Make Music Faster with Workflow Systems | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (1h 5m)
    • 1. Introduction Workflow Systems

    • 2. Productive Studio

    • 3. Quick Access System

    • 4. Group & Track System

    • 5. Visual Guide System

    • 6. Articulation System

    • 7. CC Automation System

    • 8. Mockup System

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About This Class

I am a huge believer in creating your own custom systems in the way you work with your music, in order to create a much faster flow and speed in music composition and production.

You are now going to learn all my top ways and inside secrets on how I have set up and implemented these workflow techniques in my music creation process, so that you can become much more efficient when you make music. Are you ready to master the power of workflow systems in music creation? Let's begin!

  • Productive Studio
  • Quick Access System
  • Group & Track System
  • Visual Guide System
  • Articulation System
  • CC Automation System
  • Mockup System

Meet Your Teacher

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Mikael Baggström

Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer


Hey Friends and Creative People!

My name is Mike, and I am a Music Composer, Sound Designer and Artist. I Share my Story, Journey, Experience and Knowledge, to Inspire and Empower Creative People like you. =)


I believe that learning should be fun. I love to bring my personality into my teaching style. I also try to make my courses dynamic, to be more interesting to you. =)

You are more than welcome to visit my website to learn more about who I am.

Friendly regards,
Mike from Sweden
Founder of

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1. Introduction Workflow Systems: I am a huge believer in creating your own custom systems in the way you personally work with your music in order to create a much faster flow and speed in music composition and production. You are now going to learn all my top ways and inside secrets on how I personally set up and implemented these workflow techniques in my music creation process so that you can become much more efficient when you make music. Are you ready to master the power of workforce system in music creation? Then let's begin right now. 2. Productive Studio: Productive studio. So how you set up your own music studio can make a huge difference, both for your overall workflow but also for your creative mindset. So first, productive efficiency for your studio. You should make sure that you have all the foundations and tools you need for making music in your studio. But also to have everything easily accessible in terms of being in reach and at an efficient and ergonomic level. For example, for your midi keyboard, your drum pads, and whatever tools you have for making music. Basically, you want to make sure that you have all the gear and tools you need to make music efficiently. And also to have everything easily accessible and available to you at any moment, such as this microphone, your guitar, or whatever instruments and tools you use to create an ambience for your studio. This is actually sadly overlooked by many music composers, but I personally strongly recommend that you take the time to create your own vibe in your studio. Something that inspires your creative mind. This can be ambient mood lighting, inspiring movie posters on the walls, professional acoustic panels to make you're still, you feel more like a music studio. And so, so here is the front view of my studio setup. So let me slide in with my chair. And the first recommendation I have, which you can see right here, this is my desk care is to have your keyboard and mouse at perfect position because those are the tools you will use the most even more than your midi keyboard or midi keyboards. So make sure those are at an ergonomic and efficient height. And so you can reach them easily as you will use the key commands and stuff and the mouse a lot. The next recommendation is to have your main midi keyboard at a good height and width in good reach. Some people who only have a keyboard right here. This is actually harder to play because you have to reach over your keyboard. I recommend having it on a stand like I do here or, or a shelf below your desk, because that way it will also be at piano height, which is the perfect, ergonomic and efficient height to play your keyboard. So your midi keyboard, I recommend having it on a shelf, the law, so you can have the main computer keyboard and mouse at the perfect desk position. So here I actually can slide this out. And you can also see all my faders and knobs here when I don't need them. This is another good reason to just put it in like that or as I usually have it if you've watched from above. So I can have the it always available all the keys. So I can still play now, but it doesn't. I don't have to slide my chair long way back. So that is my second main tip here, your midi keyboard at piano height. I even go, gone further here because I have another keyboard for efficiency cause these or piano weighted keys which are way better too, Record parts with a lot of dynamic range, such as strings, piano, and so on. While I have this seems action or like Keys, keyboard here for recording ostinatos, rhythms, percussion, and stuff like that. The next tip is to have your short cut tools at resting position, meaning, so you can see here I actually have a device called the stream deck here, which I have programmed buttons or actual key board shortcuts or key commands in Logic Pro, which I use as my DAW. So I can just have my hand position at resting position here while I compose here on the computer screen and have it immediately available. The most used shortcuts. If you have a computer mouse, I recommend programming extra baton. Some have these extra programmable buttons on them, like gaming mouse. Buttons that you can program your most used torque as for example, undo or record or something like that. The next main tip I have is to have all your expression controllers nearby. So what is expression controllers? Well, the main thing is your faders. So you can have your faders and knobs on your main midi keyboard. Some people prefer to have it as an external books. I don't have that yet, but I will get it eventually. So having that within reach perfect reads so I can just have my hand addressing position then go out like this. And program dynamic, cross fades, the dynamic curves expression vibrato, et cetera. I also have another device here which is immediate ring, which I can actually perform vibrato width here. Whatever external expression controllers you have, if you have in an expression pedal, I don't, I only had a sustained pedal right now. But habit immediately available. For example, I have a breath controller here, just hangs here on the hook. I pull it out and then I use it my breath to control, for example, dynamics and so on. The next is to have your microphone and recording setup already connected and hooked up for easy and fast recording anything. So here is where I sit. If I just a move or turn on my chair like this, you can see a microphone. It's actually like it's I mean, if I pull out my arm, you can see I reach my map, the backside or my microphone. That's how calls it is, meaning that when I sit on record in logic or whatever DAW you use, if I want to harm in a musical idea, if I wanted to seeing or make some notes, I just turn my chair here, record directly because this is already hooked up into my audio interface. So everything is connected. And this also goes for if you want to record an instrument and acoustic instrument, having these already hooked up and ready means if you just have the instrument nearby, which is my next tip, in fact, all instruments available for quick recording. So I have mainly right now a lot of fluids. You can see them on my bookshelf here. So this is a collection of Irish whistles, Native American foods. If you have a guitar, I would put it like here, have it connected to your audio interface. You just want to be able to pick up their instrument, turn your chapter the microphone, or if you are connected with an electric guitar right into your audio interface. And just press record on, for example, your midi controller device or your keyboard shortcuts here, stop recording. And once you're finished where the good Take, put it away again. You don't want to be basically if you don't ever want to be going out of your chair, unless you really need to. You want to be able to remain seated and have everything within reach easily and quickly, record stuff, perform any actions in your music composition and production process. Now let me also share some of my personal recommendations for creating creative workspace. So as you can see here, my students is up and this is my first tip. Make sure your desk or entire desk and setup really feels like a music studio. It really makes a big difference. If you have the option, create your space. We're in a room, you're not in the living room. Create an actual room, which is your studio. The next tip I have is make it look and feel like a professional recording studio. And I have, for example, these acoustic professional acoustic panels. Notice cheap stuff, but actual, real acoustic panels. And I have the really good Desk, really good studio, midi keyboard setup, and so on. And also, I like to have that ambience. So I bought, if, if you can see this, let me just turn down the lights here. This is a Philips Hue system in the roof so I can create these colors and make it feel especially at night and in the evening, much more creative and inspiring to work in here. So I mean, whatever you diffuse to add, if you want to add some props, for example, some extra lights, for example, some posters on the wall of your favorite, favorite music bands, whatever. If you have some cool little nerdy things, perhaps you're a fan of Star Wars, put a little Jody statue or whatever here. Whatever makes you feel inspired and motivated when you go into your STD and work, do those adjustments and optimizations. And I promise you it will feel much more. You will get into that efficient flow based on your creative motivation alone. 3. Quick Access System: Quick access system. You always want to have quick and easy access to all your instruments, sounds and preset to you have. This includes instrument plugins, plugin presets, sample libraries, as well as all your samples. How you can organize this depends on what DAW use and what tools you have available. But here are some of the main things I recommend you to do. If you have the option to do so with your tools, organize your plugins in your DAW. So let me show you what I mean. So let's say you have a project, you have an empty midi track, and you want to add an instrument. So you, of course, you go to the channel strip and you click to add a new instrument. But instead of having a chaotic mess, Look what I have done. I have you actually created organize my plugins into folders, for example, here are all my favorite instruments, as you can see here. You can also organize them like Dynamics or compressors and limiters is all distortion effects and so on. And this will of course be different for every DAW. So in logic, you simply go to Preferences and then Plug-in Manager. So you have the search word. This is available in your DAW. But here it's actually where you can create new folders here. Call them, for example, a limiters. And then you simply go to Show all here and search for whatever limiter you have here, awesome vintage limiter there, and click Done. And now there is an option if you go to audio effects. So this is the insert effects. And you actually have limiters. And you can see this folder so you can add all your limiters so that folder. And this will increase your workflow because you will find the tools you need much faster, organize your samples on your computer. So I recommend that you organize all your samples in folders, in categories and subcategories. I did this for demonstration purposes because I personally don't use much samples, but if you do create the folders and name them properly, so you can simply find them super quickly and simply drag and drop them into your project like this. Change the sample rate convert file. And there you have it. That's that sample. If you prefer, if your DAW supports it, you can actually use, as I prefer, for example, importing the samples into your DAW so you can actually access them from here. But if you don't, I still recommend you to organize them in folders and subfolders with the proper category name so you can find quickly they kind of sound you'd need for your music production, organize your presets in your plugins. So there's two ways of organising your presets, first in folders and categories and then with the proper labels names. So let me open up diva, which is a synthesiser. So I just went into the Preset browser here. And here I created actual categories for the different types of sounds are all basis or pads or RPS. These are my own presets and then I also recommend that you name them so you can really hear what they do inside the name. So you have the base category and then start with dirty. So this is a dirty bass sound. This is a low bass sound. Fat, plucky base on, and so on. So that's if you used your own presets, create categories that organized them in categories here for the types of sounds and also name them properly. But you can also use the favorite feature. So for example, here you have these favorite folders here. So let's say you found a good lead sound. Let's say you like that. Well, make sure to save all your favorite presets into some kind of favorite folder so you can access them quickly. If we take another instrument plug-in on this sphere here, if you go into the browser, Let's say you find some cool keyboard sounds. Many pianos, they have a category system here we can actually mark with five stores. So you can always find your five-star presets. So take advantage of whatever the instrument plug-in offers in terms of preset, organization and favorite arising and finding your most used and your favorite presets quickly and easily. Organize your instrument library in your DAW. Now by instrument library, I don't mean the actual internal stock sounds that comes with your DAW, but actually your third party instrument. A library. So as you can see, you have user patches here is because in logic you can actually save any channel strip with, for example, let's say only sphere. And let's say you add, for example, this percussive organic. Let's say this sound here. Okay? Now, you can save that. So plucky dreams. You can add an icon to it if you want to. Let's say you add it like this and even add, let's say a compressor on it. Like so. Whenever the entire channel strip, strip chain. And you can save that as a user patch here. So if you open up the library, go to US or patches. This is in logic. You have to find out if you have this feature available in your DAW and how to use it. But you can simply save it. And then it saves it as you can see it in a subfolder somewhere in a category which you can create yourself. And let's say you save it here in the synthesisers category, pocket rems, save it right there. And now when you go in here you can see it opens up the Scenes folder, pocket dreams. And I've already saved this one which is completely different. Channel strip and an instrument library here. And this way you can super quickly access your favorite instrument. Channel strips including the instrument itself. And if you added any, any insert effects and so on. So if I go to pocket dreams, as you can see now when it loads it actually Lord at both the atmosphere with the instrument as well as this compressor. This canon is, is probably one of my favorite features in logic. But you can take advantage of. And if you have any way to save your instruments and quiet girl stemming folders like I have done, and subfolders like this. So melodic strings, shallows, simply added shallows here, minimalist shallow. It will load that sample library instead of having to open the contact five or whatever. Use the instrument and answered for the library and so on. Find out if you can do this in your DAW and make sure to organize all your instruments as least you favorite instruments, you can access them like this. The instrument library is super quickly. Organize your insert effects chains in your library and your project templates. So let's say you have created all your bus mix channels. So let's say you have a base boss here with all your bass instruments and sounds. Now, what I mean by organizing or insertive exchange, I'm actually meaning for the most part, the mix bus channels. So let's say you have this hair on the bus channel. You might put, let's say compressor. Let's say you put some slight saturation or distortion, let's say base I am here, and so on. And you have your initial settings. Let's say you have a channel IQ EQ on it, and all these settings. Now, let's say you want to be able to access a specific channel strip effects, insert effects chain super quickly, instead of having to add them individually like this, one way is to make sure you have all set up. So all your bass, bass, your boss has a different chain and then save it in your all your project templates, meaning that you have all the insert effects, effects chains on all, it's the least. All the groups channel group, groups in the mixer already set up like this. But another way is if your DAW supported, you can actually save this. So you'd go to the channel strip. Here in logic, you precedent-setting button, and then you can save channel strip setting as like So bus is you can see here as something, name it something and then save it, or go into the library again here, if you have this channel strip psych dead, and then he go to use a channels trip settings Mike's base bus. If I click that, it will load a different compressor and base. In this case, it even Lords the icon here in this case can change that if you want to. But I always only started d, that is recently, but I will actually personally create a lot of different channels, strip settings. So the entire effects chain here for various tasks. So you can quickly pull them up when you need them. For example, he create a new bus here. Let's say creative bus here, create some nice dark which is a Boston logic. And then I want to add another channel strip. Go here, max, mix bus setting. And you see the gain super charger, also an integer and channel ICU there. So Fe, save your favorite insert effects chains for all types of sounds. You base your drum bus and so on. And of course you can do this on individual channels as well if you want to dive really deep, but take advantage of insert effects, change and save them and categorize them, label them properly so you can draw them super quickly and also save them with all your project templates. And honestly, I think it's better to save more because it's much faster to remove the ones you don't need than having to go in and add them one by one on all the tracks you want in certificates on 4. Group & Track System: Group and track system. How you sit up, organize and label your tracks, groups, and folders in your project is extremely important. Because if you do it well, you will have a much more clear visual structure and be able to work faster from the improved clarity and organization. Here are the most important aspects I recommend you to set up regarding group and track structure. Create a system for your folders and mixing groups. Using folders in your sequencer is a great way to keep things cleaner and more organized. So you can see everything clearly like this. A great overview of the composition here. As you can see, I have chosen to have all my percussion in one folder. And for a folder can also be a mixing group in the body. They call it the track stacks, but it's basically a mixing groups. You can use a chain, insert effects chain, and mix the groups independently from the actual individual tracks inside it. And I highly recommend this because it's much more efficient to mix from a top-down perspective, meaning the groups first to make the bigger adjustments and then go and scalp the individual tracks afterwards. So how you actually create and choose what types of instruments you use for regroups is entirely up to you. For example, some people prefer to have the instrument groups per group, like this. So all the strings inside one group or the brass inside one, or the vocals inside one and, and so on. You may choose to, as I've done here, have all your rhythmic tracks. Though, pulses, synthesisers of snow to strings and set, et cetera, in one group like this. I also personally have all my low end instruments like the sub bass, electric bass lines, low strings, low brass, et cetera, in one group, because it makes, it, makes it easier and more efficient to mix the low end if every low-end focus instrument in one group. But my main recommendation here is that you create your own personal system for how you organize all your instruments and sounds in particular groups. And I also recommend that you make them actual mixing groups. So you can actually mix the individual, individual folders as groups. So as you can see, it's much easier to see it like this compared to have, having no, no groups. Because then it will all be a big mess. Like this creative system for your track, icons and naming. Now, what kind of system you use for naming yield facts and using track icons is totally up to you. The most important thing is that you have a way of describing your tracks with the name. And I also recommend that you use a good track, our icons you can immediately visually see before you even read the track name. So as you can see here, I'm using the instrument type. So this is strings here for our fellows here for example, if I'm using only one specific playing styles, I add that in the description, so short, so short notes in this case. And here I even have in parentheses the sample libraries, somatic strings to in short hair. So then I needed to know that this will be the kind of sonnet is solo cello short with the sample library. In this case, I have a low pulse. I don't, I haven't put what type of instrument it is because of course I can see from the track icon it is synthesized IR in this case. And I personally feel that having a dedicated track icon is so much more motivating because here we can see BU might have a subwoofer symbols. I have the symbol here. It makes it much easier to see what type of instrument it is. And from the track naming, I mean, noise escapes into, instead of having, for example, let's say the particular preset name into synthesizer, name, the track, for what purpose and what type of sound it is. Not a random preset name like a dork some, that doesn't mean anything. It should describe what the track, the instrument and playing style really is all about. That way. If you get a bigger product of this, it's super easy to go in and see what type of instrument and what type of sound every single track is focused on. Finally, as a bonus tip, it might make sense to you. I sometimes do this to have the Group icon. So you have the rhythm group here, look like an actual group folders so you can see where all the groups are like this. Then when you watch it from a bird's-eye perspective, the entire composition, you will instantly see which ones are actual instruments and which ones are groups. Create a system for how you color your tracks and radians. So let me show you my personal coloring system. So first, I don't like having the colors on the tracks here. I prefer to have them on the radians, but I have a system for coal ring the regions based on the instrument type in sound type. So all my Effects, I have these bright magenta tone, all my percussion, drums and percussion, or in some type of blue. All my rhythmic tracks, melodic rhythm. Could be guitars, ostinato, strings, etc, or some type of green. Then red is the low end of the basis. And backing ambience atmospheric backgrounds or this purple strings or this bluish purple or brass is in yellow, vocals in orange, and so on. The most important thing here is that you create your personal system for basically labeling the type of sounds and instruments, the ports, the regions here with colors. So all in all, if you put this together, you have the I or the folders and groups. How we label them, how would you set them up? What types of groups you create to organize your projects? The track icons and the naming system, as well as the color system for all your regions based on what types of instruments and sounds use in your composition. All of these will make a huge difference for the clarity and overview of all your projects that you work on. 5. Visual Guide System: Visual guide system. I have always believed that clarity is key in anything you work with for optimal efficiency. And that includes music composition and production. Having visual references and guides that will serve as both your reference during the creative process and also project overview when you come back to a project later, this is incredibly important for optimizing your workflow. And here are the visual guides I recommend you to take advantage of create a global chord track. So some DAWs actually have a real global chord track up here where you can label the course for your chord progressions throughout your composition. In logic, you don't have it in, at least not yet in this version. So I'm using the arrangement track in suspended mode just to label the cooperation. So here we can see B-flat minor to B-flat minor, add 9 back to B flat minor, F minor, F minor add 11, E-flat minor, and so on. And this way you will have a visual guide for your harmonic story line when you record a new parts and go in and edit the individual voices and hormone is inside your project. Create and name your markers. So creating markers for any composition you work on is a great way to keep things organized in sections. And if you compose for picture or media productions, I even like to name or label democracy if I bring them out, you can see I actually instead of margaret one market to and cetera, if you use a pop or popular music production, you can label it verse, intro, and so on. But I am using descriptive marker name. So lush intro, string arrangements and in-focus. You can really hear it here, right? And then here you see the dark mood change. So that's when I actually go from E-flat minor to a augmented to get this dark mood change. Now, next mocker is energy starts building because this is for a trailer. So air rhythms fight back is to final marker here because then we get to more focused rhythmic building intensity. Then there's silence and a bit of voiceover in the backend here until the final logo stinger. Right? So all of these aspects in our goods to create a label your different sections with descriptive markers, right? Product nodes and perhaps even track notes to be specific. So if your DAW supports is I highly recommend that you add project notes for every project you work on. So in logic, you go up here and you can see project nodes here. So this is for the entire composition production here. So why do you do this basically, first to have a bit of a creative guide for yourself when you compose the track. But also if you work on the track and come back back the next day or the next week, you have an essential overview of what you want to have accomplished musically in your production. So as you can see, I have a headline here, trailer track with mainly atmospheric mood and then a couple of bullet points. Overall, dog doomsday feeling because this trailer was basically humanity have died. Only 10 or only 100 people have survived. And it is called and barren land. So I used a minimalistic arrangement with that alone, the vibe, dissonant harmonic shifts to change the emotional direction, especially here and here. And also ending in a more action-oriented, more is coming sensation with his rhythmic fight back sequence here in the end, the cadence. So some notes here, the most important things that describes a project and also you can actually do it on specific tracks. So if I select the piano track here, so what is this track about? Well, not the product. Go to the track. Piano painting sounds with huge reverb for ambient depth. And you can really hear it if I play it now and solo like that. So you don't have to use, I really recommend that you do it for the project. Describe the product with notes, bullet points like this. But if you have a very specific track, you can label it here with a track notes. Or in fact, if you have a specific, specific effects here. So you can actually label your clips, as you can see here. This track is called FX, but you can label the crypts, like I have done here, a subhead in B flat. So you can label the actual regions as well, all to make it so much more clear when you work in your product and also when you come back and work on it later. 6. Articulation System: Articulations system. So if you are working with sample libraries or plugins where you can play the instruments using different articulations and playing styles. You can save a huge amount of time by creating and saving an articulation set-up in your DAW for that instrument. Not every DAW have this feature, but at the time of this recording, I know that logic has its articulation sets Cubase, Expression Maps, studio on, calls it sound variations and cake walk articulation maps. They may have different names, but all do the same thing, which is to give you the ability to change the articulation, meaning the plain style, in a separate area from your midi notes. This way, when you check the piano roll, all the notes will be actual music notes and note key switches. If you don't want to create the articulation sets manually. There are actually people that sell entire collections of them for a vast amounts of sample libraries. So let me demonstrate this in action. So here I have a sample library called cinematic strings to, and I'm using this first violin's patch. A common way to change the playing style in the articulations here is with key switches, as you can see here, C, C, C sharp 0, and so on. This means that it actually uses specific notes in the piano roll, which I have programmed down here to change. And if I play this back and watch what happens here. Tremolo, staccato, marcato, and staccato to marcato. And this is very tedious work because you really have to go in, take a look in the interface, choose the node for the key switch. And you may need to make sure that you switch just before the actual note which you want to have, in this case tremolo. So the way you do this is with articulation switching in your DAW. I will show you how you can do this in logic. But he obeys studio on cake walk and probably more DAWs will implement this going forward. So if I just copy this to this track here and then I just remove every keys which here. Now let me open up the track inspector. And here you can see the articulation set. This is the feature you want to use. And I have actually bought an entire collection of articulation sets already prepared for lots of sample libraries. But you can of course create your own. So if you just go in and try to, let me just edit this, you can see how it is set up. So this is for somatic strings to and as you can see, the articulations here are all recreated and named, long marcato and so on. And then if you go into the switches, you can see it's a note on c minus1 here, d. And it basically maps every keys which note to specific articulation. So that is how you create it. Of course, this is not a video on how you create your own articulation sets. This is about using them in action to improve your workflow. So if I just go in here again, once you have logged in articulation set, you can now choose poured the specific notes. What type of articulations? Let's say you want to have a long articulation there. Let's do the same thing here, a tremolo here. And as you can see, this is so much faster than going in and adding the key switch notes. Let's say we do loans and all those. This one, a tremolo to staccato is here. And finish with a marketer. I think that's the same. So now you have really good and another advantage of this, not only is it faster to program the articulations per note, but you can also, in atleast in logic, you can watch the nodes here set not call her by articulations. You can see the articulation types on the colors here. You can also, if we go back to what's on velocity, you can also select an articulation, say this one here, and take Shift D, and then you select all nodes of the same articulation staccato in this case. So it's actually really straightforward. I recommend that you start recording here the key switch articulation that he will use the most for the party want to add, then go in and change the node. So for example, if we have the horns here, first, you need to choose the articulation set for the sample libraries. So this is a horns, brass for so. And then horns right there. Then you go in and choose what kind of articulation, Let's say, let's start with a crescendo that along. Then staccato. Then let's say sforzando. These ones could be, long's. This one could be a portico to staccato. And then finish with a, let's do it along there. And let's increase dynamics and also the velocity as well. So let's see how they sound. Okay? As you can see, it is so much faster. And also another advantage is when you go in here and have a look, you don't see any other nodes because there are no key switch notes here. So if you, for example, you use the score editor, all the notes will be actual nodes. And if you've watch, for example, several readings at the same time in the piano roll to see the harmonies. You will not be annoyed and frustrated by having lots of nodes that are not really notes in your composition, but actually key switches. So if your DAW supports an articulation switching system like this, make sure to use it to your advantage and also make 7. CC Automation System: Cc, automation system, writing and performing automation on your instrument ports in your composition is so important to add expression, movement, emotion, and variation in your music. Things like Dynamics, vibrato, expression, et cetera, are often controlled with CC automation curves in the automation lane of your DAW. But sadly, there is no single standard for how these cc values or mapped in software instruments and sample libraries. This is why I recommend you to create your own system for how you want to map your CC automation. And make sure that you reassign the SCC values in all your software instruments, saw that they respond the way you want your system to work. Here is my own sees the automated mapping system you can use as a starting point or reference. Dynamic level, CC1, which is the mod wheel vibrato strength. I put that on CCT, flutter tongue S3 for wind instruments. Grow also for wind instruments is CC for then expression, meaning all of the volume, not the dynamics is CC 11. Then I have four faders that I map two special use cases for different special articulations on various instruments, which is CC 16, 17, 18, and 19. So those are Alice signed in most in the midi standard. So you can use the more safely when you map them in your media instruments. Finally, I also highly recommend that if you have CC feeders on, either on your midi keyboard or in a separate fader books that you can program and save the faders values on. I highly recommend you to do so. So you always have the Phaedrus accessible and you know that this fader is CC2650, fader is CC 11, and so on. And that way, when you get back to making your compositions and adding that automation, you know what your faders do, what they sent out. And you have already saved those important CC mappings in your software instruments. That is the great thing about creating your own CC automation system. So step number one, if you have a midi keyboard like I do here with faders on board, that you can program is to choose the CEC value system you want to use. For example, here I have CC1, 234, and then 11 for expression. So Dynamics, vibrato, flutter, growl and expression volume. Then CSE 16, 17, 18, and 19. So I actually pro down this as a preset on my midi keyboard. So those faders always send those specific CC values per fader. If you don't have this on your midi keyboard, I really recommend you to buy a favorite books, external faders that you can program on a controller and have somewhere close to you. So you can actually record all these sees the expression and for your performances. So that is step number 1. Map the faders that you have available either on your midi keyboard or an external controller to this CC automation system, you have chosen step number two is to go into every single plug-in or software instrument you use an IMAP, your own custom CC automation system the way you prefer. So for example, here we have a breast plugin. So I all the map, this meaning now I'm moving my mod wheel, which is CC1, that controls dynamics. And I already prepared this. Cct is actually a vibrato BEP depth here. So if I right-click, you can see cc two is mapped here. So if I increase EC2 here on the horn, and as you can see, these software instrument also includes flutter tongue and grow. So if I increase those flutter time, C3 and growl, CC for and my fifth fader here and CC 11, which is expression, meaning only the volume, not the dynamics. So if I decrease that from the top, and you can actually see it is even called volume here. Now, this is something I've already created. I'm going to show you now how you do these leads depends, of course, on the actual instrument you use. So in this case, I have a trumpet in the same library, infinite breath. Okay, so now from the beginning, dynamics is already mapped in this particular plugin to CC1 mod wheel. If I increase institute, nothing happens. Nothing happens. So you need to map those. So what do you do in most plugins? You can actually just right-click on the fader here, flutter. Let's start with vibrato depth. Right-click. Remove the owner of the map automation. If heat's, if it is already there, something learned midi automation, then I simply touch the fader that I want to map. Meaning, in this case, the second fader on my midi keyboard. And if you remember, that was cctv. So as you can see now here, it is mapped to the second fader. If I right-click, you can see that it's EC2 because that is what I have programmed at a CC value for that fader on my midi keyboard. Then through next flutter, remove, learn. The third fader, which is TC3, Raul remove, learn. And now that is own 64. And the volume here is already on CC 11, as you can see. So now I have all four dynamics. Whoops, dynamics. We brought up water, route and also volume. And some instruments. You may only have the option to control the dynamics and not vibrato because it's baked in. But when you have those available, at least now you have your system for mapping those. And one thing, there's two main advantages of this. One, you will always know immediately what your meditators DUS for the sound and expression. Because you have a system that you created yourself or how you map your CEC value. So you might want to choose another, let's say CC 11 for dynamics as easy one for something else. But once you have your system, stick to it. So the first advantage is clarity for yourself. The second advantage is if you actually save this in your instrument library here or in your project template, every time you start a new track, it is already maps. You can start to add all these oppressive automation immediately because your faders are mapped to the specific expression parameters. So let's just take another instrument because it's not the same in every single case. So it is swam engine, this is a euphonium. And as you can see, I'm moving the mod wheel now CC1, but that is actually mapped vibrato in this plugin. So you need to go in and remap here. So I count right-click in this specific again, sometimes you just need to go into a midi mapping system like here. And you can see we brought a depth is a CC V1. So let's change that to CC T2. You can also learn here CZ to go back and let's see where, where is the dynamics. So as you can see here, we have a lot of different things. You can actually map. Expression here is the dynamics. So let's go on that. Learn. I move the first fader. So now that's mapped to the dynamics. And now you can see you have vibrato rate, flutter time. Okay, so let's map that one. Like so. Yep, C3. And you have growl here. Move CC, the fourth fader, which was a CC for, as you can see it already mapped there. And if you want to add a fader, let's say you remember those special faders, CC 16 tonight. You can use those for some aspects that you don't use as often. So let's say breath noise, you can increase or decrease that with the fader. Or do one of these special articulation change the portmanteau time, this specific instrument has a lot to offer for the expressive capabilities, but I mean, now at least I get expression as you can see the dynamics here on CC1. We brought her on EC2. If I move the second fader and you see it over here, growl, which you see here. And let's say you want to add a mu 2, which is something you put in front of the horn here. Then you can perhaps map the the mute control here. So let's do another just to show here. In some cases you need to go in and map the controllers in a controller view like here, custom edit preset. And here you can see long dynamic CSE 11. Now let's change that to C, C one for four long dynamics. They brought amount to CCT. Let's see what we have more here. You can map, let's say the Porta meant to speed to c, c value. Let's sit. That on S0, S3, and now you remember that S3 was flutter. But flutter tongue is something you do on wind instruments. So you can, if you want to use CSS3 on this, because this is a violin, or you can go with, for example, CC 16, one of the special faders. So once you map that, now if we go and see here, you can see if I move the mod wheel now, that's mapped to the dynamics. And you can see here the second faders EC2 that is now mapped vibrato. You can also, if you want to map the reverbs, microphone positions and so on. The choice is entirely up to you. So advantage number one is your midi keyboard will already always have the same mappings if you save those. So sending out the SCC values you want per fader. You will also know always what ACC value does in your software instruments. So for example, I recorded something here on strings. And if you go and take a look on the automation, you can see it's CC1 modulation wheel, CCT, which is actually the breath control. And that CCT. And you can see these if you go into the midi controllers here, CC1 is modulations Institute as birth control. Okay? So as you can see, I increase the vibrato and then decrease. And now you can hear this in action. And this is amusing cinematic strings. So another advantage, There's so many advantages of actually creating your own CC automation system that is stick to you. And that is now since you have a system, you can copy and paste this to this instrument, which is the horns passion, infinite brass. And now you know that you get both the dynamics and the vibrato. Perhaps you want to go in and increase the overall dynamics of it that you got from copying from the lost tracker. Or perhaps you think that they brought in is a bit overdone for the brass instruments. Selective listening and decrease it, but you still get the performance. We can then take this to the next track here, which is a clarinet. And this is inefficient woodwinds. And let's say, and you get to the dynamic curve and vibrato here as well. So to sum up, create your own CC automation system, set it up the way you want it to. Both on your midi keyboards faders program those and save that. Or if you have an external media fader controller and then go in and set it up for every single software instrument that you can record expression to you, Whether it's only dynamics in some cases, whether it's fluttered and growl, done, vibrato, and so on. And then save those in your templates. And if you're, if you can in an instrument library so that you can immediately start writing. You know what every SCC failure will do in your software instrument. And you can also even copy and paste between tracks because you have a system that you sit up for it. 8. Mockup System: Mock-up system. So many music composers like to sketch out the main ideas for the track before they start the actual composing process. And I personally loved this method as well. For some of you, it might be enough to have one simple piano sketch on one single track. But I would like to teach you a very nice method for creating a mock-up system that can provide all the essential elements of music in only four or five tracks or so. So the way I like to do this is to create a folder AND OR group at the top of the sequencer. Then name it mock-up. Inside this folder. I then create the individual tracks that I will use for the mock, mock up of the music. I recommend that you stick to the essentials of music when you decide which tracks you want to include. And in my opinion, those four essentials in music, or one, drums and percussion to rhythm and drive, three chords and harmony and for melody and theme. Then you simply choose the instrumentation that can represent all these main elements of music in your mock-up system. For example, one, the first track could be drums, then x could be base for the drive and rhythm. The third could be piano for the chords and harmonies. And the fourth could be a solo violin, food, or perhaps your old vocals for the leading melody and main theme. So now let me demonstrate how we using a mock-up system as part of your workflow can greatly increase your speed of composing and producing music. So up here you can see a folder which I call story. You can call it mockup if you want to. And I use this icon to represent a story, then you simply have you all your instruments that you're going to use inside your actual music. This is only for mockup and sketching purposes, meaning that you will mute it when you bounce out, export the final track. So if I open this up, I have chosen to use fiber tracks here in my mock-up folder. One is drums and percussion. Rhythm than base, than harmony and the melody. And also have these color differently. And the first advantage of using the mock-up system is it's so much easier to write music when you just focus on the essential elements of music that percussion and the rhythm, the base, the harmonies and chords and the melody. So you don't want try out different presets, different instruments, just focus on the actual composition part. The next advantage is that you can use this as a visual guide when you compose. So, for example, Watch this harmony folder. When you record, for example, string parts. Or for example, watch the main percussion when you add something rhythmic or actual drum kit in your composition. And another advantage is that you can copy and paste. So for example, let's say you want to take this harmony here and just copy and to the string part here. Perhaps you want to get rid of the lowest notes and just have this upper harmonies. Because you have the main, the essential core progression in this harmony track. And you can do it on a comping piano or guitar or whatever you want. So now let's just listen to how it sounds altogether from only having these five tracks here. So as you can here, you basically get the main musical idea, all represented in only five tracks. You can hear the final piece of music with only this mock-up. So for example, now that you have the Liddy melody, and by the way, another bonus superiors that I really recommend that you add the expressive aspects. Cc automation, even inside your mockup. So another advantage is that you can now copy this. Let's say you want to add is Melody two violins. Well, let's say these strings are violins. Then you can copy it and just move it up an octave, for example, down on octave for a harmony part, let's say, and so on and so forth. So what you use as your mockup tracks is entirely up to you. I mean, I'm using a base drum and an epic kit together here because I'm actually using several tracks. You don't have to. So in the base here I'm using a sub bass, synth, bass and low strings, harmony. You may only want to do, for example, piano or only strings. I'm using both here. Melody, I'm stacking on top, but I'm composing on only five tracks. So even if your entire project ends up being like 70, 80 tracks, you can still hear the main idea for every section of your song in the mockup. Now let me show you this concept of using a mock-up system in an actual finished production. So up here you can see a folder called story. It's muted because this is the actual track. These are the folders with all the tracks inside them. The groups are right, mixing groups and all the tracks. While this only provides the sketch, the overall main elements of music, I didn't even use any drum kit in this. I'm only using rhythm based hormone and melodies for this particular track. This is the mock-up. This is the story, the main storyline. Base, the harmony on strings here. Then comes here the rhythm. And here consider melody. So it's the basic intro here, building some energy. Okay, So that is the mockup. Now, let's just listen to once I actually composed and produce the track, how I use these mockup tracks, because sometimes you want to rerecord something here. Sometimes you can copy and paste and do some adjustments on the piano roll and midi editor and automation. But you still have the visual reference and they copy paste method if you choose to use that. So now when I'm uterus, it's the same with the same musical idea, orchestrated. Or more tracks. Cello, viola, skin, hair by hair on men, men's choir, short strings. And you get some percussion. Now. But as you can hear, it's still the same music idea that you all already heard from the mockup. You really want to create it in such a way that it is a complete piece of music by batch only using 45, perhaps six tracks inside your mockup or story folder. So that's it. Create your own mockup or storage system. A group folder at the top of your sequencer where you write the bare essentials, the main elements of music as your main story line of your music production.