I noticed that a lot of artists struggle with the fact that they don’t know at which point their track is really finished and ready to be released. In this article, I’m gonna give you a few tips and tricks about how you know that your track is ready to be released.
Let’s start off with a quote: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure
I’m gonna let this sink in for a while and will get back to you about this at the end of this article.
Tip #1 Don’t be a perfectionist
Most artists are known for being perfectionists, it's a trait that in many aspects is useful for an artist to properly be in control of their career. However, being a perfectionist can have actually become a burden when it comes to deciding when your track is really finished. Perfectionists tend to keep on changing parts of the track over and over again, which can stifle your ability to release music. If you're nitpicking your tracks too much to release them, then you're never going to grow your career in the music industry.
We all know that one person who spends more than two hours mixing a hi-hat. I understand that you want your track to sound good and at a high level but nobody is gonna hear the difference between a well EQ-ed, compressed and limited hi-hat in the overall mix. You have to pay attention to the things that matter and spending so much time to hi-hats, for instance, is not gonna be a game changer for your track.
So… don’t be a perfectionist and accept the fact that your track is never going to be perfect. Spent time on the things that matter and don’t go too much into the details of your track. You, as a producer, have trained ears so you hear more details about music than the consumer does. Your mother, for example, won’t hear the difference between EQ-ed beats but will hear the difference in a melody or rhythm.
Tip #2 Test it
If you ask your family or friends for feedback they probably don’t want to hurt you and your feelings and they won’t give you their honest opinion about your new banger. The crowd will always give you an honest opinion. That’s why my second tip is to test your music in front of a crowd because you can directly see what the effect of the track is.
It's also important to make sure that you play it in the same environment where it’s gonna be played when it’s gonna be released. For example: if you produce tech house music, make sure you test your music in a club where this music normally gets played. If you try to test your track at a bar where everybody wants to hear pop music, the reaction of the crowd isn’t gonna be reliable.
Tip #3 Compare it
This is one of the things that I always did to check if my track was sounding right.
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I made my podcast and pre-recorded radio shows in Ableton Live which gave me the opportunity to check how my tracks would stand out in a mix. I would pick out tracks that I knew were sounding phat in a club or festival (because I played them myself before) and I mixed in my own track in between. If I didn’t hear anything weird like big dips in the frequency spectrum or a big difference in volume than I knew that my track was ready.
Of course, these tips aren’t the only things that you could do to know if your track is ready to be released but at least it’s something to hold on. It’s easy to lose yourself in the process of production and sometimes you forget the important elements of the track because you’re too much into the details.
The Take Away
Let’s get back to the quote from the beginning of this blog: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure
This is a really important quote because it changes the way you think about at releasing your music. Everyone experiences and listens to music differently, so it's impossible to please everyone. The fact that you aren’t the biggest fan of your latest release doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it’s not gonna be your breakthrough release. The consumer is going decide whether they like the track or not, and ultimately that’s the only opinion that is going to matter in the end.
Conclusion: Create music YOU like, create it in the best and creative way possible and release it as soon as you feel like it’s done (and remember to not be a perfectionist)
JoeySuki is a former career DJ and producer who has released collaborations with the likes of Hardwell, Kill The Buzz and Firebeatz. Apart from releasing original tracks on labels such as Spinnin, Revealed, Toolroom, and Defected, JoeySuki has toured all over the world performing in front of fans. After ten years, JoeySuki decided to step back from touring to pursue his passion to be an artist coach.
JoeySuki's approach to creative coaching provides artists the support they need and the objectivity to help them pursue their career goals.