How to Find The Perfect Workflow?

Discussion in 'Education' started by xXDayDreamerXx, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. xXDayDreamerXx

    xXDayDreamerXx Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Up In The Clouds
    Finally, after a few years I've realized why I can never finish a darn song: It's because I don't have a set method for song production. I usually just find a synth or something I like and mess around on the piano roll for a bit. So, are there any good tutorials on taking you through a song start to finish that really define an order of doing things? Is there a certain method to developing complex instrumentals with multiple parts that somewhat differ but blend well and have similarities? How do you like to build a song? If you link a tutorial any DAW is fine, although I primarily use FL Studio, Reaper, and Studio One. (I have been considering getting ableton too.)


    Also I had no idea where to post this thread.. Since it involves the need to learn something, I figured Education would do. So Mods feel free to move this to a better section :P
     
  2.  
  3. reliefsan

    reliefsan Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    155
    the struggle is real. have no fear. know that all of us been there/are here in the same boat as you.
    since i have no idea where you are, on your musical journey im going to be very vague in examples.

    there is only way.
    you keep on going.

    take a piece of paper and a pen,
    take a deep breath.
    be truely honest with yourself.

    write down what you think you are good at.
    then
    write down where you think your skills lack something.

    name at least 3. but no more than 5 on each of those

    now you look on your list

    Chose 1 of "lacking skills" and give that alot more attention and focus for the next 3months, or 3 weeks or 3 days, or however long you decide.

    when you feel alot more confident in that area you chose to begin with, then go take a look on your list again and move on to the next area and repeat the process of giving alot more attenton and focus on that specific area.

    if you practice and keep on going, before you know it, you grew alot and have more confidence in yourself and your abiities.

    there are ofcourse alot of other ways to go about this.
     
  4. 23322332

    23322332 Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    97
    Compose the whole thing one line at a time (start from the bass or melody, then add the melody or bass, then add the inner parts) and then chose instruments, then record, mix, master.
    You will need playing skill in improvising lines or knowing music theory to do it in the piano roll editor inputting manually.
    Forget about DAWs, instruments, plugins - use some popular timbre like piano, organ, strings, guitar, woodwind and use it during your sketch.
    If you aren't capable of doing this, you will never finish a song and better find something else for a hobby.
    Or go to a good teacher and study more, but you will probably need many years before composing anything decent, if you are talentless, lazy or stupid.
     
  5. reliefsan

    reliefsan Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    155
    also there is no "perfect workflow" since each and everyone of us are unique humanbeeing. no 1 size fits all :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  6. jayxflash

    jayxflash Rock Star

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    379
    https://audiosex.pro/threads/electronic-music-production-workflow-a-take-that-actually-works.25324/

    Also episode 5 & 7 here: http://edmprod.com/podcast/

    You have to stop trying to achieve what you have in your head and always finish the track with what you can do as a beginner. In time you will get better. And do not worry: you will never run out of ideas. The more you practice, the better and fast ideas you'll develop. And your ears will get better too and you'll finally be able to feel the difference between a stock compressor and a Waves CLA-76.
     
  7. spacetime

    spacetime Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    130
    My advise is a simple one

    Lower your standarts and you will succeed
     
    • Like x 3
    • Agree x 1
    • Disagree x 1
    • Funny x 1
    • Interesting x 1
    • List
  8. flyingsleeves

    flyingsleeves Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Earth
    I don't agree. I think you should always do your best. As long as you always try your best then you won't have regrets. However you should realize that sometimes your best is still not good enough. We all have limitations.

    I think making music is an organic process. There is no one way. You should not be looking for an order in which to do things. Asking for a set method would be like asking for step by step instructions on how to have sex. You just gotta go with the flow. Pay attention to where you keep getting stuck and work on developing those skills.

    Perhaps you are trying to run before you know how to walk. Don't worry about complexity. If you ask successful music makers they will often tell you that they are always looking for simple ideas. Simple ideas could easily develop into more complex ones, but you should start off simply.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  9. Ultram

    Ultram Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    brighton uk
    i dont agree either, I think aiming high is a good thing. A good method is to choose your favourite track / artist and try to dissect the track, work out what are the elements that make up the track, then drag the track into your daw and mark out points where things change maybe every 16 bars, then try to create a similar track and create the same energy flow. Copying is a good way to learn, Your track wont sound like the original but will have a sound structure. It's just practice. good luck.
     
  10. spacetime

    spacetime Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    130
    well if you cant even finish ONE song, lowering your standarts may be a good thing

    i see the professionals disagree
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  11. voidSeeker

    voidSeeker Noisemaker

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    6
    Morning yoga, followed by copious outdoor exercise. Don't eat breakfast, stay on juices, major tonic herbs and fruit till the afternoon. Huge green salad with avo, nuts for lunch. NOW compose like you mean it. Take a short nap around 5, then do more yoga when you wake up followed by a walk OUTSIDE. Now compose again like you mean it. You'll get more done in a shorter time than you ever thought possible...
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  12. spacetime

    spacetime Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    130
    which herbs are you talking about my friend
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  13. The Teknomage

    The Teknomage Rock Star

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    487
    Workflow and finishing tracks are 2 seperate things really. Workflow is something that will fall into after time. It depens on each person's preferences and the equiptment they use.
    The only thing that's stopping you finishing tracks is yourself and there can be many reasons, but workflow itself won't be one.
    You need to learn the principle " It's good enough already." and commit to that. Working in a DAW makes commiting to things more difficult, because all the settings can be saved indefinitely. When you're done with a part of your track, force yourself to commit to by bouncing to audio, deleting the midi track and FX chain. Remember " It's good enough already!"
     
  14. GreatJobChamp

    GreatJobChamp Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    29
    Boy I suffer from the same stuff in a way...

    I can start off from a number of places... whether an errie pad sequence... or start with a kick, build a number of drum tracks around it, then sub/bass, then atmospheres, etc.

    I will get a groove going, a nice 4 or 8 or maybe 16 bars that sound sweet, and then I just can't take it the next step and develop it.

    I mean, I have the natural ear and ability to "add another track" to anything... which, logically speaking, if repeated over an over leads to an entire song... BUT, I get overwhelmed or maybe I am not sure... but I will never stop trying. If I haven't quit BY NOW, Lord knows I will never stop.


    "Ultram"??!!!

    Ultram is your name?... I had a number of seizures from taking too much of that dumass stuff.

    Of the 3 times I have been in jail... on the one occasion, I got out... immediately filled a scrip of tramadol... took 13 and had a seizure in front of my buddy and his girl.

    ANOTHER time, I remember filling up with "petrol" at a BP... I got in... I turned on the car and pulled up to exit the gas station, with my turn signal on, waiting for a safe time to make a left turn onto the street... the NEXT thing I know, I wake up in the field DIRECTLY across the street from the BP... stuck in mud and wondering how I got there...

    I clearly had a seizure... WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE!!... A curious gentleman helped me get my car out of there and luckily (despite being approximately 5p.m. in a generally busy location) I safely got home without a D.U.I. police arrest.

    Ultram is not like the other opiates... and despite being weak as hell (and better used when tryin to detox off opiates), it is the only one that lowers the seizure threshold.

    (clearly I have had troubles with opiats :D.. been on suboxone for almost 8 years)


    Clearly you are talking about "Traditional music." Or what I refer to it as... like a "real" band... with real instruments... A drummer, vocals, or guitar, etc.

    Working on the electronic dance genres are not the same... In a way I feel the "real" music is easier to get going and put together (for me personally), while the dance genres are not as clear cut, since there are a number of ways to make a song... and more specifically, a number of things that a track could be centered around... or maybe that is not the way to explain it, but it is much different I think... cuz you have abstract noises, atmospheres or straight a-tonal sound fx that can carry a song so, I don't know... too me it is just not the same.

    This may only be my view, and someone is free to "school" me... but I mean no negative criticism or "vibes."
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  15. mozee

    mozee Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    115
    there is no perfect workflow, the best place to start is find a system you like and stick with that ONE DAW and system. Force yourself to actually learn the tool, one step better learn to play an instrument.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  16. joseclon

    joseclon Noisemaker

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    5
    1- Less is more: Limit yourself (one DAW, fewer instruments: piano, accordeon, strings; or drums, bass and 2 synths...), that boost the creativity.
    2- You need a project, with commitments to other people if possible: Music for the video of a friend, play with other people to create and finish a demo, etc.
    3- You compromise publicly to do something (the project) on a concrete date. You say it to your friends, colleagues, girl/boyfriend, etc. If you don't deliber, your honor is mancillated. You become a liar or someone with no word. That is motivation.

    The workflow is not the problem (you'll develop it and improve with every project that you finish). You need some pression, tension and a purpose.

    Good luck!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  17. 11Fletcher

    11Fletcher Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Noumea
    The best way to finish tracks is to make this as an habit. At first it will be difficult, but you have to take a month or two, everyday, or at least the more you can, even if it's just small session. The hardest is to have a first idea, like a loop, but you seems to have already pass that step which is good. Now you just need to structure that idea, someone say in the comment that you can use other people's track to achieve that, it's a good idea. Just put a track from someone, that is similar to your, or at least similar to what you want to achieve, and copy the structure, step by step. You can also create a template with some marker like "intro", "drop", "break" (or whatever type of change you see in a song). At first it will just copy, but as more you do that, you will start to find your own way to structure song, and find your own style.

    The goal is to always finish your idea, even if it doesn't sound that good, finish it, it can end to something good or not (if not you don't have to put it out), but the idea here is to install this "finishing thing" idea in your mind as an habit. The more you do it, the easiest it will become. And at some point you will be good at it and develop even better idea. If you don't do that, your idea, even the greatest, will be always lost in bad project because you will not have the habit (and the skill that it take) to achieve it. This process is hard at first, as it force you to do something you feel you can't achieve, but the more you do it, the easier it will be, and your other skills like mixing/mastering or everything you do after the "loop part" of the creation will improve too.

    If you find difficult to focus on task you don't like (building a structure or mixing can be boring and not as fun a creating a loop for some people), set up some planning, organize your time, and as someone said it, eating healthy, meditate, and doing exercice can help too (it also help life in general), find your routine, your "peak" time (for some it's in the morning, other during the evening), and find a way to make it compatible with your life/work hours. Having a positive mindset really help too, that's something you can work on, just as for music, it's an habit to take.

    And that's pretty much it, it's not an easy process, but not that hard too, and it can help you in your life in general. Stay motivated, you will do a lot of shitty song, but that's part of the process. See this like this : if you achieve one song in a year, with the greatest idea, it can be ruin because you're not good at the final step of the song (mixing/mastering/...) so you will end with just an ok song. If you achieve 20 song, maybe half of it will be shit, maybe half of the other 10 will have bad mixing, but it let you 5 good track, let say half of them are just ok track, that let you 2 or 3 good track in a year. But at the end, you know what to do to achieve a track and that great idea will not be lost.

    I was in the same situation, and with this process I went from 1 or 2 almost ok track a year to 2 tracks a week (sometime more)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  18. GreatJobChamp

    GreatJobChamp Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    29
    Wow!!.. thank you 11Fletch... and others.

    Will forge ahead with new outlook... Thank You :bow: :bow: ::bow: :bow:
     
  19. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    26
    I've heard this before.
     
  20. Satai

    Satai Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    51
    You've got way too many options, 1001 different hammers at your disposal, no goddamn idea which one of them is most analogue and best, and the baby chair you were gonna carpenter together is not getting made.

    [​IMG]

    The baby is sitting forgotten in some plastic bullshit from IKEA. Or worse, you never had a baby.

    It was supposed to be a hand-made baby chair, carpented by you, for your baby... Get back to earth, back to ruthless basics, work starting from the baby. Measure the baby butts, not the analogue hammer butts. FUCK Ableton, Repear, Studio1 and every VST ever made, this was supposed to be about your baby, start from there and contemptuously use (abuse) every tool to get that chair made for babby soon. Doesn't matter if it isn't right, it's made with love, it'll pull you through. Use the tools you gotta use, always with absolute hatred in your heart for every shiny button. Think only about your baby.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    • Love it! Love it! x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  21. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    26
    From my experience the reason people have a hard time finishing "tracks" is because they don't know what they are doing.
    They are trying to make music without even the most basic knowledge of composition, music theory, harmony and rhythm.
    I'm talking about something as simple A/A/B/A

    When you know HOW to make music, when you know the basic formulas. It's all right in front of you and you just have to fill in the blanks. I like the analogy of painting by numbers.

    There ARE basic rules.

    Are you a musician, an artist or both? do you make music? then show some respect to the art and learn about the art form.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
Loading...
Similar Threads - Find Perfect Workflow Forum Date
Kindly ask for help finding imperfect flute! [with example] how to make "that" sound Oct 30, 2016
THE SECRETS of MUSIC (hard to find info techniques ) (UPDATED) Lounge Tuesday at 3:21 AM
Find exact genre of a track? DJ Monday at 3:09 PM
Can't Find Instruments IN Pro Tools 12 Pro Tools Friday at 10:25 PM
find sample? Working with Sound Apr 8, 2017
Loading...