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Advice: a better system for finishing tracks!

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  • Advice: a better system for finishing tracks!

    Hi all

    How do you keep track of all your projects when they’re just works-in-progress?

    For example, let’s say you have a tonne of half-finished stuff, one track just needs mixing, another needs to swap out the vocal sample for a guest vocal and a new bassline, another is only a 4-second loop for now, another has 20 things you need to fix, etc.

    I know I could just put it in Excel, but has anyone got a better system that makes this bit of admin less painful, and turns it into a motivating ‘to-do’ list?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    You could try a few things I suppose.

    Here is one thing I do. Fire up the BlackBox. Go to the top of the PSet list, open the first project. Do whatever it takes to get it finished. If, at any time, I find myself wanting to stray from it to another project without finishing it first - erase the whole thing and move on to the next. It’s not needed. It’s not going anywhere. It’s dead weight.

    Move to the second project on the list, repeat the process.

    I say it’s better to have 1 or 2 projects I’m excited to work on versus 2 dozen that make me feel like I have to make an excel chart.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Suspect Frequencies View Post
      You could try a few things I suppose.

      Here is one thing I do. Fire up the BlackBox. Go to the top of the PSet list, open the first project. Do whatever it takes to get it finished. If, at any time, I find myself wanting to stray from it to another project without finishing it first - erase the whole thing and move on to the next. It’s not needed. It’s not going anywhere. It’s dead weight.

      Move to the second project on the list, repeat the process.

      I say it’s better to have 1 or 2 projects I’m excited to work on versus 2 dozen that make me feel like I have to make an excel chart.
      It's a fair point. I'm not itching to use Excel though – I hate the thing. It's just I have two bands, each with a few tracks in progress (and studio recording time looming), and I can't hold all the individual bits of work needed in my head. I've just got a list, and maybe that's all I need, but still keen to hear how others manage!

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      • #4
        Set some hard rules for yourself. No more than 3-4 tracks going at a time, or something like that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jonnnnny View Post

          It's just I have two bands!
          Get those lazy rockers to chip in and get their hands dirty!

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          • #6
            I use prefixes on preset names to remain organised, eg 1CAP <name> for any captured idea without further development, 2WRI <name> for any writable idea, etc. That way they will be sorted by state. Most will be idea captures. For ideas which evolve over time, I save the preset as new and change its prefix. This also allows me to rename, edit, delete or re-record clips/samples/etc, without losing anything.

            I found my inspiration for this in the book The Organised Songwriter by Simon Hawkins (who also recommends Excel btw) - I guess pros will always resort to Excel or any devoted tool for getting organised.

            PS: to manage cowriting with various people I put their initials or the band’s initials before the project status prefix.

            PSS: not sure whether it is a good idea to delete any supposedly uninspiring ideas, for they may risk coming back later again - better to get rid of those old socks by just capturing them and keeping them captured :-)

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