RSR028 – Kevin Ward – Mix Coach - Recording Studio Rockstars

RSR028 – Kevin Ward – Mix Coach

Kevin Ward

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RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR028 - Kevin Ward - Mix Coach

My guest today is Kevin Ward, a producer, mixer, audio blogger and teacher who has been making award winning records since he moved to Nashville in 1991.

Kevin started with playing guitar at six years old, but later caught the recording bug at eleven, when he discovered that you could take two tape cassette recorders and link them together to record multi track overdubs. He went on to spend a long career in the studio.

Along the way he created Vine Records and has won many Dove awards for the great artists that he produces. His extensive client list includes Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, Dolly Parton, Boots Randolph, Jerry Springer, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Rhonda Vincent and Richie McDonald of Lonestar.

Kevin then took all his experience and knowledge from years of producing and mixing and decided to help others learn how to record themselves creating an online coaching program called Mix Coach.

There you will find many courses to teach you how to mix in different styles and genres from rock and Jazz to full orchestra and pop country. There is even a complete Pro Tools course to help you really know your DAW before your begin.

And what you’ll really want to check out Rockstars is Mix Coach Pro Membership. In this course Kevin delivers a new song to you each month allowing you to mix alongside both the pros and your peers. So that you can take your mixing to the next level, and learn how to create great mixes across a variety of genres.

In Kevin’s words “You don’t have to be famous to make a living at this”

Kevin Ward's 
The Mix Coach Program

Each month you’ll receive the most cutting edge training and insight to help you mix more professionally. We walk through sessions that have been mixed by professionals and tell you why each plugin is in place.

We give you step by step tutorials and song-specific tricks. No “theory” here.

We show you presets we use, mixing templates.

It doesn’t matter what kind of DAW you use… Pro Tools, Mixbus, Logic or Garageband, Our goal is to make YOU a better mixer.

Check out Kevin's FREE video..
The Top 5 Things Every Great Mixer Should Know 

MixCoach Pro Member 

In addition to receiving great mixing insight, you can also join Kevin's mixing community One of the coolest parts of being in a community like the MixCoach Pro Community is the insight and expertise that each member brings 

These other members are recording and mixing just like YOU and are instantly available to help.

They are waiting to hear from YOU too!

Even though mixing can be a solo sport, you don’t have to do it alone.

Get involved with our members

Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - I guess it depends on when I consider myself starting because I consider myself a recording engineer at age 11 when I had two tape recorders. Really the only thing I guess was being in the proximity of fast growth. 

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - Back in Asheville, there was a mentor I had named Eddie Swan. I remember him saying, "If it sounds good, it is good." And I thought, man that's about as bottom line as you can get. 

“It's about experience and about being the problem solver” @MixCoach

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Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.
A -
There's several things I cover on YouTube videos, but there's a few I can think of instantly. One thing I noticed that happened to me is that what you mix last, you mix loudest. So now I teach my guys to mix backwards and make what's last be the most important thing. So in Nashville, usually you want to make the lead vocal last. That puts everything in the right perspective and it makes you achieve a good balance on a mix really quick. 

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A- I always hesitate to say this because I don't want to discourage anyone, but I just bought a set of Barefoot MM27's and that's probably the most expensive thing I've ever bought for my studio ever. I don't think everyone has to go out and buy huge set of speakers, but it made a difference for me. 

“Nashville would not operate without songwriters” @MixCoach

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - Melodyne is unbelieveable because it can make a person sound better then the best mic, the best pre, compressor. If they’re flat then it’s just a really good recording of a flat singer

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

A -  I listen to a guy named Michael Hyatt, he’s a great resource for leaders. If you have a recording studio and you are at the helm of helping people with their projects then you are a leader.

“Its very important if you want to be a mixer that you surround yourself with people that will hold your feet to the fire” @MixCoach

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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 - I would get a laptop, Blue Yeti, and some software, and I would go and find songwriters. This town and really the whole music business revolves around songwriters. I would either start writing or start finding songwriters to help. The bottom line is be somebody's problem solver.  

”Consistency is probably the key driver for whether or not you get the next gig” @MixCoach

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

A - Always try to make the guy you are working for look better then they are already. Never call attention to something somebody did wrong. Your pay grade really depends on who you’re making look better. I call it serving up.