In today’s episode of #MixTricks, we join the five-time Grammy Award-winning mixer, engineer and producer F. Reid Shippen (Kenny Chesney, Ingrid Michaelson, Gloria Gaynor) at Nashville’s Infrasonic Studio as he shares advice on how to stay motivated when working on a challenging mix.
Sometimes finding success means stripping everything back, turning off one of his tried and tested vocal chains and starting from scratch – and working away until he finds the magic in the mix. As Reid puts it, “It’s in there somewhere!”
#MixTricks is where the very best mixers, engineers, producers, and musicians let us in on some of the best secrets, tips and tricks they’ve picked up on their way to the top.
With LISTENTO from Audiomovers, you can stream uncompressed multichannel audio to and from any DAW. Ready to go in five minutes. Just send a link.
I’m Reed. We’re at Infrasonic Nashville Studios. My Mix Trick. is not giving up.
Sometimes you’re fighting with something in a mix, and a lot of times, for me, it can be the vocal. It’s really easy to just be like, this just isn’t a great vocal. Because you know what? A lot of times, it isn’t a great vocal. When people are like, can you make me sound like John Mayer? The answer is, no, because you’re not John Mayer.
That’s the way it works, right? Um, but, not giving up is the key. And what I learned is that you just keep screwing with it until you find whatever the magic is. And sometimes that’s running it through a guitar pedal and blending that in. Sometimes it’s… pieces of outboard, or removing all the outboard, or taking all the assumptions that you make, you know, like, I have a vocal chain, I have this, turn it all off, right?
Start from scratch. Put the dumbest factory plug in on it, like, whatever. Just keep going until it’s great. Because it’s there, it’s in there somewhere, it’ll fit in there somewhere, but the key is to just not give up until you get there.