the stages that seem to emerge are:
Jamming, Experimenting, and Messing Around
--> aimless play without any purpose but discovery
Developing an initial sketch of a track
--> More than just set of groovy loops. I need to be able to figure out (either scene-by-scene in Session view) or broadly in Arrangement View how the track develops:
where it starts, where it gets to, how it gets there. Can be a 1.5 minute outline of a 6 minute track. But not a loop going round and round, sounding interesting for 24 seconds and then slowly palling.
Developing a complete track
--> fully develop ONE EXPRESSION of the potential in the sound sketch. Be decisive. If difficult to decide, choose one direction to go & come back for a remix later.
- developing the detailed structure, section by section, using Aporia's empty midi clip title track as first scene
- checking whether I have the right basic sounds and timbres (e.g. clashing frequencies, nice contrasts, etc)
- detailed editing of each channel / voice, section by section, channel by channel
- ONLY THEN recording / inserting new audio material that I think are needed
- Rinse and repeat
- Tweaking of effects, compression, EQ'ing, panning etc etc
_ Render the stems
- Create new set within mastering template
- Optimise loudness, mix balance, etc etc.
- I often go back to the previous stage at this stage, as problems emerge here that I did not notice earlier
Basically if I can follow this approach I find that I am dealing with the biggest problems first, then smaller ones, then detailed ones. It enables me to avoid a situation in which I endlessly tweak a piece of audio only to decide that it was crap all along and should have been thrown out earlier. And having clear and limited goals at each stage means I am having fun - and a sense of completing stuff - all along the way.