When it comes to making music, there really are increasingly few excuses for failing to be productive.

While in the past, musicians would struggle and toiled to get that perfect take, or to save up the money for their dream piece of equipment, the modern DAW has largely erased these concerns.

We can now record as much as we want, edit freely, and access an almost infinite number of effects, instruments and tools.

As a result, recording professional sounding, high quality music is undeniably easier than ever before.

It’s not all rosy though.

One of the main problems with having access to such a wide scope of possibilities is that it can be utterly overwhelming.

Whereas in the past musicians would simply pick up the one hardware instrument they could afford and begin writing and recording on a grainy four track, we’re now held back by the limitless possibilities available to us.

What’s more the previous lack of options would force us to constantly make irreversible creative decisions, driving the process forwards at all times. Now, however, we can constantly revisit these – wasting time and energy making changes when we should have already moved on.

So how do we conquer these issues?

At Good Background Music, one of our favourite techniques to defeat DAW overload is to impose our own, artificial restrictions.

So perhaps we’ll write an entire track’s synth parts using only one instrument, or even do something unthinkable and shut off the computer – instead using a hardware instrument like the Electribe or the OP-1.

These limitations force you to reach a little outside of your comfort zone, and really engage with each project on an individual basis.

It’s also a great way to learn more about the individual tools and plugins within your DAW, allowing you to dive deeper than you might previously have done.

DAWs have undoubtedly democratised music making, but its always worth considering new ways to improve your workflow, and ensure that the technology that you’re using is actually helping you to make music – rather than hindering.