None music way #1
Before you even start to make any music, make sure that the Internet is turned off. If it is a computer that everyone uses, make yourself a new user account without internet connection – this was my problem, so I turned off the Internet and saved myself 4 hours per day (surfing adds up)! If everyone is using that one computer, make sure that you have a secure section on it (passworded- so you can back up your section) as you can bet alot of money on something getting deleted. Even have a rota as who can have the computer at what times. You don’t want to be interupted in mid-fantastic-never-been-heard-before-number-one-hook making. None music way #2
Do a mini spring clean and make things user friendly. I have a Temp Store, Downloaded Folder, VST folder (subfoldered into beats, FX etc). This makes my computer work well, quickly and makes my time in music making more efficient. If your computer is not efficient, or you have to have time to find a piece of software that holds the secret to your humming tune, then you will forget that hum before you find the folder. Having things at hand is a practical way of music making. I know of top artists that go around with a tape recorder or writing pad all the time just in case they get “inspiration”. The 2006 UK Football World Cup Song came to the artist in the bath.
None music way #3
How about invest in another monitor? This may seem odd, as we all have been brought up with the idea of one monitor leads to one computer. However, leading computer music artists are leading the way in utilising 2 monitors at once. In one monitor you have your sequencer running, in the other monitor you could have your software instruments, or mixing deck or any combination that you want. Making music this way is much easier than having to minimise, maximise all the time- you need the computer music making phase to be as realistic as possible, rather than stop starting every few minutes to maximise a window.
None music way #4
Make sure that you are using what you should be using and that you know how to use it. A hotkey function sometimes is much quicker than if you use the mouse, but if you do not know how to use them properly your work can be deleted within a key stroke. Knowing your software, and how to use it properly will save you a heap of precious time, and will also show you functions that you never thought that you had. I have read somewhere that there are secret functions within the Ableton software that you will only find by experimenting. Take time out once every 6-12 months and read up on your software. Keep it refreshed within your head, don’t assume that you know it. Make yourself a practice screen and just mess around, nothing is going to get wiped out. By experimenting you will find some great sounds and work much quicker.
None music way #5
If you have something that sounds very good…save it. I shall repeat…save it! Unfortunately there are many bits of software out there that do not have a “undo” button, so getting back that classic sound is impossible. Repeating the process will give you a sound that sounded 90% close to your long lost original. I tend to store good sounds into a folder called “experimentation”, and thats where it stays. If I play the same sound after a day or two later and it doesn’t sound the same, then I tweak the sound. In the past I used to write down all the values on how I built up particular sounds. I would even have a “sound day” where I would just make sounds of various types, and this kept me away from tinkering at music making time.
Before you make any type of music, stand back and just think, have you actually done all your none music making tasks?