Join Evan Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video The problem-solving mindset, part of A Prolific Music Producer's Workflow for Finishing Tracks.
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- The main thing that we're going to talk about here in this course is tips that I have come up with as an experienced producer to help you finish your track. One of the things that I've run in to the most with young producers is a sort of reticence and maybe a fear or a hesitation, but there's something holding people back from finishing their tracks and it's really important for you as an artist to grow, but also just to feel good about your work, that you finish things and that you move on with your life and you can be proud of them and then they exist in time, and that's it. That's one of the great joys of making things, for me, is finishing them.
And it's something that I want to share. Now, one of the things that I want you to keep in mind as you approach your productions is that any artist is essentially just problem solving, and that's the mindset that we have to have. The problem-solving mindset is the best-case scenario and it's the best thing that you can do to move quickly and to break things down to brass tacks and make decisions, and again, move on with your life. There are many benefits to this, but essentially, I don't want you to feel like I'm breaking things down into black and white like making music is some sort of binary process.
But, at a certain point, you're going to have enough technique where it's simply just making a bunch of little decisions. You may have heard mix engineers mention this, that they feel like, "Well, when I'm doing a mix, "I'm making a bunch of little tiny decisions "as opposed to one or two giant ones." It's pretty much the same, as I look at it, when you're making a track except those decisions are more fun. But as time goes on, you have to make some tough calls, you have to remove things maybe, you have to change things, you have to decide what's more important, and that's where the problem solving mindset really comes in handy.
We're going to talk about lots of different approaches to moving your process forward, but I want you to keep that hat on and keep the problem-solving mindset in your brain as we go through all of this.
Evan starts with the music production tools that can make it easier to see a song through to completion, such as templates, presets, and foolproof hardware setups. Next, he gets into the heavy lifting, mixing both songwriting and production techniques with tips for dealing with the psychological factors that may trip you up when completing a song. He wraps up the course with techniques that help to clear the final steps of song completion, including building transitions, adding ear candy, mixing strategies for increased efficiency, and simple mastering techniques, whether you choose to master your tracks yourself or hire a professional.
- Planning your track with a problem-solving mindset
- Prepping to record vocals and music
- Using DAW song templates
- Getting basic musical ideas down
- Making decisions that serve the song
- Using channel strip presets
- Creating sections and structure
- Building better transitions
- Adding FX, ear candy, and automation
- Mixing and mastering