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Posted in : Forum : Song Writing, Arranging, Singing, Music Theory
Discuss anything related to writing and arranging music, singing, playing instruments, music theory, styles or techniques. This is not about software, hardware, mixing or mastering issues.
I sometimes see people on here saying they upload tracks every/most days and it got me thinking about how long I spend on each track because I know I would never be able to upload a track every day. Literally as it turns out...
When I worked it out, I reckon I spend about 30-40 hours on a track before the arranging/mixing/mastering phase and then probably about 20 hours on that phase plus adding spot effects etc.
I do spend a lot of time finding/designing the right sound - too much time actually. Probably about half the original 30-40 hours.
Very occasionally a track will come together really quickly, but that's pretty rare. In those cases the 30-40 hours becomes about 15 hours-ish.
So anyway, this about 50-60 hours per track usually which I think is excessive and I'd be really interested to hear how long other people spend on their tracks and the breakdown of the amount of time spent composition/arranging/mixing/mastering.
it depends what a client wants. i can make fully unmastered track with full arangement in 1 hour, but sometimes i also work on tracks for weeks! oh btw those so called hiphop track. that cost me 5 minutes xD
I think for a track well done and with a little inspiration, it takes about 30 to 35 hours ;)
i spent about a month and ruptured a eardrum remaking wake me up avicii, but that is were i really learned how to start making music, learning the daw and getting the vsts i needed. Im sure i had 200-300 hours in that one. And its still not a very great mix job some day ill get back to that one with knowledge i have now
i as also use to spend ton and tons of hours making sounds with slyenth 1 but now i know what everything does and know what exact sound each shape does and i can make what im looking for very fast, i no longer use any kinda of preset programs like nexus i make all my sounds, i recently started using serum to expand the shape library and to be able to customize the shapes, i dont really like z3ta+2 i feel like serum is much more user friendly, but i noticed i use to spend probly 1 day or less laying out the song, and the next couple days synthing the sounds. Ive become really fast at creating the sounds im wanting. As for mixing i kinda gain stage and pre mix everything and keep it below -23 to protect my hearing. I dont want another ruptured eardrum that was super painful and annoying with the vertigo. I think one thing that really crunches the time is working with acapellas that sound amazing but have horrible time. I cant convert them to midi so its exactly in time but still sounds horrible i can easily spend 2-3 days just writing chords and leads for a horribly timed acapella with an amazing voice.
In my opinion, It depends on how much experience and effort you put into it. For me, I put a lot of effort into what I write. Sometimes, it takes me weeks to write a track. But normally, it takes me 70-80 hours. Even my shorter time is a very long to some people. Mixing and mastering is a WHOLE other story.
Depending on the type of recording/performance I'm doing, it will usually be between three minutes and two years.
Thanks to all those who responded. So the amount of time I spend on a track doesn't sound that excessive after all. Interesting to know. Thanks all.
I think overall it varies greatly on the project but it can be anything from a couple of hours to 3-4 months.
Mixing goes pretty fast but again it depends on what needs to be done, assuming everything is great I can pretty much mix 2 songs per day.
Anywhere from a few hours to a few months, depending on what the client wants. It can be stressful at times but ultimately rewarding in it's own right.
when I make music just like writing lyrics I ll come up with a good line of poetry that line gos into a file in my head when im free flowing singing of the top with music ill often whip out one those lines that rymes with what I just said while singing kind of like a file full loops oh this loop will go with this or that well same with songs you wip out loads songs quick it is rare you come upon one of those special ones and when you doo your interest puts more time into it rest those songs go into to a file one day like a loop oh this will go with that and a special one comes out of it
basically what I don't use today is ideas for later time don't throw nothing away go back too it when im in a writers cramp mode ill open file and go back too something from up too years ago and look at it with a different state of mind
if this helps in the music industry there are music acts that are very successful and they take 3 too 5 years to put out an album working on it for 3 to 5 years it however becomes a chart toper
@damonb - The industry no longer has the advantage of spending years on their projects unfortunately. The demand is really high and patience is totally absent. Most of their time is spent on tours and maybe a couple of months are spent on the actual new album
I'm not entirely sure how everyone is able to work out how much time they spend on a track (unless it's a very short amount of time).
I spend days, weeks, months and even years on some and don't know how to begin adding up the duration of all the sessions. For instance, sometimes I add nothing at all to a session of music making but just spend the time listening. That listening still counts as working on the track, even though nothing was added or changed during the session.
And then there's the time spent working on the track in my head when not in the studio. Sometimes that's when I get my best ideas and do some great arranging work. I'm still working on the track even though I'm not in front of any instruments or the computer. How would you go about adding up that time?
I'm with StaticNomad on this one, how do you measure an experience that happened years ago and is gestating within your psyche that eventually blooms into creativity years later, but the short answer is probably 1-4 days.
I think for the purposes of this I'm really talking about when you're at a PC or whatever working on it - not thinking about it when you're out and about or whatever. But obviously I'd include listening as that's analysing and so hopefully contributing to the track. It's only meant to be a rough guide all this - not an exact science.
The only way I can be sure is in the case of songs which take in the "minutes" range of time. These are generally songs which use instruments which are already hooked up, such as circuit bent items and modular synths. I press record (usually on my tape deck), perform it, and then press stop. Since the instruments were ready to go, and it was improv, the time spent is technically only the length of the performance.
As far as DAW based work goes, the only real indicator is the date attached to the creation of the first project file, going on to the final audio export.
It takes me around 60 hours from start to "finish"-exellent hobby,but it takes a lot of effort to make track and process itself drains tonnes of energy from me,but output is always the same-shit,but i am ok with my crap-it is only hobby
SO you u remember that wake me up song i said i spent a month on, i finally re engineered it in about 20 hours added in all the natives i got. I am just SO IN LOVE WITH DRUM SET I GOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! u have to hear it
Just once can we have a serious discussion without some bonehead producer hijacking the thread and posting links to his imagined friggin masterpiece, and please no self righteous "oh we have to stop being negative and get on with everyone" replies!
Hey @Ibamusic, did you only add in your other comment 4 days ago as a prelude to sticking a track link in lol.
This is a real interesting question because it varies so greatly even between just me and my friends let alone a whole community of artists.
Personally, while I can spend weeks or months on a track, I've now learned that those are the ones I should move on from or straight-up trash. They may have some good aspect that keeps me working but ultimately It's me just trying to polish a turd.
All my best tracks I usually finish within a week or even a few days because it's fundamentally a good track so it keeps me thinking about it all the time (when i'm not at my DAW) and driven to finish it. Because of that I now scrap projects that take too long because I know they're the bad ones.
I guess it's because a lot of my stuff tends to be inspired by recent events or my current mood, so if i take too long i'll lose that and it'll disrupt the feel for that particular track.
I've also learned that I'm just better off making shorter 2-3 minute tracks. Too many times I've sat on a good project because I thought it needed to be longer just because most songs from my peers are usually longer, but that's a stupid thought. If you think a track's finished than it's finished no matter the length.
But back on topic, I have friends who are the complete opposite and their best stuff takes months of work. It all just comes down to your particular style and what drives you.
Sorry for such a long reply, I could talk for days on stuff like this.
I have spent hundreds of hours on tracks, especially if I'm working with something new and needing to research and learn or improve my skills. I think unlike most, I am always working on multiple tracks, sometimes 2 to 3 or up to 7 or 8 at once. I will get something in my head or come up with something I like while goofing around and end up saving it. So I tend to bounce around several things that are in various stages of completion. I prefer this methodology because it keeps me from getting bored or frustrated and hitting the wall in terms of creativity. And once I get a track to a certain point where I feel its close to a wrap, I will focus on finishing it. The down side to this methodology of course is the obvious increased amount of time involved to complete tracks. But for me I'm more concerned about the quality of the finished work AND most importantly, keeping it fun and fresh as opposed to banging out as many tracks as I can. But this is just my way and I think it really boils down to what works best for you. What your individual goals and objectives are and how you prefer to work so that it does remain interesting and satisfying.
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