No matter what level you are as a musician, you will either have professional or self-imposed deadlines you are expected to meet. Producing music in a timely fashion is one of the most essential elements in the process. One of the biggest challenges for professional producers and amateurs alike is finding a routine and staying organized, so here are some tips on helping with that.
- Make organized and coherent templates
Before a producer finds their groove, they usually spend hours loading the same plugins, templates, samples, etc. that they use fairly regularly in their productions. Spend some time beforehand creating all the right templates that you find yourself using. This way, when inspiration hits you can have it pre-loaded and ready to go.
- Pre-load all percussion tracks
No matter what DAW you prefer, having a few drum tracks pre-loaded in ProTools or Garageband will prevent you from having to scour through folders seeking the right set up. When you have it ready to go beforehand, it’s just a matter of firing it up and hitting the drum pads. Pre-load multiple drum racks, and you’ll get your own unique blend which will help give you a signature sound.
- While you’re at it, pre-load ALL your sounds
Percussion isn’t the only thing you’ll find you’re using similar settings on. Keeping transition risers bundled will prevent you from spending time seeking one to see if it fits that particular track. Point. Shoot. Go!
- Organize your templates by genre
When you start managing multiple settings and types, keep them organized by genre. When it comes time to work, you’re not wasting time digging through your files looking for one specific sound. With drums, keep things particular percussion kits that sound good together.
- Pre-load presets on your plugins
Inspiration can strike at any time. When you have your presets on your favorite plugins ready to go, you’re able to capture the moment as it hits you.
- Don’t add tracks as you’re recording them
Set up all the recording tracks ahead of time, so you’re able to point and go on a dime. Too many times people lose ideas trying to set everything up too slowly.
- Have a mixdown template
If you’re finding yourself using the same mixing styles across multiple tracks, it makes sense to have a good mix template. Think about it, are you continually applying similar compression levels to your bass and reverb for the vocals? Cut out countless hours of setup by merely having it pre-loaded.
While there is no cookie-cutter way of producing music, there are similar roadblocks with workflow. If you talk to professional producers and engineers, you’ll find they all have something different that works for them. The bottom line is setting up everything beforehand, so you’re not in a pinch down the road.