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How long does it take to create a custom song?


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anywhere between 12-15 hours per song depending on length and difficulty

 

And thats for an experienced author - non stop hours basically. Not trying to discourage you but if you are just starting, pick 1 or 2 to tackle to get the idea.

 

I am an intermediate author and it takes me combined roughly twice that long to get it all done properly

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For me it's been 60 hours the first custom, and 15-20 hours the following four*, but none of them was particularly challenging (e.g. none of them were prog or heavy metal songs).

 

*edit: I mean EACH of the following four :)

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For me it's been 60 hours the first custom, and 15-20 hours the following four, but none of them was particularly challenging (e.g. none of them were prog or heavy metal songs).

LOL - I am still working on my first custom - but it is almost ready to be posted - completely retooled!!

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I managed to squeeze a normal length song in about 6 hours after it was released.... however looking back it was a bad idea... (that chart needs to be updated)

 

I'd say I take about 8-14 hours if I have the motivation to actually make one at that time. I usually get distracted and end up doing hardly anything.

 

Longer songs are definitely a chore considering they change pace a lot (live songs or medleys).

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My first custom took about 40-60 hours and it wasn't even full band. Lots of learning process there, trial and error, etc. Hell, the first song i collaborated on took 7 months! You just never can tell.

But seriously, if the song requires that I have to chart all the instruments, it can take upwards around 20+ hours, including testing time. I would definitely do what Ruby suggested and start with 1 or 2 songs and go from there. The process can be very tedious and it can also make you a little crazy with hearing the same part of a song OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.........sorry!

Good luck!

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For me, about 1-2 days. Of course depending on the length and complexity of the song and how many parts there are (I always go for a full band custom) and with venue work done. Parasite Eve took 6 hours to do a full band chart with venue work. It's still getting updated. It is tough squeezing in so much work in such a small time, but dedication for me is where it all plays out.

 

Careful What You Wish For by Bad Omens took 4 hours to chart granted I have the multi-track stems.

 

edit* Getting the official stems can greatly reduce the time spent on making a custom, but the Spleeter tool also comes in handy to get "multi-tracks". The hard part for me is getting Vocals (with harmonies (if included)) and Pro Keys. A few years of ear training in music production has helped make these charts possible for me at least and with a lot of practice and patience, I have been able to squeeze down the duration of making a chart from my first one Silence the Echo by Born of Osiris (7 days) to Careful What You Wish For by Bad Omens (4 hours).

Edited by Fabysk
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Man I guess I am super slow, been charting for about since October and only have 12 charts to my name, that said that doesn't include all the keys charts I have made for people or all the burnout I get, which is a lot so it is probably more accurately takes me 5 to 7 days. That said I triple check everything and make my own venue and I always have an issue with the CAT reduction. This can vary, my last song took me 1 whole day but another one I am still working on has taken well over a week and it still isn't done)

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Honestly it really depends on the song.

Some songs are more repetitive so it's a lot of copy+paste (plus listening back to make sure you didn't miss any variations - that's important!). Some songs are extremely varied, a lot of classic rock songs have guitarists and drum players playing different arpeggios/fills every time, so that takes a while to get right.

 

Vocals can be a breeze when the song is melodic and the singing style is "straightforward", it can take forever when the singer is virtuoso or the song is "talky". 200+ customs in and I still avoid charting Bob Dylan stuff because I fear his vocals. Judging by the lack of Dylan in our DB, I'm probably not alone.

 

Harmonies can be extremely quick when they're clear in the mix, and can be a nightmare when they're not. I spent some serious times trying to dig out buried harmonies, messing around with the audio, searching live versions to see if they're clearly heard, and so on.

 

Pro keys can be anything from hours of transcribing piano to just minimal organ chords which takes 2 minutes to chart, or no keys at all.

A midi file, if available, can make stuff a lot easier. Especially pro keys.

So basically it really depends on the song. 8-12 hours seem reasonable. Some songs took more.
The easiest song I've ever done is probably "Teenage Kicks" by The Undertones. It's two minutes, guitar is 90% power chords, bass and drums are basic, vocal is clear repeated melody with minimal (and clearly heard) harmony, no keys. Still a true classic though. I think this one took me 3-4 hours, maybe even less.
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Again - It all depends on the song, and how much of it you want to chart, as well as how accurate do you want it.

 

I have songs that were done in 10-12 hours and are complete and accurate - I have a song that jerry and I started in December that still isn't complete due to complexity. Granted we have taken breaks from it due to frustration but our total hours combined on it will be insane if we tried to calculate them.

 

I find myself now working on them here and there - an hour here, an hour there. Started too many projects and let it overwhlem so took a step back and am just letting them happen now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, ill agree with the other posts here, an easy and short song can take as little as 5-6 hours for all instruments, especially if you are very familiar with the song, and tools/programs you use. I wouldn't count myself as experienced as I have only been doing customs (started with drums only) for around 4ish months and don't really bother personally with pro instruments minus the drums of course, only because its such a small amount of people who do that (and sadly im not one of them, tho i do own a pro guitar, so that may change one day haha). The fastest I've done a song, recorded, and edited was maybe around the 6ish hour mark as i said before, but on average id say even with my own bands songs, it can easily take over 20 hours total. the longest has probs been around 30 hours total work time not including recording and editing a video and uploading. Granted in my case this amount of time still has mistakes that i eventually fix or change once either I or someone else notices.

All in all I'd say its quite rewarding, tho expect 100 songs to take more than a year or two while you learn over the first few months how to chart better, faster, use shortcuts, work out things you didn't know as time goes by in said programs etc.

Now i hope nothing i or the others have said will discourage you, just be aware it is time consuming, and there is a fair bit to learn, especially if you don't have any musical background knowledge. My suggestion is watch a shit ton of YouTube videos teaching you how to use the programs, the right and wrong was to chart (all though this can be subjective, though if you decide to do some things less conventional expect criticism) etc.

Hope to see some stuff in the near future from you!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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