Singers Survival Tips – In-ear Monitor Dilemma! – Earwax Solution

Singers Survival Tips – In-ear Monitor Dilemma! – Earwax Solution

This episode is, I have to admit, a little bit on the weird side! But if you bear with me, it is important, and every single vocalist out there who deals with loud volumes, headphones or especially in ears monitors, will have to deal it with at some point. I’m talking about earwax! Yuck, I know, but it is a reality. the way your body and your ears deal with constant loud volumes is by producing ear wax, and as you age, copious amounts of wax in an attempt to protect your hearing.

Unfortunately, I can tell you from experience the earwax doesn’t always help and if you experience loud volume on a constant basis unfortunately you will not only have to deal with ear wax but also with hearing loss as well. the hearing loss unfortunately I can’t help you with… but the earwax I can! One thing that you don’t wanna do is use Q-tips to try and dig the wax out of your ears. What that ends up doing is while yes, it does get some of it, it compacts the rest and compounds the problem with blockages. Even though it might feel good when you get that itchiness in there comma it’s not helping you at all.

At one point in time, I even tried something called candling… that one was a total bust and didn’t do anything at all. Sometimes soaking in a nice hot tub will loosen and melt the wax and it can drain naturally, which is the way that I dealt with it when I was younger. Unfortunately, as you age your ears produce more and more wax and that approach stops working. Another way of dealing with this is going to your doctor and having them “flush the ear canal”. what they do, is take a syringe with warm water and squirt the warm water into the ear canal and as the water comes back out it will bring chunks of wax with it. Yes, this does work, but the one thing that you do need to be careful of, is that the nurse or doctor knows exactly what they’re doing and doesn’t over pressurize the water in the syringe by trying to squirt it too hard. This did happen with me, and they did do damage to my eardrum! It didn’t puncture or permanently do damage to the ear drum, but my ear was quite sore for about a month afterwards before it returned to feeling normal. So I gave up that option. I then moved on to seeing an ENT who is a specialist in ear nose and throat of course. What she would do is stick this long metal rod way down my ear canal and somehow dig the stuff out! I have no idea how it worked, but she was able to dig quite a bit of wax out of each ear every visit. At the time I was seeing her for a different vocal cord issue that I was experiencing at the time, and my ears were a side issue that she took care of. After the vocal cord thing resolved itself, I ended up seeing her for three more years once a year, just as a check up and two clean up the ear canals.

On the last visit, she looked at me and said “you know, there is a much easier way for you to clean your own ears whenever you want and you don’t have to see me for it.” (I think she was getting tired of digging wax out of my head lol) she then went on to tell me about hydrogen peroxide. What you do is you get an eye dropper, some hydrogen peroxide and some Kleenex. You fill up the I dropper with hydrogen peroxide and lay down on your bed with one year facing towards the ceiling. You gently take the dropper and place it right at the opening of the ear canal, and then slowly, very slowly, fill your ear canal with hydrogen peroxide.

Now I have to warn you, this is kind of weird… It begins with a slow hissing sound and then builds up to a bubbling, popping kind of feeling and sound. This can tickle like mad! just move your finger around the outside of the ear and in behind the ear like you’re trying to scratch an itch inside the ear canal ’cause it will be very tickly! But what this does is it completely dissolves the ear wax in your ear! if you can stand it try to leave it in for at least 5 minutes, then put the Kleenex over the ear canal, sit up, and drain the hydrogen peroxide from your ear. The resulting drainage is not gross at all, and is basically clear. But, a majority of the earwax is dissolved! lie down on your other side with the other ear up an repeat. Job done!

Not only does it dissolve all the earwax, it also sterilizes the ear canal just in case there is any bacteria built up in the wax and will help prevent ear infections. I also use this after swimming, particularly in the ocean to ensure good ear health. I wish I would have known this along time ago. I did a gig in Mexico, and was swimming in the ocean. Unfortunately, I contracted an ear infection so bad that it actually closed my ear canal and I was advised by a doctor not to fly as there was a very strong possibility my eardrum would burst. I ended up having to stay an extra week on antibiotics in Mexico and arranging and paying for another flight to come home. Not a great ending to an incredible gig! So there you go, a solution to a problem that most musicians don’t even realize that they will have.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it and learn something! Hit that subscribe button and share. I’m Mitch Seekins the vocal coach and I will see you later!

Singers Survival Tips – Vocal Recovery

Do you ever experience almost losing your voice or losing it altogether after a gig or a series of gigs? You are experiencing vocal fatigue. This video is all about how to enable healing as quickly as possible – Vocal Recovery. I hope this video helps!



Hello everyone I’m Mitch Seekins the Vocal Coach.

I’m way past due for a new singer survival tip video, but I’ve been working on some really crazy exciting stuff that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming videos and social media posts. But I thought it was time to get another tip out to you. This singer survival tip video is all about vocal fatigue and vocal recovery

Its 2022 – for those of you watching this in the future – and I am very happy to have so many of my students finally back out on the road touring the world again. I have students in bands right now touring Europe, Australia, and North America… and the audiences are flocking back in great numbers to the shows! It’s all awesome!

As we head deeper into the late fall and winter one of the most serious issues singers are going to need to deal with is vocal fatigue and vocal recovery. As travel increases, and for those of us in North America and Europe, it gets colder and dryer….the vocal recovery after a show gets much more difficult.

Have you ever experienced this – you’re doing a show, it’s a great audience, so you’re giving it your all. After the show your voice is pretty tired (fatigue). That night you get whatever kind of sleep you can, (on the road that can be not very much) and in the morning the voice is pretty ragged. But you work a little bit during the day and gently wake up the voice and stretch it out, and you’re basically ready to go for the next show that night. Once again another great audience, great show and the voice is even more tired this time and showing more signs of vocal fatigue. Some of your range might be a little bit gone or unstable. Once again you try to get a good night’s sleep, and in the morning the voice is almost shot. There’s not a lot happening. You try your best to open things up, But the voice is definitely not great and you’ve still got another show to do that night. The voice is really ragged and this show is very difficult to get through and you feel very disappointed at your performance. But at least you have a day off before the next show and you are hoping 2 recover your voice with the extra rest. What ends up happening though is that even though you recover some of your voice you’re not back to square one even with the extra day of rest and therefore have to go into the next three or four day gig run, starting with vocal fatigue. It snowballs from there

This is what I’m talking about… the issue of vocal fatigue and recovery. It can be not only vocally damaging but also psychologically damaging as well. if you know what I’m talking about, this is when being a singer really becomes not very much fun at all! I help vocalists deal with this on a regular basis. Even though it’s hard, and there is no guarantee, there are things that you can do to drastically improve this situation.

Before I get to some of the solutions it’s a good time for me to ask that If you can relate to what I’m saying, give this a thumbs up and hit that subscribe button and maybe forward this onto someone you know who might need it. If you have a question or two, don’t be shy and leave it in the comments section… I’ll try to answer them as best I can!


  1.       Drink a lot more water than what you think you need! It really is imperative and if you haven’t seen my video on water, go to my website (link will be below), click on the singer survival tips button on the main page … and have a look. It explains how important it is. And by the way, even though you may not want to, stay away from alcohol when you’re in this situation…. it might make you feel better, but it really doesn’t help!
  2.       Sleep. somehow figure out to get as much as you possibly can. Rest is key.
  3.       Eat as healthy as you possibly can. The body needs energy to enable the healing process to be as efficient as possible. I used to take something called greens plus, or all greens on the road with me, mix it up with orange juice and water and it gave me a great start on a healthy diet as on the road eating healthy can be very difficult!
  4.       This is a big one… get a humidifier! I’m not talking about one of the facial steamers, while those have their place they won’t help that much in this situation. I did a whole video on the benefits of a humidifier and like above, go to my website and click on the singer survival tip button and watch the humidifier episode. I can’t stress this enough… this one is really important!
  5.       Structured warmups – there is a certain way 2 get the voice to respond as well as it can in this situation. This is too difficult to explain here but if you are interested, I suggest you reach out to me, book some sessions and we can go through the specifics.

So, there is some information on how to deal with this awful situation and hopefully save you some pain. once again, don’t be afraid to use the comment section

I’m Mitch Seekins the vocal coach – thanks for watching


Singers Survival Tips – Warming Up Part 2

Welcome to my “Singers Survival Tips Series”! Feel free to ask questions and comment. Want to know more about doing a proper vocal warm up and why you should do it? Watch this Part 2 video on just that. Be sure to listen to the special offers. Links below…and if you haven’t watched part 1 yet…. go back and have a look!

Singers Survival Tips – About Warming Up – Prt.1

Womens Lip Trills

Mens Lip Trills

Shortcuts: 0:00 Welcome and watch for special offers 0:19 Question – How long should I …. 1:14 Best practice 1:40 Crazy Comments 2:47 1st Special Offer 3:53 2nd Offer – personalized warm up file 4:30 What does Matt from 3 Days Grace say? 4:49 Stefan from PUP 6:00 Go to website (links above) 6:15 Stay tuned and thanks for watching


Hi, I’m Mitch Seekins – The Vocal Coach welcome to my “Singers Survival Tip” series! Welcome to part 2 of warming up! Please be sure to watch to the end for the special offer!. If you find this video useful and that you have learned something….please share and hit that subscribe button…I have much more to come!



How long should I warm up for?

  • I have always viewed singing as an athletic event. If you imagine yourself as an athlete, you can often rationalize how to approach things. A top-level athlete will ALWAYS warm up before a competition. This ensures that the body’s muscles are warm, all the kinks are worked out and they are ready to perform. They would never warm up to the point where it becomes a “workout”. You should never waste the energy you need for peak performance. The goal is to get the muscles prepped for peak performance!
  • From a singer’s standpoint, it’s the same. Unless you’ve begun the process of getting everything moving how could you ever expect to perform at your peak? For a vocalist in today’s music business, being in top form and consistent is a must!
  • What I have found to work best, is a warmup lasting 10 to 15 min, that should end approx. 20 to 30 min prior to the show. Having a short rest after a vocal warm up is important as it allows the muscles to relax and if there is any residual phlegm left, time for it to clear. Like any pro athlete you need to work that into a pre-performance habit, so you always do it.


Sometimes I’ll hear a comment like:

Do I really need to do this? Usually, I just go out and scream my face off! Seems to work for me!

Or I warm up by screaming into a pillow before show time.

  • Ummm…yeeaahh… good luck with that.  You can’t expect that to work for long. Firstly… That’s not really warming up, that’s just abusing the voice. You’re gonna fatigue those muscles out, using up energy, wasting it before you even hit the stage! And secondly Aging is a bitch… and there is no avoiding it. When it comes to vocal recovery after a show, (many of my students sing extremely aggressive shows in front of THOUSANDS of fans at a time) it simply takes time. And the older you get, the more time it takes! Think about the aging athlete. Warming up beforehand really helps in your ability to NOT hurt the voice during a performance, let alone completely abusing the voice before the performance! Successful artists take care of their instruments so they can enjoy long careers.


So, there is a basic overview of vocally warming up and why you need to do it! Here are 2 special offers for you. Stick around for both

The 1st –  I’m going to give you is a free sample of my Lip Trill warmup that I use for my students. This is an arpeggio pattern that is “generic” in range, that you can either stream or download for you to use. Personally, I would download them as then you would never get caught if at a gig the internet signal is weak. Just put it on your phone, plug in one ear bud (use your other ear to hear yourself!) and go to work!

  • If you find the starting point too low or the top notes too high for your range just wait until the notes come around that work for you. The file I’m sharing is a common range file that should work for about 95% of you. There will be one file for the male voice and one for the female voice.
  • Throughout the file not only will I be playing the notes to trill to, I will also be “coaching” you on what to think or visualize while you run through the scales.

The 2nd is an offer to create a personal warm up regiment for you! Its very important that you understand how to do the exercises properly, so this does take a little bit of time. What happens is we get together for 3 sessions. the first two sessions I take you through everything, so you learn what you need to do with the technical prompts that I give you in your personalized warm up file.  I have been producing these files for my students for many years and they have had great success with them.

Matt Walst – 3 Days Grace- “Before every show… I do about 15 minutes of your warm-up, every time.”

As this is a personalized warm up file it will be the exercises you should and can do for the range you should be working at.

Stefan Babcock – PUP- “I’ve been doing warm-ups for maybe like before shows for maybe a year or so before we started working together yeah but the warm-ups that we do uh are a bit different they’re much more gentle. It’s like about kind of really it’s not a it’s not five minutes like let’s go it’s like really gentle ease back into it spend 20 minutes half an hour to get yourself going … i will not miss a warm-up under any circumstances there’s there’s no circumstances that i’ll go on stage without warming up because i know that that could lead to really big issues. So yeah that means like it’s a bit different now like now that we you know always have like uh decent green rooms and stuff like that but there was a point four or five years ago where we were playing really small shows like uh that we didn’t have a backstage and it was just like well i guess i’m it’s you know it’s negative 20. i’m still gonna sit in the car or go for a walk and do this because i won’t get on stage without doing the warm-ups.

If you go to my website, click on the vocal lesson packages tab on the home page, and it will take you to the details. If you are a pro or not, having a file like this makes things incredibly easy, and goes a long way to save your voice long term!

As I stated in part one of this warm up series, I will post another video showing you how to successfully perform the lip trills, so keep an eye out for that. It will be coming shortly.

Thanks for watching, hope you enjoyed it and learn something! Hit that subscribe button, share and I will see you later!

Singers Survival Tips – Singers and Water

Why is water so important especially for a vocalist? Kind of a silly question….but then why do so many singers NOT drink nearly enough?! Watch my video and then you’ll know why its so necessary, it will motivate you to actually drink more water and take your vocals to the next level!

0:00 Intro
0:16 Why?
0:36 Cord Hydration
1:44 Dealing with Phlegm
2:37 Brain Fog
2:45 Physical Show
3:14 Vocal Recovery
4:28 Immune System
6:15 How Much?
6:30 Matt Walst – 3 Days Grace, Stefan Babcock – PUP, Luna Li
6:59 Coffee? Beer? Energy Drinks?
7:25 Water and Lemon
8:03 Ice
8:43 The Goal – Every Day!
9:44 Age
9:55 Singers Issues can Disappear
10:14 Chug!


hi I’m Mitch Seekins the vocal coach welcome to my singer survival tips Series this episode is all about water oh and if you like this and learn something hit that subscribe button and forward this on to your friends I got a lot more stuff to come.

Why is water so important ….and particularly for a vocalist? I know this may sound like a ridiculous question…but there are numerous reasons beyond just a parched throat. And if you understand why it’s so important to drink way more than you think, you will be much more inclined to actually do it!

Some of the benefits of drinking water are:

  • Vocal Cord Hydration – the one major point you need to understand, is that anything you drink, takes at least 20 minutes to actually benefit your vocal cords. Anatomy wise, in the esophagus   there is a flap of tissue that covers the larynx and the vocal cords when you drink or eat.

So, it is really only an illusion that you have water flowing through the cords soothing and clearing them. Yes, it does feel good in the moment and does help, but the benefit isn’t quite what you think. As far as the brain is concerned, the voice is a nonessential part of the body and if you start from an even slightly dehydrated state, when you finally provide your body water, your brain will make sure that the water is distributed where it’s needed most. Getting water to the kidneys, liver or stomach, to flush out toxins from your system or aid digestion is far more important than making sure that your vocal cords are well hydrated. If you are a vocalist or speaker, your brain doesn’t really care! So, the goal is to keep your entire system hydrated at all times, not just when you sing or speak.

  • Another benefit of good hydration is that it will keep any phlegm build up, thin and runny as opposed to thick and cement like (at least that’s what it feels like!). This is one of the reasons why they say, when you have a cold, get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. With good hydration, the phlegm stays thin, and it’s moved fairly easily out of the sinus cavities and lungs and off the vocal cords. As a result, you have a much better chance of completing the session or gig.

But if you don’t stay hydrated, the phlegm begins to thicken and becomes heavy. Once that happens, it’s very difficult for the phlegm to be moved… And if you’re a singer and the phlegm is on the vocal cords, this limits your range and endurance. Which makes your job VERY difficult to do.

So drinking lots of water gives a much better chance of performing while you are sick or suffering from allergies.

  • It’s really important for brain function and there’s nothing worse than being on stage in somewhat of a fog.
  • If you are in a show that’s very physical, in terms of dancing or stage movement (e.g. being in a  metal, punk or rock band), that means you’re going to be using a lot more water than usual through sweat, coupled with rapid breathing and of course, using your voice.You will need to replenish that water as quick as you can. And if you hit the stage in a dehydrated state already, there’s a good chance that things won’t work well for you… or at least limit the level you could be performing at.
  • It’s also essential for vocal recovery. I will be doing another, more complete, video all about vocal recovery, but essentially it’s all about getting your vocal cords back to a healthy state after a solid vocal workout, which happens when you perform. The muscles get tired and dry and if you are  not well hydrated, recovery is much slower and can take days. Not a good thing if you are on tour. On top of that after the show, if you go and rest in a very dry room which is heated by forced air gas or cooled by air conditioning, or get into a car to travel, the air that you are breathing is extremely dry… And the way the body responds to this, is to produce mucus in order to protect the areas in your sinuses and your vocal cords. (If you have a chance, please watch my episode on humidifiers) So if that’s what happens, after you finish a gig, it really, really hampers the vocal recovery. Which means that you might be going into the next gig in a vocally fatigued state. Then you use the cords again and they get hammered even more, which makes you even more fatigued. This becomes a vicious cycle that requires more and more time to fully recover or heal… and in the worst case scenarios, over time, can lead to vocal damage.
  • Another very important fact is, that it also helps the immune system work effectively, to fight off colds and flues, etc. In order to be a successful, consistent artist you need to have a robust immune system, and it’s not just all about the shows. It’s the travel and the people that you interact with. As you work, you are constantly being exposed to different micro ecosystems. The germs that are in Toronto, are not the same germs in New York, which are not the same germs that are in LA…and if you’re flying, the planes themselves are full of germs from all over the world! If you’re doing gigs in different locations, that are even just an hour apart, you could be looking at slight variations on germs that are going around…and it’s not just the shows.  Meet and greets, interviews, different production companies whose people, at every gig, are touching your mic and equipment. I realize I totally sound like a germaphobe (which I am not) but it is important to understand the scope of the issue particularly, as a vocalist. Any other musician can suffer through a cold or sickness and not have it affect their instrument. It’s not going to be fun but they can get by. As a vocalist it can be quite devastating.

This means your immune system is constantly being challenged. In order to be a successful, consistent artist, you need to have a very healthy immune system in order to deal with it all…and water plays an essential role in keeping your immune system as robust as possible.

So to perform at a consistent level whether it’s professionally or not, you want to maintain a high level of hydration at all times… for all of those reasons!

  • How much should you drink? Of course, this can depend on body size. But why not listen to some of the pros that I teach, who travel the world and do huge gigs night after night have to say about how much water they drink? Matt Walst (Three Days Grace), Stephen Babcock (PUP), Ali Gatie, Ian Thornley (Big Wreck) and Luna Li, all drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water a day.
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol is not hydration! Even though it might feel like you’re getting the same benefits at the time, unfortunately, it’s not true. Same is true for energy drinks. Water is the best thing. I toured for 37 years in total and I always had water on stage with me to stay as hydrated as I could. Of course it’s a lot easier to say than it is to do. What I found is that I didn’t like just plain water. So, what I did to compensate for this was take a little slice, and I mean, little slice of lemon and just couple ice cubes to keep the water cool but not cold. It just seemed to be something a little more substantial than just water. The added benefit beyond a little flavor, is that the citrus from the lemon keeps the saliva glands going as well as helps cut phlegm and gunk off the cords. So doing that is beneficial in other ways as well. Avoid heavy flavoring laced with sugar or sweeteners. Your body will use excess water to flush those toxins. As much pure water is the key. Honestly I just can’t stress it enough.
  • Some people will fill their glass with ice, but if you look at that from an athletic standpoint (I have always thought of singing as an athletic event, as it is a very complex coordination between muscles) no athlete would ever, in the middle of a competition, jump into an ice cold bath. It is not beneficial or helpful to your muscles whatsoever! If you think of it from that angle, cooling the muscles down just a little bit is okay but not so cold that they could possibly stiffen up on you! Room temperature water is absolutely the best, but I always preferred just a couple of small ice cubes to cool it.

So the goal is to maintain a constant high level of hydration. Thinking that you can just drink a couple liters of water the day of a show, although helpful, is not the right approach. The best method is just to stay hydrated all the time…and that means constantly drinking water every single day, even when you are not doing shows or sessions or practicing. Your body will thank you immensely and you will stay much more vocally consistent and healthy.

  • One thing to note is that it does take a little bit of practice to get into that hydrated state. When you begin this process, just be aware that you may feel overfull on water. But you can ramp up and if you keep at it, that feeling will go away and your natural thirst will kick back in. When you are dehydrated the natural thirst seriously decreases, which doesn’t really make sense, but that is the way that it works.
  • Age plays a role as well. Thirst can decline with age making it harder to stay hydrated. You just forget to drink! It takes effort and determination to stay hydrated.

So once again, staying healthy is the goal and keeping the vocal cords hydrated. It’s amazing how many vocalists begin doing this and then report back to me that issues that may have been consistent with them are minimized or just simply disappear! It really is something you need to do at all times.

I will be shooting a video version of this shortly and I will post it as well once it is done. In the meantime grab your water bottles and glasses and start chugging!!

Vocal Producer Howard Benson – “Sing Like A Pro Interview Series”

I sit down to talk with famous Vocal Producer Howard Benson to talk about the do’s and don’ts of getting ready for a session or project. Great info and a must listen for ANY vocalist in the music business or contemplating a career. The more you know what the pro’s know and what is expected, the more success you will achieve!



Hi! I’m Mitch Seekins – The Vocal Coach.

Welcome to the ‘Sing Like A Pro Interview Series” where you find out from people who are at the top of their game, what they did to get there and what they do to stay there! And of course if you liked this please share and hit that subscribe button…I have lots more to come.

I recently had the privilege to speak with the amazing Howard Benson who is not only an overall producer but made a name as a great vocal producer as well! He has worked with people like:

My chemical romance


Kelly Clarkson

Rascal Flatts

Chris Cornell




Bon Jovi

Adam Lambert



Billy Talent

And my connection with him, 3 days grace…

The stuff he has produced has sold more that 100 million albums and over 20 billion streams! He has been not only a producer and musician but was also an A&R consultant for Giant, Electra and Warner bros records. All this work has garnered him multiple awards and nominations, including nominations for Producer of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

He has a vast wealth of knowledge to share …and he has also a plug in suite that you can access! I’ll leave a link below. So, if you have a home setup and want an easy way to have your vocals “POP” like in Howards mixes…it’s a one button click! I highly recommend checking it out!

We did have a problem getting his camera to work so I had to use a still pic of him….but it doesnt change any of the incredible info he shared with me!



The idea for the content is to actually just get good quality information for people to know how to prepare for recording a record and all that stuff you know?


That’s what it’s all about… you’ve done like a lot an awful lot, you know, from you know because i mean you started as a musician right?

uh well i started as an engineer actually and as my degrees in aerospace

oh yes that’s right so i started that’s right because yeah you started as an engineer but you were you were playing music through university is it is that right?

yeah yeah i was doing kind of both but uh yeah i came out to LA pretty much do both i wasn’t sure which one was going to work out yeah so yeah it did work as an engineer for Garrett yeah they make like airplane parts my job was like wings and wing actuary wing actuation systems and turbine blades and turbo engines turbine engines and just that kind of thing so but right that’s what my degree was in in college was materials engineering basically mostly aerospace stuff the musician thing was still happening all the way through university kind of thing yeah i mean i was always in bands you know i was always playing in uh disco bands and just all kinds of bands you know like uh i ended up sort of becoming the de facto arranger because i was the keyboard player so you just end up doing uh the arrangements and coming up with the parts and uh it’s the vocal parts were not really something i spent that much time on i mean that was something that i learned as i was out here in l.a about you know the importance of doing this the vocal parts the vocal parts no and not saving them for the last second so that was something but up until the hard knocks of trying to make it as a producer yeah you think everything’s important you know before you realize that none of it’s important except the vocals so you know yeah yeah i still think a lot of it’s important because the it has to complement the vocals yeah yeah well you can have really great music and shitty vocals and you’re gonna be screwed oh absolutely if you have really really great music if you have you know music that’s not that great but the vocals are incredible and the music the lyrics and the melody and the story is great you can still make that work absolutely absolutely but if you got both yeah well that’s what we try to strive for of course yeah yeah absolutely when did you when did you uh do the anr stuff because you were doing a r stuff for a while as well yeah i worked for um giant records in the 80s or the 90s and i worked for elektra um after i started having hits with uh warner brothers elektra hired me to be a vp of a r for them which is basically just an r guy right and uh you know that sort of now dovetails into their label that i actually have with neil sanderson from three disgrace that’s right he’s my partner yeah and uh so it’s like the i wasn’t that great of an anr guy honestly i was sort of more of a producer type but now after doing producing so long i pretty much have a good handle on the a r part of it it’s a different world though the a r plus not the way it was back then everything has changed everything has changed so much over the last even just the ten the last 10 years that the change is is incredible you know because yeah like i you know i never i never did the you know the the full-on recording thing but um i toured myself for 37 years and performed for for 37 years myself but working with all the people that i do i get to hear all because i know the performance side but i get to hear all the business side as well and it’s just completely anything you know but it’s i think it’s kind of cool now i mean maybe it’s just because i i’ve had enough hit records that i don’t really sweat it out as much as i used to yeah as a creator content provider it’s a lot easier because you have more of the control in your hands you know you can’t make things as huge as they used to but um i don’t know it’s still the same business as it always was stuff to make great music yeah the rest of it usually takes care of itself it’s just that there’s a lot more music there’s a lot of yes yeah yeah it’s because all those creators have the ability to just kind of put it online whenever that’s right you know yeah um and and it’s so much easier with all the all the technology there to actually make it at home without having to you know do the crappy little demos and get you know something behind somebody behind them to go in to do the real good demos to take it to a record company to get signed to have it go into the machine now it’s just well i’m in my bedroom the quality is fantastic i’m just going to stick it up on youtube and see what happens yeah no in fact that’s what universal just came out with something universal music that they don’t even want you to release music unless you put it on tick tock to see the reactions so they’re going to let the public ignore it yeah i can see why they’re doing it though oh absolutely i can see why they’re doing it but that’s that’s gonna be i don’t know how that’s gonna work we’ll just have to see well some of my artists do that already so they’ve already they’re ahead of the game yeah yeah so i can artists that is we put up all 12 of his demos online to see which ones reacted yeah you know yeah and that’s how we’re going to pick the songs yeah you know yeah i i i work with a guy out of l.a uh ali gotti um who does a lot of that as well like he’ll he’ll put up ideas on tick tock and go hey do you want do you want to hear me develop this even more and get the reaction and then yeah it’s the same same kind of thing i guess not sure how much of that actually goes into the decision of you know okay we’re gonna work on this and see where it goes i i don’t know i’d have to ask him i guess and find out yeah to see where it is so over you know over your your career i mean my god the people you’ve worked with like my chemical romance daughtry kelly clarks and rascal flatts you know chris cornell motorhead creed santana bon jovi adam lambert that’s pretty cool hailstorm pubescent billy talent three days grace guys you know um you know and like i was saying you know the the purpose of of this all is to really you know get the information on how to do this for you know particularly uh the younger the younger people coming up and in terms of like how do you prepare for a record what what do you what do you do you know what i mean you’ve been working with you know from rock to pop to to to country to gospel to all kinds of different styles within your career as well so you know your your knowledge is is going to be great was was the so you’ve been doing this since i like i read on your site like since 86 or something like that right that was the first one yeah that was like the first time i got a production credit right you know but it was like a punk band was just it was basically anybody who would hire me essentially well just like all the rest of us you got to start someplace you know and so was it did you did you find it was kind of a natural progression from not only from the musicianship but from the the materials engineering because you had that mechanical brain to to go into a studio and go okay this is what we can do to tweak this sound to make it good you know all that kind of thing did you find that was a natural step um i think i had to learn to think more with my heart than my head yep i had to unlearn how to be an engineer an engineer yeah but i still had that in me yeah so when i think my biggest sort of break was when the computer started becoming usable and i was with the pro tools way before anybody like way way before 1996 which was has to be about five seven years before it became really the end of something yeah and um i just really like got into the fact that whatever was i was hearing i could now make it happen right as opposed to spending all this money in the studio i could do it at home and i you know it was at the time so nothing people thought about you know so that’s where the engineering came in but yeah i had to unlearn how to like start going more with my heart about things uh sorry i either have a cold or i have covered i’m not sure which one it is i’m just hoping it’s not covered um yeah but but uh yeah i had to kind of like you know feel things and uh it served me really good to start be lightening up in the studio yeah about things and letting go and delegating to people more and so like i i think a crucial step to is working with a guy named keith olsen who was uh probably my biggest mentor he he produced like the scorpions and he did a white snake and he did fleetwood mac and he did uh he’s old school guy back that i mean when i met him he wasn’t old school but yeah he just taught me how to comp vocals and how to um think about vocals and just like it was just morally more of the sessions that we were doing more vocal centric than they were before and uh you know i started to kind of i know i was pretty good at vocals but i didn’t really realize it would become a brand thing and i think a lot of it had to do with the computer i was again being first on the computer being able to use auto tune being able to use pitch correction all kinds of effects a lot of guys weren’t doing that back then like the pod record i did uh the first one i did was full of vocal effects and the singer sounded way better than he normally sounds so i started getting a a brand of being a good vocal producer and i think i just ran with it you know it was like well that’s working you know like and i’m having hits and i didn’t have any hits up until then i mean honestly up until that moment i had had sold maybe 60 000 albums now i thought sold about 60 million albums yet up until that point i hadn’t sold any until i started rethinking my process and you know i went a long time without selling records so it was kind of painful you know like it was uh hard to see success like i had to think of alternatives to do with my life and all that yeah but once i had a huge record it’s kind of like uh a lot of things happened at once you know the vocal thing happened the computer thing was happening i actually hired a lot of canadians to be my assistants uh my and mike platinikov from little mountain studios yeah uh in vancouver became my primary engineer i worked with randy staub on some stuff um my pro tools editor was from canada my guitar tech mark van gool was from canada and um it was i really liked the sound of bruce fairburne’s records yeah and i would look to those bon jovi records and things like that for the vocal production yeah i got to work with desmond child and uh diane warren and some great songwriters i like i came about it you know the right way like i i learned from really good people and i hired really good people right i’m not really good at making things like i could care less about it right i don’t i don’t know like a drum mic pick one you know yeah so as long as it sounds good yeah so um so like i delegate a lot of that stuff right i think that also came from my engineering background just looking at how we would make airplanes you know like we didn’t make the whole airplane we just made one part of the airplane and the rest of it we delegated to other companies to do and we were part of that you know we made the wings the slat systems on the wings and all that so there’s a lot of things that kind of came together yeah you know and everybody makes records differently you know like rick rubin makes them his way and rob makes it his way gavin brown makes it his way yeah that’s how i make him you know yeah so uh


as long as the song is great it’s the song of the but to me again my world view is song and vocals yeah i think that’s why three days grace and me work really well together is that they think the same exact way yeah those guys so um but other bands i work with they don’t think that way anymore it’s weird like some of the bands i’ve worked with in the past it’s like i stopped working with them and they start working with engineers who don’t want they don’t want to be told what to do so they want to work with people that are yes men and their records start going like that you know yeah but it’s hard you know you want to be in control of your own art i get it you know yeah so i know and and it is learning you know that being creative is great but three or four brains is always better than just one i mean yes there’s anomalies you know of course it does it does depend but adding you know what you do and allowing your and it’s the same with gavin like allowing them to kind of get your fingers into the mix and go okay but if we do this this will be better and actually making the product better yeah it is that was interesting everybody’s concept of that is different you know like some artists don’t like working with me because they think that i’m a sellout hit producer that sells it out to make hits and i’m and they’re right i am i don’t care about that that’s not if you don’t don’t hire me unless you want hits like i don’t care about the rest of this yeah and you know i i never really got into the music industry to starve that’s not what i did it’s pretty great you need to be up front you got to be upfront with the artists though before you start projects of course like i i always say to them like if you want to make critically acclaimed records that are like amazing that your friends love and that get great press then don’t work with me not interested you know i want to make like you should be bringing all this intensity and integrity already yeah you know like that’s not my job that’s your job you know my job is to take what you’ve got and make it into commercially palatable yeah stuff which you know is if it’s if you got all the other stuff then why not work with someone like me if you want to get that little extra that makes it a hit record you know that’s what’s really there could be a lot of differences between hits and stiffs you know or or little differences very little differences too yeah yeah yeah i mean it’s every project’s unique like that yeah yeah yeah yeah um you know working with so many different vocalists uh over these have you noticed a difference between you know the singers who have studied and those who have not like if you the good ones don’t give me a lot of [ __ ] the good ones come in sing and leave seriously yeah they don’t they don’t ask about the headphone mix they don’t they don’t they’re they’re ready to go they come in it’s in their head five to ten takes i come up with the harmonies they go through the whole thing we maybe will punch in line after line um and if they want auto-tune i’ll throw it on their vocal but i don’t have to talk them into an emotion they’ve got that what i have to do is talk them into giving me the most of that like don’t like sell it to me like that’s i never talk about pitch and timing ever right ever never comes out like we never discuss any of that right you know what we discuss is like are you believing what you’re saying right and that’s what i want but like the singers that come in that are you know complaining about everything and they you know don’t like the headphone mix they can’t get this they can’t get that and you know i don’t know he don’t protest too much you know so um you know you should be pretty bored that’s the one thing you should do is be warmed up before you get there yeah if you have to warm up in the vocal booth you’ve just kind of like screwed up the session you know yeah so i encourage people yeah i’ve been i’ve been in your studio virtually helping matt warm up from three days grace yeah yeah that’s always prepared yeah the last the last two records like before every vocal session he does like his time with me i don’t know if he ever told you that but uh yeah yeah yeah i don’t know if he i don’t know we’re just that was such a bizarre record because we were so far away from each other it was very hard to do it you know we were just uh zoomed the whole time yeah but i think the first the first yeah the first one he was at your house your place the first record we were yeah this record half of it was done or i don’t know you know i don’t even remember actually what we did but i think the first five songs were done in in toronto and i was here yeah then the second five were done here i think yeah something like that yeah you know because a lot of singers will also have like a ton of natural talent like natural ability when you work with a singer do you ever ask if they’ve studied voice or not or or is it just let’s just go and no i always ask them if they’re taking vocal lessons right now though oh good yeah yeah yeah because some of them if they don’t have a warm-up tape or they don’t have a warm-up process then i usually send them to us guy that i use in town here named mark rank yeah who i’ve been using for a long time and he can get them in right away and just uh turn them around yeah for me and uh it’s just basic stuff basic warm-ups yeah um you know the inflames guy always goes to him before every single vocal session so i like it when a singer has a vocal coach they like you know and it’s i personally feel that vocal coach should go on the road with them i don’t know why they have guitar techs and drum techs i think that’s a kind of a waste of money some of them do some of them do uh bieber i think has his on the road with him or he used to anyway uh ally’s been talking to me i’m i ca i can’t go on the road with yeah i got little kids uh you know yeah and well they should have some way to do it absolutely yeah somebody’s talking to them through this yeah yeah i work with people while they’re on the road um a lot of time because because i set my guys up so well that they have their workout files and all that sort of thing i only really hear from them when they when they’re sick and then because there’s a different way to to to warm up and and what have you uh and i i take them through that get them through the show or the series of shows you know uh that kind of thing some of the thing is you know like like i was talking you know with natural talent and stuff um have you have you noticed the difference like the people that don’t have the coaches or haven’t done the studying the difference in in uh like endurance or control no i don’t really notice that i think it’s the ones that i it’s interesting the ones that have been around a while they’ve worn up their voices they’re the ones who i think need the vocal coaching the most yeah because they’ve been on the road a lot and they’ve trashed their voices and they need help with not getting sort of not you know just getting nodes and all kinds of stuff like that yeah yeah the newer singers like the 20 year old 21 year old it doesn’t [ __ ] matter they are so strong at that point they’re just like you know loose cannons yeah and in some ways they’re fun to produce but you you have more uh you don’t really need a vocal coach for them as much because they are strong and they’ve got youth on their side i find it someone’s who’ve been touring a lot that need the vocal coaches yeah yeah the the young ones um uh i like working because it is kind of fresh like you said it’s strong you know and if i can establish good habits at the beginning


they the voice only grows with age right and lasts so much longer you know and they don’t run out yeah yeah and it and they don’t run into the problems um uh which a lot of the other guys do and you know so much of what i do that the psychological damage that happens when a vocalist’s voice starts to decline it’s it’s so hard on your head man you know right but you know in terms of the studio yeah the young guys like you said they got lots of uh yeah they have all this energy yeah yeah they just go for it and sometimes that’s what you really want them to do they don’t have to be perfect or any of that stuff they just want to get emotion out of them yeah i found a couple times that vocal coaches have actually screwed it up for me because they’ve done the wrong thing with the singer they’ve made they’ve made them they’ve taken away what was special about them and smoothed it out and like i don’t want that sometimes i mean i i’d rather have you go to the vote if you’re young go to the coach after you see me like i want to capture what got you there got you here now got you yeah yeah it’s not like i’ve uh i remember there was one famous vocal coach in town i won’t be on yeah but everybody would come back from him and just be super like uh like i don’t know trying to sing from their diaphragm all the time and that’s not what got them signed unfortunately that’s not that’s not what got them signed in yeah it’s not like i can’t have that it’s not my problem that part of it yeah you know like i gotta capture what made them special now after they’re out of here that’s something they can do later yeah yeah you know you can learn to sing what we did in the studio but properly you know i find it a lot of times this [ __ ] we do here becomes kind of like a cover song to singers they’ll learn the song from here as a as if somebody else was singing it yeah and copy it but sing it better like live they will sing it without all the thrashiness and all the craziness you know be able to survive a live show yeah but i don’t want them doing that when they show up here like yeah that takes out the uh i want that intensity yeah i think the older singers needed more the older singer needed they god there’s so many singers i worked with ten years later their voices just aren’t what they are you could tell you could hear the road where yeah they can’t hit the notes or notes or at least i mean some of my guy singers could hit like a’s and stuff now they can’t hit above like a f-sharp and that’s a pretty big drop you know that’s a huge drop yeah i deal with damaged voices a lot and um it’s kind of what i’m known for up here is is dealing with damaged voices but the other thing is to you know when people come to me the last thing i’m going to do is change a voice that has sold you know a couple million records already that i’m not going to change that you know and i do know that you know i know exactly what you’re saying in terms of there’s some vocal coaches that will smooth out the rest rough edges and and that’s their calling card right you need you need that intact you know the best thing i ever worked with was probably kelly clarkson she was so the one thing i liked about her is that she always had this energy but she did her warm-ups between every take and i encouraged my artists to do that like yeah that one warm-up where you do the uh blubber with your mouth the lip trills yeah yeah between every take and it always kept her voice open yeah and i just thought that and she never lost her character or any of that she was really aware of what she was doing yeah that’s a person that came in saying and left yeah you know like it was a new effect totally prepared yeah you know yeah like every take was great and you just were looking for the special ones yeah you know that’s a total pro yeah and probably studied for a majority of her life i’m imagining i have no idea i have no idea you know idea what was what was it like working with uh adam lambert did you do vocals with him or yeah yeah um he was very very insecure about himself in the studio like yeah he had a posse of people there telling him he was great all the time so yeah this is very way in the very beginning though i didn’t work with him that much but he was sort of like uh it wasn’t really my cup of tea because honestly the label didn’t know what kind of record to make he didn’t know what kind of record to make nobody knew what they were it was right out of american idol and yeah like i’ve done a lot of american idols and like maybe two out of ten of them walk in the studio and know what they want to do the rest are just like it’s not their fault no they come from a game show they got to make a record almost immediately i know no and i know their whole life is yeah here it is they’ve been waiting their whole life for this and so many of them you know from from that format okay they can sing but they haven’t taken the time to actually develop as an artist to actually know like you said actually know what it is you’re doing what are you gonna do you know is it gonna be a rock cracker are you gonna be a rock singer are you gonna be that was the issue with him you didn’t know what to make a dance record or they brought me in to make the rock record then he had other producers making dance music with him and yeah you know uh i think he ended up right where he should have ended up which is being the lead singer queen oh queen yeah it’s a great gig for a great great big farm yeah it’s you know stylistically right up his alley you know yeah he’s a great showman he’s flashy exactly and works great yeah you know where daughtry came and got you knew exactly who he was right exactly like we didn’t have to even like like that wasn’t part of the process that was just finding great songs for him right you know absolutely were you there at the beginning or into into at the beginning wow even at the beginning he knew exactly who he was and yeah i did his first three albums oh nice any special advice for anybody coming you know wanting to get into the business as a vocalist any advice off the top of your head that you could make sure you pick the right material to sing right i mean like if you pick shitty material i don’t care how good a singer you are people just don’t are not gonna like you so yeah i mean one of the great things about this the old school singers like the tony bennetts and the sinatra is they always had the right material you know and they would do cover songs if they had to they would do whatever was hits yeah because that’s you know they already got halfway there because the song was great yeah you know if you if you write if you’re a great singer and you can’t write songs admit it so there’s nothing wrong with that plenty of singers are great interpreters yeah you know in some ways that’s actually a better place to be if you want longevity because you constantly keep doing great material all the time you know you can keep going yeah and have other people’s write songs for you but if you keep writing songs and you’re not agreeing there’s very few bruce springsteen’s out there tell me about that i know yeah rod stewart rod stewart look how long his career is he does cover songs now i don’t know if he was really that involved in the writing stuff he was just it was just such a great voice i think he wrote maggie may i think oh did he write megan yeah he was a good writer back then yeah but but he got smart you know he’s went for that at three days grace is like that judas grace always brings in outside writers yeah so right like gavin for example yeah you know gavin’s always writing with them so it’s just you know nobody cares about where the songs they really don’t the average public nobody gives a [ __ ] you know but if you’re caught singing shitty people gonna think you can’t sing well that’s it whether you can sing or not if it’s crappy songs it’s crappy songs that’s right nobody’s going to pay any kind of attention songwriting itself takes like it takes practice it takes you have to put your time in and that’s why the you know the guys coming in from you know the game shows like you said they haven’t necessarily done all that work they just got chosen out of a cattle call and away they go you know well i think chris chris was you know he was in a band a lot he did a lot of work chris dodger he was always playing in bands in north carolina and he was ready to go that’s why he did so well yeah but uh but some of the singers you know i mean they all to get to that point where you come in the top five of that show you’ve got to be pretty good yeah and you had to study pretty well yeah but that doesn’t mean you’re cut out to be a star you know at all in fact when’s the last time that’s even happened yeah on these game shows i don’t think ever i don’t think so either not the last 10 years yeah i actually don’t follow them that much because i’m too busy taking care of the guys who are actually doing it on the road you know right working at not not doing the the the game show thing this is for the tech guys have you found that you you have like a favorite mic that that you can use i and i know every voice is different and a lot you know most of the time like you want to find that that mic for that voice is there is there a favorite mic that you’ve run across that has been a fairly good catch-all for a lot of different different voices and styles yeah i’ve been using the sony c800 for 15 years yeah that’s all i use and once in a while i’ll use the uh sm yeah but the c800 is really probably 99 of it yeah yeah yeah uh ali ali gotti i think just bought one of those uh yeah just for his home studio because his voice sounds so good on it such it is a beautiful sounding mic yeah it’s hard to find yeah they are very hard to find and very expensive but very hard to find he he lucked out he was able to get one in like i don’t know four or five weeks or something like that totally lucked out uh i know that you’ve got a kind of a you’ve teamed up with a developer and you’ve got kind of a vocal sweet uh plug-in type of thing i’ll do uh i’ll do um you know youtube shout out shout outs just kind of doing doing some stuff and getting people to go check it out because i i checked it out to be very cool make things nice and simple you know if you’ve got a basic rig at home and just well it’s all the sounds i used i mean i didn’t hide anything i just gave everybody the compression and the delays and it’s sort of joey stir just makes it and uh so yeah it’s pretty it’s just compressor delay reverb you know left and right spreading stuff and vocal multiplier which we actually are going to put a separate module out with that right and just some limiting and things like that it’s nothing that crazy but the presets are great and yeah it’s really been a big hit for me that more than the other plugins i’ve put out yeah people really like it’s simple you just put it up you put on the hp one and it sounds amazing so yeah exactly that’s how i am about things i don’t like i use presets i never dial anything in um yeah it would be real handy to just go press a button and there’s a great sound you don’t have to fiddle with knobs and all the rest of that you know yeah you want to be a creative person not a tech person correct well thank you so much for doing this i really really appreciate it okay well it was cool man and say hi to matt for me i certainly will voice is an octave lower right now than it usually is yeah so well that that’s and again thanks thanks for doing it even though you might be sick hopefully it’s not coveted you know but it’s uh whatever it’s coming for us all i think eventually hopefully it’s just a week exactly what i think who cares anymore i know i know well thanks so much man nice meeting you all right bye-bye

Producer Gavin Brown – “Sing Like A Pro Interview Series”

My goal is to share as much knowledge, with up and coming and established vocalists, what it takes to do what successful singers do… how they made it and how they stay on top of their game. A great Producer is key. Canada’s producing icon, Gavin Brown, shares his years of experience and insight on how to make that happen. A must see for any serious singer! The link to my website to get info on how to continue a conversation with Gavin is



Hi! I’m Mitch Seekins – The Vocal Coach.

Welcome to the ‘Sing Like A Pro Interview Series” where you find out from people who are at the top of their game, what they did to get there and what they do to stay there!

This and the next upcoming Interview is especially important for you to have a listen to as it may be the difference between a highly successful music career….and one that’s… just ok.

One of the biggest lessons to learn as an artist/vocalist is….that you can’t do this alone. Behind the scenes of EVERY successful artist is…a team. People who help create and develop a career with you, are paramount to your success. A major player in that team is a Producer… who can help take your songs that might well be good …and make them great, tuning them into hits, which is the key to having and sustaining a thriving, prosperous career.

This episode features Gavin Brown, one of Canada’s most prolific and successful music producers who works at a global scale. To date he has produced over 40 #1 hits and countless top 10’s … His insights and advice are backed by many years of experience and I think you are going to want to hear them. Please listen to the end for important info if you’d like to learn more from Gavin! If you like this please share and hit that subscribe button…I have a lot more to come!


Mr. brown how are you doing?

I’m well, Mr. Seekins, how are you?

I’m doing good… just fine.  It’s been a long time, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen you face to face, anyway.

You know there’s reasons for that unfortunately….

Yeah I know I know,

But you know but you’re in my life regularly you uh, come up in my calendar “vocal lesson with Mitch” you know a bunch of different artists I work with!

You’ve worked with like some crazy, I mean crazy people: Bare Naked Ladies,  Tragically Hip, uh Billy Talent, Metric, New Kids On The Block… I didn’t know you did some stuff with New Kids On The Block! Yep!

That’s cool and even you did something with Lady Gaga… a long time ago I know! All this stuff I found on the internet.

you know oh the internet yeah!

And i mean of course Three Days Grace which is you know, how i was introduced to them…

I think that was like as of 2015, so there’s even more stuff since then.

Yeah i think there’s a number of your clients, even like Ian Thornley, I worked with him


uh i know that you work regularly with Matt


you know and uh I’ve made two records with matt as the singer um or three, two and a half or something an amount of, an amount of recording yeah and uh um yeah we did a cover song in there “Three Days Grace Version of “Somebody That I Used To Know” that’s what we did. so we uh you know you know I’ve known Matt a long time and yeah I worked with him in My Darkest Days era even before then… you know he has a couple co-writes on the very first Three Days Grace record

yeah i know he was telling me!

Yeah so we’ve we’ve known each other a long time and I you know I really respect his work ethic and his talents and you know, his drive to you know to , to be amazing. you know i think when Adam left and and Matt had the interim uh position on that tour for Three Days Grace, uh you know he took it very, very seriously and wanted you know wanted to make sure he could keep the job


and you know not only did he keep the job he’s excelled!

No kidding!

hey it’s fantastic you know we went and had a few number one songs um you know with him singing um and uh you know and it’s not easy to replace a singer especially one as identifiable as Adam you know and when you look at history you have ACDC, you have Van Halen uh and you have uh Three Days Grace you know those are the bands that have had you know, i guess Journey but that’s you know that’s a different kind of story

that’s a different yeah that’s a different thing they’re not continuing up to continuing to put out new music as far as i know

yeah, no and they’ve also had like 700 members that’s a different kind of dance yeah like where you know all we did was replace one person and uh you know and maintained the fan base and maybe grew it as well so…

absolutely grew it! um the last number one that that they did that was Matt’s seventh with the band you know and i think they’ve got a few more coming up on this new record i think fabulous fabulous record

Well I think a lot of that’s, you know, attributable to you um Mitch to tell you the truth… you know they have you know other than that pandemic layoff they toured extensively across the globe and you know uh you know those are long concerts filled with you know acrobatics and higher high energy performance and you know loud you know uh you know loud music with a large range of you know large range and um you know matt’s ability to you know uh you know i remember touring with them a bunch uh off and on and him like you know i thought you know i’d come backstage after the struggle matt matt you nailed it he goes well yeah but in the third song i missed this note and then the fifth song that you know you know the attention to detail was just fantastic yeah yeah and his ability to like i said earlier you know to have um you know this is a marathon the music business it’s not a sprint and so like you said it’s seven number ones you know and it feels like yesterday he just joined i know i know i was i was looking at my books and i think we started you introduced me to him in 2014 and we’ve never stopped working we keep it in between tours yeah you know we continue yeah and good for him to do that you know there’s a music the music business is you know i try to draw a parallel to professional sports because you know there’s nothing else where that requires um the amount of uh skill talent luck um and you know in a small pool of folks who actually survive yeah and then you look at the folks who are at the top you know michael jordan always had a coach tiger woods always goes back to the range after every you know they the you know the folks at the top work hard to stay there and and you know matt’s a great example of someone who you know not didn’t just like oh i’m gonna learn some stuff from mitch and then go on to you know seven number ones you know you’re you’ve been integral in in creating that you know long-term long-term career yeah yeah yeah maintaining it you know they’re on tour right now they are they are and uh i haven’t heard i always like it when i don’t hear from my my guy i only hear from when they have problems that we work through that’s stressful well it’s not as quite as stressful for me it is as it is for them but i i still feel that oh my god okay what can i do to get him through you know this particular set of shows or show and all that kind of thing you’ve been doing this for a long time um but i actually i don’t really know much about you in terms of like how you started and that kind of thing so i’m presuming that you started as as a musician yeah so i started um piano lessons on mondays and drum lessons on wednesdays when i was five years old and so by the time i was in my mid-teens i was touring in a band as a drummer and then in my early 20s and that was kind of like a post-punk hardcore band in the late 80s early 90s and then you know we made a record with steve albini and and uh toured all over the states and you know i was still in high school uh and then after that i uh i actually sang in a band for a year which was probably um one of the most valuable learning experiences because a uh i realized i’m a terrible singer and b which was what people were telling me don’t give up okay yeah yeah yeah um you know but i also realized how much uh how difficult it is to stand up on stage and only have you know you only can open your mouth and you’re so vulnerable and you’re you know so i have a deep amount of respect for people who get up on the front of the stage and sing you know i was best suited hiding behind the drums you know acting like a sport you know like like uh you know enjoying that ability back there but singing you know was was emotionally destruct destructive for me and you know and really really uh you know it’s such a vulnerable place so i you know i i took that into producing later you know after i was a drummer for another bunch of years i played in a bunch of bands and toured around anybody that of note that uh i played drums in uh crash vegas the sky diggers i played in jim cuddy’s solo band i played in big sugar for a year and a half i played toured with sarah harmer um and then i joined a band called danko jones which was they had been opening up for big sugar on the last tour that i was on um and then after i left them uh big sugar i joined django jones for eight months and then that was when the my producing thing started because we went into the studio pretty much right away and i was the only guy in the room who had any studio experience i’d played drums on a ton of records between the age of 15 and 25 so right i think i was 26 at the time and uh you know so i produced uh this song called bounce which is still there you know a big radio song we had a number one song in canada yeah and in doing that uh i realized how much i you know how much i loved being in the studio and not just getting in a van or a bus and traveling for eight hours eight hours to to unload and set up and play to tear down yeah oh my god yeah so i you know the the multifaceted nature of of producing where you know it was song writing it was arrangement it was uh engineering it was yeah you know equipment and yeah and there’s the political stuff like the budgets and the managers and the labels and then there’s the psychological stuff we’re dealing with crazy people um on all and all fronts um you know and and you know i really enjoyed digging into that i i didn’t know that you did this guy diggers gig yeah i played on one of the records and toured them for a year and played with a bunch of guys i played with hayden i played uh with chris brown and kate fenner the bourbon tabernacles i uh i you know did a like but big sugar we did a lot of touring with government mule and we did a lot of jamming with those guys and they were in the almond brothers the two of them yeah you know uh you know i was a drummer i did a lot of drummy stuff and uh um you know i played on jim cuddy’s solo record i think i was 22 at the time you know i was yeah lucky to be um a professional at a young age uh as a drummer and i was lucky to realize that uh after 10 or more years of touring that that wasn’t for me yeah yeah you know no i mean and like you said it just seemed to be a natural progression to move into the producing side of things because you have the studio experience and yeah and you enjoyed it i mean that’s the i loved it yeah and i still i still do um and you know the main the main way i describe what i do is is i work with songs yeah and so so songs are the most important thing when i differentiate that from music music is one thing and songs are a different thing altogether yeah and songs have a distinct form and a distinct shape and are supported by music yeah so uh a lot of my work is done before we even go into the studio a lot of my work is done you know um i wouldn’t even call it pre-production it’s just working on the songs and then also you know getting uh you know uh an idea together as to what we’re trying to achieve you know really making an agreement amongst all the participants as to you know because not everybody wants to play at their canada center you know i like i like people who do yeah you know of course yeah you know but not everybody’s willing to do you know the amount of personal work and the amount of uh effort and the amount of you know uh psychological work that it takes to do that in it because it’s really really hard to to to be up there yeah i know that and that’s a major point that i’m trying to because i’ve done a whole series of of these so far and i’ve got a lot more to do and it’s trying to educate young singers coming up that the psychological end of things particularly is that that requires a lot of work and it’s not just something that just kind of happened yeah and it has you know there’s i find that there’s a uh you know it happened to me it seems to happen everybody where there’s like kind of a bursting of the adolescent bubble where you think you’re the center of the universe and you think that you know you’re it’s my music and it’s like well no it’s not it’s uh the audience’s music yeah you know i did i didn’t invent a minor did you you know like yeah yeah we’re we’re part of an arc of hundreds of or of years of of modern western music and you know we’re just little little blips in the sand here yeah and so so trying to you know get your you know get this fragile insecure ego which you know all artists have which is part of the beauty of it all yeah and focus that that energy towards you know the audience and remember what it was like when you first heard music that made you understand yourself and may you know drew you into the into wanting to be that a professional communicator you know that so what that requires is a different relationship with music than you think yeah than people think and so being a professional communicator requires professionalizing which is where you come in because talent is one thing but skill is learned is learned i know so you know i you know i had a lot of talent luckily my family’s musical but i also worked you know i would when i was really trying to be a drummer i would practice 10 hours a day and then go do a gig you know i had you know i had my ass kicked by by a number of factors in my life and and another a number of musicians you know who were like hey kid you’re pretty good but you’re not good enough yeah and so so i you know when i was a drummer i took you know i worked my ass off and i studied and i really really worked hard um to be able to to be great at my craft and then when i turned into a more in the songwriting and the in the uh recording side i learned how to do every bit of pro tools i learned all of the gear i learned how to engineer i learned all the all the things that were needed to be a producer you know even though i never really engineered a record i needed you know like i would always have an engineer um you know so so i i take you know i take it the professional side of things very very seriously and and i don’t believe that you know music i think everyone should have a relationship with music i think most people shouldn’t have a professional relationship with music yeah you know and it’s like i said you know and it’s okay and it’s okay absolutely you know weekend jam bands are fun as hell like absolutely um but i think you know it’s like me playing golf on the weekend i am so far from the pga tour it’s not even funny my best round you know is you know is is the not even close yeah so you know and that for some reason people buy a guitar and ten minutes later they think they should be neil young and it’s like ah you know you know but it really worked that way yeah you know so so you know it’s a lifelong pursuit and i you know i really appreciate uh folks like you who can uh you know really bring uh a really strong professional skill set to people and offer them the opportunity to maximize their talent yeah then you know and and that’s invaluable for me because you know i did that with a bunch of singers early on my career as much as i could in the studio until i knew about you and then you know um you know and then it’s uh then it’s like oh you know why don’t you go see mitch and then we’ll record in a few months you know yeah yeah so yeah um you know and then hey bass player won’t you go see the bass playing equivalent of mitch and you know like you know there’s there’s professionalization that has to happen yeah you know or it’s a choice not to and that’s you know that’s uh and then you’re gonna get the results that you that that the the you know the effort does equal the results for the most part yeah absolutely with all the singers that you’ve worked with there there is there is a difference between those who have studied and those who have not so yeah was was there a noticeable difference be before you you found out about what it is i do that you you could see you know this singer studied and and we’re able to do this and this singer hasn’t it’s still good but there’s limitations as to it’s mostly it’s mostly stamina and and yeah folks at least in the studio you know uh people come in you know with an identity or we focus their identity as much as we can so it’s not like it’s not like i need a singer who has you know unbelievable chops in seven different styles like you know like i don’t need someone to sing you know but but what they need to be able to do is is you know uh a you know last more than 20 minutes and b uh you know take direction um as much as possible and then c mostly have studied enough to get over the technique and be able to perform in an emotional capacity and that’s you know that’s the part you know uh where you know to relate it again to sports like you know i play golf all the time because and i love it and i’m terrible but i’m getting better yeah yeah yeah i work at it but i’m still thinking about my swing on the course whereas the guys i play with who are really good they’re just playing golf they’re just playing golf so you know so i’m still thinking about the the minutia of the technique and what you know and when i do it right it’s it turns out okay but then i don’t have the facility to do it right over and over again and that’s where someone who studied has a the stamina b the ability to to parse out what they’re doing right and wrong fix it and then repeat it and so you know that that’s that’s the you know and and those are professional qualities you know like you know i uh you know the the repeatability factor is huge you know when we do vocals we do multiple takes and we comp the vocals together right i don’t want you know seven or eight different takes i want seven or eight takes that are almost identical so i can then find that one that just has that emotional context yeah and that tone and that communication that’s better i don’t need seven wildly different takes i need seven exactly the same exactly yeah and that that requires you know uh uh the skill levels and the time that the commitment to get those skills um and that’s you know and that’s a big difference you know that’s a huge difference you’re working with a kid that we work with now a guy named nick you know who’s got a weird cool voice it’s very it’s very it’s it’s it’s so interesting it’s a very unique sound like it is i i’m i’m uh thrilled to be working with him because i don’t know if i’ve really worked with somebody with such like he opens his mouth you know it’s him yeah and then so for us you know yeah and so you know i’ve known him for a couple years now and we just went in the studio last week and i think we’re in tomorrow um yeah i think you’re working with him today or tomorrow um i didn’t even have to check my schedule i know he’s both but he’s he’s developed a number of these things a stamina b repeatability and and repeatability for him is tough because you know he’s kind of riffing on these melodies ideas you know they’re not he’s not you know when we first met he was he would just open his mouth and sing his thing and it was awesome and cool um and you know so and now we’re getting pronunciation better we’re getting toned that’s more easier home better yeah i’m working with him on top you know um we’re getting repeatability and we’re getting stamina and um you know and there’s a there’s a harshness that’s kind of been rounded off of his voice thankfully you know and you know we got we got to get the right mic and we got to get the right compressor and you know and the producer i’m not producing this stuff but i’m helping him you know with the songwriting so we’re making good song demos yeah and uh you know so whoever produces it is going to have a a fun time putting a tone around that voice like what’s the right and you said it earlier right you know what is it the sonic landscape or whatever that goes around the voice you know when we did billy talent’s first couple records ben has a really unique voice and you know i think we we got it on the radio yeah yeah yeah the number one songs um you know the music was so much more aggressive and the guitar tones would would offset some of the great the the grading quality of his voice but he also then did the work you know and they’re they’re they just sold out air canada center a couple weeks ago again you know so 20 years later i know they’re touring the world you know and and when he and i met he hadn’t taken any singing lessons and you know he had he just he did a lot of work and um you know again repeatability and you know all the things we’ve spoken about yeah so it’s it’s uh it’s it’s no secret i know it really is like i mean i i you know it’s it’s my job is interesting because i show people how to do it but it’s really up to them to actually get it done you know and it’s it’s it’s it’s nice to be at the level where you know i’m getting referrals from you know from you and from from people who are at that professional level who are committed to doing the work because it does it does it takes work and it takes time and it takes time you got to be patient with me yeah i had a drum teacher in my early twenties a guy named jim blackley who’s a legendary drum teacher in toronto and you know he’d say in his scottish accent i won’t be on the band stand with you tonight son yeah you know like uh you know oh you know you got to do the work you know and he’s got to do the work you know when i see him once a month and you know the minute i sat down he would know by my body posture if i’d if i’d been practicing he’d know whether you know like you know there’s no fooling anybody yeah yeah i know i know i know you know yeah you just you just end up shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t yeah i also find it’s important to put a perspective for folks that you know whatever you’re doing uh you know someone else is doing more and you know and uh you know and each of the when the spotify releases come out every friday there’s no sticker that says oh sorry i didn’t try hard you know there’s nothing there like you know it’s it’s it’s as much as you can possibly do to better yourself is is you know and that again is a psychological thing it really is yeah yeah is there is there any vocals that you’ve worked with you know over the years that that kind of stands out in your in your mind as as as being exceptional and and why like what so yeah so when i first started working with ian thornley um it was his first solo record after big wreck yeah we’ll come again and we wrote a bunch of songs and did a bunch of demos and you know he he has that extraordinary ability of being able to do a lot of things and so we narrowed it down to like we’re going to do a you know like a active rock you know the edge 102 kind of record and that was the kind of stuff that i was doing and he was signed to chad from nickelback and you know and he was an unbelievable guitar player but then we started doing you know when we were saying writing and he was singing he was like wow this is great but then for me i know what it’s like in front of a microphone yeah through the other side of the glass that’s really what i know when things are great and when he started singing it was just mind mind-blowing how great his tone his control his emotion you know his emotion his ability to communicate was just you know uh unbelievable you know not necessarily better than get his guitar but on par with his guitar playing you know which is world class as well yeah you know so so he you know he was absolutely spectacular uh the time i spent with lady gaga was just you know she’s unbelievable singer it was very little time but we did one song yeah so you did you did do vocals with her uh no i did uh like a pre-production session okay right my manager martin kirstenbaum who signed her originally to interscope um and produced and co-wrote a bunch of her first record um he did the vocals but her and i did a session here in toronto when she was here yeah you know her vocals you know it’s just her whole being her whole thing is just spectacular yeah yeah um you know uh you know there’s been a number of standouts um uh and i’m trying to i mean for me and that what you know what matt walsh does as well with three days grace is like oh yeah extraordinary geez you know it’s so funny i remember talking to barry the guitar player and he was going you know thank you so much for for taking care of matt and i’m going man you’re so lucky that this guy has like vocal cords of steel and you know barry’s kind of looking at me but it’s true you know matt has a genetic thing that allows him to sing in that intensity without ripping himself apart and this was this was 45 years ago when when barry said you know that to me and we’ve worked since and you know his ability has even you know gotten better and better he’s no longer killing himself for shows or anything like that it’s great you know i would agree yeah and that’s you know that’s unbelievable and a great guy yeah yeah yeah you know that band where you know it’s coming up 20 years now i know but i don’t know yeah ian studied with me for almost two years and and got what he needed and it’s just so funny you know in my mind he’s got one of the best rock voices in the world and you know for a guy who’s so kind of insecure about his voice he’s like man you got nothing to worry about my god you know it’s amazing if you haven’t seen it watch the uh ian thornley interview that i did you know the other guy i would be uh jeff martin from the tea party who was an underrated underrated everything you know he i made a record with them it was their seventh record it was called seven circles yeah i did most of it bob rock did a couple songs um and i was uh you know he was like one take wonder like he’d go in nail it you know pour a drink and say let’s you know next song next time you know and uh same with this guitar playing you know like i think i did tea party and ian thornley around the same time 2000 yeah or 2005 somewhere in there and yeah yeah yeah yeah unbelievable yeah i know i’ve never met jeff but what what a tone oh yeah like you know his voices and the ability to know who he is you know and what you know he he’s got a whole thing that he does and like it or not it’s what he does and he does it very very well yeah uh sarah harmer i did a bunch of work with her over the years her voice um you know put i think not very studied but you know natural talent and unique melodic sense um you know we did i played drums in our first solo single called basin apartment i put uh some singles on one of her records i produced a whole record i toured with her off and on all through the states and you know she was great um dude there’s a whole there’s a whole bunch of people i worked with you know oh i know and and they all have their you know strong points and and weak points and uh different levels of natural ability you know mixed with training or no training but they’re just you know just great singers i mean god i mean look at look at adele for example like yeah i don’t know if there’s any training there at all she may have gotten training now but oh my god what a singer holy cow you know amazing voice so everybody you know everybody’s different and it’s it’s it’s so cool you know when i hear you know guys like you actually bring out the best in a singer it’s it’s it’s always been so fascinating for me you know you must be listening to the the right songs then cause we don’t look do you have any advice i mean all this is advice for singers but do you have anything specific for vocalists heading into the studio like yeah there’s a bunch of things that are that are key on a the key yeah make sure you know what your range is uh tempo is huge for me i uh i find you know when people are writing 99 of the time you’re right too slow yeah and uh a lot of times i spend a lot of time getting the lyrical flow to be as if talking was happening but then add tone yeah and itch so you know like not unlike this this should be the cadence of of how the this verse should go but you know but when people write songs they want you know they write them too slow you know and then all this other stuff starts to happen uh where you know you then you have all this room to swoop into the note you have all this room to swoop out and create some sort of uh an articulation or you know and and uh that’s not for me the records i want to make are not really that you know i’m really into communicating you know i made four barenaked ladies records and and ed is talking about a guy who doesn’t you know he’s not he’s very economical like he doesn’t have huge power in terms of long big notes he’s a great singer in the terms of communicating and and you know and not wasting you know so that it would you know to get him to sing stuff in time you know in a tempo that moves is you know really easy because you know but then you know that’s that’s huge getting getting the tempo and the key right um you know also trying not to do too much in one day in the studio is you know uh there’s uh i have like a two hour limit a rule it’s like we’re not going to sing for more than two hours you know do your warm-up do your mitch she can warm up yeah and then then we’re gonna sing not more than two hours and uh you know hopefully there’s enough studio time booked over the course of several sessions in order to cut you know you can get a whole pile of stuff done in two hours you can get a song you can only get verses you you know like whatever yeah it feels like in the day make sure that you you know you know singing for six hours like just don’t nobody nobody nobody you know unless you’re a trained opera star you know doing a live performance like nobody i know can sing for six hours and deliver number one songs yeah yeah you know and also um you know a lot of that has to do with mental focus as well i don’t think people are able to sustain uh any sort of mental focus for more than that um you know even when you’re in it you’re in the zone you know uh i also like uh to not comp the vocals and and not evaluate the vocals until a later date because a lot of the emotional uh relationship to delivering it um when you’re doing it or if i’m in you know the people in the room and the control room are you know feeling it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always the best yeah yeah you know and it has to those that has to do with a different set of molecules in the room as opposed to what’s actually captured on tape yeah you know so and then another thing i try to do is make sure that uh you know the pressure’s off you know allow if you’re going into the studio allow yourself the ability to not get it that day yeah i talk to people all that all the time with that try not to feel the pressure think of it as there is no pressure if you do it wrong yeah do it again yeah yeah you know you have the opportunity you know you make sure you have the opportunity to especially when you’re young and new and you know and that and that’s the first five years like yeah new doesn’t mean for five months it’s like no i know you know the first 10 years of your career make sure you know that you have extra time because you know it it’s it’s you know it’s hard to it’s hard to verbalize and have someone totally understand what you’re saying yeah take it from a bunch of dudes who’ve done it for a long time yeah like you know just sing just whatever you’re gonna get that day what you’re gonna get and it might take 10 more times to get it but and that’s okay you’re not a lesser human being you know there’s a lot of singers who come and they belittle themselves and they’d be oh i could i can’t believe i couldn’t get it today it’s like so the [ __ ] what excuse my language so what it’s it’s a human it’s a human instrument yeah you know like we were saying it’s an it’s an athletic thing no athlete is ever at their peak every single day yeah you know and and so you know you look at you know even the nfl they have to deliver once a week yeah they have to train you know four or five days a week they have to rest they have to eat right you know and then they have to deliver they have a window to deliver and so you know uh you know and this is something that nick no good and i are doing we’re in the in the studio tomorrow doing some vocals you know we’re gonna do he’s saying uh we were in the cup like four or five days two weeks ago and i said just sing today he’s like but i gotta get it right it’s like no you know you know whatever we wind up tomorrow might not be on the record either so let’s just you know bring it down a notch yeah you know and and there’s a number of factors why you know uh diet sleep season change yeah humidity levels yeah absolutely yeah yeah and and being on tour i remember being in vance you know touring uh you know across saskatchewan in february and the sick every single singer lost their voice yeah you know because they didn’t prepare properly in this like you know on a tuesday night in regina well it’s going to be a lot of guitar solos tonight folks i know i don’t i have i have everybody out with you know zinc and vitamin c for immune boosting when they start to feel something and humidifiers i’m always harping on humidifiers humidifiers get humidifiers going like you’ve got to keep that moisture going you know yeah it’s it’s a it’s the real deal so it is yeah so that would that would be my main thing the keeping the key right getting the right tempo you know taking the pressure off giving yourself a bandwidth of time and opportunity to to uh be able to deliver and you know um and and have prepared yeah you know it’s it’s really expensive to go in the studio uh you know so why don’t you wait a month or two uh and do more work with mitch seekins because then it’ll be cheaper when you go in the studio and nail it yeah yeah exactly you know and nobody’s really waiting for your records you know like you know i know i know we’re all excited about our our own music but you know again why be in a hurry to fail you know correct yeah why not take the time and get it right you know so yeah like like this kid no good just saying we’ve been working with them for two years now you know two years which one nick nick yeah yeah yeah i’m seeing him tomorrow morning yeah i think i think we started working with him two years ago i know like two summers ago we were in my backyard with one another co-writer guy named mike bolenki who you might know um he’s a great great singer mike blankie oh my god so mike mike does a bunch of work with me on a bunch of stuff and him and nick did a bunch of writing and you know that and it you know it’s taken it takes some time so you know yeah i think stuff that i’ve heard so far is sounding fantastic yeah and we did stuff in the studio we went in the studio with a couple of those songs early on and you know the rest retool the recipe keep working on the recipe go back to the beginning again yeah and again i think you know i think the kids 20 like we’re in no hurry um you know and you know we have some some momentum and you know the time is now but he is so much better now working with you than he was it was like on he had all that raw uh you know oyster ability but now he’s turning into the pearl so yeah yeah and he’s not losing uh let’s look there’s one other thing working on your craft doesn’t mean you’ll lose your identity that’s a huge element of music yeah like i you know i spent i’ve hundreds of drum lessons and piano lessons and all it did was allow me the ability to communicate who i am yeah there was a time when i was stuck in the middle of it all where all i could think about was technique and we talked about this earlier in a question you have to be able to surpass your technique but you know without technique you’ll never get there no skills yeah yeah it just it opens up an entire palette it’s still you you know and and you know people not so much anymore but you know a long time ago am i am i just going to sound like an opera singer because all vocal technique is based in the operatic world no if you look at my website on that video he and darren they got i got punk bands i got all kinds of and they all sound like them but just more consistent and better and easier and it’s just it’s just better you know nick egan is like the most unique voice i’ve heard in like 20 years and he is he’s not the lessons with you are making him more like himself because he no longer is limited by his inabilities he’s now being able to use his abilities yeah to match his imagination yeah there’s a beautiful thing about art and you know limitations of things create you know the opportunity for art but i also you know it’s also um you know that happens you know a few times what do you want to do yeah the rest of your career i know i know uh so this is this is a question for the tech guys that might be watching this sure is there um like a a favorite microphone that you found that you can use with a multitude of different voices and styles because i mean every voice is different every microphone is different but is there kind of a generic one that there’s probably three or four that would all would work um you know if you’re going to do a rock band you’re probably going to want to do like an sm7 or you’re going to want to do a u47 yeah those are the you know those are the two kind of very different style of microphone but um those you’re going to be able to put your vocal in and around uh in the middle of the mix and have guitars and drums and cymbals and keys or whatever it is raging and that vocal will still hold uh yeah in the center yeah uh you know uh this the sony’s uh c800 is an unbelievable microphone if you have fifteen thousand dollars to blow you know uh and that’s probably you know most of the pop records you hear are that um and it’s unbelievable um and for example nick we’ve been using it uh with nick and it’s been softening some of his roughness you know um but not uh you know covering up any of the anything um i used an elam 251 for a long time um which is another you know i think they’re ten to forty thousand dollars depending on what vintage you get yeah and uh unbelievable microphone like if you want all the detail um it’s a it’s a it’s kind of like a ferrari you know like if you really want that you know that detail and that cr clarity um you know not like a c12 which will have too much top end in my opinion it’s more like it’s just so clear um it’s probably my favorite microphone the elem 251 uh you know those would be you know those would be the mics i would choose that i’ve probably spent the most time recording you know there’s always something fun with an uh like a 57 handheld you know for a vibe but yeah we’ve you know i’ve also used c37 i’ve used on emily from metric a little bit uh like which is the precursor to the c800 the sony c800 yeah and then um that’s probably it yeah like yeah yeah and they’re all unfortunately really expensive except for the sm7 and you know and you know i’ve used some of the knockoffs and the you know the uh you know the of those um but i’ve only rarely ever used them because i thankfully you know go to studios or or have owned the real thing and there’s really no replacement and of course a great preamp is important i have a pair of gml trees that i use uh i love the neve portico pries you know a 1073 neve uh can’t go wrong you know any of those things um uh you know the knee the rupert neve stuff is great the air neve stuff too um you know i’ve very rarely used an ssl preamp on a vocal right or very rarely used an api um by gml or nev um or rupert neve uh and then a compressor you know uh i owned blue 1176 blue stripes for a long long time i would track with them and mix with them um but those are really aggressive and i don’t really make too many aggressive records anymore um so i have a newer version i have what i call the new stripe which is the uua it’s a black face with a blue stripe and it kind of combines the best stuff of the black face 1176 with the blue stripe um it’s a little cleaner uh and hell of a lot less expensive um but i also you know to stressors we’ve used a lot of distressors to tape um you know like you 47 through a neve with a distressor and you’re going to have you know if it’s not you know you you it’s it’s not if it sounds bad it’s you did something wrong yes yeah something something’s bad with the stinger yeah yeah you know so you know there’s other ways to to swing the cat you know i know budgets are very you know very conscious these days especially you know the laptop generation people want their portable uh you know and a lot of times they’re not using any like you know they’re using digital breeze or they’re you know they’re using pretty cheap microphones and unfortunately it sounds cheap in my opinion yeah yeah uh you know uh it can’t you know but also sometimes it’s funny because it might sound cheap but it also might sound like what’s happening in the world you know and that’s that’s an important thing too because culture has a lot to do with technology and culture are very interlinked in music you know as drum machines came up the sound of the music would change as you know different synthesizers and midi and you know different you know even the distortion the guitar amp like the story of the guy breaking the cone of his of his speaker and his amp and creating distortion you know once that started you know anyway these technologies have a day a sound in a time frame yeah so kind of shitty vocals with a lot of post-production a lot of reverb and you know a lot of [ __ ] with little altar boy informant and a bunch of plug-ins that’s a that’s uh a sonic you know now that’s that’s how yeah yeah yeah yeah you know like auto-tune was a was you know we auto-tune everything we you know we melodyne everything you have to because that’s otherwise it sounds like old people’s music because it’s out of tune yeah i know i know it’s it’s uh i just watched coachella i had two students playing coachella uh this year who played uh ali gotti great that was great yeah ali is fantastic yeah it was his tenth the first show was his tenth performance


he ever a couple a couple years ago he did a couple nights at the danforth music hall yeah like eight years yeah but that was i know but that was his like third and fourth performance ever you know i know and uh pot uh yeah right yeah talk about pros like oh my god oh yeah fun fun guys you have a great roster mitch you should be very yeah i’ve been very lucky i i really enjoy working working with all the people that i do so um thank you so much for doing this man i really appreciate it really i appreciate it and and i think there’s tons of information in there for you know people to to dig in that actually want to know this stuff because it is important if you if you really want to develop a career this this stuff’s important you know well the other thing is this stuff you know is a culmination of decades of other people’s knowledge that i’ve assimilated you know i i got really lucky to be in the room with some heavy heavy folks at a young age and yeah sucked it all up and sponged it all in and and you know made it made it make sense for what i was doing yeah you know and you know there’s a whole pile of online tutorials and there’s a whole pile of schools you can go to but at the same time it’s you know it’s an oral tradition it’s you know p you know it’s how how do you learn how to make a number one song you try to hang out with people who have number one songs that’s right you know that’s right you know and i got to do that you know so and by doing that and being lucky enough to be in the room and having some great of course um you know uh allowed me to accumulate this knowledge one of the other things is if you want mitch um and if you have anyone approach you who wants further information please you know contact me yeah and i’m more than happy to spend time you know that’s awesome yeah it’s awesome a five minute phone call you know is no problem you know i love talking about this stuff and yeah you know you know people are you know people who are thirsty for this information i’m interested in talking to them about it yeah exactly exactly thank you so much thanks mitch all right

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