Workflow for full-timers

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bakerstreet
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Workflow for full-timers

Post by bakerstreet » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:40 am

Hi, I'd love to hear from any full-time writers about their workflow. On Taxi TV I've seen some say they can turnout 5 tracks per week. As a new, full-timer I'm curious as to any tips others may have to improve workflow to achieve this turnaround whilst maintaining the high quality expected.

I hope I'm asking this question in the right section as I'm really asking about organisational tips and routines rather than creativity although these do go hand in hand.

Thanks.
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ttully
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Re: Workflow for full-timers

Post by ttully » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:46 am

hi Bakerstreet,

On a good week....5 tracks... some weeks.... 1 track... or no tracks....and of course it depends on the genre.
.
It also depends on what a library or show is looking for..... it seems like they don't contact you for a few months....then all at once they all need stuff tomorrow!
I usually work best under some pressure.....or a deadline.

Hip Hop, EDM, Tension, Drones... usually do not take very long. ( but sometimes they do)
Big orchestral tracks.... over a month for 1...sometimes longer, they sometimes just keep developing.

I have templates set up in Protools for the different types of tracks... EDM template, Comedy template (etc.).
These have most of the plugins and instruments I need, ready to go.
I would HATE to have to start from scratch every time I did a new track....no way!

Also, I am usually working on 3 or 4 different tracks at a time and keep switching between them when I run out of ideas or get bored.

And I know this is not the correct way to mix.... but 9 times out of 10, I am mixing and mastering at the same time....mixing with mastering plugins active.
Been doing that for years...and it seems to work...at least for me!

And the only way to keep the quality high is to A/B your stuff with what is out there...or what the show sends you for examples.

My 2 cents worth,
Tim

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Re: Workflow for full-timers

Post by Paulie » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:29 pm

It's going to vary based on the genre and the brief. Electronic genres (Trap, Future Bass, EDM in general) are very formulaic so once you get a good template worked up you can crank out new variants very fast. Tension cues can also be very structured and easy to reproduce. I recorded a tutorial video on the concept early last year for another Taxi member where I take a signed tension track and create a new track from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W055RCRBy0

Most music is based on a form of some kind. Once you identify the tendencies within a certain genre you can literally map them out and then compose based on that format. Of course, there's a whole lot more to it than that, but once you have a "recipe" or guidelines, you can work faster. And, everyone has their own skillset and toolbox, these both contribute to your abilities to delver the goods in a timely manner.

HTH

Paulie
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Re: Workflow for full-timers

Post by Coffeeinthesink » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:19 pm

Paulie wrote:It's going to vary based on the genre and the brief. Electronic genres (Trap, Future Bass, EDM in general) are very formulaic so once you get a good template worked up you can crank out new variants very fast. Tension cues can also be very structured and easy to reproduce. I recorded a tutorial video on the concept early last year for another Taxi member where I take a signed tension track and create a new track from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W055RCRBy0

Paulie
This video is so great Paul. Would love to see you do more... as time permits of course! I never considered modifying the midi notes of an existing piece to create something entirely new. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Workflow for full-timers

Post by VanderBoegh » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:56 pm

Everyone's workflow is different, and everyone's acceptable or desired level of output is different too. Even for us full-timers, output and workflow are vastly different amongst composers.

Some full-timers I know are content to make 150-200 killer pieces of music per year. They've worked many years (or many decades) at this and are now at the stage where they can take their foot off the gas and enjoy the fruits of their labor by not working as hard and still reaping the benefits. So, 150-200 tracks per year keeps their income stream going strong, but allows them to work less hours, go on vacations, see the world, play, focus on family, etc.

Then there's the full-timers like myself that are relatively new to the full-time status (I'm only in my 2nd year as a full-timer), who don't have the large nest-egg built up yet, so we continue to work like mad dogs so the revenue pipeline can see exponential growth. Personally, I try to make 9-10 tracks per week. Last year I made 500 total. I do this knowing that I'll eventually have a fat bank account and a big enough revenue pipeline that I can migrate my way into the previous category of full-timers, and take more vacations and spend less time working. But for now, I'm a workaholic.

Templates, as mentioned by Tim, are one of the best ways to speed up workflow. That, and pumping out an extremely large quantity of tracks in a genre that you're good at, rather than agonizing over the nuances of a style you're unfamiliar with.

Hope that helps, though my answer to your question doesn't actually provide any concrete answer, lol.

~~Matt

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Re: Workflow for full-timers

Post by DaveZ » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:29 am

Thanks for the tips, also Paulie thanks for your book list. I've been finding that helpful. Really clicking with the book "Music Habits" right now.


Dave

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