How Long Does It Take To Produce A Song?

Music production can be a time consuming job,

it involves a lot of delicate handling for different elements and a good ear to

accompany this handling of detail.

On average, it takes 4-5 days to fully produce a song.

An instrumental can be finished in average of 5-6 hours which can allow the

following days to be utilized for the recording of the session,

mixing of the vocals and mastering the song.

These numbers are based on averages collected from different producers of

different genres,

therefore they should indicate a not-overly biased fair estimation,

other factors may come into play here and it is vital that you understand this from the get go.

Music Production elements.

The music production process can be summed in four processes which are: composing, recording, mixing and mastering.

it’s with these four processes that a song is created and I’ll break down on

average how long it would take to compose, record, mix and master.

Composing

In the composing stage, idea generation is what it’s all about.

The artist and the producer(s) sometimes even instrumentalists will have to

sit down and create an idea from scratch and make an instrumental to move

with that idea.

This process maybe simple in other cases and maybe much more involving in other situations.

For example,

an artist could have a simple idea and be of the preference that no other real

instruments be played by instrument players or musicians.

in this case,

all that may be needed to be done is basically use a DIGITAL Audio

Workstation and come up with an instrumental utilizing only virtual

instruments provided by software.

This situation will require a lot less time and on average may take the

producer about 4-5 hours to come up with a good sounding instrumental

that the artist can record over.

In much heavier sessions, instrument players, musicians may be called in to

assist the artist in question with the creation of their song.

This may take a greater amount of time compared to the previous scenario I just gave.

Involving session players may take up to 10 hours, days and even weeks.

This is because alot of moving parts have to be considered, like the schedule

of the musicians, complexity of the idea, the work rate, the instrument

recording rate and other small factors that may get in the way.

Therefore the amount of time it may take to have a fully developed song idea

with the instrumental to go with may very well vary.

Recording

The recording process is another aspect in the music creation process.

A recording session may take 3 hours on average and in other situations it

may take up to a few days and this depends on the complexity of the song

being recorded.

Songs with more than one person recording may take up a larger amount of

time than a song that is only being composed with one person’s vocals.

Mixing

The mixing process involves the leveling out, cleaning, and arranging of the

elements to a song.

Processes like Equalization, noise reduction, filtering, processing, gain staging

etc will typically be carried out in this process.

Depending on the complexity of the song this may process may take a few

hours probably 6-7.

But most producers usually mix as much as they can for the very first day

they set to do so, and then revisit the same mix the next day.

This is done to ensure that the producer approach the mix with fresh ears

after the initial mixing stage.

Therefore mixing may take a day or 2, or even 3 if the producer is meticulous

about the project.

Sometimes the complexity of the project will induce the producer to go back

and forth with the mixing just to have a good idea what to look for.

Mastering

Mastering is the final process in the music production process.

It is during this process that further processing is done to the final mix down of the song.

The mastering engineer will take a lot of time listening and reviewing the final

mix down, to figure out what needs fixing and what needs improving.

The mastering engineer at times will not have access to the full session files

and will only be given a wave mix down which may prove to be other easier

to work with or harder to work with.

This process may go on for a couple of days on average,

because the mastering engineer will have to play the final master on a variety

of playback systems to ensure that the song is mastered and ready for mass

consumption.

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