RSR019 – F Reid Shippen – Multi Grammy Winning Mixer

F Reid Shippen
RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR018 - F Reid Shippen- 

Multi Grammy Winning Mixer

My guest today is F Reid Shippen, a multi Grammy winning mixer, producer, and musician that just happened to also be a classmate of mine back in school. His mixing and producing credits include a wide range of artists like Death Cab for Cutie, Cage the Elephant, India Arie, The Jonas Brothers, Eric Church and Robert Randolph. He has also worked with Clay Aiken, Switchfoot, and the Backstreet Boys, to name a few.


Reid mixes from right here at Robot Lemon, his personal SSL studio, in Nashville TN. He is a super talented individual and has a deep musical understanding. Ever since I’ve known him, Reid has not been afraid to say what he thinks, or stand for what he believes whether in music or life. I always enjoy hearing what this guy has to say.

"Learning to take risks, taught me there are avenues worth exploring" @robotlemon 

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Jam Session:

Q - What was holding you back at the start?

A - Confidence. It’s intimidating holding someone’s lifework in your hands. There are lot of different variables. Its thousands of different variables that are based on thousands of subjective decisions, so in the beginning it's hard to find your confidence that you know what you’re doing.

"If you’re not getting fired, you’re not trying hard enough" @robotlemon 

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Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?

A - One thing I think’s important that everyone should realize is that when somebody comes to you and says ‘I want you to work on my record.’ You have to remind yourself they came to you in the first place because they liked what you did. You can’t sit and expect positive motivation from those people. Your positive motivation was [when they first came in a said], ‘hey we really believe in you, that’s why we’re here.’ [Rather than a lot of praise during the process]. That’s a tough process, I think we all struggle with that.

"I try to give the artist the best presentation of what they worked so hard for" @robotlemon

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Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.

A - Try new things, especially stuff that's unexpected. One of my favorite hacks of recording an acoustic guitar has been using a RCA Ribbon mic, like a 77, and running it through an old Altec Mixer and just diming (cranking up) the treble. It’s noisy, but gives it a lot of character. Not your typical boring clean acoustic guitar.



Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio

A- The boring answer is really good monitors. People concentrate on mic pres or microphones that they don’t bother making sure they’re in a good listening environment. The more fun answer is guitar pedals. Like Earthquaker guitar pedals or my MiniMoog Filter, something that gives it a little more character.

"I would rather be something then pretend to be something" @robotlemon

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - Man, I love the UAD digital stuff. It’s really killer because it has character to it. I also love Izotope. They make some pretty insanely cool tools, not just tools for working on the audio, but like the repair tools. It can save you, you can take clicks out of actual headphone bleed click, it’s incredible.


Q - Share with us a tip for the business side of the recording studio

A - The best resource I found for that is common freakin’ sense. Think things through, don’t put stuff off. I’ve seen a lot of friends suffer, and I have too from thinking that it’s gonna be a downer if you just say, “okay well if I’m going to do your record here's the deal, I charge half up front and before I turn over the masters, you pay the rest of it.” Bands are notoriously bad with money, you need to protect yourself from that. Your time is worth what you charge.

"Engineers and mixers are in a service industry" @robotlemon

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Q - If you had to start over what gear would you need? How would you find people to record? And how would you make ends meet while you got started?

A - The first thing I would do is find a good room that you can acoustically treat. Make sure you have good speakers and a good pair of headphones. I’m really impressed with the UA Apollo stuff. You can have a kickass studio by taking power mac laptop and hooking it into a thunderbolt apollo and hooking a nice mic up to that.

Q- What about monitors? Can you get away with cheap ones?

A- You can get away with inexpensive monitors, but there are some cheap ones that cheat you on some reproduction. As far as monitors, you have two issues, low end and high end. Low end is a function of the room and materials, and high end you can treat.

Q - What is the single most important thing a listener can do to become a rockstar of the recording studio?

A - Hard work and dedication.

http://www.robotlemon.com/

If you have any or questions about recording you would like me to answer on the show or suggestions for the show please email me:

lij@recordingstudiorockstars.com

If you dig the show and find it helpful I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy
RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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Cheers!

Lij

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