Making the Most of Studio Time: Tips for DJs and Producers
Whether you’re an experienced producer or a DJ just starting to make your own music, productivity and time management in the studio are necessity. With email, text messages, conference calls and in-person meetings, it’s easy to get distracted. We’ve compiled a few ways to focus your energy during studio time and make the most of each session.
Set Your Intentions
Time is money – so before you step foot into the studio, it’s important to get organized. To make the most of your time, it’s best to go into each session with a clear objective. Are you arranging beats today, or is your plan to edit and clean up existing tracks? Predetermine your goals for the day and set out to accomplish them. Also remember that not every session will result in your best work ever. Don’t get frustrated if you have an ‘off’ day – just focus on the bigger picture and note what you can do better next time!
Distractions are EVERYWHERE. But remember, your studio time is precious. The key is find a balance between creative and non-creative time. This means that when you’re in the studio making music, you should only be focused on that. Don’t check email, Facebook, text messages – actually just put your phone where you can’t see it.
By separating your creative time and non-creative tasks, like responding to emails and finding new music, you’ll find staying productive is much easier. There’s a time to be networking and marketing your brand – but studio time should be solely dedicated to your music.
There are some other things you can add to your studio space that are unrelated to music but equally important. For example, if you’re a coffee addict, invest in a coffee maker so you don’t have to waste time running out to grab one. Stop hunger before it happens (a.k.a. hangry) by carrying a snack. Snickers anyone?
Create Your Perfect Setting
Most likely, your studio is a set up in your own living room or bedroom. Or maybe you’ve booked professional studio time. No matter what the situation, you should create a studio space that is comfortable and encourages creativity. A sound-controlled environment is important, but if that’s not possible, make sure it’s at least distraction free. Also remember that what’s perfect to you may not be perfect to everyone. Whether you like it neat and tidy, or you have your stuff spread out all over, the key is to create a space that demands your focus.
If you plan to book time in a professional studio, definitely do your research and read reviews on the space ahead of time. When you call to book the space, be clear about your objectives for the studio time and make sure the tools you need are available.
Stick to the Necessities
A great studio space doesn’t require all the latest equipment and gadgets on the market. Decide which gear and software you NEED and use them to their full potential. Less is more. You’ll be able to focus more of your time on creating music and spend less time fiddling around and giving in to distractions.
This can also be applied to sample packs/libraries of sounds and synths. Find your favorites and keep them easily accessible when you’re in the studio. This will be a valuable time-saving tool.
Don’t Shy Away from Feedback
Studio time can be intense and tiring. Some days you’ll knock it out of the park and other days you might not feel satisfied. It can be easy to shy away from asking for feedback or help. But one of the best things to do in order to grow as an artist is to share your work with others.
Like with any work you’ve ever done, a second set of eyes and ears is never a bad thing. Whether you share your music with DJ or producer friends or even post new mixes online, the feedback you receive can be inspiring. It might help you to solve an issue, find new motivation, or even complete the project altogether. So, ignore your inner-critic and invite someone to take a listen.
Production is not easy, but the rewards are great. The biggest tip is to keep going, keep practicing and never stop being creative. Make as many beats, loops and songs as possible. Everyone’s definition of success is different. Make it a habit to write down your goals daily and stay focused on achieving them.
We want to hear from you! How do you make the most of studio time? Send us all of your productivity hacks and time management tips.