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RSR025 – Chad Brown – Grammy Award Winning Mixer

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RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR025 - Chad Brown - 

Grammy Award Winning Mixer 

My guest today is Chad Brown, an engineer, producer, gear guilder, and Grammy winning mixer living in East Nashville TN, but hailing from the "Birthplace of Country Music", Bristol VA.

He started out at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Phoenix, AZ before moving to Nashville in 1995 where he worked his way up assisting and engineering through various studios on Music Row. In 1996 he was hired at Oceanway Nashville Studios, and learned from some of the best producers, engineers, and artists in the world.

Chad has long since moved on to an independent production, and recording career that has led him to work with many amazing artists like Mike Farris, Gretchen Peters, Ryan Adams, The Righteous Brothers, Bob Seger, Jim Lauderdale, Patty Griffin, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Robert Plant and Bill Medley.

In 2015 Chad received a Grammy Award for mixing "Shine For All The People" by Mike Farris. He mixed the record right here at The Toy Box Studio through the famous MCI console, and the classic sound won the Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album of the Year

And what is special about this interview is that we recorded it as a live Webinar. So I want to thank the Rockstars who joined us from all over the world for your questions during the interview. Check out the live Webinar Here! 

Chad also created a cool thing to help you learn more about mixing with his MIX COACHING PROGRAM.

Rockstars if you have a mix you’re working hard on and would really like to know what a  Grammy winning mixer would do with it, you can send it to Chad to get feedback and guidance! He offers these super cool mix packages to help you get your record closer to a Grammy winning sound.

For a limited time he offering Recording Studio Rockstars a major discount!

MiX coaching packages




“Everything that didn’t work is not a failure, you succeeded in finding things that did not work!”

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Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - Maturity and experience. Knowing you have to sit and work to figure out how to be good. It doesn't come naturally just because you’ve been around music. Even if you can’t get something that sounds great, know that you can get something that sounds really cool.

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - Sort of back to the experience thing, Eric Seraphin this guy I worked with early on said, there's no substitute for hours behind the desk. Just sitting at the speakers and trying and getting better. The more you do it, the more you get better.

“My failures have forced me to broaden my horizons and open new artistic avenues”

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

A - One of the things I’ve been having fun with is taking a plate or chamber and make it long like 6-10 seconds, typically don’t shave the high end off of it and filter it usually pretty hard. I’ll EQ it to suit, get the pre-delay in time and it’ll just whisk off into the sunset.

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
I have 3 KU3A, it's an RCA ribbon microphone that i really enjoy because it always sounds cool. I have a 15” marching snare that always sound cool as well. I carry digital versions around with me if I don’t actually have access to it, and my speakers, I’m using pro-ax these days, but whatever speakers I have; having something I can trust.

“From a session standpoint, you’re helping making peoples dreams come true”

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - SoundToys. It's one of those things that once i got it, i can’t live without it. Love it, love it, love it. I feel like they barely made delays before soundToys came out.

Q- What are some favorite reverbs?

A- I’m a big fan of the Lexicon stuff. The native bundle (the PCM series) I typically do a room or a hall, a long chamber, and I typically use a vintage plate.

“If you do your work on the front end, it makes things like mixing a whole lot easier”

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

A - People, man, people. Creating a network of friends, people that you can trust and you can run your struggles by or you can borrow cables or adaptors or rent. Building a network of people that suit how you like to make music.

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 - What I would use is probably not a whole lot different than what I use now. Pro Tools, 57s, kick drum mic, a good stereo pair and a good vocal mic. If you can put together a good 6-8 channels, there's few recordings you can’t make.

“It’s music... it’s subjective” 

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Q- Do you think someone starting out could not have condenser mics?

A- The joy of condenser mics is they capture a certain space around things. I will say while building a mic collection, build your other areas, until you can go to something good. In my opinion there's not a great really cheap tube condenser mics. Pollusa mics are great. I have yet to hear something from them that I didn’t like.They have a 251 copy that's really universal and P58, small condensers that are super versatile.

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

A - Listen, listen all the time. Listen to your clients, listen to what other people are doing, listen to what you are doing. Listen and do a bunch of it!