How long it takes to produce a track?
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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How long it takes to produce a track?

hi,
Ive been producing techno (well trying to) now for about a year and a half most of this time i have been learning about eqing and trying to get the sound right.

Ive been Djing techno professionally now for about 2 years all over the place and im dying to get some of my own tunes finished. i know the sound that i want to create it just takes so long to get it .

im wondering how long it takes people to produce a track because mostly it takes me ages i literally have a folder full of unfinished tracks it takes me about a month to put together a track and even then i still havent got 1 finished tune that im happy enough with. mostly this is due to the fact that i keep coming up with new ideas then starting something new, i hate the fact that it takes me so long to get a tune perfect.

i realise that it takes some time to get to grips with producing but ive been going at it now for a while. inbetween gigs i have started to spend all my time in my studio because i desperatley need to get some tunes finished.

basically i seem to be working my arse off all the time and never actually finishing anything. do i need to be more disciplined to work on only one tune at a time or is this a common problem for most people

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

hi!

i think that depends a lot on your style of producing. there are artists out there who produce extremely fast (venetian snares, for instance), while others need a lot of time for recreation before they get back into their music. some artists feel that when they publish a track that it is in no way "finished" at all (radiohead comes to mind there). i guess there is no real formula. its a good thing though, that you think about that; sometimes i get the impression (mostly from well-known artists) that sometimes they dont really care a lot about how "finished" their tracks are.

for me personally, discipline is a major topic. there are tracks that are done in a jiffy, and others pollute my harddisk for weeks. especially remixes. which is bad. sometimes, i litereally have to give myself deadlines to get it done.

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

More discipline needed for me i think.....:comando:
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

it's difficult to say, from one night to 1 year!!!!

i must be disconnected from the outside world (my bedroom) to get concentration.

i feel comfortable mixing in real-time so the process it takes more time for me is finding
suitable sounds, then i loop them, practice some "arrangements", FX sends and returns
and when i'm ready i mix them through my mixer onto stereo track, no automation.

average time: cannot say
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

I have tracks unfinished from years back and likewise I have tracks I finished in around 6 hours or so
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

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Originally Posted by benwaa View Post
I have tracks unfinished from years back and likewise I have tracks I finished in around 6 hours or so
6 hours im very jelous! what genre do you produce?
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

The genre? Music just check out my stuff on my myspace(in sig below) and also here [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

I'm bloody terrible - usually it runs into the 'months' not usually of constant working at them - it's just that once I have something I think is good, I think my subconscious makes me get 'blocked' and be afraid of doing anything in case I fuck it up or end up sullying what I think it should/is going to be...

So instead I fuck around sampling stuff, testing new VST's etc.

pathetic really

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Old 06-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

i tend to to through creative bursts where usually i start and finish a track in one style, then go on to start like 5 or 6 more in a similar vein. usually those end up in a folder somewhere, and i will finish them after a few months of listening, editing and usually tossing a ton of filler material...

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Old 06-01-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

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Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
i tend to to through creative bursts where usually i start and finish a track in one style, then go on to start like 5 or 6 more in a similar vein. usually those end up in a folder somewhere, and i will finish them after a few months of listening, editing and usually tossing a ton of filler material...

Same here.

Ive only Been producing for about 4 months. Ive yet to finish a son but i am slowly developing about 5 differant projects.

I wanted to finish a song as soon as i got my monitors and stuff this month but ive since changed direction and have completly revamped the song i was working on... it will take longer but im happyer with how the song is going.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:59 PM   #11
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

yeh it's annoying in my case the more I've begun to think I know, the longer the tracks take, my first two emm 'creations' were done in about 2 days each as I didnt have a clue what was going on in Reason or Fruity Loops, one of them I really, really like and intend to remake in Reason or Live (it was made in FL demo). Nowadays, I'd be lucky to get the basic layout done in 2 days :s

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Old 06-01-2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

Aint it fun tho when you nail that drop perfctly after working on a 4 bar section for 3 days hehe just expierianced this myself.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

Usually I can get the rythm (loud and banging) or all the melodies plus the synthpatches done in a few hours. From the it┤s just figuring out the progression of the track, doing automation and EQ tweaks...

But that can take time...

Ususally I dump stuff on my ipod and go out in the forest waiting for a good idea lol....
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:05 PM   #14
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytrace View Post
yeh it's annoying in my case the more I've begun to think I know, the longer the tracks take, my first two emm 'creations' were done in about 2 days each as I didnt have a clue what was going on in Reason or Fruity Loops, one of them I really, really like and intend to remake in Reason or Live (it was made in FL demo). Nowadays, I'd be lucky to get the basic layout done in 2 days :s
tell me about it!! i remember when i first started producing after about 3 months i stayed up all through the night and made a tune in about 16 hours.... and i thought it was great at the time. looking back now though its embarrassing, terrible equalisation no compression etc. now that i actually properly know what im doing i can spend literally days just getting bass sounding right.
i almost think now that ive become too critical of my music thats why its taking me an eternity to get anything finished.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:07 PM   #15
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

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Originally Posted by 450nm View Post
Aint it fun tho when you nail that drop perfctly after working on a 4 bar section for 3 days hehe just expierianced this myself.
satisfaction like no other
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:52 AM   #16
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

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Originally Posted by Ross2323 View Post
tell me about it!! i remember when i first started producing after about 3 months i stayed up all through the night and made a tune in about 16 hours.... and i thought it was great at the time. looking back now though its embarrassing, terrible equalisation no compression etc. now that i actually properly know what im doing i can spend literally days just getting bass sounding right.
i almost think now that ive become too critical of my music thats why its taking me an eternity to get anything finished.

yeh I spend most of my time trying to make sure sounds stay 'seperated' and that bass stays nice - the problem is to do this amount of EQing and compressing on my POS PC brings the CPU to its knees (and thats even with me using my UAD and TC Powercore as much as I can, and also bouncing most of my MIDI tracks to audio in Live :s)

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Old 07-01-2009, 05:15 AM   #17
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

I think the biggest drawback with most people's music is their inability to separate tasks. In terms of actual work hours, I'd say I average ten to sixteen hours. Any more than 20 hours is really a waste of time and I'm yet to see work from anyone that's really taken longer that hasn't involved recording sessions or uber synthesis or some other such programming.

But that time's broken up into several phases. Think of it like a stone sculptor's work, which requires form and function. Function is satisfied by choosing the right tools for the job and arranging them in the most efficient or comfortable manner. Then he starts chiselling away at the stone until it has form. Then he stands back and looks at it for a while before starting to give it definition. Once he's defined the form he stands back again and looks over the stone before picking the chisel back up to give detail to the form's definition. Once that's done, he steps away and looks at his sculpture and decides what he should do to finish it - like polishing vs painting or whatever.

To me, the creation phase is akin to developing form. It's the quickest stage in the process and is typically very rough. Once I have the form, I develop function by laying out my signal chain and labelling everything for later reference.

The definition covers all of the additions which I think a track needs. This includes things like adding standard drums and other traditional elements that you'd expect in a track.

The detail comes by then going through and carving out little pieces here and there and adding others elsewhere. This includes things like adding little variations to drops and breaks and adding more abstract noises which reinforce the direction the main sounds are pushing.

The finishing process is all about touching everything up so that all of the definitions and their details are well-formed within a mix. That is, I can hear everything. That's compression, EQ and all of their applications.

That's what fills my (max of)20 hours of work. What's important though is that, like the sculptor, I step back and look at it. I'll perhaps spend 40+ hours throughout the process listening to bounces and taking notes. That's still work, but I can do this at my leisure and without effort. If you spend more time listening and less time working, you'll start to notice that you don't need to spend 6 hours on 4 bars and bass treatment's not going to consume a whole studio session; because when you sit down after some hours of listening, you'll have a clear agenda of what needs to be done.

Just always make sure to leave mixing, EQ and compression till the end though. You'll only create more problems if you worry about them as you go.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:32 AM   #18
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

20 hours???? Man I wish I could finish something in 20 solid work hours. I can get close in 30. but really it probably averages out to 40 or so.

although, that said, I've finished some tracks in 6 hours, and some took 50...eh

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Old 07-01-2009, 09:13 AM   #19
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

Some things happen very fast, particularly if it's very simple or very noisy.

Other stuff takes longer, like maybe 30 hours or so spread out over a few weeks.

But I too am of the opinion that a track is never really 'done,' you just have to kind of let it go after a point. But it never really stops evolving in your(or at least, my) mind.

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Old 07-01-2009, 09:44 AM   #20
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Re: How long it takes to produce a track?

Im with Jaded, although this way of approaching things is pretty new for me.

Two other things: it really depends on the sort of music you do, if you are in a rock band, save for lyrics you could write a song in a night....with electronic music, production and sculpting sound are also a part of the process along with songwriting, so it naturally takes longer....aaaaaaand....

get a notebook! what i do is have one strictly for songs in progress, a page per song. If i have a spare half hour, or whatever...if its not long enough to actually sit down and work on the tracks, i have a listen to each one and make notes of ANY ideas that spring to mind, whether theyre production related, structure related...whatever. Then when you do have time, go through and try them out, they might not work, but then again they might help you finish it.

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