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Finishing old tracks
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Finishing old tracks
Hi All,

Currently going through and finishing off old arrangements which some date back to 2005!

Since getting into Eurorack I have been revisiting and applying new ideas to old tracks that never got finished in DAW's which there are too many to count.

Right now it feels necessary right now in order to move forward or maybe I'm kidding myself? Ideas that were unfinished sketches now sound bigger and more complete.

I guess it's a combination of a wider skill set and time spent away to hear the problems but maybe this is cheating? however if nobody has really heard them properly then does it matter when the start and finish?
The only challenge now is to finish them now rather than 2008!

Curious to see what people think on this topic but maybe you guys start and finish as you go?
I think you should finish or re-produce those tracks as well as some new one, but once they are finished, you never touch them again, you moove forward and do other tracks, it is easy to say I know....
Cheers Miley Cyrus I will and then post them up here for critique waah
Try to finish the old ideas, if you still like them.
Thanks I will and hope you will give me some feedback hihi
i keep a spreadsheet with details of every track i make, where its released etc which includes unfinished tracks that might be good when finished or even are just worth sampling to be used elsewhere
i just finished a bunch of tracks that were started 15 years ago ... all this time waiting for a singer. and i found her cool funny thing is that it doesn't sound dated at all. doesn't that tell you something about the musical environment we live in?
umma gumma
PhineasFreak wrote:
i keep a spreadsheet with details of every track i make, where its released etc which includes unfinished tracks that might be good when finished or even are just worth sampling to be used elsewhere

hey that's a good idea!
Another option is to just bounce out the good parts and use them in new tracks
I say finish anything you want to finish! The other side is of course to be ready to cast aside anything that you don't believe in / aren't hyped about anymore, so it isn't hanging around being another thing you're always thinking about whether you should finish. I am all over the place, sometimes finishing stuff in a couple days, sometimes going back to a ten year old project and finally seeing (or finally just doing) what it needs.
The Grump
Old ideas can be a gold mine of inspiration. New approaches, techniques and tools can often be what an old idea needed to get wings. Other times, the old idea is just a lesson, and that's ok, too. It's ok to recognize that some ideas were just studies, or examples of another concept that didn't work, and you don't have to force into working.

Either way, good luck in your mining, hope you find some gems in the rough.
If you're the only one who knows an unfinished song, then nobody else would be able to know what's old and what's new in it, Om now you know you just have to finish it and nobody will be the wiser
PISS.EXE wrote:
If you're the only one who knows an unfinished song, then nobody else would be able to know what's old and what's new in it, Om now you know you just have to finish it and nobody will be the wiser

that's right! obviously depends on how trendy your track is/used to be ...
scozbor wrote:
Another option is to just bounce out the good parts and use them in new tracks

This is one of things I like about how Ableton is structured. Really easy to mix n' match stuff from existing Sets. I often times record stuff really quick and forget about it. Going thru the MASS of old material can yield some gems. Almost like self-sampling.

It's also fun to go thru the boxes of old floppy disks I have from samplers of yesteryear. 20 year old MPC 3000/60 disks. Buddy of mine got a 3000 LE recently and the first thing I did was load in some old projects of mine (and record the material). Good times.

I'm 100% for going back and revisiting older work. I'm able to look at my own stuff more objectively with the passage of time. And hopefully in that time period I've gain some new knowledge and skills that'll bring a different perspective.
I think you should try to finish them (reinterpret etc.). I am going through this process now. Anyone have any good production techniques for putting some cohesion to tracks made from different eras, machines, etc..

I could bounce all to reel to reel if I had one. I do have a four track cassette but it may take a lot of the fidelity out. All this will be done bounced down to a Zoom R8 so I cant use ITB software..
I recently finished some stuff I started over 30 years ago! I pulled the original 4-track tapes into Ableton and went to work. I was pretty happy with the results for the most part, but frustrated over having all of the original material crammed onto just 4 tracks. I was unable to do some things I would have done otherwise.

The tracks are different than anything I would (or could) do today. They were made with a variety of gear from the 70s & 80s (PAIA, Casio, Sequential Circuits, Yamaha, etc.) that I no longer have. Also, the software I used for the original tracks was really different. Some was Commodore 64-based (Dr. T) and some was on an Atari ST (an early version of Cubase is the one I remember).

I miss some of the features I used back then, but I wouldn't want to return to that work flow.

Consider all them unfinished tracks as doodles, for practicing an acquired skill. i personally do not go back to unfinished projects, only look at what thought process has gone behind the making. but once i saw the amount of unfinished tracks in my bin, all the new ones i usually start with the intention of finishing..
i think its absolutely normal for any aspiring producer to have unfinished music, as we constantly keep on evolving and becoming better with our knowledge base.
Most of the times i am getting some good pieces and bite from old productions into new when my inspiration is on 0 or when i remember that there was a nice piece of music in my old unfinished track. Now i prefer just to collect my own sample library from this unfinished jams or tracks.
I think it was Miles Davis who said once, 'Never finish nothin'' - and he knew something about making music hihi
I don’t finish a lot of old stuff, and I mean I have a lot of half baked things on the hard drive. Sometimes I’ll listen to a bunch of them, some projects don’t even open right anymore, missing plugins, missing data, some stuff is now sounds ridiculously bad but there’s also the odd track here and there that sounds better than I remember and that gives me immediate inspiration to move it forward.
finishing an electronic music production is releasing it. Its no songs you would sing to somebody and a finished arrangement that gets lost on your harddrive is as good as a halfbaked torso of a sketch.

However some of that halfbaked torsos still resonate strongly with me, and sequences that still appeal after many years are usually good sequences.. and them are rare goods, maybe even timless pearls, or just markers of your very own style or bad taste. In any case inspired, otherwise they wouldnt resonate with you. Worse to be released? dont know.

But them should be at least revisited or recycled at one point, they have deserved that by surviving the tape box...

But only them, only the pearls.
Live is too short for restoring yesterdays waste of time.
I recently started digging through old recordings and its amazing howmuch cool shit ive done that i dont even remember doing.

i have a problem finishing tracks, though. Im going to reallydedicate myself
to seeing tracks all the way through
I, too, find it really hard to finish songs.

My stopping point is usually when the main idea has been stated once, then repeated with some added elements. I never know where to take it from there. I often think that there is ONE MORE LAYER or element that will make the project perfect, and if I add that, then I'm done, but then perfectionism makes me never happy with that one element. Hahaha!
don't fall into the perfectionism trap smile
if it sounds good, finish and go further
unfinished material is gold if you play more improvised live-act than a dedicated live-show where you showcase the stuff you released.
maybe it's just a pattern, a beat or an almost finished composition (which can give you time to breathe) or what else you one recorded or wrote down. this is where a nice sampler (or ableton...) is really making points on the flipchart of choosing your live setup.

on the side of putting our work out on a label or by yourself it's also worth it to put stuff you from lets say 1 to 3 years ago. so then you're always in advance with your current work you're doing. and i helps to keep your signature sound developed because you maybe ad a layer to an older song (which you're mixing now or do some post production) with a patch you used two days ago in your new favourite composition. and you maybe put then a detail in this newly made song you like so much in the moment, a detail you recently found in the older one(s) you're finishing.
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