For most of us, the production process begins in the Session view. Even in the remix/stems context that I was talking about yesterday, a good chunk of my work – creating new MIDI parts and editing audio loops – is going to happen in the Session view. So, it may seem like I’m stating the obvious…but  the operative part of today’s tip is the word START – let me explain.

Arrangement view is where tracks are finished. It’s where you finalize your arrangement and mixdown and actually export the track so you can share an mp3 or CD with the world. The question is: when do you switch over your process from the Session to Arrangement view? The answer is: as soon as possible. 

In other words, my advice to you is that as soon as you have the basic ideas that could become a track, lay out an arrangement and take it from there. Yesterday, I spent two hours working on a remix (not the one i discussed the stems for). After 30 Minutes, my Set looked like this:


90 minutes later, it looked like this:


Yeah, I’ve had some practice at this and work pretty fast – but that’s not the point. Once you’ve laid out an idea in the Arrangement view, you can very quickly see the strengths or weaknesses in your idea as it moves through time. Do you need more layers? Variations? A whole new section? Making an arrangement will tell you this.

I’m sure there are folks who will disagree with me on this approach, but one thing I can say for sure: it works. If you’re having a hard time getting your tracks finished, give it a whirl.

I’ll also point out that at this point in the creative process, I am not done working in the Session view – not by a long shot. More on this tomorrow.