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I’m Tim Walker, a multi-instrumentalist who wrote, recorded, mixed, and released a song a day for an entire year (365 Songs in 365 Days). Ask me anything…

Feb 15th 2017 by Timcwalker • 5 Questions • 233 Points

Hi, Tim Walker here. In 2007 I wrote, recorded, mixed, and released 365 Songs in 365 Days. As a result of this project, I was in Guitar Player magazine (Feb. 2009 issue), and received local press as well. I tried to make the best music I could, not relying on novelty songs. The entire output, along with other songs from my career, can be heard here: www.timcwalker.com. Thanks in advance for participating.

My Proof: www.timcwalker.com

Q:

Is there maybe a "best of" list of songs? Songs you thought turned out exceptionally well? There's no way I'm listening to 365 songs, you see, but I'd enjoy a few of the highlights.

Also, good job! I'm a DIY songwriter myself and the amount of time it takes to set up, record, then edit the music would make it impossible for me to do 1 song per day. I would like to increase my productivity, but it's like I can't force myself to write something I'm happy with. Usually it just comes when I'm jamming or practicing and it just clicks for me. Even if I had more ideas, setting up drums and recording a song takes days in itself. Then I'd have to do all the other instruments too! And mix the thing! I don't know how you did 1 don't per day, but that in itself is impressive. Careful that you don't turn out like Buckethead though!

A:

Regarding a "best of", I compiled some of the "blues" tracks and had them mastered at Morrisound and put them on a CD and iTunes. That is 18 tracks. I was thinking about doing the same for some "rock" flavored songs.

It's really hard for me to pick songs that are favorites or best of, but if you want a sampling without randomly clicking then here is a few: Jan. 1, March 14, March 18, May 15, July 10, Nov. 8, Nov. 14.

As far as your writing and recording go, it's best not to force anything, but still important to put a bit of pressure on yourself to finish something. That's what that year of songs was to me. I've started so many ideas over the years, but didn't follow through. By declaring that's what I was gonna do, it forced me to follow through and pushed me to do the best I could.


Q:

At what point, if they ever did, did your songs become rushed?

A:

The biggest hurdle of each day was an idea and some beginning lyrics of each song. Once I had that, I knew I could relax and know that everything was a matter of tracking and mixing.

One time towards the end of the year (Oct. I think), I was just beat, and so tired, and had zero clue of an idea and it was around 8.p.m. So I took an acoustic guitar, sat on a bench in a shopping center until something came. Around 9p.m. I had a set of lyrics, went home and recorded it. That was the only time I felt rushed or in a panic because I had no idea of what to write.


Q:

Did you come up with any quick mixing tips to help you? Those would be invaluable if you'd be willing to share.

A:

Because I didn't have time to "fix it in the mix", I did a lot of "pre-mixing" when I was tracking, cleaning up the tracks as I went, setting levels, so when the mixing time came around it was much easier to deal with.

Getting solid takes and not having to rely on fixing things really helps. This is just a good tip all around, but I've seen a lot of people not take this approach.

The use of presets in Pro Tools really helped. If your instrumentation and mics don't change from day to day, then your reverb, delay and other plug-ins don't need to be adjusted much once you find what works.


Q:

Do you think song writing is a skill that you can improve with practice, and do you think you improved over the course of the year?

Bonus question: how often did you feel you were repeating yourself? I have this feeling all the time.

A:

You can definitely improve your songwriting skill by just writing more. And part of it comes with just getting older and experiencing more life. So keep writing!

I do think I improved some as a writer that year.


Q:

Hi Tim. Such an achievement, well done! Were there any songs that seemed to almost write themselves?

A:

Thanks. Definitely some songs came easier than others. Thankfully the ideas kept flowing throughout the year.