Moving on from the last two tracks from last week, Mike Shinoda began production on a brand new original track on Tuesday, April 19. This latest song, titled “Outsider,” is from singer/songwriter Haley Joelle. Beginning the Twitch stream, Shinoda played Joelle’s original submission for viewers, which was comprised of Joelle’s soft vocals backed by piano.
Starting production on the track a little differently than usual, Shinoda focused first on Joelle’s vocals rather than working on the instruments first. He ran a vocal assistant program called Nectar, which analyzed the vocal to suggest the best vocal chain.
“It [Nectar] analyzes the vocal and selects EQ peaks and valleys, compression, de-esser, maybe a little reverb. It suggests a whole bunch of stuff, basically a whole vocal chain. And I start with that and I change it, fix it, make it better.”
Shinoda then moved onto filling in the instruments, starting with a drum beat he pulled before the stream. He then tried overlapping that drum beat and the vocals with a few other interesting sound loops, running a poll for viewers to help him decide which sounds meshed together best. Using the results of the poll, Shinoda recorded keyboard and a few other sounds, before putting all of those tracks together.
Shinoda took a short break from the track, coming back the next day on Wednesday to finish production. Summarizing the production he had done so far to the track, Shinoda stated that he edited the harmonies, even adding new harmonies using a vocoder. He also had three new drum options, in additional to the one from the day before. After playing each, viewers had the opportunity to vote in a poll for which one they preferred, with voters selecting the third option, which was quite similar to the original set of drums Shinoda had created. After a few stops and starts due to the audio cutting out, Shinoda wrapped up the track, focusing on finalizing the details and more technical aspects before mastering it.
“ … what do I use for drums? On this song I’m just using the Ableton drum rack, which is just a standard rack with drums in it and … it comes empty. And then you gotta add your own, that’s where you’ve got to have a library of sounds. These are just ones I’ve collected over the years.”
Haley Joelle is a singer and song writer from West Linn, Oregon who got involved in the music industry at a young age. She began collaborating with L.A. music producer Richard Harris while still in high school co-writing songs with him. One of the songs she co-wrote with him was “Meet in the Middle,” which she also contributed vocals to, which Harris then gave to StoneBridge, a well-known DJ and producer, to release. It quickly became one of the biggest hits in dance clubs across America, hitting No. 4 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs Chart. More recently, Joelle has been regularly creating TikTok videos featuring original unreleased songs, and released a single titled “Emergency Contact,” a minimalistic pop ballad backed by piano that has quickly gained much attention and praise.
If you weren’t able to see Haley Joelle’s “Outsider” be produced live by Mike Shinoda, you can still watch the Twitch replay below! Make sure to check out Joelle’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. And stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT for more production livestreams!
As a special announcement, another #ShinodaProduceMe track has a release date! “These Dreams” by Jordin Laine will drop on Friday, April 30, and is currently available for pre-save on Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music here. This is the third track produced by Shinoda live on Twitch that will be released on April 30, the other two songs being “Strong” by Joe Turone and “Just A Dream” by Bella Goldwin.