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Finding time
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
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Optical Lens's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Finding time

Having a family / spouse etc, I believe many people find it hard to sit down at the DAW in peace and make music without interruptions.

So, how do you do it? I struggle to be creative when I DO get the time to make music. The creativity seems to come flowing in just when the little one is going to bed, or when I have to do a chore
Old 28th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Optical Lens ➑️
Having a family / spouse etc, I believe many people find it hard to sit down at the DAW in peace and make music without interruptions.

So, how do you do it? I struggle to be creative when I DO get the time to make music. The creativity seems to come flowing in just when the little one is going to bed, or when I have to do a chore
I can relate with you there. I find it hard to be creative in the time space when not to annoy the rest of the household with the "dumph dumph dumph" and chandeliers rattling directly underneath me.

how do you do it?...well, i don't.
Old 28th January 2013
  #3
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Optical Lens's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hey! Glad to hear that I am not alone

Only way I can get things done is to get up in the middle of the night and do it, but I don't have the option to do that often as I have a day job.

Maybe I should leave all the gear on, so I can just jump into it?
Old 28th January 2013
  #4
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incurablebeatlus's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Good question. I have four kids and a wife so it can be verrry hard to find the time... Usually I either plan ahead with my wife a day or two in advance that I'll be doing 'music time' or I bust my chores outsnd steal away for an hour or so. I try to do something, even just horrendous noodling, for at least some small period everyday but that doesn't always happen. Im trying to get my son (7yo) to get better at playing drums so we can jam. My eldest already plays guitar but shes much more a Taylor Swift fan than a Electronic music person. Ive had her rock with me for a few jams but Im hoping for much more as she gets older. The frustrating thing is when I make plans to work on tunes with my 'bandmates' and they flake out, expecting me to be available at anytime, which is just not happening... Planning is your friend.

As for creativity when you do get the time... Keep a lil scrap of paper in your pocket to write down ides that come up during the day.

Also make your setup quick and easy to get started. Mine is in the basement (usually on) so I just go down and sit in the captains seat and get started.

Good luck.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Optical Lens ➑️
Hey! Glad to hear that I am not alone

Only way I can get things done is to get up in the middle of the night and do it, but I don't have the option to do that often as I have a day job.

Maybe I should leave all the gear on, so I can just jump into it?
hmmmn, i'd like to too but... for me its equal to having 3 kettles on constant boil.
Old 28th January 2013
  #6
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mrsound's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
For me making an weekly schedule helps. Also planning free time and moments where i do my (home)work. Just doing one thing at the time, as in directly now, but also just 1 music project, 1 song, and so on, makes me more productive and with more efficiency. Saves stress and time. Maybe some of these methods could help you out, or getting closer at least.
Also quiting alcohol, saved me money, time, a lot of energy, and vital organs like my brains.

(i have ADD, and no kids/girlfriend by the way)

Sent from toilet
Old 28th January 2013
  #7
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Optical Lens's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
HAHA thanks for the replies guys

A certain someone in the house needs to understand that creativity can't be commanded

Most of the time when I PLAN studio time, I often don't feel like making music at all. :(
Because what I fear is that I will get interrupted in 15 minutes.
Old 28th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
"The Now Habit" offers some unique ways of dealing with this type of stuff. Like an unschedule.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
this is why you dont get married and have kids until you accomplish everything you want.



or so im told.
Old 28th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
same problem here.

i actually get 2-3 hours per night once my daughter has gone to bed to make music but struggle to finish tunes as i'm not necessarily feeling creative after a long day at work and have to keep the volume down. also, most of my best stuff tended to get written in longer sessions. i often lose the vibe if i try to make a track over a number of shorter sessions and end up abandoning the track.

luckily we're moving to a bigger house so I'll be able to crank the volume more in the evening. i'm also experimenting with taking my production on the road with me when I travel for work, although I use a lot of hardware which is an issue.

i'm also trying to do most of the citical listening / decision making on how to develop a track while i'm at work so when I sit down to make music i've already decided which direction to go in
Old 28th January 2013
  #11
ozy
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ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I feel your pain.

Time available = close to zero here, in the past few months.

I tried getting unemployed, but it lasted just 20 days...

But one detail grabbed my attention in optical_lens' first post.

"sitting in front of my daw": that's wasted time IMHO, when time is in short supply

Me, I manage time like this:

1) the first time I get available, I sit down, I turn just one synth on (or a basic set), no sound programming, grab a nice setup (a bass+rhodes split, a pad, plus a nice solo synth) and PLAY.

I go for melody and finger-stretching and pleasure of a nice sound.

I may rehearse a standard, or improvise, or have a drum machine running and play along it

Or I may take a book and study new scales (arabic, asian) or chords, and find ideas.

I leave the hard-disk recorder running (no "project", no computer, nothing. Just a single file with a 45 minutes recording if I have 45 minutes)

Store that. Take a quick note ["just fiddling", "pure junk" or "nice riff, transcribe later"]

or:

1/b) I will have 20 minutes, and just do sound design. Get a rhodes sound, try building a nice rhodes+smallstone sound. Or take a synth and fiddle.

2) If I have 30 or 45 minutes and I am tired, fingers won't work (it happens, after a heavy day at the field), I will get back to the last recording "worth transcribing" and take better notes. Maybe transcribe, maybe jot down a drum track or bass line.

3) if and when I have at least two hours, or half a day vacation, I sit down and put those fragments in order.

4) when I know that I have accumulated [through the previous steps] material that could become a song, I plan a two hours evening for "writing".

In that moment I dig into recordings, notes, etc.

But I don't need inspiration IN THAT DAY.

3) and 4) are unfortunately rare, but a daily dose of 1) keeps the inspiration running, fingers nimble, technique good, and provides melodies, riffs, snippets.

I NEVER sit down without any previous material hoping that inspiration, sound design, melodies AND lucid compsition will happen at the same time.

It doesn't happen, when you have limited time.
Old 28th January 2013
  #12
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Eric J's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just work on music when the little one goes to bed. Regular bed time is 8p for him, so I'll work from 8p to 12a or so.
Old 28th January 2013
  #13
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Headz51230's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
A lot of very early mornings.
Old 28th January 2013
  #14
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graphs's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I'm really fortunate to have a partner who is very supportive of my hobbies so as long as I pull my weight around the house I have lots of time to work on music uninterrupted.

However I also participate in amateur bicycle racing which is an extremely time consuming pursuit. That's where the real struggle comes for me, balancing two equally important and demanding activities in addition to family and career. It is tough and frankly I have yet to find a way to balance it all in a way that allows me to perform my best in each area. Generally one activity will take the bulk of my "hobby time" depending on the time of year. Spring and early summer is more training and racing, fall and winter I'm holed up in the studio. It's fine this way but if I ever want to really excel at one, the other is going to have to take a back seat.

I'm sure that if/when I have kids this is going to change quite a bit!
Old 28th January 2013
  #15
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🎧 5 years
I may not have children, my songs kinda already feel like my children, I'm scared that a child would seriously impede upon doing what I love, what I is such a defining thing for me. Even if having a child was a magical uplifting experience I'd be completely scared that I'd mess her up somehow, give her my ASD, and that's caused me no end of pain, whether she had dodgy genes or anytime she got upset, i'd feel responsible, I brought her into the world after all (and her mother of course)

And I don't particularly like the world at times, there's lots of evil and darkness about, and I couldn't possibly protect her from all of it.

on the other hand she might have a better life and more resilience than me and be fine, and it'd be nice to have a little redhead cutie-pie to bake cookies with.

What is clear is that in the mean time, i gotta lot of healing and thinking to do, and some albums to write
Old 28th January 2013
  #16
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ChristianRock's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well... I'm struggling with this as well.

Lately I've been putting more time into the family as I did have periods of time when I kind of neglected the wife and the kids a bit...

But for a practical answer, what I'm trying is headphones, a good productive environment (Maschine which has a good workflow, with Reaper which doesn't get in my way) and late nights - when I can. Not getting frustrated if I spend days or even weeks without getting much done is essential. After all, music is supposed to be a source of joy to me, not a source of frustration. So I'll take the joys of music I can get... and I'll take the joys of family life in the other days

Oh and like Ozy alluded to, I do all my writing in non-playing time. Meaning, when I sit down I already have something to work on. During my work, or driving, or doing something else, I'll be thinking about melodies and arrangements and sounds in my head. Most of the time I'll have a complete song in my head before I even start working on it.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
ozy
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ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz ➑️
I'm scared that a child would seriously impede upon doing what I love, what I is such a defining thing for me.
a child will define what you mean by "defining". Not to mention "love".

Don't be afraid of LIFE, it won't impede art.

Mankind has been making art and reproducing at the same time for several millennia now.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #18
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Optical Lens's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
I feel your pain.

....
Thanks for the big list of things to try!
Also the feeling of not getting things made when you have all that lovely gear just standing there is torment from day to day

I already make music with headset, I can't even think of turning on those monitors. If you fart in one end of the house, you will hear it all over the place

Have you ever really wanted to make something cool, you even know what to make, but you just can't?
Old 28th January 2013
  #19
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natefrogg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i found a couple solid hours at work late on friday night, i'll get downtime where i'm basically on stand by once in awhile so i have started packing a firewire powered soundcard and some ok headphones so i can at least do something

at home since having our son it's hard to grab solid chunks of time, i'll get 10~30 minute chunks of time here and there which is hard to really take any time to get engrossed and engaged and focused like i need to

i haven't used my monitors in almost a year at this point, man i miss them
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
kholland65's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by incurablebeatlus ➑️
The frustrating thing is when I make plans to work on tunes with my 'bandmates' and they flake out, expecting me to be available at anytime, which is just not happening...
This is why I don't play in bands anymore, and prefer working solo. The logistics of planning the schedules of 4-5 adults who all work full-time is a nightmare. It's not efficient at all. I can't decide randomly when I have 2 hours of free time on a Sunday to randomly get everyone together. I can however randomly decide to sit down at my computer.
Old 28th January 2013
  #21
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natefrogg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
^^^ so true, it is fun when i get to jam with another person but man it is tough making it happen, pretty much have to take a day off work to do that
Old 28th January 2013
  #22
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Taking a laptop with Cubase on it to work, and spending my lunchhour making sweet, sweet beats (yo). Basically saved my sanity before my brain exploded from frustration.

That and staying up stupidly late for too many nights on end and feeling like a zombie....
Old 28th January 2013
  #23
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gremlin moon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I keep the laptop on/sleep with FL Studio always open all day. It has a step-sequencer and QWERTY to midi and the Edison recorder makes everything very direct. I primarily use Omnisphere and Reaktor since they have maximum synthesis power and sound "production ready." I've limited all songs to no more than five tracks and under 3 minutes. I try to make a patch a day, but not all are keepers. I switched from long-form ambient to short-form ambient for the sake of finishing things and to catalyze me to make things more interesting and push some synthesis boundaries without the slow droning build-up to it. I saw some documentary where Sting was yelling at Branfard Marsalis saying," This isn't ****in jazz, you don't have 10 minutes to get into it, this is rock and roll it has to happen now."

It got to a point that with two young children who never seem to sleep I just wasn't getting to the "real" set-up in the basement enough.
Old 28th January 2013
  #24
Gear Head
 
Eichburger's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have a 3 y.o. and 18 month toddler so I probably only have 4 or 5 hours a week spare. I have simplified my set up and workflow for maximum satisfaction when I've got the time!

Decided to use sequencers as I don't have time to learn keyboards. started to build a modular but realised it was eating up all my time. I kept the rack and step sequencer and got a couple of semi-modulars - absolutely brilliant fun.
Old 28th January 2013
  #25
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Reading this thread makes me never want to get married + have kids..:o
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mononym ➑️
this is why you dont get married and have kids until you accomplish everything you want.



or so im told.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mullaha ➑️
Reading this thread makes me never want to get married + have kids..:o
Old 28th January 2013
  #27
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was silents's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I am right there with you guys. 10 month old twins...

Bad for music productivity but my family makes me happier than music ever has. A very worthwhile time trade.

Nowadays, I set small goals and find enjoyment where I can without expecting any major musical accomplishments. I love coming up with a great tone and just playing chords over a beat for an hour. I record everything and maybe will come back to the worthwhile ideas. Oh, an ipad by the bed has been helpful too.

I also enjoy shooting the s#!t here in between assignments at work. The occasional online gear score is also a lot of fun too... but no more 3 hour craigslist drives!

Also, why is it that musicians flake for practice so much but other types of amateurs like league bowlers etc. show up consistently?
Old 29th January 2013
  #28
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Popbott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
On the weekends, I'll stock up on wine and vodka, plan to stay in, have a girlfriend come over and just leave my computer, controller, A/D converter and monitors on all weekend and work in the studio on & off. Powering up can take a long time with booting up the computer and allowing the software/projects to load. When inspiration strikes, it's ready to go.

If I'm working with all of my hardware, setting MIDI channels, reconnecting things to the console, EQing, all that takes more time. I don't normally leave all of my hardware gear on all weekend, it poses a fire hazard if left unattended plus the girlfriend ends up getting second fiddle. If I leave, even for a few minutes, I'll turn it all off. Then again, when I'm outboard, it's easier and faster to boot up than the computer. Many times, these factors can lead up to a situation where I know I'm going to power down soon, and knowing that makes me keep going. Strange how that works out.

The Bottom line is, learn to work in your environment, if you can't, you are just making excuses not to make music. No one said it was easy and you just don't get anywhere without hard work and perseverance in difficult situations.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mullaha ➑️
Reading this thread makes me never want to get married + have kids..:o
my advice - do not have kids until you've feel relatively at peace with yourself over your musical accomplishments. that said, for some this may never happen in time or you may have started making music after having kids or just before.

the frustration of my musical ambitions has been the hardest thing to deal with since our daughter was born (more than lack of sleep etc). although my daughter's already jamming with me on circuit bent kids toy keyboard and she's only 10 months
Old 29th January 2013
  #30
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've done the FT non-music job + little kids + still wanting to do music thing.

It's hard, no doubt. Also heartbreaking, when you imagine* (*doesn't necessarily happen) any dream of a music career floating away on the wind to someone younger dude with more time.

My advice...
1) how hot does the fire burn in your belly? Enough to work 2 jobs? You might have to (ie the 2nd one being music).
2) set a realistic goal. Work out what you want to achieve musically, but ensure it is *real*. You probably won't be famous. Who cares. Think about what you want to achieve.
3) don't undervalue or disrespect your day job. This took me a while to learn. Your day job pays for your family life. Doing a good job, in anything, is part of developing yourself. Do the right thing for your kids and your partner. If you work out how to be satisfied at work; a major part of this is understanding that your day job is somehow a part of your development as a musician and vice versa.
4) Don't imagine you are wasting time. This is very important. You are becoming focused, developing, learning how to work efficiently and building stamina. The same is often not true for "unencumbered" individuals who precisely because they have more time don't work as hard, are less focused, and don't develop work stamina - real stamina, of the sort that you need after a full day's work, putting babies to bed, and only *then* starting your music, and getting up early in the morning.

It's good for your soul!!! Stick with it.
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