The more you get into music production, you start to realise how important it is to work efficiently. For example, if you need to complete a piece of work by a certain deadline, the last thing you want to be doing is spending unnecessary time searching for that specific sample or trying to find that ambient background track in an unorganised project.
In this blog, we're going to go over some tips for improving your music production workflow so that you can work more efficiently, saving time and stress.
This may take up a bit of initial time but will save you much more time as the project grows and develops.
Especially if you've got a project with 50 or so tracks, which aren't labelled, or colour coded. You can spend quite a bit of time searching through the mass of audio and MIDI to find the track you're looking for.
Track stacks are really useful to group certain sounds together and neaten up what's on the computer screen. For example, you might want to group all the drum sounds together in a track stack. Apart from tidying up the project, it enables you to process and control all the tracks in the stack with one set of controls.
Give clear names to each track, track stack and bus to start an organised project.
Colour coding tracks can be helpful as well. For example, colouring the drum tracks red and the guitar tracks blue.
Spending a short amount of time doing simple things like this can really save you more time further down the line.
Another great way to work more efficiently is by using keyboard shortcuts to do things quickly.
For example, in Logic Pro X, use the keyboard shortcut CMD + A to select all the pieces of MIDI data in the piano roll, instead of clicking and dragging to select them all.
You can even get hardware shortcut keyboards or keyboard covers for specific DAW's, which are extremely useful!
This is a great way to speed up your workflow.
For example, I have created EQ and compression presets for my vocal tracks. I usually tweak them a bit depending on who is singing and what microphones are being used, but they act as a great starting point whilst also giving you a consistent production style and specific sound.
Also, once you've created them, they are always there when you need them.
Creating channel strip presets is another useful thing to do. So, you can load up all the insert effects you want for one track with the click of a mouse.
Once again, it might take a bit of initial time to set up but being able to quickly find the sounds and samples that you need is really important.
Have specific folders and sub folders for certain sounds and samples.
For example, I've worked with people in the past and my sound library wasn't at all organised. To be honest I wouldn't have even called it a sound library! People can get annoyed if you spend too much time finding a specific sound, especially if they are paying for your time!
Working in a mess can really affect your workflow, as it can make you feel more muddled as well.
As I mentioned in the last tip, if you're working with other people, especially paying customers, you can't be spending unnecessary time looking for that specific piece of equipment!
Plus, a messy workspace will appear to be unprofessional.
Although these tips may seem simple, they're often not seen as a priority so may not always be followed.
Following these simple tips can really help to speed up and improve your production workflow, causing less stress and increasing your professionalism.
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Also, if you want to take your music production career further, check out our Foundation Degree in Creative Music Production & Business in partnership with University of Westminster.