I just sat at the piano and played this through with no preparation:

Another Moment Alone

The only things I did were:

1. Fixed the volume on 2 or 3 notes that were excessively loud
2. Applied a small amount of reverb
3. Minimal mastering

However there have been other tracks that I have spent 6 months on because I'll leave them and go back to them multiple times.
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