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When You Know the Project Is Done
#3060234 08/29/20 04:48 AM
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I know we've talked about finishing projects before, but...I'm finishing up my next album, and assembled the songs. The song that was done second, although I thought it was done, now didn't seem up to the same level as the ones that were done later. Although I felt it was fine from a sonic standpoint, there was something...well, I couldn't put my finger on it, but it needed one more...something.

So I asked Amanda from the Nashville QTs if she could please come on over (she's done vocals on my other projects, she's great), and she sang a harmony in just the right places to emphasize the song title in the places where it appeared. Her total appearance in the song was about 15 seconds, and yet, it set in motion a chain of events. I reduced the level on the bass part, added another harmony with my voice, and made a few other tweaks, particularly with respect to the rhythm guitars. At least to my ears (and Amanda's), now it really does seem finished.

We all know lesson #1...it's good to collaborate. But lesson #2 for me was just because it sounds finished, doesn't mean it is finished. If a song has something to say, it will want to say it...ignore what the song wants at your own peril.

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060239 08/29/20 05:41 AM
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I've learned to trust "intuition" regarding creativity.
I let things go, they can evolve to an infinite degree but I am not responsible for that. At least I hope not.
I've been an artist of one sort or another all my life, I started drawing in earnest when I was 2 or so and the groove has always absorbed me.
Sometimes, it doesn't mean shit to a tree. Try to make it real, compared to what?

When you smile and the indescribable tension just flows away, it is done.

Not there yet with my current meanderings but I am intent on "letting things happen."

I guess that's my version of "If you build it, they will come."


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060252 08/29/20 12:20 PM
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Then there's when the check clears..

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Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060256 08/29/20 01:58 PM
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It's never finished. There just comes a time when you need to let it go. Then later you will think, "I could have added this, subtracted that, changed the other", and so on. grin

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
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The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Notes_Norton #3060264 08/29/20 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
It's never finished. There just comes a time when you need to let it go. Then later you will think, "I could have added this, subtracted that, changed the other", and so on. grin

Notes

Agreed. I have +70 songs on my SoundCloud.

I am good or am satisfied that I can finish a song or several songs. Its a mindset.

However, I do review my songs from 2-3 years ago, and make plans to " curate " some songs.

This is typical with some musicians who have a large catalog- they revisit older material
and re-master, make changes.

Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Notes_Norton #3060273 08/29/20 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
It's never finished. There just comes a time when you need to let it go. Then later you will think, "I could have added this, subtracted that, changed the other", and so on. grin
yeahthat

My version of is I'm never done with a tune...more like I just decide it's time to move on to a different one.

dB

Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Notes_Norton #3060285 08/29/20 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
It's never finished. There just comes a time when you need to let it go. Then later you will think, "I could have added this, subtracted that, changed the other", and so on. grin

Amazingly, I really don't have that issue. I can listen to material I did as far back as 2012 and I'm still happy with it. But that may have to do with what I do before signing off on something. Like right now, all the songs for my next album were mixed and mastered a while ago. But I listen to the album in the car, on headphones, while walking, etc. many times over, with a detached and highly critical attitude. I keep making tweaks until after repeated listenings, there's nothing left that I want to change. Once I reach that point, it seems to hold. I think part of this may be that I usually have a specific idea of what I want the song to sound like, so when what I hear with my ears is congruent with what I hear in my head, that's probably the cutoff point.

However, this is only true of material where I had unlimited time to get things right, and the technology needed to make the desired changes. Anything done before then, I'd like to do over smile

Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060322 08/30/20 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
It's never finished. There just comes a time when you need to let it go. Then later you will think, "I could have added this, subtracted that, changed the other", and so on. grin

Amazingly, I really don't have that issue. I can listen to material I did as far back as 2012 and I'm still happy with it.
I can get into that space, but usually the album or track needs to be out for awhile and I need to have some space from it before I can listen and just appreciate it for what it is. Mix and master time comes around, and at a certain point I have to identify when I’m making tiny improvements and when I’ve started to chase my tail. I definitely start to lose objectivity after working in something for too long, and it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. I have to find the sweet spot to take my hands off the wheel, and trust that it’s good enough to be appreciated for what it is, and not all the versions of what it could be that cloud my judgment.


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060327 08/30/20 01:26 AM
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I listen to some of the backing tracks I made for my duo in the 1980s and although I'm still happy with them I think, "I've learned a lot since then and a few tweaks might make it better". If it's a song we play a lot, I'll go back and tweak it. If I play it on stage and think there is something I can do to make it better that I didn't do, it'll bug me. I've done several versions of some tracks, the audience can't tell the difference between the oldest and the newest, but I can.

I listen to some of the styles I wrote for Band-in-a-Box in the 1990s and although I'm still happy with them, I think, "The capabilities of the BiaB StyleMaker app have improved quite a bit plus I've learned a lot since then, and a few tweaks might make it better".

For me music is a never ending learning experience. Even the sax, which is the instrument I am most comfortable with gets its share of practice, and guitar which is my newest has the biggest potential for growth. It's one thing I like about music, there is always something new to learn, something new to explore, something new to accomplish.

Insights and incites by Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
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The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060381 08/30/20 04:48 PM
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My wife asked me what I wanted played at my funeral. I said "My album." She said, "What album?" "The one I'm working on." "The same one you've been working on for 18 years?" "Yeah, that one."

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Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
SamuelBLupowitz #3060390 08/30/20 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SamuelBLupowitz
[/quote]Mix and master time comes around, and at a certain point I have to identify when I’m making tiny improvements and when I’ve started to chase my tail. I definitely start to lose objectivity after working in something for too long, and it can be hard to see the forest for the trees

This is why I really recommend listening to something over long periods of time, and taking breaks that can last days or even weeks between listens. Although in the immortal words of the late Herman Cain "I don't have facts to back this up," I'd swear that your ears hear differently on different days, and I don't just mean minor changes. Our ears are merely input devices, it's the brain that does the interpretation and DSP. So averaging out listening over a period of time will help differentiate what's really a problem that could cause regrets, and what isn't.

If I had to mix and master a song in 15 hours, I would probably have regrets listening to it in the future. But if I spend 2 hours mixing or mastering one day, wait a few days, spend another 2 hours, wait, etc. then at the end of accumulating 15 hours of mix and master time, I think it's likely I'd have something where I wouldn't have regrets later on.

This applies to mastering too. I think you can master your own music, but only if you divorce yourself enough from the creation process to hear it more objectively.

Re: When You Know the Project Is Done
Anderton #3060591 09/01/20 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Although in the immortal words of the late Herman Cain "I don't have facts to back this up," I'd swear that your ears hear differently on different days, and I don't just mean minor changes.
I agree 100%. Eric”Mixerman” Serafin talks about the difference between (and I’m paraphrasing) the end of the day playback and the next morning playback, and the before lunch and after lunch playback. Our mood does affect how we hear material that’s meant to make us feel things, which is why trusting our ears is so damn hard, and such a refined skill!


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.

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