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    • #54938
      ,Zero Four

      Hi All,

      I have been a member since January this year,

      I was just curious what everyone’s workflow is when starting a track and how you stay focused on finishing a track rather than starting a new one.


    • #54944

      I’m certainly no expert on finishing, it is something that I struggle with too, but I have developed some tools and skills over the years to make things much better for me.

      1) work FAST. If you’re just looping the same shit for an hour, get up, take a break, and come back to it when you can work fast. I refer to it as the flow, and you wanna be in it: where you always see something that can be done next, you hit that thing, then you move to the next thing. It can be a challenge getting into the flow, but it’s something that can be worked at

      2) collect “scraps”. I switched my DAW to Ableton earlier this year (from PreSonus Studio One), and have been 10x’s more productive because I can save every single sketched idea or scraps in a manner that gives me a library of my own “problem-solving” bits. Midi clips, inst racks, fx racks, presets, audio clips, automation…whatever. I allow myself many sessions that are just sound design and sketching. This way, when I am in the flow, but get slowed by some problem, I have a whole library of potential fixes, all of my own creation.

      3) shake up the workflow. If you always start with drums, and then lay in a bass, and then loop that shit until you’re dead of old age, maybe try and build a tune, from scratch, from the intro, in a more linear fashion. I think this can help with writing “into” the drop, as opposed to just creating a drop and then wondering how to get there. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s ok, you now have an intro that might kitbash well with some loop you write in the future. Now do this for all things: create trancey arp layers that just sound cool on their own, make stuttery breaks and fills that can be quickly slammed in to any tune later, create a pre-drop composition just for the fuck of it, without regard to anything that it might drop into. If it’s *you* creating it all, then eventually you’ll have a coherent catalog that all sort of lives in the same universe in terms of sounds, style, etc.

      4) find a theme. One of my fave things to do is to get a movie or vocal sample, and write around that. It helps inform me as to *why* the tune exists in the first place, and where I might try and take the whole thing. Creating in an absolute bubble is hard in any art form…find something that helps fuel you through the process

      5) research. Listen to as much of everything as you can possibly manage. Your music that comes from you is an aggregate of all of those previously experienced tunes. Feed that monster, whenever you can.

      And most of all: keep fucking going. Never ever quit. A bad day is only one bad day, and I’ve had some of my best sessions after some of my worst sessions, and vice versa. Ignore the negativity that may pop up in your brain, focus on why you are doing it to being with, and don’t quit. EVER.

      _-| get to work |-_

      • #54965
        ,Zero Four

        Thank you for the lengthy reply. A lot of great tips in there, I have recently started going from the intro and have already found my workflow improving.

        I will keep you posted on future things.

    • #54966

      That is some great advice and very useful information Shrike. A lot of the points that you touched on is things I am trying to implement. Lately, I have been getting super frustrated when trying to write music and just end up scraping everything! It is probably due to the fact I am trying to force an idea or new technique. Anyways always enjoy your insight and one thing is for sure that I won’t give up! Cheers mate!

    • #54967

      Workflow is something that develops & changes all the time. For me, how I work on music has changed a lot. I used to try to do everything at the same time; make sounds, sample, find sounds or samples to use, do edits, mix, etc. Over time things have shifted, I tend to do one of the following in a session:

      – Sound design: make patches, signal chains, resampling. Sometimes a sound immediately sparks an idea, and when that happens I shift my attention to sketching for the remainder of the session.

      – Sampling: this is my fairly low effort session, when I’ve had a tough day at work, but want to make sure I’m putting some time in to my music. I’m either recording material to sample, or going through recordings, cropping out samples, and I’m saving in a structure that makes sense to me; CATALOG#_sound name.wav, and then saved in a folder for the year. That’s a big thing IMO, it is very helpful to create processes & systems that make sense to you. If I adapted a technique or process exactly as I was shown, it’s just the other person’s process.

      – Sketching: I often only have an hour a day to work on music, so I will occasionally have a week or so where I just do sketches. Each day, a new sketch, and filed away. Sometimes the best part of my finished tracks come from the sketches. I will sometimes I have a session where I check out my sketches, and then I’ll pick out 1 to 3 that I want to develop in to a full track, which leads to…

      – Work-In-Progress: sessions where I work on arrangement, edits, fills, variations on bass & music, and build up a track to a full project. Usually takes me a few sessions when I go in on a track. Between sketching & WIP, this is probably my favorite because it feels the most fulfilling.

      – Mixing: just that.

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

      • #54972
        ,Zero Four

        Thank you, some good points to take away there, definitely like the idea of splitting sessions in to different things as it always feels like the aim to smash a track out while the spark is there.

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