How can we speed up our production and be more efficient with what we do? This is an ongoing question which pops up in pretty much every community I have been a part of, sharing virtual space with talented people who write, produce and pitch music for film and TV. If you write music for sync and licensing you probably know time is very limited and the time you have to submit music to a brief is very short. So how can you speed up your work and deliver more music faster and at a higher quality?
Production templates can be super helpful, but they can also work against you if you don't understand what they are actually doing. Going through the process of setting up a template for your needs inside your DAW is very helpful because you need to put some thought into it and understand why you are doing things this way or that way.
I have used DAW templates as an input/Inspiration for myself, but I have never found a template I can adopt "as is' because it doesn't fulfill all of my production needs and how I work (my workflow). And my templates also change over time as I am always aligning to my needs and workflows depending on what the project is.
Presets can also be great but they can also work against you. It's easy to throw a plugin on a channel, grab one of those presets and think you´re good to go. But if you don't understand what those presets are actually doing or why these processes are lined up the way they are, it might work against you in the long run because you are not putting in the time and effort to understand what it is actually doing and it may not be what you need at all.
Every song needs its own treatment in my opinion (it is not one size fits all). And by using a preset which makes your track come out "louder", that may just be loudness perception fooling you and does not necessarily mean the track sounds any better or the best it can.
Ozone is a great tool, I use it myself, but I never rely on only using presets because most of the time it is not delivering the results I want. I create my own Ozone signal chains based on what I need to get the results I want. But definitely spend time studying those presets on to try to understand the linear order of things (the signal path) and the "hows" and "whys" of it.
Collaboration makes more of your time
Bringing in people can add value to your work and your musical output. And that is a good thing. This is not about wanting to be able to do everything (but understanding it is a good thing). It should be about being better at what you do best, making the most out of your (limited) time and finding people who can take you where you need to go.
Added value yo your work - That can be someone who can add some production value to your music such as producing, mixing and/or mastering (if you are working on an EP or Album), a singer, songwriter or someone who has something to offer you do not have and vice versa.
Productivity - If bringing someone in and making part of your team results in 3 or 4 additional "radio-ready" songs a month, wouldn't that be a great thing to achieve? You are adding more songs to your library, you have more songs to pitch.
Expand your network - By collaborating you are tapping into your collaborator´s network and connections. This can be very valuable to you and your collaboration. It is not just you pitching and reaching out to music libraries and music supervisors.
Collaboration is also fun and a great way to learn new things and get fresh ideas! It is also worth mentionining, not all collaborations you initate will work out and that is just OK! It is, like many things in life, trial and error and there is really just one way to find out.