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How long does it take you to produce a track start to finish?
Old 27th February 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
kholland65's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
How long does it take you to produce a track start to finish?

I'm just curious how long it takes my fellow producers to make a track from start to finish. That includes writing, recording, and mixing the song. I'm not talking about if a band or something already has a song written and you just have to record and mix. I'm talking the entire process.

Obviously its unique to each person and practice makes you get faster, but I'm just curious. It usually takes me 1-3months (working full time doesn't help). I know it seems that some big time producers are producing tracks almost daily, which is crazy to me but I realize this is their full time job and they've been doing this for 20yrs.

So anyway, your thoughts? How long does it take you to produce a track start to finish?
Old 27th February 2013
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
As you said its different for everybody, but for me its about 3 days 1 week max. I find that if I spend too much time in one track I end up getting bored of it.
USUALLY
Drums + Instruments - 1 to 1.5 days
Mixing - 1 day
Writtig - 1 day
Old 27th February 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
As much as I hate generalized answers, it takes as long as it takes. It's different for me on every single song.

But I'm just a hobbyist with other hobbies all vying for the same slice of free time.
Old 27th February 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
For major label release, assuming all writing and arrangements done, 5 days approx
Old 27th February 2013
  #5
Ged
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Ged's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
As of now, 1 week for the bassline !!!
Old 27th February 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ged ➑️
As of now, 1 week for the bassline !!!
that is one detuned and filtered bass!
Old 27th February 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Ged
Lives for gear
 
Ged's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik ➑️
that is one detuned and filtered bass!
hahahaa, seriously though...Boogie synth Bass is hard!!
Old 27th February 2013
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kholland65 ➑️
I'm just curious how long it takes my fellow producers to make a track from start to finish. That includes writing, recording, and mixing the song. I'm not talking about if a band or something already has a song written and you just have to record and mix. I'm talking the entire process.

Obviously its unique to each person and practice makes you get faster, but I'm just curious. It usually takes me 1-3months (working full time doesn't help). I know it seems that some big time producers are producing tracks almost daily, which is crazy to me but I realize this is their full time job and they've been doing this for 20yrs.

So anyway, your thoughts? How long does it take you to produce a track start to finish?
From start to finish at at least 2 months.
Old 27th February 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Brucey's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Seems to be just over a month.
I don't mind, there always seems to be progress whenever I'm messing with the track.
I like to tweak and I like to reflect and of consequence I'm always changing stuff, which I like to do. I'm also learning mixing techniques so that probably eats up a bit of that time at the moment.
Work and life gets in the way, so at times days or possibly a week will go by without me touching a project.
Old 27th February 2013
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Some times if I am working on several tracks together from writing to final mix, it could take 7 or 8 months to get a 6 or so track album completed. then off for mastering.
Old 28th February 2013
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Usually make a track in an hour, then tweak samples/eq/mix for as little time as possible...otherwise I usually just delete it all.
Old 28th February 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wow, I can't believe you guys have the patience to stick with one thing for a month. Good on you though.

I saw a seminar where 20 hours was given as a good rule of thumb. Often the best stuff comes together really quickly. If you're still hacking away at something after 20 hours, unless it's your 8 minute magnum opus you may just be spinning your wheels wasting time on something that's not going to be great, so you may as well just move on.
Old 28th February 2013
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Beni Shoga's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
It's hours rather than days for me. That generally includes sound design although I'll often use elements that I've built in previous sessions. This is making techno and ambient, so the arrangements are often pretty simple. Mixing is mostly done along the way, although I'm realising that this should be a separate process, and in the past when i've done it, it's no more than an hour.
Old 28th February 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
kholland65's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah I have no idea how some of you finish a song in a few hours.

I find that even when I do have the time to sit down and write, it takes a long time to write it start to finish. I might write the main melody or chorus in one sitting, but I need subsequent days for each part. I can spend the better part of a day just tweaking things around getting just the right stuff for a part (verse, intro, bridge, etc.). My songs are pretty involved though so it goes beyond just writing a lead synth, a bass and some drums. I'm not the most prolific song writter either where full songs will just pop into my head. Usually a cool melody or idea will come, but building the rest of the song takes time.

For me one of the reasons it also takes so long is deciding more than just what notes to play, but how I want to use automation and effects. I can spend hours just playing around with automation on my filters and stuff, just trying to get things to fit right into the rest of the arrangement.
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #15
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Forbidden Planet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yz Entertainment ➑️
As you said its different for everybody, but for me its about 3 days 1 week max. I find that if I spend too much time in one track I end up getting bored of it.
USUALLY
Drums + Instruments - 1 to 1.5 days
Mixing - 1 day
Writtig - 1 day
Sounds about right. I'd say 1 day (and night) for initial work, come back to add more details the next day, mixing a while later after letting the track sink in first and deciding whether it is worth the effort or not. However, I never mix entirely from scratch, but tend to mix it gradually during the tracking process as well, it is all part of the composition process. I don't think I ever knew excactly what to track in advance.

Writing the song usually takes place some time in advance of recording, a couple of hours of composition and perhaps a couple of days letting the lyrics sink in and revising them. But the tracking process usually involves some sort of recomposition as well. It ain't over till its over.
Old 28th February 2013
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
My average is about 3-5 days if I have some clue what it is I want to do. Fastest I ever did was about 3.5 hours from hummed sketch to mastered track (well, as well as I can master, anyway).

Slowest is about 22 years. And counting...
Old 28th February 2013
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
After switching to Live from Cubase i never really got on with the arrangement view so i hardly ever finished tracks there. I just jammed, mixed outboard. But being never 100% satisfied i took an holy oath and starting to finishing tracks in arrangement view.

I make simple techno so also for me the arrangement is no big thing, but mixing and detailish fx stuff takes as much time.

So in short i say:
Sounddesign phase, programming synths, fx, adding samples until all basis elements of a track are there takes me about 3/4 hours (usually just a night, at one point i just loop it for an hour if i'm satisfied ). Could be shorter when really focussed.

I track main elements with dynamics, fx, whatever, record a basic live mix, which i'll listen with fresh ears the next day. Then it's 4 hours for adjusting and arrangement work.
(and back to sounddesign stuff for intro, break elements etc.).

Usually ears get fatiqued then fast already, so next day, or session i'll do a final mix.
About 2 hours i guess.

Usually i'm bored with a track by then, not satisfied. Let it alone until i get drunk home after a party and listen to various stuff, and usually have some insight what's lacking in a track (and what's awesome hehe). Do a remix, 4 hours or so, and then it's done.

So about 20hours in total sound about right, but actually finishing can take a year. Also the thing is that more time is in most cases not effective. Especially if you continue tweaking stuff in most cases you just **** things up, like small timing changes are introduced which mess up the groove etc.etc.
Old 28th February 2013
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I'd say an average of 2 days to 2 weeks. I tend to have 2-5 songs I'm actively working on at any given point however.
Old 28th February 2013
  #19
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Just did a remix in 2.5 days including mixing and selfmastering for the demo. But on my best track I worked over a year, with interruptions of course. Usually I takes 2-3 days for the song, 1 day for mixing and another 1 for corrections.

Edit: 1 day = 8 hours
Old 28th February 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Next up:


"How long's a piece of string?"
Old 28th February 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
natrixgli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
most musicians I know will have some songs done in a day and other songs can take months or even years. a lot of it depends on how well formed the idea is when you start. I've had some songs that I've done where I just couldn't make sense of a change or bridge or figure out how to make two parts work together. this has at times left me scratching my head for months, yet unwilling to give up on the idea.

a guitarist friend of mine has a riff that I have played with him in 3 different bands. And yet we can never seem to make it work as a song.

in conclusion I deem this question impossible to answer.
Old 28th February 2013
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Tallowah's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I'm still only doing "remixes" but the longest I spent on one was 7 weeks and the shortest was 4 days. So I agree with the poster above who stated that "it all depends!"

`
Old 28th February 2013
  #23
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Anywhere between 1 day and 2 months, depending on what I'm trying to achieve.
Old 28th February 2013
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
totally depends on the song, usually a few days though
Old 28th February 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Barfunkel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
When I still had my real studio: About 2 hours.

Now that I work with only the Nintendo: About an hour.

I've tried working longer, but it just makes the music sound worse.
Old 28th February 2013
  #26
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
My last one was about a year and a half.
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alekto ➑️
Next up:


"How long's a piece of string?"
Great answer !
Old 28th February 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Barfunkel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A little question for those who spend ages on their songs:

What do you actually do with all that time? Most (not saying that yours is, but most is) electronic music is pretty simple, there's a 4/4 kick, a simple hihat pattern, snare and/or clap on every other kick, maybe a bit of bongos or congas or something somewhere. Writing that takes maybe 10 minutes at most. Then there's a bassline, that's often very simple, that's 5 minutes (including synthesis, basses are very easy to synthesize). Then some chords, maybe a lead and perhaps another sound, 20 minutes. Then fine tune things for about an hour, and BAM, a new track is born.

So, what exactly takes that long? Do you fine tune minor details for weeks? Have you ever considered how wise that is, when compared to just writing lots of tracks? Unless you're a pro, your goals probably lie along the lines of having fun and getting experience. Is EQ'ing the snare for 30 hours really beneficial or fun?

Others might be different, but at least for me the fine tuning is the least fun part of making music, while coming up with new sounds, rhythms and melodies is the most fun. I actually hate the fine tuning part, particularly EQ and compression.

Having said that, if I actually would write my masterpiece I would probably spend some time to polish things up, but until I write it, I don't see the point of spending lots of time on a single track. You can't, as they say, polish a turd (and turd my music mostly is).

Sorry if this was a bit ranty or hostile, that wasn't my intention. Just an issue I've been wondering for a long time (as I have many friends who spend months on tracks they never even finnish, while I finish tracks in an hour or two).
Old 28th February 2013
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I dont like spending a long time on a single tune. I'd say it's somewhere between 3 and 7 sessions (session = say 4 to 6 hours) from concept through to master...

I generally try and hit the lower end of that spectrum too...
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
boreg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel ➑️
A little question for those who spend ages on their songs:

What do you actually do with all that time?
As someone who takes months to make a track (my fastest took just a couple of months ), I feel the need to address your question. For me, arrangement is the hardest part. I can make a bunch of nice sounding loops, but when it comes to intro/outro, flow, development, tension and release etc - it takes me hours and days of trying different options. Another obstacle is that I'm not a pro, so realizing what I'm hearing in my head is sometimes very hard. And working in headphones, mixing is a hit-and-miss affair.

Quote:
Do you fine tune minor details for weeks?
Yes ))
Quote:
Have you ever considered how wise that is, when compared to just writing lots of tracks?
I'd love to work fast and write lots of tracks, but I want to make music that I myself can listen to without cringing or getting bored.
Quote:
Unless you're a pro, your goals probably lie along the lines of having fun and getting experience.
Well, I hope I am getting experience! And even though some parts are tedious, I am having fun, and I do allow myself the pleasure of losing a few hours in an 8-bar loop tweaking the cutoff knob
πŸ“ Reply

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