Producing with a full time job
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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Producing with a full time job

It is starting to get damn frustrating not having enough time in my day to get down to having a good production session. Just been looking through my recent projects and there are loads of tracks that I really want to get round to completing but it always feels like I will never get round to them!

Annoying! I would sacrifice sleep over it but I can't really do that these days what with having to drive a fair distance in the morning to work.

How do people here manage with producing and having a full time job?

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: Producing with a full time job

You have less time so cut a lot of fat from the production sessions. Your sessions have to be more efficient because you don't have all the time in the world anymore. I'm looking for a job right now, that's the only part I'm not looking forward to working lol. Kinda sucks how you gotta sacrifice any spare time you get, but fuck it; it's worth it.

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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Re: Producing with a full time job

Schedule your life better. If you really want to finish those tracks you'll make time for them. If you work week days, dont go out on the weekends. Dont drink, and dont have a social life. Not only is that more time wasted, but you'll spend time recovering from the hangover. Dont do anything but work and music. It sounds extreme, but if you follow these guidelines you wont be asking how to find time.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: Producing with a full time job

1. Quit your job
2. Become Skrillex
3. ?????
4. Handjobs
5. Profit!

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Producing with a full time job

My schedule is a bit more flexible than most people's probably, as I'm not a typical 9-5er...but I teach 5-6 course at local colleges every semester and I work in my family's shop. I also do have some social life, not a major one granted, but I usually go out and drink too much beer once a week. I still find I have time to get to my music. In fact, I prefer having a full schedule--it makes me get more out of the time I do have for music. When I have tons of time I spend 80% of it not working on music, and when I do...I freakin twiddle knobs for hours because I can. Make extremely efficient use out of the time you do have.

Be judicial. Make decisions quickly. If something isn't working, move on! You can save infinite variations of your projects, don't be afraid to drop something that isn't working and move on to another idea.

Also, give yourself deadlines and block out time dedicated to music. I work in time every weekday to at least tweak a mix or write a melody or write a beat or sample some vinyl. I used to think if I didn't have HOURS to dedicate to a session I'd "loose the magic". I find working shorter more efficient hours in the studio to be more effective, for me anyway.

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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Re: Producing with a full time job

If possible, move closer to your job to save on travel.

You use Ableton, so save a basic template with everything you generally use already set up (for instance, mine includes groups with drum racks already set up with compressors and eq's, a couple of midi tracks with different synths, stuff like that). That saves on set up time.

Set up your studio for maximum workflow.

Or just do what rewriter said. Pretty sure Skrilly gets his handjobs from boys though, so make sure you're keen for that.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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Re: Producing with a full time job

I have a full time 40 hour web development job and commute an hour to and from work everyday. In addition to that I picked up a web dev contract for another 10-20 hours a week but i can work for them remotely. To summarize, I definitely understand the lack of time thing. Now it's not like I'm pumping out bangers left and right, but I don't really feel like I'm being held back from finishing tracks.

If you work on a computer like I do and are allowed headphones, then you should upload your WIPs to soundcloud as private tracks and listen to them while working. When you catch something, just throw down a time stamped comment so you can get to it when you get home. You'd be surprised the ideas you can come up with while listening to them in the background and when you get home you have a laundry list of to do's.

Here's a quick example of what i'm talking about (my comments are basically gibberish reminders):
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
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Re: Producing with a full time job

pbun, that is some great advice. Unfortunately I have to use my ears when I'm working, but I think I'll start now.

I don't use soundcloud, how does the private track thing work? Can I still share the track to who I want without making it public? This would be an awesome way of communication for a band.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #9
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Re: Producing with a full time job

I used to have that problem too. I used to work 8 hour shifts Thursday to Monday and I would wait till my weekend to get a full day of producing done, but when those days came I would have my lady friend calling to hang out and I seldom got around to it. Even when I did have my full days for producing it would seem like torture cuz I would be making minor tweaks everywhere and didn't really make any progress. I finally started doing what relic said and do two hours or so of producing at the end of the day and it is how I prefer it now. I do a little bit of work, then rest on it, then come back with a fresh mind and continue. I would also export it, throw it onto my iPod to listen to throughout the day and make note of what needs to be changed. That's kinda like pbun's Soundcloud idea, it really helps!

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:06 AM   #10
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Re: Producing with a full time job

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pbun, that is some great advice. Unfortunately I have to use my ears when I'm working, but I think I'll start now.

I don't use soundcloud, how does the private track thing work? Can I still share the track to who I want without making it public? This would be an awesome way of communication for a band.

YES! Get yourself a soundcloud it is almost essential to any person who want's to be recognized for their music amongst other musicians and producers. Soundcloud allows you to share your Private Tracks via a special link that you hand out to whomever you want and only they can view your track because you came them the link. It's pretty awesome.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:37 AM   #11
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Re: Producing with a full time job

yeah if you have a commute on a train or something its good to always be listening to your music, music you like. or you could get an ipad and do some production on the go lol

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: Producing with a full time job

Hi,

I get inspiration for new tracks almost always when I'm not able to sit behind my studio. I also have a lack of time for producing.

What really helps for me is a phone where I can record the tunes I came up with by humming them, and something to take notes on for textual explanation of my ideas. I use a mindmap app on my phone for that. When I do have time to produce, I just implement all those ideas I got earlier.

Cheers!

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:22 PM   #13
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Re: Producing with a full time job

Give up any kind of social life you have.

I get about 2 hours a night on the weekdays to work on music. Then I try to set aside at least 8 hours on the weekend.

It's rough but you just have to get used to having less time and become more patient.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:20 PM   #14
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Re: Producing with a full time job

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What really helps for me is a phone where I can record the tunes I came up with by humming them, and something to take notes on for textual explanation of my ideas.
On several occasions when I have a cool rhythm or drum beat stuck in my head I'll record me beatboxing it on my crappy phone for inspection later

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
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Re: Producing with a full time job

Wicked replies guys!

I've had quite a productive 2 hours tonight actually so i think you're right. Its not all doom and gloom. I'm lucky in a way that i actually have alot of ideas at the moment for once, its just getting the time to squeeze it all in.

I was planning on burning a load of my "loops" onto cd and playing it in the car in the morning but my piece of shit cd player decide to chew up my cd, so i've given up with that for now. I'll try the ipod thing though, dunno why i havent tried that before tbh!

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #16
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Re: Producing with a full time job

Back when I rode public transit to get to my college I would often listen to tracks of mine on my ipod and either get to school way early to go to the library and work or get home and work on tracks

It was a good way to be like "oh, I should really do this here" or "I should really change this part"

And playing mixes in cars is always a different way to gauge your mix...helped me fix a lot of bass problems

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:10 PM   #17
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Re: Producing with a full time job

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wait what.. you can do that with ableton?! i guess ill be looking that up when i get home.
Yup, pretty easy to get set up. Just start with your set, add effects, however many audio and MIDI tracks you want, groups, fader and knob starting positions, instruments, etc. I even keep a template set of markers in the arrangement view and about 250 bars of a dummy kick track with a sample in simpler and a template hat clip with my favourite groove template applied so it's waiting in the groove pool for me. Once you're set up, go to Preferences > File Folder >and hit 'Save' next to where it says "Save current set as template". Done

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:23 AM   #18
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Re: Producing with a full time job

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ahh thank you Mesh. i didnt mean to take this off topic, im just really excited to find that out.
I don't think it's really going off topic, part of producing with a full-time job is making the best use of the time you have to produce. I think I was in the office or the lab for around 90 hours or so last week, I was able to take some time on Saturday to watch the OU vs UT game (although I wish I hadn't...) sat the laptop next to me on the sofa, opened up the template in Live, and every time out or break, got a couple of bits and pieces programmed. Got a rough arrangement sketched over half-time, then the breaks in the second half gave me some time to add the effects, ear candy etc...

Tonight I'm sitting in my office getting set for an all-nighter, with Live and my -just arrived today- Maschine Mikro. The plan is to work for half an hour, do ten or fifteen minutes music play, repeat. Then Whataburger, then work, then swim, then submit application, then crash on sofa for most of the rest of the working day!

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:04 AM   #19
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Re: Producing with a full time job

My job is of the nature that I can use headphones all day, so I will listen to the work I've done in the evening the next day and take notes on improvements that can be made, things to add or things to flat out omit. It's easy to be objective when you're detached from the process of making the track and focused on other things. It's a lot like what Pbun does with Soundcloud... just, you know, analog.

Rewriter's advice on listening to the track in the car is sage and godly. Rather than A/B, it is best to A/B/C/D+!

I always try to set aside one of my days for learning rather than creating. It has cleared some obstacles for me in the past, and anything you can do to be less confused or reduce roadblocks will save you precious time.

Find some people who will be totally objective in their opinions on your tunes. Take what they say very seriously. I will sometimes utilize a perfect stranger if the need/opportunity arises.

I find that staying stoked about making music while I'm at work helps me not to want to die while I'm working. I hate my fucking job but because of it I can eat and have a roof and electricity with which to make my music.

Also, hating your fucking job and wanting to die while you're there is premium fuel for creativity; that is of course of you make angry, horrid nihilistic music like I do.

Sorry for the wall of text but this thread is extremely relevant to my interests/lifestyle, and I got excited.

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Old 12-10-2011, 07:39 PM   #20
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Re: Producing with a full time job

most of the other posts have allready mentioned everything you need but i would have to agree with scheduling your life better. I mean even if you have 2 or 3 days out of the week with only an hour then serperate your 3 days into different tasks.

day one is brainstorming/listening session
day two could be your programing session
day three could be your finalizing and arrangement session.

I think letting your projects simmer for a few days is key to getting good productions. Nothing ever reallly works well when you rush things. Don't stress about it and just do it when you can and be thankful that you CAN still do it with the free time you have

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