How to complete a musical project with a coherent artistic direction

How to complete a musical project with a coherent artistic direction

Creating music is a fascinating process, but like many of our readers, it's difficult to find your way through all those files and all those relative ideas that have never resulted in a finished project, whether for lack of inspiration or time, or simply because you're lazy or have moved on to something else... And what could be more frustrating than having invested a considerable amount of your time in projects that will never see the light of day? It's the hell of every beatmaker, crumbling under numerous files, projects that are badly organized or too different to be integrated into a coherent whole, too old, not relevant enough.

Let's learn together today some methods and tips for finishing a project, grouping it with other tracks and maintaining a coherent artistic direction. This may be a challenge for many beatmakers, but it's also the sort of thing that makes the difference between those who tend to professionalize and monetize their activities and those who compose for their drawers or hard drives... Let's go through a series of tips to help you achieve these goals and give your musical projects a unified, professional touch.

Plan your project from the start or rework your past work

So, organization and method aren't always the order of the day when you start creating, and in the rush of creativity we always find ourselves repeating the same mistakes and, above all, ending up disorganized with our files. 

Whatever your situation, whether you've got 10TB or you're just starting to mix your first beats, following this guide will help you to see things a little more clearly and give you the keys to solving that age-old problem that prevents you from finishing your projects. No matter how much of a perfectionist you are, we're willing to bet that you've got that lost project, melody or beat idea sitting in the corner of your computer or hard drive.

Let's start by sorting existing productions or creating a sorting structure (folder tree) for your projects:

The Organization

Create a filing system for your project sessions, samples and presets. Use clearly named folders and sub-folders to find your files easily. Take this time, which is by no means wasted, to review and classify what you've done, methodically label projects with labels you'll be able to recognize easily, and group them with your critical listening by genre or aesthetic. 

For example, add a comment to your file name to help you determine whether you should listen to the project again based on your current opinion: WIP = Work in Progress ; AF = Almost Finished ; NR = Need rework ; GI = Good ideas. 

Use genres to describe your influences or aesthetic projects: House; Trap; 1990s

Enter the date or period when it was composed.

So a file name could be in the following format:  [WIP] 2022 Modular Synth Symphony - Retrowave - Old computer stuff

It's a real archive job, but for those who are really overzealous, making an excel file of all your projects would be one of the best investments of time to find your way around and sort your catalog correctly.

Optimize the use of your DAW or STAN as project management software

Software programs we use at Musitechnic such as Ableton Live, Cubase FL Studio or ProTools offer features for organizing your projects. As our students learn from their very first lessons, create groups and colors to differentiate sections of your tracks and keep your creations clearly organized over time.

Define a clear artistic line or justify grouping several influences under a single album

Before you start producing or selecting your productions to create an EP, album or Portfolio, take the time to think about what you want to express with your project and what you want to show. This is where your choices of artistic direction come in, to justify either the eclecticism or the unifying elements of your tracks.

It could be a theme, the use of a preset, an instrument, a period in your life or simply a mood. Whether it's a specific mood, a story or an emotion, having a clear vision will help you stay on track throughout the process of selecting and homogenizing your existing productions.

Determine what's left to do with a list

Divide your project into tasks: like composition, variations you have in mind, arranging, mixing and mastering. Write down all your ideas and keep track of your train of thought. 

For your musical projects that require additional work, consider remixing them or merging them with existing projects that are also being finalized. Sometimes this can give you interesting constraints or inspirations to follow in finalizing your tracks.

Give up the idea of striving for perfection. Sometimes you have to convince yourself that a project is finished, and after investing several hours in it, you're constantly trying to fine-tune it, ending up with a project that's less efficient and too busy. The best is the enemy of the good, less is moreAll these dogmas can surely help you decide to consider some of your projects as finished products, just as they are.

Another tip for changing the way you compose is to start with the end of the piece, or if you've already started a piece, to add an ending directly to it so as to have a framework that forces you to conclude and imposes a direction.

Remember to create smooth transitions

If you're working on an album or EP, think about how each track flows into the next. Smooth transitions reinforce the coherence of the whole project.

Visit Transphonography

Yes... it's a scary word, but it's a simple process of quoting yourself musically from one work to the next, using a sample, a reference, a concept from one song to the next, or from one album to the next, as a sort of reference or wink.

Adopt a methodology that suits you

Having worked with many people in the world of music creation, I have to admit that there's no right or best way of doing things. Everyone has their own rhythm, creative impulses, flashes of inspiration and even creative periods (inspiration sometimes only comes during the night, in very specific situations). 

Here again, there's no magic formula: some people like to impose a strict framework on themselves, with fixed sessions over time. The idea is more to get to know yourself and, above all, not to get disgusted by setting yourself a framework that's too rushed and strict. Simply set yourself the goal of doing something without procrastinating, and force yourself to start, as most studies on the subject suggest.

Edit, remix and refine your creations

We've all experienced this feeling... having our head in the handlebars, listening too much to a production and looping over every aspect, we end up getting bored of it or simply hearing it in a different way, hyper-focusing on a detail and no longer being objective. Also, taking a temporary break from your headphones, earphones or speakers to listen to how the mix will sound in the tank is sometimes a method that will change the way you listen to your project, so you can finalize your mix. Finally, give your ears a rest between work sessions and come back to your tracks 2-3 days later to get a fresh perspective that will allow you to hear details you may have missed.

Ask for external listening

Let people around you or other musicians listen to your tracks to get outside opinions. Feedback can help you identify areas for improvement or give you new avenues to explore.

Think artwork

The visual identity of your project is just as important as the musical content. Collaborate with graphic designers to create covers and visuals that reflect the essence of your music.


Completing a musical project, bringing it together and maintaining a unified artistic direction requires discipline, organization and a clear vision. By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to produce quality tracks that resonate with your audience and accurately reflect your artistic identity. Keep exploring, experimenting and refining your creative process to reach new heights in your beatmaking career.