How do you know when your project is finished? When is it ready to share?
If you’re anything like me, starting a new project is easy. You have an awesome new song you want to record so you get to work recording and mixing all your tracks…
Knowing when it’s done however is a completely different story!
Here’s 5 tips to help you get your Garageband projects finished!
Export, Export, Export
It’s a good idea to export your project to a .mp3 or .AIFF file at least a couple of times while you’re working on your project .Listening to your work in progress on your phone, in your car or through your home stereo system will give you an idea of how it sounds in the ‘real world’.
It’s a good idea to keep multiple versions of your project, allowing you to ‘revisit’ older versions.
Hearing how your current version compares, you may rediscover the direction the song was originally going in or if that acid-jazz flute solo actually improves the outro..
Set A Deadline
There’s nothing more motivating that knowing you need to have something finished by a particular day!
Tell a friend, your wife or your fans that you’ll have the project you’re working on finished by a week next Tuesday! You’ll be amazed how much more focussed you’ll be on getting it ready on time.
Don’t Be A Perfectionist
Look, i’m not saying that you should settle for poorer results than you know you’re capable of – it’s always good to aim for perfection!
If your idea of perfection is too high, however, you’ll be doomed to spend the rest of your days endlessly re-recording your verse’s rhythm guitar part, fine tuning the reverb settings for your lead vocal or agonizing over the panning of that epic jazz flute solo..
Small imperfections and mistakes are not only ok, they can help make your music seem authentic and personable.
It’s easy to get lost in the huge number of features, track types, plug ins etc available to you in Garageband.
Fiddling with different effects and production options are probably my biggest mixing vices and the reason why I have a large number of unfinished projects gathering digital dust in my Garageband projects folder!
Why not try limiting yourself to only using a set number of tracks? Or only allow yourself to use Garageband’s stock plug ins?
By narrowing your options you’ll start your projects more quickly, and finish them faster too!
Learn To Let Go
I’m a hoarder of unfinished song ideas and projects.
As I write this there are currently 178 projects in my Mac’s Garageband project folder. Around 18 of them being fully complete songs..
Having too many ideas knocking around your Hard Drive can get in the way of finishing a project. In fact, knowing when to delete old ideas is a great way to improve focus on what you’re currently working on.
Getting rid of old ideas can be a bit scary at first, but personally I found it rather rewarding. Clear out your old project files and you’ll be surprised how much more focussed you’ll be on finishing what’s left!
Did I miss anything? Any tips you regularly use to make sure you finish your projects? Share in the comments below, or join the conversation over on Facebook