Following Monday and Tuesday’s production sessions, featuring Ben Kessler’s track “Known Like This,” Mike Shinoda quickly moved onto the second song he had lined up for this week. Starting production on a new track titled “I Can’t Feel A Thing” by Judison on Wednesday, this will be the second out of three songs Shinoda has planned to produce this week. Speaking on Judison’s song, Shinoda stated he was excited to work on this track because:
“He’s [Judison] got his concept, he knows what his song is about, he’s got a hook, I like the hook, it’s very simple, and I want to be able to play with it and make more out of it.”
Shinoda began producing Kessler’s “Known Like This” on Monday before adding some finishing touches on Tuesday. While acknowledging the fact that his Twitch audience is likely composed mostly of fans and not other musicians, Shinoda made sure to take some time to provide a few production tips to those viewers who are fellow artists. For example, a good trick is to listen to your demo on multiple different speakers because it will sound different depending on which speaker you’re using. When working on his own music, Shinoda will listen to his mixed track on flat response speakers, then non-flat speakers, alarm-clock speakers, headphones, and he’ll even take it to the car and listen to it there. This gives him a baseline to judge how his mix really sounds because you’ll be able to notice certain things in the track when listening on one speaker that you might not hear using another, which then affects how you mix or change your track afterward.
Shinoda continued giving production and mixing tips during Wednesday’s stream while working on Judison’s “I Can’t Feel A Thing.” Starting with Judison’s original piano track and vocals, Shinoda had two verses and a hook to work with, without any real song structure. Shinoda began the production by doing what he called “basic cleanup,” ensuring the track had a nice vocal chain by putting a good compressor and auto-tune on it, getting rid of any unintended background noise, and tightening up the vocals. He then added reverb and pushed the backup vocals further into the background.
“You usually want to put your compressor and EQ before your reverb, but … if it’s a lead vocal, something special people are going to pay attention to, then play around with the order of your effects.”
Shinoda then involved his Twitch community, using a poll to see if the viewers wanted him to first add drums or work on the music the track already had, with viewers choosing to add drums first. He then ran a second poll to decide the speed and pattern of the drums, and voters chose to do both slow and fast drums. In response, Shinoda created both slow and fast drum tracks and played them in conjunction with Judison’s vocals. He was interested to find that when he ran the poll again afterward that voters had changed their mind and preferred slow drums only. He cited this as one of the main reasons he loves doing these livestreams, because of the audience interaction and how fans can help him create, which is something that has never been possible to do on this scale before.
After finishing up the production stream, Shinoda recorded live guitar before moving onto the piano, experimenting with a few ideas before recording two different piano tracks, placing one exclusively in the choruses to give them a specific signature. Moving on from the piano, Shinoda added more energy and excitement to the track, adding bass and putting more emphasis on the chorus to really make it stand out before taking suggestions from his chat as to what else to add, such as strings and guitar EBow.
“When you’re writing a song … structuring a track or beat, when you’re mixing … put yourself in the listeners’ shoes and say, ‘If I was listening to this song for the very first time, does this hold my attention? Is this enough information … Or is it too much, and it’s overwhelming?’ “
Judison is a singer and rapper from the UK who has released multiple singles on both Spotify and Apple Music since 2020, such as “Atlantis,” “Inhibitions,” “Elevate,” and more. He has collaborated with another UK artist named R.J. on two songs, “Gimme Time” and “Rolling,” which are currently on Spotify. Judison can be found on Instagram, and he also has a Twitch account.
If you weren’t able to watch the live production of Judison’s “I Can’t Feel A Thing” by Mike Shinoda, you can watch the Twitch video, and make sure to check out the rest of Judison’s music! For all the musicians and artists thinking about submitting a track to #ShinodaProduceMe, make sure you keep up to date with Shinoda’s production sessions, especially as he’s stated that he’s open to the possibility of sending tracks from these livestreams to his record label in the future.
Stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT, especially as he has said that he already has over a dozen more artists and tracks lined up to produce, starting with the third and final track for this week, “Not Your Game” by Megan Lenius!