A Conversation with Mitch Brady

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Mitch Brady shares his secret Mountain Wino techniques to help you consistently slay dance floors

This month we continue our ongoing series of mentor profiles, which share some insight into the personality and experience of the official mentors for Class of 808 in Producer Dojo. This month’s profile is for Mitch Brady. You can hear Mitch’s work in his EP Ju Ju Jetpack on the Producer Dojo label, which hit #1 on the Beatport Top Ten chart!

Author’s note: being a producer DJ myself, I always want juicy technical details and tips from the artists I look up to, so be prepared for some surprising questions and answers!

How long have you been producing?

I have been producing since the glorious summer of 2015!

What led you to become a producer?

A combination of things! I have always been involved with music in some way since I was a kid. I acquired my first bass guitar in grade school, and was learning multiple instruments well into my adulthood. One day while browsing craigslist I came across a Numark NS7 DJ controller and said “hey why not?” One month later I began my fruitful DJing path. Playing music live was something that resonated with me for the first time on another level, after a few years I decided to take the plunge into the music production world and hopefully come up with something I could play for my fans.

Around the same time I was making this decision, I met Dylan. I had just acquired Ableton and a Push controller, and didn’t know where to start. Dylan and I were both booked for show at the same festival so naturally we ran into each other (me stealing KJ Sawka’s seat at a picnic table). I knew deep down that if I wanted to succeed in music I was going to need a teacher, and who better to ask then the most knowledgeable guy I had just met. With a great conversation and quick musical connection emails were exchanged and I was on my way to becoming a producer.

What was your most interesting project/release in past year or two?

The Ju Ju Jetpack Project was my first collaborative project and I think my most interesting project to date! Working with two minds is a rollercoaster of ideas and directions that flow into something beautiful. It was also a turning point where my music went from something like a hobby to something professional.

What inspires your songwriting?

This is a great question. Music inspiration come from so many random directions. It could be an old song that I loved when I was a kid to an amazing chord progression that I make in the middle of the night. My absolute favorite inspiration comes from weather. I love nothing more then waking up before sunrise, cranking up the window shades and looking outside at the snow, dew or stars and taking in the moment, then writing some sort of idea that fits the mood I feel when I see what the day has in store for me. Writing music while the sun is rising continues to be my favorite music activity.

What do you try to communicate to your audience through your music?

I try to communicate moods and feelings. I feel like my favorite songs always have a venue inside my mind where they fit a perfect time of the day or mood. I also alway try to have some sort of resonance of happiness in my music.

Do you write with specific genres in mind?

Never. Writing in different genres I believe pushes your music and creativity and gives you new rules to break.

Are you also a DJ?

Yup!

Mitch Brady in his element

At shows do you mix in songs from other artists, and if so, who do you favor for that?

Absolutely! Starting as a DJ I mixed 100% of other artist songs. As I have progressed into production, more of my music is becoming stuff I have produced.

What gear do you use for practicing your DJ sets at home?

I am currently using and loving the Denon MC7000 as my main controller for shows. I also use it during practice. However, I love to improvise so I rarely plan my sets. Having a pool of music in a playlist or crate that I know will move the dance floor allows me more creativity if I play as I go, one track at a time while monitoring the dance floor. If it is a very important show, or a show where I am performing as the music artist “Mitch Brady” ( not the dj Mitch Brady), I try to have more specific music and video for the performance.

USB sticks and CDJs, or do you take your laptop and other gear to shows?

Laptop! I love to be able to have control over the video and audio aspect of my show.

What are your thoughts about label deals versus self-publishing and self-promotion?

I think that both have their own strong points. You should always be self-promoting whether you have a deal with a label or not. Our whole existence as humans is networking, making friends, sharing and creating experiences. During the early stages of making music self publishing is key. No one is going to know your music if you don’t release it. And once you do, it’s your job to get as many people excited about it as you can. Once you feel comfortable making quality music reach out to the labels! They are a great way to get your music out to more people and build new relationships.

Are you a member of any producer collective?

Producer Dojo <3

If you’re part of a collective, how does it benefit you?

Producer Dojo is amazing. I have watched it grow from an idea my music mentor had to legit community of amazing music producers. I benefit from being able to be a part of it. Teaching, track feedback, and meeting amazing producers from around the world!

What operating system do you use for production, and desktop or laptop?

Mac has been my go-to since I picked up my DJ controller in 2012. Love it. Running OS X El Capitan on a 2012 macbook pro for producing and a 2015 macbook pro for DJing/Vjing

What DAW do you use for production and what do you like/dislike about it?

Ableton, I love the 100 ways to achieve the same outcome. It allows me to constantly improve my workflow speed. I have a hard time comparing it to other DAW’s because it’s the only one I have ever utilized for music production.

What monitors (and size) do you use and what do you like/dislike about them?

I have two sets of reference monitors, the Yamaha HS5’s and the KRK Rokit 6’s with a KRK sub. The Yamahas are brutally honest about you music, super flat and great for producing to get accurate feedback. The KRK’s have a great color that matches most consumer grade speakers. I typically mix and produce on the Yamahas and enjoy with the KRK’s.

What headphones do you use and what do you like/dislike about them?

For music production I use the Yamaha HPH-MT8. They are crazy flat, and I really enjoy the weight of these headphones they feel very comfortable. They do lack in the low-end so I do recommend pairing them with a SUBPAC!

What audio interface do you use and what do you like/dislike about it?

I currently use a Scarlett 2i2 by Focusrite. I like the size of the unit as well as the button displays but the sound card does gitch out every now and then.

Any other notable gear you love and use frequently?

The Push 2 (and the original Push) have greatly improved my workflow and creativity. I recommend either of them to producers. Also the Behringer MONITOR2USB is great for working with two set of monitors and wanting to change between each set with a quick button press.

Sooooo many details to keep track of!

What are your top 3 “desert island” soft synths/samplers you couldn’t live without?

Not in any order: Exhale by Output, Serum by Xfer Records, Jupiter 8 by Arturia

What are your top 5 “desert island” processing plugins you couldn’t live without?

Not in any order: XLN RC-20 Retro color, Voxengo SPAN, Waves H-Delay and WLM Plus, Flux stereo tool V3.

What size room do you work in, and does it have acoustic treatment? Do you think a treated room is necessary for quality production?

I work in half studio half closet lol. I do not have acoustic treatment. I think that knowing your sound system is key, but if you have the ability to treat your room you should do it.

What loudness target do you usually master to?

Whatever sounds best. If you wanna redline it, do it. If you want all the dynamics, do it. When self-mastering it all depends on the song, audience, and feel I want.

What other artists’ reference tracks do you rely on most?

Which ever are the most pertinent to the song I want to create. I try to have my reference track nailed down by the time i’m an starting my arrangement.

What are your top 3 tips for newer producers just starting out?

1 – Don’t be afraid to make bad music. You get better with every single note you hit on the keyboard and every sequence you make.

2 – Stay in the zone. Don’t go down rabbit holes until your original music idea has been created.

3 – Have fun! Seriously, you better be having fun.

What is the top “secret weapon” technique you rely on for your sound?

It wouldn’t be a secret if I shared, but it’s wine.

What’s one surprising fact about you or your work that other producers or fans probably don’t know?

I took a month off from making music to hand build a studio desk that would last me the rest of my life. It’s a stand up desk made out of a solid wood door with a pull out 88 key keyboard. I tried to put as much love into this desk as I put into music. Making something I use for music production with my own hands amplified my creativity and drive to make music tenfold. Art outside of music can inspire and magnify your creative processes. <3