The 4 stages of music making :

1 - This sounds unexpectedly nice.
2 - This is dope, I love it, everyone will love it, let’s record a 1 hour long track, it’s sheer awesomeness and I feel happy like I never did, I can’t stop headbanging oh wow.
3 - This is shit. I am shit. Everything is shit.
4 - This could be nice, but it’s too much effort to fix, let’s make a new track instead.

@ice How do I pin this to my profile. You're inside my head.

@SkinnyFeels Haha, sorry to be this accurate, I wish I wasn't :)

@ice that's an improvement over when I try.

1. This is shit.
2. This is shit.
3. this is shit
4. I give up.

@zens Yeah, but since the result is the same, your method is probably more energy-efficient.

@ice a cold rock is pretty energy efficient. just sits there. bein' a rock. waitin' for the heat death of the universe.

@zens Haha, that’s weird, I was thinking precisely about being a rock earlier this morning. Yeah, that’s my kind of efficiency too I guess. Perfection.

@anna328p Welcome to the endless Sisyphean curse of people who feel the strange need to create things :)

@ice make sure to give your ears a break after about 2 hours (or less) of critical listening. Ear fatigue is a thing.

@paul That’s great advice, thanks, I tend to totally forget about this. I gave another listen to my piece from yesterday and it now sounds quite salvageable, so for once it might lead to something :)

@ice yay! I run into that kind of creative burnout all the time. Sometimes all you can do is rely on techniques you knew worked in the past and hope for the best.

Mixing quieter is also something that helps reduce ear fatigue. Some professional mix engineers are known to mix super quietly. The "DIM" switch found on many consoles is a really valuable tool for this kind of mixing because you can consistently switch between quiet and loud to check the balance.

@paul Interesting, I didn't know this. I naturally tend to switch between headphones and speakers quite often and change volume as well, but the super quiet option is something I clearly have to try.

@ice Chris Lord-Alge is the mix engineer that does the quiet monitoring I think, if you want to learn more about it.

@dokoissho That's great, it's more efficient time management :)

@dokoissho Pretty much anything that requires creative work, probably.


I wonder if something like FAWM or 50/90 can break this cycle. FAWM is February Album Writing Month, 14 songs in 28 days. 50/90 is 50 songs in 90 days starting on July 4th, and a little faster pace.

I wonder if it is possible to skip step 3 (maybe even step 2).

If you make more songs instead of focusing on one for so long, when you return to them how many would sound unexpectedly nice?

It doesn't take many unexpectedly nice tracks to get an unexpectedly nice EP, after all.


Personally, I believe the 60:30:10 rule. 60% of the stuff I make is mediocre, neither bad nor good. 30% is actively awful. And that last 10% is pure gold.

The only way for me to make more awesome music is to make more music total.

More than that, if I can stop wasting so much time on trying to polish the shit tracks, I can spend more time on the ones I actually enjoy.

I also acknowledge I can't tell good from bad until I step away and compare it with other songs, too.

@yam655 Yeah, it sounds accurate. In my case, I have a hard time finishing tracks unless I have a deadline. At some point I had fun making long ambient tracks and didn't bother NOT releasing them, and all in all while not everything was good, it was whole. Now I think I'm getting more technical and critical towards myself, and even if I have fun, making a decent EP feels like a lot more work than before.

@yam655 Probably! In November 2019, I did Novembeat, one short track a day for the month, it was quite interesting. I also made generative loops every day in 2017. You definitely learn a lot in the process. On the other hand, it may be harder to get back to a song once you've gone through the whole thing.

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