Unlocking Studio Productivity: MYT's Top 5 Hacks

Nov 01, 2023

Time within the studio is a precious commodity for many up-and-coming music producers who often have to balance their studio commitments with the demands of work, social life, and family. To maximize your productivity, we've distilled our top five hacks to ensure every moment behind the console counts.

Ritualise and Schedule


One of the keys to elevating your productivity in the studio is to establish a ritualised process. This begins with scheduling your studio sessions in advance and striving to stick to this plan as closely as possible.

The breakdown of your sessions into distinct phases, such as creation, arrangement, mixdown/mastering, can provide clarity and efficiency. Additionally, set aside at least one day a week for learning, administrative tasks, and sound design.

At MYT, we're partial to reserving Sundays for sound design activities, but feel free to choose a day that aligns with your schedule.

To take things a step further, consider implementing a ritual at the start of each session. It doesn't need to be time-consuming; even a simple act, like hydrating properly or putting your phone on airplane mode, can signal that it's time to focus and embark on a productive session.

This priming can be instrumental in entering a creative flow state and starting sessions with deliberate practices such as scales or a short mediation can be extremely beneficial. What we are seeking is an activator to tell your brain it is time to enter a productive period of concentration.

Organise and Recycle

Established artists optimise their studio time by meticulously organising their samples, sounds, and digital audio workstation (DAW) environment. The reason? Nothing kills creative flow like scrolling through three hundred kick drum samples.

This is precisely why artists like Sebastian Leger and Rodriguez Jr. advocate using the same kick drum sample across multiple tracks. They understand that this choice allows them to direct their time and energy towards crafting the iconic melodies that make their productions unique.

Recycling sounds and components from successful projects is a crucial hack that can save you countless hours and prevent your projects from spiralling into the into the abyss-like vortex of the unfinished projects graveyard on your hard drive.

If your music leans towards drum-heavy genres like techno and one kick is simply not enough, consider creating a streamlined palette of carefully selected drum samples. Get minimal and strip back those options to reduce overwhelm.

Effective sound library organization can be a game-changer. Maintain a well-organized library of samples and project files, adhering to consistent naming conventions and folder structures. This approach saves you valuable time when searching for specific elements.

Furthermore, declutter your DAW environment by removing unnecessary plugins and organising your favourites. Utilising templates can swiftly kickstart your projects, alleviating the anxiety of facing a blank canvas and providing foundational starting points such as basic drum grooves, favourite instrument selections or curated effects chains.

Build Momentum and Don’t Break the Chain

A danger for many emerging producers is procrastinating or even failing to 'turn up' consistently enough to build the momentum required to consistently finish high-quality music.

In Steven Pressfield's insightful book, 'The War of Art ' he outlines the importance of battling ‘resistance’ (think the nagging inner critic telling you that there is some other meaningless task worthy of your attention or that you are just not in the creative zone).

He recommends the approach of ‘turning pro’ and developing a mindset whereby putting in the work is non-negotiable. His mantra is simply to ‘do the work’ and at MYT we advocate engaging in studio work every day, regardless of the session's brevity. Why? This is about building momentum.

Famously, comedian Jerry Seinfeld set himself the task of writing one joke every day. When he did this, he ticked this action off on his calendar with a big red cross. His commitment was to 'not break the chain' even if it was just one joke.

You can adopt a similar process by putting up a calendar or tracker to record your studio sessions. The trick is to do this immediately upon completing your session. This process creates the psychological boost and instills a sense of success, making it easier to return to the studio with newfound energy


 Be Prepared to Walk Away

Producing music is as much about mindset as it is about honing your skill set. While consistency is undoubtedly a powerful productivity hack, knowing when to step away from a session is equally vital. It's easy to get lost in a project to the point where objectivity vanishes, leading to frustration and a lack of clarity.

Identifying the moment when you've reached this impasse is a critical skill. Once you've recognized it, adopt various self-care strategies to boost productivity and avoid creative blocks. Options range from a walk-in nature to engaging in relaxing activities unrelated to music. Alternatively, harness the power of sleep to help your subconscious forge the creative connections you might be missing, recharging your focus.

Gaining inspiration from various art forms that energise you can also prove fruitful. Visit an art gallery, indulge in a great film, or curate a playlist of innovative music from diverse genres. If these steps don't alleviate the creative block, consider setting the project aside for a week and working on something else before returning with a fresh perspective.

The Power Of Play

In the midst of all the productivity advice, it's crucial not to lose sight of the fact that music production should be an enjoyable endeavour. So, how can you re-energise your studio sessions with a sense of freedom and childlike wonder, especially when it can feel like an arduous task at times?

Dedicate specific time for experimentation and sound design. Consider implementing a "Sound Design Sunday" or a similar designated day where you can delve deep to explore the full potential of your equipment.

This allows you to create unique sounds that define your signature style without the pressure of completing a full track. Craft your own synth patches and drum kits to create a distinctive sonic palette at your fingertips.

Additionally, you can make your workflow more engaging by creating a tactile environment where you can play and interact with your equipment rather than merely programming. Mapping MIDI controllers, using hardware (if it speaks to to you), and engaging in extended audio jam sessions can capture the unique, idiosyncratic elements that arise when you break free from the formulaic quantized grid.

This approach is endorsed by artists like Deetron and Patrice Baumel, who understand the power of "happy accidents" and embracing a beginner's mindset. Rick Rubin expounds on this need for experimentation in his brilliant book ‘The Creative Act’.

Ultimately, creating music should be a unique form of play that calls to our deeper purpose. A form of play that pushes aside conscious thought tapping into our childlike creativity to create a profound experience that is free from self-consciousness or any demand for instant results. Allowing yourself some freedom to just experiment can be a powerful tool that will ultimately reap huge rewards in the long term.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, condensing workflow insights down into just a top five is challenging. However, these are great starting points that can propel your productions forward.

A final note worth mentioning is the often-compulsive sway of new plugins and gear. Remember to learn your gear well before splashing out and consider closely if new gear will help or hinder your production momentum.

Sometimes new gear can come a with steep learning curve and it is worth bearing in mind if the piece will add a sense of 'play' or 'fun' to your setup or merely bring new headaches. Sometimes, simplicity can lead to greater productivity.


Too many talented DJs & Producers can't get signed to the record labels they need to be to break through.

MYT uses in-depth Track Feedback, Live Masterclasses, Personal Coaching and Courses, to support our Community to become full time Electronic Music Artists


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