Whether you’ve been producing music for 2 months, or 2 years – you know how much time, effort and dedication is needed to finish tunes that you’re actually happy with. Being a producer means being your own boss – which means you’ve got to know how to manage your time as efficiently as possible. So without further ado, here are 4 top strategies to churn out quality tracks like the pros
Starting a new project from scratch can seem a little daunting. To save yourself the headache of setting everything up every time you want to crank out a new idea, have a default template initialize all your tracks, groups, effect racks, and sends/returns. You can completely go to town and colour code everything to your liking, and even set up your effects so that they’re on a preset of your choice.
- Organise your sample libraries
Much like a painter would keep their art supplies tidy, a producer should always get into the habit of archiving their files properly.
How you choose to keep your sample library orderly is entirely up to you. The aim here is to have a library of samples systematically sorted into folders, so whenever you’re looking for a particular sample, you’ll instantly know where to locate it. Popular ways of naming your folders include by genre, date, or company (for store bought sample packs). Be organized with your loops and single hits, and you’ll thank yourself later!
- Key your samples
This is an extension of the tip above. Once you’ve done the hard yards of sorting your sample folders into neat little archives, you can go the extra mile and label your samples with the key they are in!
Before you say I’m crazy, there are very quick and easy ways to achieve this! With the help of a handy tool called MixedInKey, you can simply dump an entire library full of melodic loops into the program and it will spit them back out with the keys typed out into the file name. There are also a number of free programs like Rekordbox and Keyfinder that also do a fantastic job.
Having your sample libraries keyed will help your workflow immensely, as you’ll know exactly how many semitones you have to tune that sample up and down to get it in pitch.
- Get structure down quickly
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut by looping the same 32-bar piece over and over again. To get the most out of your limited studio time, try your best to get at least a basic song structure down early on. This greatly reduces your need to loop the same section over and over again, and forces creativity and new ideas. If you need a little help with song structure, try copying the structure off a tune you’d like to emulate – and then adjust it to your liking from there.