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A music production odyssey.

How to tell if your next hit is finished?

with 4 comments

Today we’re going to think a little about how to tell when a song is finished.

When you don’t need to pay for resources, because your entire studio is confined to your computer, it is reasonably easy to fall into the trap of always tweaking your songs to make them better better and better. Not enough of such tweaking leads to your songs sounding unfinished, too much leads to them sounding over-produced. So how to find the perfect balance?

My idea on the topic is such that if any part you add doesn’t help convey the message you want, it is unnecessary. Now, this won’t work every time, because some times you have a clear picture of the sound you want in your head and it’s simply not necessary to wonder when the track is finished. Other times though, when you are experimenting, you have to consider whether or not each addition you make makes your message clearer or not.

Personally, I think that simplicity is the key to making compelling music. Even if you consider King Crimson’s Discipline album, despite being the collection of some of the most complicated music ever made, each song is so very simple in its core. There are no unnecessary parts.
That’s what you should aim for. Songs with no unnecessary parts.

Let me know in the comments how you figure out when your songs are finished!

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Written by majorshake

May 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Pretty interesting topic.A lot of times I know my track is “finished” only after hearing it multiple times.I usually wait a couple days after its mixed then listen again when my ears refreshed to get a new perspective on it.If everything still sounds good,that’s how I know it’s finished

    Wordplay Metzger

    May 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    • That’s definitely a good way to go about it. I think that while we’re building up the track in the first place, by listening to it over and over again we lose the perspective we need to ensure the quality of our work. If you listen to something over and over again, eventually it will just start sounding right to you.

      Thanks very much for your comment!

      majorshake

      May 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  2. “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

    ~ A de St. Exupery

    elliot

    May 29, 2011 at 1:05 am

    • It works both ways, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for the comment!

      majorshake

      May 29, 2011 at 11:39 am


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