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Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there’s so much you can do with these dynamic instruments.

The second of two articles on time management, we switch gears today to focus on workflow tips and strategies, based on the writer’s years of experience.

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Learning to become an accomplished and knowledgeable audio engineer is an enormous undertaking. While we’re lucky to live in the age of the internet, where so much information is available for free, that information is not always presented in a form that allows us to make the best use of it. Spend time on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find a wealth of video content aimed at those who want to master the art of mixing, yet a lot of it is inaccurate, misleading, out of context and inapplicable, or simply incompatible with your own experience and what you’re attempting to do in the studio.

“Wait, we’re musicians, we don’t write agendas.” Ok, but that’s a great way to ensure you don’t get anything done. Being a good musician sometimes requires a little business sense, and I’ve found a clear agenda can really help. Knowing exactly what order we’re going to record in can make the whole thing so much smoother and more efficient. And laying it out a week in advance gives your bandmates and engineer a chance to prepare, make suggestions, or consider alternate approaches.