Hip Hop producers/beat makers: how to become prolific

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WarStar
Posts: 126
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 25 Feb 2020

Real quick...

How did you get your weekly numbers up on quantity of beats and songs made completed?

I can write a song from scratch and finish it sometimes within 1-3 days but my average is more like 5-7days. I'd like to get to a song a days, somewhere between 5-7 songs per week.

Any helpful tips, suggestions, or are you dealing with the same issues too?

Thanks!

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guitfnky
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Post 25 Feb 2020

why the focus on the number of tracks completed? wouldn't it be better to put energy to making the most interesting/highest quality music possible, rather than just starting and finishing tracks? asking more out of curiosity than anything else.

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Timmy Crowne
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Post 25 Feb 2020

Identify the 20% of your work that sucks up 80% of the time. For some people it’s chords and melody, for others it’s sound design, for others it’s mixing. Save and recall as much of that process as you can. For example, if you like to create your own drum and synth presets, spend a few hours (or days) just crafting raw material for future work. Save the patches and then they’re ready when you need them. If harmony tends to slow you down, spend some time just writing chord progressions and melodies. Save them as MIDI and import them when you need. I find that I spend the majority of my time on tasks that are more or less the same across projects. The interesting bits that make a piece unique are actually the minority of the work, e.g. instrument selection, FX, automation, etc.

WarStar
Posts: 126
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 25 Feb 2020

guitfnky wrote:
25 Feb 2020
why the focus on the number of tracks completed? wouldn't it be better to put energy to making the most interesting/highest quality music possible, rather than just starting and finishing tracks? asking more out of curiosity than anything else.
That's my typical approach, quality of time spent on songs, but I'd like to switch it up just to see the techniques people use to get more productive numbers wise. Maybe workflow ideas, or composition techniques, or just process stuff in general.

How do you keep creativity and inspiration going when you're attempting to generate numbers? This being my main issue.

WarStar
Posts: 126
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 25 Feb 2020

Timmy Crowne wrote:
25 Feb 2020
Identify the 20% of your work that sucks up 80% of the time. For some people it’s chords and melody, for others it’s sound design, for others it’s mixing. Save and recall as much of that process as you can. For example, if you like to create your own drum and synth presets, spend a few hours (or days) just crafting raw material for future work. Save the patches and then they’re ready when you need them. If harmony tends to slow you down, spend some time just writing chord progressions and melodies. Save them as MIDI and import them when you need. I find that I spend the majority of my time on tasks that are more or less the same across projects. The interesting bits that make a piece unique are actually the minority of the work, e.g. instrument selection, FX, automation, etc.
Great suggestions!

I like the idea of singling out aspects that usually take up your time. Mine would probably be drum transitions and chords.

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guitfnky
Posts: 1930
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 25 Feb 2020

WarStar wrote:
25 Feb 2020
guitfnky wrote:
25 Feb 2020
why the focus on the number of tracks completed? wouldn't it be better to put energy to making the most interesting/highest quality music possible, rather than just starting and finishing tracks? asking more out of curiosity than anything else.
That's my typical approach, quality of time spent on songs, but I'd like to switch it up just to see the techniques people use to get more productive numbers wise. Maybe workflow ideas, or composition techniques, or just process stuff in general.

How do you keep creativity and inspiration going when you're attempting to generate numbers? This being my main issue.
gotcha, that makes a lot of sense. I like the idea of focusing on improving how quickly you can come up with quality results. 👍🏼

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Boombastix
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Location: Bay Area, CA

Post 26 Feb 2020

guitfnky wrote:
25 Feb 2020
why the focus on the number of tracks completed? wouldn't it be better to put energy to making the most interesting/highest quality music possible, rather than just starting and finishing tracks? asking more out of curiosity than anything else.
This has been studied over and over, it is quantity that breeds quality. Try to remove tedious less important aspects of the work, and prep your sounds. That way you do not sit and program a hi hat, you have 10 type drum patterns ready made up. Pick one. want a change, then change it in 10-15 min. You have your sounds that you already spent time selecting, no need to go through hundreds of sounds. Time savers. Focus on melody and its rhythm. No hit became a hit due to the chords or drums, it is primarily in the melody.
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guitfnky
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Post 26 Feb 2020

Boombastix wrote:
26 Feb 2020
guitfnky wrote:
25 Feb 2020
why the focus on the number of tracks completed? wouldn't it be better to put energy to making the most interesting/highest quality music possible, rather than just starting and finishing tracks? asking more out of curiosity than anything else.
This has been studied over and over, it is quantity that breeds quality. Try to remove tedious less important aspects of the work, and prep your sounds. That way you do not sit and program a hi hat, you have 10 type drum patterns ready made up. Pick one. want a change, then change it in 10-15 min. You have your sounds that you already spent time selecting, no need to go through hundreds of sounds. Time savers. Focus on melody and its rhythm. No hit became a hit due to the chords or drums, it is primarily in the melody.
this really comes down to that old internet adage, YMMV. I couldn’t disagree more with most of this, personally. pre-writing a bunch of stuff would not speed anything up for me. it would just mean I‘d spend that same amount of time earlier on in the process, and then add more time tweaking that pre-made stuff once it’s in a project, which wouldn’t make things any more efficient for me. my process is fundamentally about the interplay of different elements of music, so pulling in a pre-made drum pattern over a chord progression or guitar line I’m working on would almost certainly necessitate a bunch of rework to the drum pattern.

as for “no hit became a hit due to the chords or drums”, well, this I disagree with most of all. the melody is usually the most important part of a song, but not always. and quite often, a particular melody wouldn’t exist without the chords and rhythms going on underneath it. rarely (in my case, at least) do I start with the melody, and write music around it. my biggest issue with this statement though is that it presumes that we all want to write “hits”. while it would be awesome to gain commercial success, that’s not why many (most?) of us write music. I’d rather create something interesting and unique than a “hit”. of course, there’s a small sliver in the Venn diagram where interesting/unique and “hit” overlap. that’s a sweet spot very few people will ever actually hit. that’s not to say it’s not worth aiming for. just difficult to achieve.

all that said, it obviously works for you and likely many others, so it’s certainly a viable approach. me, I’ll keep on with my slow, plodding ways. 😊

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Boombastix
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Post 26 Feb 2020

guitfnky wrote:
26 Feb 2020
my biggest issue with this statement though is that it presumes that we all want to write “hits”.
Re-read the OPs question. I was responding to that, it is also in the title of this thread. :o
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guitfnky
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Post 26 Feb 2020

Boombastix wrote:
26 Feb 2020
guitfnky wrote:
26 Feb 2020
my biggest issue with this statement though is that it presumes that we all want to write “hits”.
Re-read the OPs question. I was responding to that, it is also in the title of this thread. :o
where does it say anything about writing a hit? being prolific at beat making is an altogether different thing than being prolific at writing hits.

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Boombastix
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Post 26 Feb 2020

guitfnky wrote:
26 Feb 2020
Boombastix wrote:
26 Feb 2020


Re-read the OPs question. I was responding to that, it is also in the title of this thread. :o
where does it say anything about writing a hit? being prolific at beat making is an altogether different thing than being prolific at writing hits.
Why are you harping about this? You're the one who said "hits", not me, so ask yourself :lol:
I was being helpful in responding to his question about becoming more prolific.
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aeox
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Post 26 Feb 2020

Use samples

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guitfnky
Posts: 1930
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 26 Feb 2020

Boombastix wrote:
26 Feb 2020
guitfnky wrote:
26 Feb 2020


where does it say anything about writing a hit? being prolific at beat making is an altogether different thing than being prolific at writing hits.
Why are you harping about this? You're the one who said "hits", not me, so ask yourself :lol:
I was being helpful in responding to his question about becoming more prolific.
are you from another dimension? I referenced hits because you brought them up. :?

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