5 Ways to Improve Your Production Workflow

Developing a solid production workflow is essential when it comes to writing an EP or album. Without organization and clarity it's easy for thing to fall apart, turning the whole creative process sour, and no one wants that. The truth is, making music requires logistic planning in order to stay on target. Booking studio time, scheduling musicians and reviewing master recordings should be a smooth process. That's why we've put together five tried-and-true tips that will improve your production workflow, keeping your project on track and inline. 


1. Keep Organized

Use a Google sheet to share ideas with everyone involved in the project. Get it started early so you can gather references, lyrics, production ideas, and all the musical details so there are no big question marks before you hit the studio.

Use this template to get you started for your next project—notice the different lanes for everybody involved in the project to have a voice!


2. Talk Compensation First

Is it supposed to be a collab? Are you going to be charging a production fee? Clarify the arrangement up front.

If you’re working with an artist, and have to get musicians or other producers involved to make the album happen—build a tentative budget at the beginning and make sure everybody is clear on how much they’re going to be paid and what kind of work they’re getting themselves in to.


3. Open Lines of Communication

Whether you’re working with an artist directly, a full band, managers or even a label, create an open line of communication with everyone that’s dedicated to the project. It can be as simple as starting a group chat on Facebook or an email thread. The goal is to make sure everyone is one the same page and that the people involved can voice their opinions on how the EP or album should be developed and if any workflow changes need to be made.

Pro tip: sneak in some cute emojis now and then to keep the vibes up (^‿^)

4. Know The Songs

I mean really know them. If you’re producing some already demo’d songs, or have lyrics that you’re working backwards from, know them inside out. Not every producer has a deep knowledge of music theory, so take the time to chart out the songs, even if it just means pre-mapping a session with markers for arrangements with a lane dedicated to the chord changes. Knowledge is power here. If you know where the song is going, you’ll be able to make great suggestions faster, and be ahead of the game.

When I’m producing, It’s a personal goal to know the song as well as the artist—you need the depth and understanding to know what they’re going for.

Check this cool tool out that can help you identify chords!


5. Set some goals

Every project has some unwritten goals. Sometimes it’s a number of upbeat singles or a number of ballads. Maybe it’s an overarching storyline that will be tied together through the pacing of the tracks. Whatever they are—write them down!!

Keep them in mind and know what you’re shooting for. Of course, things can change and you should be ready to adapt but don’t forget the few dream goals you had at the beginning of the project. Make them clear and obtainable and you’ll knock it out the park.

If you're currently working on an album or EP we hope these production workflow tips serve you well. And if you're ready to start a new project, try using some of our free samples as a starting point.  

Connor Seidel

Connor is a music producer with a passion for the seamless integration of digital and analog sound. Co-founder at Outro.
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