Tchad Blake

The more stuff I hear from Tchad Blake, the more I admire his fearless approach to production/mixing…this is just a short video, but it’s pretty inspiring:


Yes! He does some crazy gutsy stuff that he pulls off really, really well. He has inspired me numerous times. Thanks for sharing this! I hadn’t seen this one.

@ColdRoomStudio , thanks for that!

Yeah, it’s very cool to see that he takes a “nothing’s sacred” approach.

Personally, I try to experiment with at least one crazy idea on each mix I do. As he says, if the band/producer doesn’t like it, you can always chuck it.

In the last song I mixed, added a transition going into the last chorus that included a synth riser, an explosion and a Metalcore-style “bass drop”. It all survived to the final mix bar the bass drop, which the drummer nixed… I think the band’s leader would have kept it, had the drummer not objected… But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


Yep that is brilliant.

i really love how concentrated he is but how down to earth when he talks and he just seem like he wants to open your creative juices i could watch anything he does lots to learn from him for sure ty for posting Andrew


Had to watch this one too… yep, love his creative attitude - awesome…
I’m now going to play more with some modulator/spreading fx… really like that dramatic eq distortion on the guitar on a duplicate track just a smudge delayed from the original… subtle but very cool… One of my troubles is that I get on a plug-in fx roll… and then tangle myself up in knots… but it’s so great to see him take big ‘risks’ and it works or it doesn’t work… love that.


I love that creative open-ness too. If you listen to his mixes, you can hear him always pushing the envelope, but it always seems to come out sounding incredible. I remember hearing the first album he mixed for The Black Keys (Brothers?) and thinking “Wow! They’ve always had great songs and attitude, but this has taken that whole vibe and made it 3 dimensional!” Somehow, it’s modern, it’s vintage, it’s hifi and lofi all at the same time!

Of course, creativity is one thing, but sheer hours spent in practise of the craft is another. It’s the big gap between intention and realisation. When you think about the fact that Tchad’s done this all day, every day for decades, it’s a little easier to see why he doesn’t get bamboozled in the “plugin tangle” that often ensnares us mere enthusiasts.

BTW, perhaps @bozmillar should suggest he model The Tchad’s Magic outboard stereoiser/itb modulator chain as one integrated plugin… I’ve already got the name: " The Tchad" of course :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


One really cool thing it’s done for me is made me re-visit a bunch of plugs I’ve not touched in literally years… the great thing for me with videos like this is that they challenge my thinking… I also love it that he takes risks… that’s the creative part of mixing that I love. It’s the relentless editing that I suspect I loathe… :slight_smile:

I’ve happily avoided plug-ins for years and years. Besides the very basics, I couldn’t care less about plug-ins.

Well, I guess you’re one of the gifted few, Greg - more power to ya! :sunglasses:

I wouldn’t say gifted. They just seem like an option overload paralysis by analysis type of headache. Ignorance is bliss!

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I can totally relate to the option paralysis thing. Thinking about it, it’s funny the little mental games I play with myself to help make quicker decisions - like pretending I tracked all the drums with API preamps into an SSL, when in fact I tracked the drums using clean, bog standard preamps straight into the box. Written down like that it sounds very, very sad. :smirk: But, it limits me to using a certain plugin chain on all the drum tracks, and the only reason to deviate from that is if something doesn’t work. That helps me end up thinking about the sound of the drums and getting on with it, rather than looking at my EQ folder and wondering what flavour of 6kHz shelf to give the drum overheads.

Then I freeze the tracks and pretend I can’t go back and change them (unless I’ve messed up…)

Sounds like a band name or an album title.

Or a great song title…! Hmm, may have to just steal it right here and now. :smile:

Option overload is always a huge problem. It’s why I buy so few new plugs anymore, unless something comes along that a) does something I can’t already do and b) that is really necessary for something I’m trying to achieve. Very rare for this combination of circumstances to arise these days. But that’s fine with me, because I’m ready to spend more time taking things to the next level than worrying about which particular features I do or don’t have. I know that I have what I need to make the kind of stuff I want to make.

Well, as it happens, one of the new tunes I’ve got gestating has a groove and meter that makes for a snappy chorus that begins “It’s paralysis by analysis”, really swings with the progression in a sort of Elvis Costello-like way. Trouble is, the only other word that rhymes with these two is dialysis, unless one resorts to cheap outs like psychoanalysis, urinalysis, or any other kind of -analysis. So that’ll be a bit of a challenge. But I’m up for it! :wink:

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You could break “analysis” into something simpler, like “anal cyst”. Then base the rhyming scheme off cyst, which has many words that rhyme with it.

Must… resist… scatology pun temptation… must… resist…!!!

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Hey, I actually do now have a working song that I will call Paralysis by Analysis. It’ll be a power-pop kinda thing. I have the basic song roughed out, with a drum track and a scratch acoustic guitar track, and have written the lyrics for the chorus/hook and one verse, and have a pretty good idea of the melody and delivery I want for the vocals. @Greg_L, I definitely owe you a co-writing credit! :trophy:

Edit: And I set it up so I don’t have to try to rhyme “paralysis” or “analysis” with anything but each other, in the chorus… problem solved.

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As much as I’d love to share some credit for your creation, “paralysis by analysis” is not my term. It’s an actual thing…