Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
mdk
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by mdk » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 pm

vitalispopoff wrote: In case of very complex construtcs, this may be an essential info - one missing thing changes everything. e.g. repitch a very complex pad, and You may loose the groove, the sound may become harsch, the freq bands may move and interfere with another instruments. automations may change the particular devices behaviour in unwanted way…
right, but again this underlines how personal each approach is, I like those situations where something familiar gets completely changed, it often leads to interesting new ideas :)
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vitalispopoff
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by vitalispopoff » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:27 pm

true - experimenting is always an option worth considering.
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snugsound
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by snugsound » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:11 pm

I think it's a very personal thing and what works for one person won't necessarily work for anyone else.

Personally, I like to "finish" (or close to it) a track in 2 or 3 sessions. Usually it goes something like this:
  • sound design, programming, writing (usually in Session view)
  • rough arrangement, rough mix
  • mix, add fills/risers/etc., automation
The risk in starting too many tracks at once is that it may be difficult to get enough momentum to finish any of them. There was a time where I had way more ideas than finished tracks, and I found that quite frustrating.

If that's not an issue for you then by all means work on 20 tracks at once ;)

Edit: when I'm preparing an EP it's not uncommon for me to keep going over the same tracks, fine tuning little details and trying to balance out the mixes between them, but that's usually well after they tracks have been arranged and mixed

mdk
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by mdk » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:28 pm

snugsound wrote: There was a time where I had way more ideas than finished tracks, and I found that quite frustrating.
I've got about 250 or so unfinished tracks sitting in my Live 8 folder but one thing I do every so often is to spend a day or two just rendering them out to audio, however much there is. It might be just 16 bars, it might be a 10 minute unedited 'performance'. Then I listen to them whilst doing other stuff, doing my work (programming), in the car, cleaning the house etc. It doesn't take long before I know which ones I really want to focus on, which ones have sounds or patterns I want to try in other contexts, how to finish a mixdown etc..

I find its a good way to dissipate the frustration, rather than sitting with Live open thinking I have to finish something, it becomes clear what I want to focus on.

but as we all agree, YMMV. :)
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vitalispopoff
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by vitalispopoff » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:56 pm

mdk wrote: I've got about 250 or so unfinished tracks sitting in my Live 8 folder but one thing I do every so often is to spend a day or two just rendering them out to audio, however much there is. It might be just 16 bars, it might be a 10 minute unedited 'performance'. Then I listen to them whilst doing other stuff, doing my work (programming), in the car, cleaning the house etc. It doesn't take long before I know which ones I really want to focus on, which ones have sounds or patterns I want to try in other contexts, how to finish a mixdown etc..

I find its a good way to dissipate the frustration, rather than sitting with Live open thinking I have to finish something, it becomes clear what I want to focus on.
I used to do that too, also all the renders were instantly imported to the iTunes lib and tagged to be put in the particular playlists:
sketches, projects under construction, projects to be released, releases. This was great method to deal with all the started projects, and manage archived releases as well. It was surpisingly easy to select the tracks to build a new liveset.

Currently all the OS automations are gone, and I'm too lazy to rebuild this. Well, it's just a matter of time though.
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apyssjw
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by apyssjw » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:12 pm

This is something I've addressed in the past. I've always worked on as many projects as possible to try and keep creatively engaged. But it meant that I just had so many projects that I couldn't keep track of what was what. I had to start categorising the projects into individual themed folders, 'sketches' 'developing' so as to be able to identify the type of project before working on them. I found this forced me to concentrate on specifc tracks a little more as I would stay within folders etc for a while. Maybe slightly off the wall but helped me to focus.

regretfullySaid
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by regretfullySaid » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:21 pm

Something else that's really helped me when projects accumulate is to rate them, like 1 for awesome to 5 for meh, and put that number before the file name so they'll list in order in the browser ie

1 booty crunk.als
1 split.als
2 funky donk.als
4 splerf.als
etc

When you have some time for project maintenance go through all your stuff and start renaming your als files like that!
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Citizen
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by Citizen » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:35 pm

snugsound wrote:
Personally, I like to "finish" (or close to it) a track in 2 or 3 sessions. Usually it goes something like this:
  • sound design, programming, writing (usually in Session view)
  • rough arrangement, rough mix
  • mix, add fills/risers/etc., automation
I m
Hmmm, interesting - I thought everybody did their fills/risers and automation before their mix down.

Generally, I try to have the track 95% finished before moving into the mix stage.

Thanks for your responses guys - I've learnt a heap.

snugsound
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by snugsound » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:25 pm

Citizen wrote: Hmmm, interesting - I thought everybody did their fills/risers and automation before their mix down.
Yeah that's probably much more typical! I should clarify: I generally have some of this stuff worked out early on but I find you can never have enough and so I tend to treat these as "finishing tasks" or "polish", so to speak. Again, YMMV :)

vitalispopoff
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by vitalispopoff » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:14 pm

TBH I've got a serious problem with this - i.e. I'm working on every aspect of the track almost at the same time. It's kinda chaotic, but - I'd rather look at it as cleaning the mess, that's created; You know this kind of work: like house constructions: when it's just built, someone has got to clean it a bit in order to start further works, like setting the water, current, gas installations, and then again, it's time to clean that chaos to begin with another part of construction.
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ChiefNugget
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by ChiefNugget » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:08 am

Some great suggestions here. Always good to hear how others do this stuff. I like to keep the Live Library set to only factory settings and packs that install directly to the Library. All my presets and clips and third party instrument racks, etc get copied into my personal preset Live project. Samples used for Sampler patches, drum racks, etc are housed in that project's samples folder.

That said, I'm a little lax with saving instrument patches and clips to that preset project at times and find myself referring to my collection of projects to copy tracks that have the patch and MIDI sequences into other projects. This is fine if you can keep all your projects organized. I have three main folders - "riffs", "songs - early", and "songs - developed". Those are saved under my personal project directory or in collaborative project directories (which tend to have fewer, if any, in the "riffs" category).
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ChiefNugget
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by ChiefNugget » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:13 am

shadx312 wrote:Something else that's really helped me when projects accumulate is to rate them, like 1 for awesome to 5 for meh, and put that number before the file name so they'll list in order in the browser ie

1 booty crunk.als
1 split.als
2 funky donk.als
4 splerf.als
etc

When you have some time for project maintenance go through all your stuff and start renaming your als files like that!
Great idea. Would be nice if the Live browser had a native rating and tagging feature, preferably with "booty crunk" being the pinnacle of ratings :-)
I need a baby sit my boys and work the day job plug-in.


Tarekith
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by Tarekith » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:34 am

I like to work on multiple projects too, be it songs, albums, or totally unrelated things.

http://tarekith.com/bounce-around/


It really helps me to stay motivated, instead of getting hung up on one idea when things aren't working well. DJing, Live sets, hardware sets, writing tracks, it's all fair game at any time here.

simmerdown
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Re: Working on multiple projects at a time vs. just one?

Post by simmerdown » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:47 am

i usually have 8-10 tracks in the works at a time..sometimes less but never more

not at all uncommon for 2 or even 3 tracks i'm playing around with to become one, i like that, an ahh moment when you realize they wanted to be together all along

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