Starting this week off a little different, Mike Shinoda began by doing an art stream on Monday, taking fan requests and chatting with fans about upcoming projects. On Tuesday, Shinoda introduced the first track of the week, “Just A Dream,” by singer and Twitch streamer Bella Goldwin. As usual, Shinoda began the production session by playing the original track submitted by the artist, which in this case was a piano track and a vocal track with a few effects.
The first thing Shinoda did when starting to work on this new track was to take off the effects Goldwin had on her vocals before adding just a bit of autotune. Then, Shinoda decided to experiment with adding his own effects to the vocals by using a vocal assistant program called Nector, which takes a vocal, analyzes it, and recommends a good chain of effects for it. After running Nector, he chose to remove the program’s reverb, put on the De Esser, and tweak the EQ.
“I don’t have a lot of experience yet getting other people’s vocals just right. So let’s do this little cheat… Nector will analyze the vocal for you and set up a starting point of EQ and compression and things … just takes about 30 seconds …”
Moving on from the vocals, Shinoda focused on populating the track with more instruments. Wanting to add drums, Shinoda ran a poll for viewers to vote for either a fast or slow drum beat, with viewers choosing a slow beat. Shinoda then spent the final portion of the live stream adding bass, live guitar, Ebow, and other unique sounds and effects.
After watching the first production session on this track, Goldwin recorded new background vocals and sent them to Shinoda. The next day, Shinoda incorporated these new background vocals into the song, using them to create harmonies. He then worked on the reverb for these new vocals, increasing the mix, high cut, and changing the decay in order to help the lead vocal and background vocals blend together. Wrapping up the track, Shinoda then returned to a track from a previous production session, “Crazy,” by Sam Champagne and Amber Lee, which was initially featured on Shinoda’s Twitch channel last week.
“I’m going to put a very short reverb on them [background vocals] … see listen without it [reverb], its right in the middle and it’s gonna get mixed up with the lead vocal. They’re gonna sit on top of each other in space, so let’s put the reverb back on and push it [background vocals] way back in space.”
Bella Goldwin is a singer, songwriter, producer, and artist based in Canada, who first started exploring music at the age of four at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She began with learning the piano and violin, then experimented with record production at age twelve, and later added the cello, guitar, and ukulele to her assortment of instruments. She created a Youtube channel in 2015, where she demonstrated her impressive wide range of ability by doing not only vocal covers of popular songs, but also incorporating the cello, violin, and ukulele.
Goldwin has also released original music, available on both Spotify and Apple Music, with one album under her belt so far titled “In the Stars” — released in 2017. She has also released multiple singles such as “Can’t Forget” in 2016 and “Blue” in 2019, as well as several EPs, the most recent being “Mindscapes” in 2021. Goldwin has collaborated multiple times with other artists such as Kenneth Cullens and Daniels Jack, even releasing a four-track EP with Cullens titled “Road to War” in 2018. Goldwin also has a Twitch channel and currently streams live Monday through Thursday, creating art and playing games, but mainly taking fan requests to play cover songs as well as her own original music.
If you weren’t able to see Bella Goldwin’s “Just A Dream” be produced live by Mike Shinoda, you can still watch the Twitch replay below! Make sure to check out Goldwin’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. Stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel on weekdays around 10 a.m. PT, as he will be starting production on a new track, “What You Want,” by Daniel Sherman, on Friday, February 19!
As a special announcement, Mike Shinoda will be having a few special guests on his Twitch channel on Thursday, February 18 at 10 a.m. PT! Fellow musicians Iann Dior and UPSAUL will be joining Shinoda live on Twitch to talk about their new single, “Happy Endings”. This three-way collaboration between Shinoda, Dior, and UPSAUL is set to drop on Friday, February 19!