Most aspiring producers struggle to finish music. Actually, a lot of established producers struggle to finish songs too! Finishing a song is one of the hardest parts of making music. After all, a famous saying that gets thrown around music circles is that a track’s not finished until you hate it.
In this article, we’re exploring some tips and tricks that’ll help you both finish songs and improve your music production skills. Not only will you find it easier to finish songs, but you’ll be able to finish songs faster and with more skills under your belt.
If you can’t finish songs, you’re in the right place. Let’s explore how to finish songs fast and learn a few things along the way.
Finish A Song By Using One Synth For Everything
Within the bounds of electronic music and beyond, sound design is the largest component. Having a strong understanding of your synth(s) will enable you to finish songs much faster, period. A strong understanding of synthesis also allows you to take the sounds you hear in your head and create them yourself – with no use of presets. Using presets is no bad thing at all, but being able to design your own sounds with confidence will increase your production know-how tenfold and you’ll finish songs quicker. How? Because you’ll know your way around the synth!
Produce an entire track with one synth and get to know your synth inside-out. Create one editable patch, switch between oscillator waveshapes to create a variety of leads, pads, and basses. Your LFO tool will allow you to create smooth sound effects, atmospheres, and transitions. Get to grips with ADSR envelopes and create your own drums and percussion.
With this accomplishment under your belt, you can take this know-how and apply it to any synth…
Play, Don’t Paste
It’s time to step away from your nouse and get yourself a MIDI controller. Whether a keyboard or grid controller, playing your beats and melodies into your DAW in real-time, with no additional edits, will give your musical abilities a confidence boost. The music we hear on a daily basis is largely quantized to the beat. Wh this in mind, music with a bit more offbeat sway and a human-like feel can make a big difference.
Playing your beats and melodies into your DAW in real-time, with no additional edits, will give your musical abilities a confidence boost
Don’t get us wrong, we understand that the first few times you give this a go may be sloppy. But have faith in yourself and you’ll be down with the rhythm before long. By playing rather than pasting notes, you’re forcing yourself (even if kicking and screaming) to have more faith in your own creativity. That’s a tried and tested means of finishing music!
Start and Finish in One Hour
Finishing music is the bain of many producers’ creative lives. For some, it’ because it’s all too easy to just start another project. For others, it’s because they spend too much time trying to reach perfection and have tight attention to detail mindset. Sure, this is a good trait, but it can also be a destructive one. You spend too much time focusing on changing these little things sheer and there and find yourself eating your own time and dragging the project out.
Whatever your reason, completing a whole song in one hour will give you a deadline (however short) to focus on and will remove opportunities for you to make little tweaks that don’t really matter. By removing this barrier, you’ll find yourself shocked at what you can achieve within a set time limit.
Details are not the priority here. Making a jaw-dropping track isn’t the priority either. Finishing the song is the priority. As soon as you have a fleshed-out idea that you find yourself bopping to, consider it done. That’s true for the drums, the melody, the bass, and the general rhythm – everything! Once one element is making your head not, save it and move on to the next.
This technique is great practice for tight deadlines that occur when remixes, EPs, and singles, and other commercial projects are on the cards for you.
Produce in Unfamiliar Tempos
Take a look into your projects folder and unfinished sessions, drag the global tempo up or down by at least 15-20 BPM. This will give you a new creative perspective of your projects and you may just find some motivation to get them finished.
If the tempo of your project is already fast, it may be best to slow it down. If slow, speed it up. Speeding up the tempo of a fast song is not always a good idea, but it may give you a chuckle if you do. But it’s your project, so do what you think is best.
Of course, you don’t need to work with an old project. You can start a whole new one at a tempo you haven’t worked with before. Usually, this is more of a challenge and, therefore, more rewarding!
Experiment With Genres
You may be someone who has a genre they prefer to work in. As good as that is, you can also learn a lot by making a different genre of music. You probably listen to other genres of music, so there’s your source of inspiration.
Actively listen to what it is about these genres that you enjoy them for. Not only this but what is it that makes them different? By doing this, you’ll be able to implement these in your own productions!
Actively listen to other genres you enjoy and discover what it is about them that you like and what makes them different.
Use Only Sounds Around You and Produce a Song
Sampling has been growing in popularity as a means of making music for a long time now, and it continues to grow. Music production is no longer limited to using instruments. There are samples all around you, and so many of the sounds you hear every day can often be the next best thing to a snare drum, bass line, or anything, really!.
You can use your phone or portable microphones to record the sounds around you. You can make awesome sounds with household items from pots, pans, dishes, and wooden spoons… all the way to fridges, and so many others – and that’s just the kitchen! Tune your ear into what you hear every day and you’ll be amazed at the songwriting potential that’s surrounding you.
What matters is spending time cleaning the sounds up in your DAW, pitching them to fit your music, and adding effects. This enables you to make killer music with them.
Only Use Mixxed Sounds
How about going one step further and producing a song without recording anything at all? No instruments or MIDI tracks. Use only loops, one-shots, and sound effects that you can find on Mixxed.
You can manipulate the sounds however you see fit. You can change the tempo as well as utilize other sampling methods, as well as resample them to make them completely unique. Avoid using sounds from just one pack, though. The creative potential of your track expands massively when you work with multiple packs!
And don’t be afraid to use samples that may change where your track is heading, either! You may well have the best ideas when you find sounds that you didn’t know you were looking for.
The sampling revolution has risen in popularity and shaped music since the early 1970s. Sample culture continues to transform how millions of artists and producers do their thing in DAWs.
You too can break conventional norms, challenge the status quo, and open Pandora’s box of sound design.
Mixxed works with a growing number of sample labels and contributors to provide you with an affordable sample subscription service that’s more accessible than any before.
You’ll have access to our growing catalogue of loops, one-shots and sound effects that you can browse, download and keep forever for less than $3 a month.
Sign up today to find your sound!