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Comments: 33 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

Haterbait_band9 karma

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!

Timcwalker6 karma

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.

Zak_McKrackin2 karma

Do you ever feel like you're over-saturating yourself?

Timcwalker1 karma

Not really. I knew going into it that it was only a year. These days I'm taking my time on projects.

whitepplsuckdick2 karma

Do you have a real job other than playing around with instruments?

Timcwalker1 karma

I've always had a day gig.

JustAGuyWithTwoEyes2 karma

How did you come up with the lyrics for a new song every day, and then go record it?

Timcwalker3 karma

I usually tried to write some lyrics earlier in the day at work. Once I had the idea, then the rest fell into place. I would look for inspiration in anything and everything.

Weekdays I would generally start the recording process around 6 in the evening and work until finished. Weekends were a bit more loose.

henrymay1 karma

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

Timcwalker2 karma

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.

MoonPiss1 karma

Are you better for having done it? Does recording songs come much easier now? Was it worth it?

Timcwalker1 karma

Yes, it was worth it. My guitar chops were really keen, and my drumming was much improved from touching the instruments each day. However, I would not do it again, as it was grueling at times, and my sleep suffered.

I haven't recorded much since then, only a couple of full songs. For a while I was concentrating on playing gigs. Now I'm getting my studio set-up solid again and will concentrate on recording, but at a much slower pace! So probably whatever I record will have fuller production.

ItsRepson1 karma

Hey Tim, what impact did constantly working on these songs have on your social life?

Timcwalker1 karma

Not much really, I was just out of being married and had a girlfriend who was really cool about the project and the time it took. A lot of times after a song was finished, sometimes close to midnight, I would be too hyped to go to bed, so I'd head down the street to a pub and some beer.

I actually managed to play about 10 gigs that year. Not full nights, but a set at a coffee shop type gigs.

purplepineappleman1 karma

I want to try this. Any tips on how manage time, mixing, editing and all that?

Timcwalker3 karma

You first need to make sure all of your equipment is ready and solid to perform without down time. If anything is iffy, replace it.

I got used to tracking with mixing in mind, so when it came to mixing, a lot was already set. If you have that mindset, you can save time.

Aside from the actual music making, I had to make sure that nothing I was doing was taking away from the time I needed to focus.

purplepineappleman1 karma

So you're basically saying get your ducks in order, sharpen your axe, and you can really get going.

Timcwalker1 karma

In a nutshell, yes!

burtonsimmons1 karma

So were there any days where you really just "mailed it in" - that is, with inspiration and energy faltering in the middle of the project, you just got something out in order to keep your momentum?

Timcwalker3 karma

Short answer is no. Long answer is...there were days when I did songs with minimal production, just acoustic and voice for example, and those songs were quicker to record and mix. But some of those tunes are pretty strong as far as songs go.

gregashley1 karma

always thought of doing this myself.

how much time did you spend on these songs each day?

what was your setup? (mics, DAW, guitars)

just randomly checked one of the songs out and i'm impressed. i'll listen more when i get home from work!

Timcwalker2 karma

Thanks for checking it out.

Anywhere from 2-6 hours depending on the complexity of the production. I usually had a set of lyrics and an idea or feel of the song before I started recording. So I don't count that in the time.

I used Pro Tools, Macbook, Gretsch drum kit mic'ed up, guitars were Les Paul, and Tele, and Takamine acoustic. Fender Vibrolux and Bedrock guitar amps.

My mics were not expensive, but not the cheapest.

Sigwrplwm1 karma

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

Timcwalker1 karma

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

AnyDogWillSuffice1 karma

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.

Timcwalker1 karma

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.

DarrenRobert1 karma

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

Timcwalker1 karma

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.