The Music Process: Actually Producing Music by Fighting Perfectionism

It is easy to be a perfectionist, for me. I like things to be just right and as near perfect as I can get them. This extends well into music and my production of it (or lack thereof). But it doesn’t have to be this way.

For example, my last album I made in a weekend. One weekend! Can you believe it – I sure couldn’t. But if I look back on what I did, I find that I had a near-perfect combination of ingredients for it.

  1. I had already perfected my effects and automation in my mixing. I’d spent tons of hours on learning what effects worked best for, say, synths, for example, and I had those saved as channel presets (FL Studio lingo) so I could easily bring them in.
  2. I had already perfected my mixing and mastering. I had presets saved for those that I knew worked and all I had to do was manage the levels of instruments in order to completely mix and master a song in no-time.
  3. I already had an album name, theme, and song titles made. This gave me the framework to put my completed music into.
  4. I made simple songs and quickly recorded them without many revisions. I usually would revise a song nearly a hundred times before I was satisfied with it. In this case, I did maybe three revisions and then said to myself that it was good enough to release.

So it is a matter of having items ready and letting go of perfectionism. My basic guidelines would then be these:

  • No more than ten revisions of a song before releasing it.
  • Layout a framework of album and song titles ahead of time.
  • Use my already perfected systems for instruments, effects, mixing, and mastering in order to lay down tracks in short order.

Perfectionism can and will kill all of your creativity, so let it go and let things be – your music will thank you for it.