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Trina Shoemaker: Preparing for a Studio Session & Winning a GRAMMY

Joining us this week out of Alabama is Grammy award winning producer, Trina Shoemaker. Trina has worked on records for artists including Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlisle, The Dixie Chicks, Queens of the Stone Age, and Josh Ritter, and in 1998 became the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Engineered Album.

Trina is partnered with Dauphin Street Sound, a world class recording studio run with heart and soul in Mobile, Alabama. In this interview we hear more about her experience as a producer, the advice she’d offer to singers going into the studio, and her Grammy experience. Enjoy!

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Highlights: 

  • “I mix my life as I walk through it” – Trina Shoemaker
  • We hear how Trina approaches a session and how there’s always anxiety in the run up to a new session
  • We hear how Trina prepares for an artist to come into the studio – preparation is key!
  • Trina tells us how invested she is in the quality of an artist’s record as that’s how they make a living
  • We talk about comping vocals and how it doesn’t take the authenticity out of a recording
  • We hear how Trina believes singers used to be better because they couldn’t rely on pitch correction in the past
  • “People hear autotune so much that it’s now embedded in our collective listening experience” – Trina Shoemaker
  • Trina shares how technology has changed people’s access to music – both consumers and those in the industry
  • Trina tells us how technological advances have enabled her to become a more affordable producer
  • We hear about Trina’s experience of being the first woman to win a Grammy for best engineered album
  • Trina shares some advice for singers approaching a recording in the studio
  • “A song is the artist’s gift to the listener” – Trina Shoemaker

Advice: 

  • To be a producer, you need to find the confidence to believe your taste can be malleable and universal
  • On producing – “Your ego can only be a part of it in that it’s the driver to work for 10 hours on a mix” – Trina Shoemaker
  • “You have to believe that what you’re good at what you do and are putting out quality” – Trina Shoemaker
  • “You have to spend a great deal of time with music and learning how to craft it” – Trina Shoemaker
  • “Singers need to understand that in the studio, their voice is an instrument” – Trina Shoemaker
  • “You need to set yourself aside from your ego and insecurity and perform” – Trina Shoemaker

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