“I want people to either love a mix, or hate a mix. The last thing I want them to do is be like, ‘yeah, that’s fine.’ ” In today’s episode of This Nashville Life we’re speaking with 10 time GRAMMY winning mixing engineer F Reid Shippen. He’s worked with the likes of Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and Keslea Ballerini and at the time we taped this interview Reid had mixed 6 songs of the current top 35 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
“I want people to either love a mix, or hate a mix.”
Reid has some brilliant words on risk—which is the part of the conversation that yielded that opening line about wanting people to either love or hate his work. I asked him specifically about a quote from his website which reads, “if someone tells you they’ve never been fired from a record, they’re either lying or not trying hard enough to make things great.” There’s a real power in taking risks. He says, “The risk of putting out something that’s really incredible is that somebody’s gonna hate it.” And for Reid, risk has certainly paid off—professionally, and creatively. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t ever been fired. In fact, he’ll share a story about being fired by Little Big Town, twice.
He also gets candid about the kind self-doubt that haunts a lot of creatives including the “Imposter Syndrome” which he explains, and which Kevin and I will spend some time unpacking as it relates to our own work.
For those of you that might be new to the recording process, Reid does a great job of explaining exactly what a mixing engineer does, sharing an analogy he used to explain his work to his grandmother. For me, this episode does what I really hope every episode does: explain something that non-music biz people may not understand, tell a captivating story, and inspire you in your own creative endeavors. And Reid is nothing if not inspiring. Come with us as F Reid Shippen tells us what it means to life This Nashville Life.
Follow Reid @robotlemon. And see more about him and his work here.
We wanna hear from you…Have you ever been fired for trying something great? What do you think about Reid’s comments on risk & art? Comment and tell us!