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Garth Richardson: Choosing A Producer, Mixing Advice & Tales of Revenge

Joining us this week out of Vancouver is music producer and engineer, Garth Richardson. Garth’s worked with some of the biggest names in rock, including Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nickelback, Trapt, Biffy Clyro, Rise Against, and even Taylor Swift.

Garth is also the co-founder of the Nimbus School of Recording Arts, a private technical music production institute, and is the owner of The Farm Studios. In this interview, we hear the advice Garth would offer to musicians looking to work with a producer, as well as aspiring producers themselves. He also shares some funny stories about revenge with us, as well as the best advice he received from his dad. Enjoy!

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Highlights:

  • Rock and Roll does not start at 8am
  • When producing, the song is the most important thing
  • The three things Garth looks for when producing are the songs, the singer, and the drive
  • Today the artist is more responsible for themselves than ever
  • “Put down your phone, get off your laptop, and write songs!” – Garth Richardson, 2016
  • “Use your engin-EAR, not your engin-EYE”
  • Garth tells us about the record he worked on with Big Wreck, and how it was all mixed manually
  • We (semi-jokingly) talk about limiting the number of revisions artists should be allowed
  • Garth shares a story about telling a band any revisions would be extra to try and make them think more carefully
  • “The biggest ego in the room should be the song” – Garth Richarson
  • Musicians shouldn’t comment on their own parts, they should be commenting on the song as a whole
  • Garth tells us how they teach students about mixing at the Nimbus School of Recording
  • “Mixing starts from the first sound that you get” – Garth Richardson, 2016
  • Everyone starts out pretty green and naive, but Nimbus wants to teach producers to be great
  • The first person who tells us how many times Ross and Marcio have won the #RossOrMarcio question gets a free t-shirt!
  • Garth shares the best advice his father gave him about producing: “Good songs sell. Bad songs don’t.”
  • “Producing music is about telling a story with a song, and making someone feel something” – Garth Richardson
  • Garth is the revenge king – we learn why you shouldn’t get on his bad side!

Advice:

  • A producer is there to help you make your record, not their own record
  • Make sure you’re rehearsed and ready to go in the studio before you go to record
  • Producers getting started – show up hungry and offer to work for free to build your portfolio
  • When choosing a mixing engineer, you want to make sure you find someone who makes it sound good for radio

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