One of the hardest parts of music production is finishing your music. Every producer has a folder filled with unfinished projects, that contains all of their 8 bar loops, half produced drops and random ideas.
Don’t be fooled, even professionals have these uncompleted folders on their hard drive!
The worse part is, some of these unfinished sketches are actually great ideas, but they will never see the light of day.
So why does this happen?
Why can’t I finish more music and finish it faster?
Why are my good ideas not getting finished?
To some degree, you are always going to have tracks that won’t make it into the limelight. Not every track you create will be a releasable one, but there are steps that you can take to greatly improve the completion rate of your tracks and at a higher speed.
Here are 5 tips for finishing your music faster:
1. Improve Your Workflow
While it may be obvious that a streamlined workflow will help, many producers neglect to do it. Don’t be lazy when it comes to setting up your workflow.
This is one of most effective ways to finish more music faster. Here are a few things you can do to speed up and improve your workflow:
- Create a folder of your favorite samples and presets that are in the style or genre you want to produce
- Categorize your plugins, so you are not killing your creativity by searching around through all of your plugins.
- Group all your plugins into their respective categories. So put all the reverbs, in a reverb folder. All your EQ’s in an EQ folder.
If you are using Ableton Live, you can make audio effects racks and save them in a folder that you have created in your user library. If you are using other DAW’s, you can use software such as Auganizer to accomplish this.
- Create custom FX chains that you always use and save them. All DAW’s have the option to save your channel strip settings so take advantage of this.
Working on vocals? You are almost always going to add a delay and reverb, so why not save a delay and reverb that you like to use on vocals.
Also see: How To Maximize Your Vocal Workout
Need a library full of FREE plugins and virtual instruments? Download HERE
2. Set Goals
Having a clear-cut goal of what you want your track to sound like before you even start you track is key to avoiding writer’s block. Nothing makes you put a project into the unfinished folder faster than hitting a prolonged creative slump.
Before you even start your track, listen to new music, listen to new sounds, and get inspired. Then take all that inspiration and quickly jot down what your specific sonic goals are for your track.
Also see: Become A Better Music Producer (Learn & Listen)
3. Create Your Own Sample Packs
Once you have set your goal for the current song you are going to work on, it can then be a good idea to start building a sample pack based on this goal before you begin actually writing your song.
Having a dedicated sample pack that is tailored to your production needs for the particular track at hand will cut out the time that you normally spend looking through your gigantic sample library.
Not only will this help you finish your tracks faster, but it will also help you build your signature sound. Instead of using other sample packs, you are using samples that have your fingerprints on them. Don’t be afraid to reuse the sounds in later custom sample packs as well. This will once again, add to the speed of the workflow and continue to build your signature sound.
Need samples for your latest track? Download FREE samples and loops HERE
4. Set A Schedule
Every time you sit down to produce, it almost seems like you are entering a black hole. Time is easily lost. Hours slip away and before you know it the sun is rising and you haven’t stepped away from your computer since you started your idea at 8 pm the night before.
Most productions are created without a timetable. You keep working and working on your latest track and have the mindset that your track will be done when it is done.
Having a schedule is key here. Allocating however much time it takes to finish your track will eventually lead to procrastination, overanalyzing, and endless tweaking.
Here are a few simple scheduling techniques that we can use to keep us on track, motivated, and prevent overthinking our productions.
Set a deadline for your latest track.
Set aside a specific time each day to work on your music.
Take a scheduled 10-minute break after every hour you produce.
If you have tried all these techniques and still find yourself struggling to get tracks finished, then you should strongly consider collaborating with another artist.
Ideas can be combined, creative decisions can be discussed, and you can play to each other’s strengths. These type of opportunities are only possible when you are collaborating.
Don’t be shy. Let go of your ego. It doesn’t matter if you are more skilled or less skilled as a music producer than the artist you are collaborating with.
Music was meant to be collaborative, so start looking for someone to collaborate with!
Can’t find a place to collaborate with another artist?
Put up a post in the SoundShock community as there are plenty of artists looking for collaborations!
Before you even start your track, you need to set yourself up for success.
If you feel that you are not getting as many tracks finished as you would like to in a timely manner, then employing these 5 techniques will give you the creativity, motivation, structure, and discipline to work through them more efficiently.
So set aside some time to apply the tips in this list and give yourself an advantage when it comes to finishing your music!
Also see: 6 Pre-Production Tips to Avoid Problems