Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

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msodrew
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Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by msodrew » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:00 am

I've been working on a track for a few days now. I'd say it's somewhere around 60% completion as far as riffs and parts but only about 20% of the way of cohesiveness (in arrangement and ideas on how to do transitions, etc).

I've got a handful of definitely cool-sounding, unique custom instruments I've been able to convince Ableton to make (a nice bass, aggressive guitar, deeply customized drums), and have put a lot of work into them... sometimes wasting hours customizing one instead of writing notes or variations.

It's also worth mentioning that I'm pretty much a newb. 8O

I'm very tempted to start over and work with a clean slate, as this .als file has been my first one in truly trying my hand at learning Ableton. The work feels like it lacks cohesion and deliberate direction... which is, admittedly depressing.

[*]Do any of you ever abandon an entire project file because of this or similar reasons?
[*]Could abandoning the work actually be a good idea if you have the intention of returning to it? Clearly the fatigue of listening to the same 4-bar loops and scrutinizing them into the ground for hours can only lead to chaos and bad choices.

If I start a new project, I'd spend the first two fat sessions doing the same thing again: Setting up a proper drum kit and modifying each sample to my liking, and of course do the same for bass and any lead instruments. This would "waste" a considerable amount of time, despite being "good practice" (I guess).

Honest thoughts on this subject please, because I'm sure all of you have been disappointed with something halfway through it despite that you've put in a huge excess of hours. :?

Saxer
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by Saxer » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:37 am

some thoughts that help me much:

making music (playing, composing, arranging, producing, making sounds) is fun.

if you throw something away and start over the fun begins again! don´t cry for wasted time if the time was good!

some ideas:

- if you have good sounds and riffs: keep them. just throw away the parts you don´t like.
- do something else. if you come back to this project after a few days you might like it more than you think now.
- don´t listen your song to death. everything gets boring after a while. make rests, listen to something else and work more than you listen.
- show the track to someone else. maybe there are just a few mistakes in sound/arrangement/mix. a new pair of ears might help.
- erasing is the last step but might help if it stops your productivity. if the song feels like a stone in the way get rid of it.
- keep the sounds and instruments you edited for your personal library.

i throw away a lot of songs/ideas/work. that´s ok, it´s like rehearsing. i also have a lot of started songs i´ll probably never open again.

anybody human
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by anybody human » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:04 am

Yes. You don't have to finish every piece of music you start. You do have to finish some of them :)

oddstep
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by oddstep » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:06 am

As time has passed I have got better at giving up quickly on ideas that aren't working. But you've not wasted the time.... apart from the enjoying life aspect.... you have also created a set of instruments and perhaps some clips that you can use in another track. I tend to store musical sketches in a folder called notes, and review them when its time to make some tracks.

Forge.
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by Forge. » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:02 am

why delete it? Hard disk space is cheaper than ever!

What you are experiencing is just fatigue, you might come back to it in a few months and be amazed with what you did and turn it into something much better.

That has happened to me many times.

In fact almost always, the next morning I feel like it sounds like crap, but when I discover things I'd forgotten about after months or even years sometimes it blows my mind that I came up with it and didn't value it.

macmurphy
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by macmurphy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:10 am

just create an 'ideas' folder and pop it in there.

saying that though, there are times when things just really aren't working and i chuck stuff out.
that tends to happen after a few hours rather than a few days though.

Hermanus
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by Hermanus » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:28 am

Sometimes some projects cant lead to the end.
For oldies, when I listen to em later, if they still sound good, I remix or go on in the process.

Interesting stuff is about unfinished projects or minimal ones with few edits.
I keep those for live performances for two reasons:
1. good way for seeing if they are efficient for the audience
2. often a good way to add something totally different to it and for the luckiest ones this leads to a cool finished track, added with just whatt was missing.


CHEERS

kingrad
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by kingrad » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:30 am

Everyone improves with time. Its like practicing an instrument, its not a waste. Take a break and come back to it later on.

ollyb303
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by ollyb303 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:11 pm

I never delete a project, but I frequently assign them to my "sketches" directory and start over if I'm not feeling it. You can always just drag a track or two from a sketch project into a new project to see if it'll work there...
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Forge.
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by Forge. » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:27 pm

Hermanus wrote:Sometimes some projects cant lead to the end.
sometimes even just a small part can be worth keeping though. I find I have different kinds of sessions - sometimes it's great to load something up and then completely turn it on it's head

grunzlaut
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by grunzlaut » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:37 pm

Work on several songs at a time. If one starts getting boring or somehow frustrating just skip to another one and return later. The only problem with this is, you have to skip before you`ll get really fed up otherwise you just take this state of mind over to the next project and probably mess that one up, too.

jestermgee
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by jestermgee » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:47 pm

I'll comment everywhere tonight...

My old trackers have produced me over 200 finished tracks and yielded about the same in unfinished tracks and ideas. I still have EVERY SINGLE track I started right from 1997 in original file form. I like the thought of bringing something out of the dust and finishing it. It does happen. Sometimes you get blocked or side tracked and loose the vision of a track. It happens. You may get fresh ideas at a later stage when you learn some new tricks though OR it could come in handy as a short musical composition for a film or TV thing. You never know.

ollyb303
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by ollyb303 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:19 pm

I love to go back to an idea from a year or more ago. Maybe in the interim period, some experience makes it relevant again, or you can once again see what you were trying to do before you got ear/brain fatigue from listening to the same loop 1000 times!

I'll say it again: Yes, move on. No, don't trash it (unless it really, truly blows).
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mr.ergonomics
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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by mr.ergonomics » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:09 pm

delete all the stuff you don't know. complexity is the enemy in the information age.

so yes, just delete it. only keep interesting stuff. but force yourself to make a basic arrangement for every idea which is ok to break that loop trap. if it's still not good then go on...

I don't delete that fast, but I have a big junk folder I really don't care about. sometimes I just dig in that folder and look for interesting stuff. but I don't care if I still have the plugin version I used etc. - so brief if the track is corrupted. I agree that after some time some things which you thought were not great are really good from a distant view. but that is no excuse to not delete really bad stuff. :)

I really have problems with finishing tracks so I thought a lot about this topic. the ideas above are the best working for me so far.

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Re: Anyone throw away a song they've been working on for days?

Post by nathannn » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:43 pm

i dont delete most stuff because almost every project is in a "nested" folder and i dont know what samples to delete.
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