Introducing our new feature series “Process” a spotlight on producers, and look into their inspiration, creative process and approach. Our first edition features Michigan Producer Timid Soul. We had the opportunity to ask Joey a few questions about his work. Download his guest mix and check out the tracklist below the interview.
Slam Academy: Could you introduce yourself?
Joey Ginther: I’m Joey Ginther and I make music as Timid Soul.
SA: Where are you from?
JG: I’m from Michigan, currently reside in Lansing.
SA: How did you start making music?
JG: Music has always had a special presence in my family when growing up. My father sings and plays guitar for fun and my mother plays the drums. She’s the reason why I wanted to start drumming back in like 6th grade. I played percussion in high school band class for two years, but then I found myself interested in writing my own music with freeware guitar tablature programs. Eventually I got more interested in recording and computer music production. I went out and bought an interface that came with Ableton Live Lite 8. Ableton is super intuitive so I learned how to use it rather quickly, and at first I was using it to record 60’s inspired pop/rock tunes that I wrote. But as my tastes grew increasingly more electronic I began using it to make all sorts of electronic music — disco house, synthpop, hip-hop beats, etc.
SA: What does your creative process look like?
JG: I have a couple of different ways I begin making a tune. Sometimes it’s finding a cool sample in my record collection, other times it’s coming up with a drum pattern out of one shot samples that really holds interest on its own. But most of the time I like to come up with a chord progression and melody on a simple piano or rhodes patch. I used to write down the chords on a ton of index cards, but now I just play the idea into my iPhone. From there I try to flesh out the song in Ableton and at that point anything can happen. Sometimes happy accidents and using unorthodox techniques can really make the track take a life of its own. And I love that.
SA: How do you feel your space influences your work?
JG: I have a little studio set-up space with an iMac running Ableton and Logic, KRK monitors, Focusrite interface, old mics, 2 midi controllers, hardware sampler, record player, cassette deck, vinyl collection, guitars and basses. I feel the most important thing about a music-making space is that everything is in within reach and easy to set-up when that inspiration strikes you. Also it really helps to have your various audio cables organized, from xlr cables to rca cables. Bottom line, your space should be user-friendly, allowing you to express your musical ideas with ease.
SA: Do you compare your music to other compositions while working on it?
JG: I do compare my tracks to other compositions. It’s often after I come up with that initial idea, loop, or section. I’ll listen to a track for it’s song structure, arrangement, all kinds of things. In fact I think the best thing you can do to improve your music is to critically listen to music that you admire and really try to extract why that track works so well musically, technically and emotionally.
SA: What is your most essential piece of gear?
JG: My most essential pieces of gear are my computer, Ableton Live, and a midi controller. Disregard people on the internet that are all like “you can’t make music unless you have this $2000 analog synth or this super expensive hardware compressor.” You can create amazing, artistically valid, and superb sounding music with just a computer, your fave daw, monitors/headphones and your ears.
SA: Anything we should be on the look out for?
JG: I have an new EP called the “Bubblefunk EP” out via the netlabel KEATS//COLLECTIVE (love them dudes s/o to them). I’m looking forward to working on some music with my brother Lucas who makes music as Vice Point. My brother and I released an album called “Paradise,” also through the KEATS//COLLECTIVE. That came out earlier this year, so peep that if you dig lo-fi 80’s inspired tunes!
Timid Soul – Yankee Rose
Lone – Karen Loves Kate
MEG – Girly Step
Scu – Aurelion
Avec Avec – Kuzuha No Sunday
DâM FunK – Mirrors
Neon Bunny – Bubbles
Timid Soul – Neptune Drips
Timid Soul – Nobody Since You