Andrew Wade Interview Part 1
I want to bring my good friend andrew wade on here tio talk about not sucking at music and not sucking a recording if that's great well I want people to know why they should listen to him first hey buddy hey how's it going good I'm going to interrupt you for a second and ask them to put us this slide back on just so that this is why you guys should pay attention what andrew's got to say in case you guys don't know who he is besides the fact that he's just a really handsome man and a good friend he's worked with these bands and done some amazing work it's a great great a producer great mixer just great studio brain and uh this is how you can contact him uh if you feel like booking time with him or just a harassing him online like I do all the time but uh there the links screen shot that hit him up and uh let's talk also I was so excited this is great yeah man so how are you doing? Good. Good. I was in the middle of just editing some stuff for a local band actually, so I just before we j...
ust get into like what we wanted to talk about uh just wanted tio like ask you a couple questions because I honestly don't even know this how you even got into recording in the first place and like how how that led to you actually doing it for real yes I know you want the art school yes that was kind of a temporary break well since I was a child I thought I was going to be an artist because that was you know my number one interest and I was put in advanced classes because of that blah blah blah um she really good it thank you thank you but then later I picked up a guitar you know uh and just figured out that you know I could also do music and I think that kind of took over so what happened first wass we me and one of my friends would just you know records from acoustic songs for fun uh in my bedroom and and I had a two track uh karaoke machine and you know your record from one you know a recorded track on one and then overdub it on the next one and we do that over and over again until you have like a full arrangement um and then I moved to computer on dh then I would show people this stuff I've done and people in local bands were really interested um it just kind of snowballed from there I still got it I'm still kind of like the first recording I did it was a local hardcore band and uh it's not that bad so you didn't go to school for it or anything. No no I didn't uh I dropped out of school to go to there to do this actually you dropped out of art school yes I was doing I recorded ah for those of you guys who are familiar with the day to remember I recorded uh two of their albums and then I went to school for art which was pretty crazy huh especially because you know one of their albums some of the songs might gold and I had no idea how big of a deal that would be later so you know I just kind of followed my gut on what I should do and that's the reason I stop going to school for art because I just really felt that music was you know what I was meant to do and I just never looked back so it's actually been a completely organic thing which is kind of cool you never interred for anybody nothing like that you just did it yourself and know I had a few guys that I looked up to your local um and I would just go bother them their studios sometimes but that wasn't very extensive most of the stuff that I figured out was this trial and error on dh trying to look stuff up online I mean that's that's it I really never had anybody toe help me out but uh it's worked out so it's cool it's pretty cool is that's pretty rare most guys tender at least mentor under somebody even the most guys don't go to school but like they replaced that by mentoring under like some big producer and then getting really good and then getting your career most guys don't just survive spontaneously spawn well I got yelled at a lot by people who haven't send stuff out to be mixed as I'm sure you understand we're probably gonna be talking about that a little bit but when I send the sessions out uh the way I would learn is they would actually you know say all the things I did wrong and I would just try to never do them like that again um so you would yell at them no no they would yell it ok yes and if you're doing it wrong yeah so that's another way I learned it's a little bit unfortunate but that's the way I had to do it because I had nobody telling me anything and people watching this class I'm so jealous of you guys because you get to get right into this stuff like right away barely spent any money seeing this and you get to have forever and we watch it it's just awesome there was nothing like pretty caros started yeah yeah I'm going to just say this to the to the camera that I agree with that completely because I got reamed out quite a few times as well uh when I was first starting and I had nobody to tell me what to do right and what to do wrong I think I try to take a few online course it is and they were really, really bad in those days there like, you know, just just basically clicking through a few readable links with no audio examples nothing and uh that's what they're wass I didn't want to go to recording school um because it just seemed to me like going to recording school back then meant not really recording, so if something like this existed back then, I probably would have saved years years of ah horrible, horrible frustration and getting yelled at and all that, but they get getting yelled that it'll it'll stick with you. Yes, it does. So let's uh, let's talk about what? What we're here to talk about. You guys want to show that slide the first thing you know, I know this is a mixing class, but uh it all starts with song writing and arranging and a badly arranged song will not be able to be mixed, right? So I think that I think we should talk about that some, I think that's that's probably why so many modern day producers get so involved in the writing but let's just say say that like you're getting hired to mix something that comes in and, uh the arrangements terrible. What do you do? Yeah, there. Well, we actually have we are definitely going to be talking about that. We have examples of but what's your first, but just let me before we talk about, like, specific, like examples like what's your first light reaction, I guess, like, if you just get something and it's like there's, just musical mistakes everywhere. Well, it's as a mixer, it's kind of disappointing because that means, um, so sometimes when I makes actually end up adding things too, like I'm not just, you know, acutely and compressing and all that stuff, like, I'm actually may be putting in a guitar lead or string arrangements or more backup vocals, something to help the song be interesting and that's something that I think a lot of people don't think that much about, um, is how the song actually flows dynamically, you know, you know, like a lot of a lot of the most classic records on dh biggest songs don't necessarily have the most perfect mixes. Uh, and it doesn't matter, I mean, there's tons of cliches about that, but it's true, the quality of the mix can suffer if the song is all there, like, the priority always seems to be the song, so I think I think that that's a really, really cool thing that you'll take it upon yourself even if you're hired just to mix tio help the song out, but do you ask the band or do you just do it? I just do it, uh, because I think, you know, they're paying me for my expert opinion, so I'm just going to go ahead and follow my instinct on whatever and I'm sure you have had this happen before you start to make something and then it just quickly comes together like faster than you anticipated and it's usually on the bands who have better songs, yeah, like that, it will just like you won't even be done and this song will feel good and that's because the song is good and the transitions air good and you know the chorus hits and it's more exciting instrumentally or, you know, there's a good dynamic and flow of the different, you know, haste, guitar parts and drum part I was talking about this the other day, but like one of the first one, the first records that I assisted on like mix assisted mix engineered on when I got to audio hammer was the demon hunter record, which was tracked perfectly like and ridden perfectly everything about it was is perfect, and so when it got to us just the raw files you hit play already sounded great and so from that point on our job I mean, yeah, there were some ramping involved in all that normal stuff you do, but from that point on uh, our job was to just, you know, get the level straight and just make sure that it that the overall sonics orjust right, but it it took maybe a quarter of the time of what a mixed normally takes and that right I was great and it did great, yeah, because you're you're not trying to figure out what makes the song good, what makes the song interesting? It already has done that and whenever it's up to you to fear it out that's when it's more difficult, it takes longer the band's air usually not as happy. And, you know, I hate to ever point the finger because it seems like an excuse, but a lot of times the song isn't there and that should have been taking care of, you know, obviously during tracking and stuff. Yeah, so but I think that I think it definitely bears mentioning that, uh, a lot of the big, pretty big mixers like the major label guys like the top tier guys will make song decisions in mixing like they'll make arrangement, decisions that's part of them, their process um if they feel like it will positively impact the mix like I know that for instance complete son yeah like like for instance uh just take something as simple as a shaker track that say was layered throughout the entire song I know I'm just thinking of just one particular example uh on a country mix that I studied that sounded really good were the mixer decided that the shaker was on ly going to be cool in the courses and didn't ask the band ah and change the arrangement by cutting it out of every other part and ah, I've encountered bands that are really particular about that sort of thing but I think that the best mixtures definitely take it upon themselves even it was just something a small is a shaker or whatever tio change the arrangement in any way that they can to make the song better because it will make the mix better exactly exactly so with that let's uh, jump into our actual slides and, uh, special content but suck about conflict of interest um, you know, this is ah conflict of interest is, uh is a really funny term in music, but ah, I think that in arrangement it's something that you really really need to look out for and like to relate it back tio what we were talking about earlier, like, say with orchestra an orchestra trying tio inhabit the same spaces guitars or ah vocals trying to and have it the same spaces leads but you said something really funny to me that I had to write down seaworld yes, year old has a bunch of animals but there's only one shame move it's true. Yeah, and it's because people like a star in a way so bear with me here so let's say, you know the lead vocal would be like shamu the lead vocal is the star whenever there's two going at once like a lead vocal and, uh, a lead guitar, not one that necessarily complements the vocals, but one that sounds good on its own. I have a lot of bands, you know, the booklets likes their vocal part lead, but the lead guitarist likes his guitar park and they want them both to be the same volume occupy the same space and it just ends up clashing and nobody wants to budge and that's where you have to come in and make the choice like hey, which one is more important? What are you trying to do here? You know, I mean there can on ly be one thing that you could focus on now there are actual ways where you can have a lead guitar and vocals work, but it has to be planned out well, like, you know what? Like, say you have the guitar in a lower register while the vocals are a little bit higher, they usually different arrangements stuff, right? Yeah, there's definitely different things you can do with the arrangement, but you I just have to say that I've encountered this a lot in, uh, in dealing with bands that right and guitar pro a lot especially and do a lot of file sharing instead of writing together or ah, right together at some point, uh, I've noticed with a lot of bands that right in guitar pro and send each other guitar profiles there will be, and I'm saying this because I've encountered that multiple times where somebody will add something like a lead and and because bands are horrible communicating with each other, not show the other guys that they put a lead, their civilian in the single will think, well, here's an open spot for me to do some vocals so they'll come up with some heartfelt stuff there too, and come time to record, they'll figure out that they have both the solo and a vocal that goes there and they both will fight to the death to keep it in there and yeah, it doesn't know work and sometimes they'll end up staying in there and then whenever it comes mixing time that's when you realize nobody is going to be happy because it just doesn't act usually work and that's why producers are very important yeah, the producer should be making these decisions, but they don't always and a lot of and I think the reason that this is relevant for us to be talking about is because lots of bands record themselves now and cut it producers out of the equation lots of bands, big bands to record themselves and decide that they're going to spend that money that they've got on a really big deal mixer um they figure that because they have a little bit of recording gear, they're now the producer and that's one of the times that you're going to see these types of things pop up because, uh it's a bunch of napoleon's running, you know, running the war doesn't doesn't work right? I thought you had a good analogy here imagine was that imagine what it's like to have two people having conversation at the same time like trying to follow those conversations it's almost, you know, impossible. I mean, I'm sure some people do it, but for the most part you don't want to hear two people talking at the same time to try to understand something it's just not gonna work it's much more pleasant toe have a focus, one conversation yeah that's it's actually really stressful when when you have two people trying to talk tio att the same time maybe but the same thing maybe about different things it's just very, very stressful it's stressful for me musically as well. Um and what's funny is sometimes when I point that out to people they'll bring up an example of a one classic song where it worked it's like, ok, well, you're not slash so sorry sometimes those things do work in strange ways and it's not it's, not always a simple as like saying this person did it so we're doing something similar so should work it's not like that, you know, it's it's all about the vibe that you're getting one five you're going for and, you know, have you achieved something special or not? You know, that's just how good you have been, general, this stuff's not going to work, so if you guys want to flip back to this to slide there's uh, basically three ways there's probably more but there's three main ways that you can make sure that this problem doesn't happen and you can fix it by making sure that the tones are different enough or frequency wise, they're different enough for register wise they're different enough so let's talk about that so that's like, you know, if if you have to have a lead in a vocal going on at the same time don't put them in the same register yeah keep one of them low and the other one high I mean that it sounds like really basic stuff, but if it was basic stuff we wouldn't be talking about it right now exactly this is a lot of stuff that people just brush over and you know they don't they don't think about it and they expect somebody else to solve this problem when it's their very foundation that's shattered so let's uh for tone wise to say like you have a bunch of guitar parts going at the same time um it's for me what I like to do is switch like the cabinet that they're coming through or, you know, play with a different guitar or different and setting, you know, just like to make it so it's an obvious obviously a different voice, a different sound that's a rule that I use in production a lot and I can always tell when I have something to mix where one guitar was used for everything and s o that for people who record their own stuff with the intent of mixing their own stuff for people who record their own stuff with the intent of sending it to a mixer that's something to really really keep in mind is that different parts generally should have a different guitar in my opinion one guitar for the rhythms one guitar for the leads one guitar for the solos but I have noticed I mean when you talk for the cleans whatever but I have noticed I agree with you completely that what if that if you get something to mix and obviously they've used one guitar for everything changing the cab has a huge impact yeah there's one good way to get around it yeah I love changing the cabs for leads and stuff it just it makes things you know said that makes it a completely different way and you have frequency wise here uh that's good because like if you're so you have ah let's see it like some bands obviously play really low tunings like g and stuff when whatever you have the bass and guitar and kick drum they're all like pre pretty similar in tone almost uh it's good for let's say the guitar you know you boost the mid range and they're so it still has there still some low end um but it also has its own voice you know in the mid range and you would you know that kind of gets complicated but because I like to play with different things you know like boost a frequency that you might not normally boost or cut just to make room for something else in the mix what was ah was talking about this yesterday where with the problem of uh, this is I was looking at a band that did tuned to f or I did a mix. And, uh, you know, sometimes I find sometimes now always find that the three hundred range on base gives it a nice little warmer kind of tones. That it's, not just not just some, not just clank, they wrote, is a nice, you know, and I sit around meat to it. But, ah, that khun, seriously mess with your guitar tone. So you know this. It could be a simple is doing complimentary q on something like that, you know, dropped three hundred on the guitar, a little on, bump it a little on the base. If you note to, it can be a simple as that.