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Who Here Has a "Finishing Stuff" Problem?

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  • Who Here Has a "Finishing Stuff" Problem?

    Yes, EB, I'm talking to you - but I suspect a lot of other people as well.

    I used to have a serious finishing stuff problem but Mark L kind of cured me of that. He put out great songs with marginal recording quality and I realized that 95% of what I cared about was a great song, and 5% about the recording quality.

    It took me four years to do "Neo-" and took me 9 months to do "Simplicity" so I'm getting better. For my next project "Joie de Vivre," it's going to take a while because of all the interruptions in my life, but still, I'm polishing off a song once I start it in about week from first track laid down to mastered...not bad.

    How are y'all about finishing stuff? Do you really get super-perfectionist? Do you say to heck with it, get stuff out, and move on? And if you recognize yourself as having a finishing problem, have you taken any steps to remedy it?

    Inquiring minds want to know.....
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  • #2
    I have a terrible "Finishing Stuff" problem. So bad that I have no idea at all of how many things I have musically that are unfinished. A lot of it is where I'll get far enough along with a tune to record what I have of it....and then simply never go back to it. I've written lyrics with the idea of putting music to them, and never do. I've skeletons of pieces I never could figure out how to finish them up. Pieces of songs that I recorded poorly, meaning to go back and re-record them, and by the time I get that "Oh yeah!" moment and dust the mothballs off them, I'd forgotten how to play them.

    I'm completely disorganized when it comes to my own musical efforts. I can go right to a cd or album or cassette right away, find a tool immediately, pull out a file with tax or financial records...The rest of my life is completely organized. But my musical efforts? Fugetaboutit...It's a mess...Reels and reels of tape, 4 track cassettes, digital files, lyric books, scattered all over creation.

    When I die perhaps my kid will go through all the tapes and files....Find thirty or so complete songs, and 5-600 pieces of stuff.
    Last edited by AlamoJoe; 12-10-2017, 12:22 AM.
    http://thebasement.createaforum.com/

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    • #3
      When I write a song I tend to have a 'picture' in my head as to how it will sound when finished. This is a great help when it comes to recording, as all I have to do is simply colour in a line-drawing, as it were

      I tend not to have loads of half-formed lyrics, melodies or riffs floating around, either. If I have an idea for a song I generally jump on that idea and write a complete song there and then

      Black Market Daydreams was written very quickly

      It took me about four months to record my latest album Smoke. I did it after work and at weekends, whenever I had some spare time

      In conclusion, finishing stuff has never been a problem for me. I'm lucky, I suppose. I know when a song is done. I try not to add too much tinsel to the tree. Perfection is an illusion. I'm rambling...
      works | smoke | forum

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      • #4
        My articles are never finished, but at some point I decide I can send them on their way to making me famous, and I do (and they don't).
        --
        "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
        Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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        • #5
          No finishing problem here as far as mindset goes. The issue is primarily finding time to do things, but I still manage to get finish tracking/mixing music, going out to photograph at night, processing the photos, and getting them finished and viewable. But it's a giant struggle, managing time between that and work and other responsibilities.
          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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          • #6
            If I had a dime... :-/.

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            • #7
              Occipital neuralgia. I have a headache to 1 degree or another every day. Somewhere between rather slowed down and totally derailed is where you will often find me. Prior to the injury that caused it I think I was about normal. I did deadlines well, I think.

              There's a bar whatever it is has to reach. Ideas and parts come together quickly, it's everything else that takes time.

              For descriptive purposes, I owe a nod to Satch, Vai, Prince and some other great guitar players. (I'm sure I flatter myself.) Just to say that it's a lot about the execution.

              If it isn't right, it's wrong.

              I have a lot of songs that just need me to finish the lead violin and I'm not writing much at all currently, but am doing what I can to finish those songs.

              I suppose it would help if there was a reason beyond fighting the 800 lb. gorilla and adding more home recorded music to the pile out there, only to get some pats on the back and micro mind the pennies, if that.

              It just doesn't seem like there's any reason to be in any hurry these days though. My perspective, admittedly, is somewhat askew.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
                No finishing problem here as far as mindset goes. The issue is primarily finding time to do things, but I still manage to get finish tracking/mixing music, going out to photograph at night, processing the photos, and getting them finished and viewable. But it's a giant struggle, managing time between that and work and other responsibilities.
                I have the exact problem.
                Time is the most expensive asset I can barely afford.

                If you stand for nothing your life becomes meaningless. The world and everything you have today exist because people before you stood up, worked hard and died to provide us all the opportunity. Get involved!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                  Do you say to heck with it, get stuff out, and move on?
                  As a minimalist, the less the better.

                  I also have to confess, given what the masses are listening to, I try not to go nuts about quality of sound.

                  As soon as I can feel it, either when I get happy or emotional, that's it. It's done.

                  There are hundreds of songs with questionable quality that I really enjoy and those missing components simply appear natural.

                  However, I do not sacrifice the process.
                  Last edited by audioicon; 12-10-2017, 07:50 PM.
                  If you stand for nothing your life becomes meaningless. The world and everything you have today exist because people before you stood up, worked hard and died to provide us all the opportunity. Get involved!

                  Audio Icon

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                  • #10
                    I have a guitar preamp on my work bench that I started to build about 5 years ago. It's right next to the battery charger I started to build a year or so ago Other things just keep coming up.
                    My Web Site - Tunes - Pictures - Guitar Projects - Native American Style Flute Projects - Hard Rock Cafe Guitar Pins
                    My Eclectic YouTube Channel

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                    • #11
                      I've felt I had trouble wrapping up projects in the past - It took me 4 or 5 years to finish my last album. But that was intertwined with working full time, quite a bit of touring & gigs, and a new marriage.

                      At least those are the excuses I used. Truth be told, I often needed to let it sit for a while to regain objectivity. It was all-original tunes, where I was playing all the instruments and doing all the singing, tracking, editing, mixing and mastering, so I'd often take breaks and ponder whether it was "too much Philbo".

                      Since I've quit the touring thing a while, and am retiring this month, it should get better soon.

                      I did go overboard on my most recent song... I realized I was leaving a lot of potential of Reaper untapped in my prior efforts, so I did this song with a 'one template to rule them' approach.

                      First I found some old sysex files for my Alesis QSR that have some killer drum and piano sounds, so I sorted how to load those with Reaper, how to record and edit and mix drum and piano midi using external synths (surprisingly, much harder than using VSTi's), how to overcome some serious midi latency issues by scripting batch files to run MidiOx hubs between each midi port and Reaper, added a track inspector, added LUFS and K-14 metering to the monitoring path, added track groups that submix each instrument and vocal group into stems, went to a 3 display monitor setup, figured how to run the DAW remotely using a web page opened on my cell phone, integrated an old Radium keyboard someone gave me as a dedicated DAW controller, and just today sorted out how to use plugin parameter modulation to duck the lead guitar whenever the lead vocal was going. And, of course, recorded all the bits...

                      This song one is about done, except some final touches on the mix. And the template for it has evolved sufficiently to use it as a basis for future work. This has all gotten done in the last couple of months. So, I think it a fair bit of progress.
                      Last edited by philboking; 12-11-2017, 01:28 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I used to think I had a "finishing stuff" problem but it was more of a "fear of criticism" problem and to a lesser extent "not knowing when to let a tune rest" problem.

                        Nowadays when I I have a song that I know what it's going to be like, I usually have it recorded and mastered within a week or two.

                        But I have also learned when I need to take a break in the creative process when I'm writing tunes. Some tunes just take longer to find their way out of my head and I now realize I need to let it rest. Last month I finished a tune I started 11 years ago and I have many old tunes not finished on my harddrive.

                        It's fun to go through the folder with unfinished work once in a while. It may either trigger an idea to continue the tune or give me an idea for an entirely new tune.

                        Cheers,

                        Mats N
                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                        BT King - all my backing tracks can be found at :
                        http://nermark.articulateimages.com

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                        • #13
                          I`m not participating in this! I`m too busy in the studio finishing my record.

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                          • #14
                            Yuuuuge problem finishing songs most of the time. I don't think I ever finish anything within the same week and a few songs have stretched out over several years. Most of my stuff is instrumental, so it shouldn't be that hard!

                            Perhaps the most common way that I finish some difficult pieces is to put together two or more unrelated ideas, ending up with a song structure somewhat along the lines of, for example, Starship Trooper (Yes), in which Jon Anderson's Life Seeker, Chris Squire's Disillusion and Steve Howe's Würm flow together to make one coherent composition.

                            One of my songs, Road to Paradise, started out as a perc. organ keyboard noodle that became the intro and verse, but then I didn't have a good way to connect to the next verse. Enter a funky guitar riff that I had quickly recorded and forgotten about sometime before. Although the song is definitely not funky, it worked! Then came several short sections that were all mostly ad-libbed independently, until I finally came up with a way to lead back into the verse. I literally did not know how or when the piece would end until I got to that point.

                            This process seems to work for me, but it's terribly slow. Everything I am working on right now was put together in a similar fashion, and I still have lots of unfinished bits and pieces lying around, waiting to find their places.
                            ---
                            Jim
                            Keys: Roland Jupiter-50, JX-8P; Alesis QS8.1; Korg DW-8000, Mini-Korg (original); Moog ConcertMate; Farfisa Compact Deluxe. And other assorted stuff.

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                            • #15
                              Not me! I can finish just about anything any time I wa....
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                              - George Carlin

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                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

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