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Old 13th June 2016
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GJ999x's Avatar

Open question really - how do you sit down to start a track, and how do you get through the struggle to finish?
Old 14th June 2016
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Mark P's Avatar

It most certainly is a struggle to finish for me

Like i said in another post the writing part is always quick and fun. I luckily have been blessed with loads of patience and i can focus for long periods.

I do loads of A/B ing to make sure I'm not losing vibe. I would say its pretty much crazy levels of A/B ing and i drive myself mad. Every version of a track i put it down and have it in a separate Arrange so i can go back to make sure i haven't cleaned something up to much and lost vibes.

One thing i picked up from a Bob Power interview was this approach - Listen to the track and write down the immediate issues you want to deal with. Do those and then listen again and write down the next things you hear. And repeat that.

That really helps sometimes.

I write lists and try and go through the list and tick stuff off, this helps me feel like i'm moving fwd even if i'm actually not really moving fwd that much

I really got into bouncing stuff on this album, i would always save as a new name b4 so i could go back if needed though but this also helped with that feeling of moving fwd and un cluttering things in the arrange and helping with CPU issues as well. In the end i found it didn't really speed up my process but it def helped.

Ive tried to speed up my working progress but nothing really seems to help really in the end. I have resided to the fact that stuff takes me ages and its done when its done. Ive worked with people that work fast and i am envious, I've tried to learn from them but it doesn't work for me.

I often work on a track and leave it and come back to it with fresh ears. But usually i work for long periods and try and stay focused until its done. Sometimes i lose it and just leave it and come back when i feel i can tackle it again. I really don't like giving up on something though, it kills my vibe "why can't i get this right "! what is wrong with me, doubt etc. Its a confidence battle for me really, i usually stay in finishing mode and try not to write too much new stuff to distract myself (sometimes i just have to though and that can vibe me up) I use the hands in the air feeling of finishing something and try and use that positive energy to boost myself up to get on with the next one. As i climb the mountain of a album that last one was 2 years of work (ridiculous) that feeling of getting stuff done and and moving fwd all helps.

When i say 2 years i wrote a lot of music in that time as well and there was stuff that i worked on that didn't make the album as well. We are also talking about 6-7 days a week working as well, I'm a workaholic. I love it though so its fine Ive been making music full time since 91 so i count myself lucky.

Starting a track i don't have much problems with. As i said b4 in another post thats the fun bit for me. There are methods of starting that i have where i know there is a good chance ill get something. If its not working ill stop save just incase and start another one. Its as simple as choose a synth or bit of gear i fancy playing around with and just start recording stuff in. Try and get to the right head space so you can focus and just let stuff happen. I don't really ever plan something out.

Ive really got into using bits of gear and just recording stuff into audio, committing stuff avoiding plug ins. I really enjoy that method as i often get stuff that i haven't done b4. Im trying to break habits of certain types of melodies that I'm drawn to as well. Thats hard but you know, you have to keep trying. Ill often play stuff on the qwerty to stop that Or ill draw in melodies. Ive also got a Analogue Sequencer which i use to trigger the Arp that also helps.

If I'm really at a loss inspiration wise ill just listen to some amazing music, but it won't be listen to a house track and then make a house track or something like that.

I also if I'm not feeling that creative ill watch some videos like i mentioned b4 and try and learn some stuff, or do some boring organisation work, chop up some drums breaks or something. Usually after that ill then want to start something. Or ill watch some comedy or something or listen to a talk by John Cage or some Philosopher. Or watch a doco on a artist i like like francis Bacon or Bosch or some surrealist artist. I suppose that may sound like I'm trying to be deep or something but its not that,
its just finding ways of getting into a good frame of mind. Its a distraction but a worth while one.

Cheers Mark
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