Doesn't time fly? We're already on the third installment of our resident sound engineer Resound's acclaimed production feature... Listen, learn and apply!
In the previous installment I spoke about how while working on music, we often tend to get caught looking instead of listening.
Let us flip the script, I figured.
Since looking is such an integral part of how we function… What can we do to visually aid our workflow?
Here’s a few ideas.
1. Keep your projects tidy.
The arrange page is a playground. In your burst of creativity you try different things out, you throw objects around, you experiment, and things get messy.
It’s quite easy to end up with loads of unused tracks, muted elements, unnecessary automation and countless forgotten “what if” variations.
Clean that shit up Eugene.
It clouds you from perceiving the track properly.
Not to mention it slows down editing.
More than anything though, unnecessary clutter in the arrange interferes with your thought process.
It clouds and distracts you and takes your focus away from what is essential.
Tidy project keeps your mind clear and lets your ideas flourish.
2. Colour coding.
This one is pretty basic, but if you’re not doing it – it’s about time to start.
Assign colours to the objects in your arrange.
You can take it further by developing a system. For example I always tend to make hihats light blue, snares yellow and so on.
And when there’s a variation in, let’s say, the snare… I make that a different yellow.
Over time a system like this helps you perceive what’s going on in the arrange much quicker.
No more of those “what’s that? let’s have a listen” -moments.
3. Name objects properly.
Simple stuff, but do give proper names to the important objects in your project.
Personally, most of the time I tend to be happy with just naming things like tracks, groups and buses.
The arrange objects itself I identify much faster by looking at their colour, so I don’t like to spend much of my valuable time on naming those.
4. Visual analysis tools.
There are several kinds of visual analysis tools available.
The most common things to monitor visually are the frequency spectrum, stereo image and loudness.
It’s not a bad idea to learn how to work with these tools.
Remember my words from lesson #2 though:
Use visual analysis mainly to confirm what you hear.
Don’t make mix decisions based on what you see (unless you must due to a poor listening environment).
Do not forget to listen when you look.
5. Clean up your workspace.
Yes!! I am cheeky enough to tell you to get a grip and tidy up.
Trust me I’ve learned this through personal experience.
It makes a huge difference.
Fight the chaos.
Exactly as you would unclutter your arrange page – you should also unclutter your workspace.
It’s not that hard. Just get rid of things you don’t need.
It will affect your mindset in a positive way and your next tune will get rinsed on BBC daytime.
That’s all for this lesson. Put it into practice!
Before we finish I wanted to remind you… If you have a question or maybe an idea on what you would like to hear from me in the future – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get back to you.
Until next time boys and girls… Be good!
Want more ideas on improving your workflow? Have a look at the workflow section at www.resoundsound.com.