Anyone done before even mixing a tune?

when its the creative point at the start its fun but the mixing and refinement of the layout i get so bored i just start another tune. im over 500+ incompleted demos right now beside a few rough soundcoud uploads here and there. any one shares this mentality or have a ways to challnege the boredom from completion the final 20% of a tune

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I’m no expert, this is just a hobby / fun for me, but I try to mix as I’m going along. Of course it means maybe going back a few times after adding new elements, but let’s put it this way… would you rather proofread and spellcheck a 20 page paper, or hit it paragraph by paragraph / page by page as you go along?


In short, no.
If you find your own work boring, you need to fix that.

Or if you dislike mixing so much, why not try finding someone else to do it? Collaboration?


It all depends on what your purpose is.
If you want to just have fun and create tunes, that’s completely fine. If you want to actually create a complete work, say an album or EP, pick a few tracks that go well together and just put in the work to finish them up. This is part of the creative process in my opinion, but it requires more effort than just puking out demo after demo. So my advice is to just take a little time and reflect about the purpose of why you do music in the first place.


Why not take your best 10 out of those 500+ and create an album? I can’t see how that wouldn’t be a lot of fun and give a lot more satisfaction than just creating more demos that never see the light of day. Time to level up!


I can totally feel you. I don’t like the mixing and arranging part that much. Most fun for me is starting from a clean slate.
However, the more demos I collect the more unsatisfying it becomes to me. Feels like being messy. Collecting unnecessary ballast…
I have to finish stuff. And the euphoric feeling of listening to a finished track or better - an album - outweighs my dislike for mixing.

You can try to do as much mixing and arranging as part of your jams/ demo creation. Often only slight adjustments afterwards are necessary to achieve the goal of something done


I utterly loathe that last 20% or so of mixing and finalizing a track but as @Python mentioned above, it’s part of the creative process for me. That’s where the discipline comes in, because it’s all too easy to just noodle away with several hundred “sketches” but nothing concrete or presentable. Plus - in regards to mixing, anyway - it’s like anything else in that the more you do it, the better you get at it and it becomes less of a chore!

I feel the same. I gave up trying to mix my stuff, I just don’t want to waste time in tasks I don’t like to do. But, I force myself to get to the point where the progression feels like a track (that I said evertyhing I could), and then record separate stems in case someone someday get interested in what I do, and can bring it a step further.

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Don’t know what genre you produce, but in most the mixing is part of the sound nowadays.

What bores you about the process? Do you see yourself to be so good, that the challenge is lost? Seriously asking. Sometimes being too good takes the magic away. If not, can you pinpoint what it is?

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I’d suggest keeping a document with all the little basic mixing steps, and some good tips and tricks.

Open a song, go down the list. Now you should be well on your way and more motivated to keep your progress rolling along. Hopefully hearing the improvements will excite you and keep you moving towards the finish line.

Keep adding to your document when you come across good advice that makes sense for your genre. Keeping a document like this makes it easier to start the mixing process, rather than having to start from scratch each time.

Edit - reading this again it might seem I’m advocating a formulaic checklist style of mixing. Not really. I just like to have all those tips and tricks written down in one place because my memory is shite. If something doesn’t apply to the current track or doesn’t sound right, skip it. But having a reminder document with things like “don’t forget to eq the return fx” or “try this compression trick on drums” etc. is a nice starting point and frees up some brain space.

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if your track idea is complete and captured, and you just hate the actual mix process, pay someone else to do it. just because we all have access to DAW’s and the facilities to record and mix, doesn’t mean we all have to enjoy it or get good at it. remember, all bands used to actually go into studios and pay an experienced person by the hour to record and mix their music. they did the creative part already, they paid someone to do the rest. you can do this too. there’s also a middle ground. you can get the mix to sound decent to your ears, then send it off to someone else to get it over the finish line and add that final sparkle. tons of well-known musicians (from full bands to solo electronic artists) do this.


Mix less. That last 20 percent isn’t you. You don’t have to meet some industry standards/norms to validate what you are doing. Just simplify your mixing process.


Great point @chiasticon

This is almost entirely forgotten in the age of DAW home studios.

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I’m nearly the exact opposite. It’s been very rare that I have started a track and not finished it the same day I started it. I’m doing my best to let the tracks simmer before completing them from now on.

I just get in the zone and try to quickly get everything down. At least when I was multitracking in a DAW… With hardware now, especially Elektron, stuff just doesn’t happen in a day. With presets, VSTs, multitracking my synths in a DAW, easily fixing things since it’s not live, I always finished a track in a day.

A lot of good points from everyone here already. For me it comes down to this.

At various points in my life I’ve been happy with:

  1. Making riffs / themes / loops and letting my imagination take care of the rest - listening to the ”finished” song in my head.
  2. Recording a lot of quick jams after 1-2 hours of noodling. A lot of good practice, some good ideas if not many ”complete” songs.
  3. This is a bonus track: Coming up with complex thematic ideas for albums, but awaiting for divine intervention as regards writing the actual music.

Straight out noodling (without even intention to write songs) has never been my thing (that’s why after 20 years if playing the guitar or piano I still frigging suck, ha!) but I can definitely see why so many people enjoy that.

@Unifono took the words out of my mouth though:

Why I think starting from a clean slate is the most fun is that when I deem something to be almost ready (funnily enough I also like to call it 80%), the amount of work is often actually more like 50-50 at that point. I can often come up with enough ideas for a song in 3-4 hours probably. Then it’s back to the drawing board, including jamming out different ideas as to the structure and arrangement of the song. Often quite a few live takes on stuff because I do most things live. Usually I only do preliminary mixing myself and let someone else do the rest.

Right now I want to GET SHIT DONE. I actually took a 3-month leave from work to make music (which sounds more grandiose than it is but I certainly am enjoying every second of it). I think it’s paying off because now the process is a lot less sporadic. With kids and work I can normally spare an hour or two for music every night, which sometimes makes it difficult to get back to the mood or groove of a song embryo from a couple nights before.

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This is another great point. Personally, I’m much more of a songwriter than a musician, let alone a recording engineer or a producer. Since getting more into electronic music in the past two years, I’ve been struggling with the ”producer” aspect of the process. I’ve been so used to having someone else (a friend usually) record and mix the stuff.

I like this idea! It’s sort of a way of automating the job. I think I generally mix as I go, constantly tweaking and adjusting as the tune progresses. I’ve only very recently gotten to the point where I’m trying to finish things. I before that, I’ve only really done a lot of jams and noodles that don’t end up as anything else. Partly due to too much gear trading and partly due to lack of time. I’m starting to approach things more methodically now, and I think it’s helping me focus. Anyway, this isn’t about me. I’d say, if you want to complete some tracks, then you have to put the work in, or have someone else do it for you. There are pros and cons for each path, of course.

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How does that saying go? The last 10% is 90% of the job? Basically we tend to under estimate the amount of work that goes into that last push of finalizing things.


Just out of curiosity, is that an actual number of demos you have? How old is the oldest stuff? Is the older stuff still relevant to you musically?

I mean, 500 demos has to have quite a few good ones, no? Why not dig into your demo vault a little bit, maybe start from the more recent ones and choose ~20 demos you like. Then let your friends (if they’re so inclined) listen to the demos and tell you which ones they liked best (I’ve done that several times and I think it’s awesome, just have to have friends who can be brutally honest if need be). Hell, why not upload those 20 demos on Soundcloud and ask for feedback here.

That is, of course, if you’re actually inteterested in putting together complete songs and maybe even an EP or album.

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I just make the mixing as simple as possible. Some eqing, some compression, and I’m done.

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