7 Ways Producers Can Make Music More Efficiently
The road to becoming a professional musician is one that is travelled by very few. Let’s face it.. It’s hard to do music (especially while working another job or going to school). Your time is precious. There are only 24 hours in every day. You need to maximize your time, if you want to go pro with your music!
I created this guide to give you guys some ideas on how to dedicate more time to making your music. I’ve compiled 7 primary tips that I use regularly with my own music. Hopefully this guide helps you out!
- Organize your sounds and files
Searching for specific sounds is the easiest way to lose time when making music. Take some time to categorize your drums into categories that make sense for your workflow. Separate all of your drum kits into drum specific folders. You should have a separate section for your snares, kicks, 808’s, hi-hats, etc. Group your specific drum sounds by style as well. For example you could have an 808 snares folder, live sounding snares folder, a weird snare folder, and a reverb snare folder. This organization is important because it allows you to select drums for a track significantly faster!
Get rid of all the sounds you don’t use! Go through every sound you have and delete everything you are not going to use. Since drum sounds are so easily accessible, us producers tend to accumulate more sounds than we actually need. Deleting unnecessary sounds will free up space on your hard drive and will make it easier to locate the right sounds!
- Save Presets And Custom Sounds
I wish I knew how important it is to save presets when I first started making beats! In my first few months of producing, I never saved any mixing presets and didn’t realize how much precious time I was losing. Once I started saving my patches for Equalizers, Reverbs, Delays, etc., I was able to mix my tracks in about half the time.
The same logic applies to custom sounds. I’m sure you’ve created custom sounds when working on your beats (maybe you didn’t realize you did). Whenever you layer and/or edit multiple drum sounds while working on a track, bounce the final sound to your drum folder and save it. If you do this every time you make a beat, your signature drum collection will basically create itself!
- Give Yourself Deadlines
Set a schedule for yourself. Make a note of how long you want to spend on every project and hold yourself to those deadlines. What you decide to create deadlines for is completely up to you. You can have general deadlines like, “I want to make at least 2 beats this week.” You could also have specific deadlines like, “Within the next 20 minutes, I want to finish the drums for this track.”
If you give yourself deadlines every day, you will get tasks done significantly faster! Deadlines prevent us from taking too long to complete certain things! Take advantage of the calendar feature in your phone to make deadlines for your music!
- Make Notes
Keep a written track of everything you do. It’s easy for us to say “we don’t need to write it down” or “we’ll just do it later.” The reality is we often forget what we’re supposed to do. As a result, we end up wasting time because we’re busy backtracking. You can make notes with a notebook, by using Word on your computer, or a note app on your phone.
Collaborating with other producers is a fun way to save time. The nature of collaborating forces you to do less work. When collaborating with others, you can save time by focusing on the aspects of a track you do best. You can let the person you’re collaborating with compose the areas you’re weak in. Either way you are going to be spending less time completing tracks!
- Back Up Your Files
I don’t want to say this.. but eventually your hard drive is going to crash. Be ready for this! You do NOT want to lose all of your VSTs, project files, drum kits, custom sounds, etc! Go buy AT LEAST 2 external hard drives and back up EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW!
I have 3 external hard drives and back them all up at least once a week!
- Buy New Sounds
Copping new sounds is the most straightforward way to save time. Think about it.. There’s nothing quite like getting inspired by new sounds. When you hear a crazy new sound, it’s like getting an idea for a few beats at once! Whether it be by drum sounds or synth presets, new sounds save you enormous amounts of time!
In conclusion, we all can do a better job with time management. Since our time as musicians is so important to us, we have to do everything we can to maximize our efforts!
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