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Mike Q&A Summary 4/30/2020


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We're back with another Mike Q&A summary from April 30th where he took questions again at the end of his chat.

- "What's the process like when you work with a mixing engineer?" -> "Usually when I make a song I would hand that over to a mixing engineer. All of the individual tracks that you see here that have audio on them, those would get bounced out individually. So one track would be just that kick. All of those tracks would go with my effects to the mix engineer. Sometimes I leave the effects separate from the audio so that the engineer can mess with the sound of the effects or choose a better effect. Like maybe my delay is cool but they have a better delay that works better. For me, I do love mixing and I am very particular of the sound of the things that I make. Because if you change the sounds it changes the shape of the songs. Generally, I will go in with the mixer or I will get on the phone with them and I'll have them change things. There will be a lot of changes and revisions in the mix."

- "What was the craziest or most unexpected source of inspiration for a music video?" -> "With more than half of the videos Linkin Park has put out, Joe Hahn directed those or had a hand in conceiving those. Once in a while I'd pitch in some content or some ideas or whatever. But Joe usually likes to be the boss of the video. If he's going to run it... he always talks about how it makes things difficult or hinders the process if there are too many cooks in the kitchen. So he prefers to have fewer people in the mix. And sometimes that's tough for different guys in the band, myself included. He's open to and will listen to suggestions but if he feels the opposite way, it'll be an argument or it'll be a conversation. That can be fine, that can be easy, that can be tough. We've worked with other people - sometimes we get really great results out of working with someone else. Other times it's not as good as what Joe could have made and we feel bad for working with someone else. I feel like inspiration usually comes from the song. If you're a freelance person working with the artist, I'd say defer to the artist because it's their content, it's their creation, it's their brand."

- "What was the most difficult song to make in my catalogue?" -> "I'm going to say the most difficult one might have been... for me... Bleed It Out was really hard. That's why I started the lyric with "here we go for the hundredth time" because I rewrote the verse to that dozens and dozens of time. And a lot of those were completely starting from scratch and I just didn't like them and I ended up on that one... because when I started with that it was like embracing the fact that the frustration of making the song was actually informing the content of the song. It took like, months. That was a tough one."

- Mike gives an explanation of writing major chords over a minor progression and does a tutorial of it on his computer for that question

- He isn't familiar with any Brazilian rappers, he doesn't speak Portuguese so he doesn't listen to that

- "How did you decide on the order of the songs on Minutes to Midnight?" -> "Yeah. There is a version of Minutes to Midnight where you can arrange the songs in a way where they blend into each other sonically so like one song to another is like, more similar. So you put like Given Up and No More Sorrow near each other, then you might transition to Bleed It Out, then you transition from that into What I've Done. It's like stepping stones so it's not jarring. So we decided to do the opposite and putting the ones that sound the least like each other, putting those together it made the album more striking we thought."


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Something similar to Wake, Given Up, No More Sorrow, Bleed It Out, What I've Done into the slower songs. Maybe Shadow then the slow stuff. Pretty interesting. The way it turned out was better because everything was spread out across the album.

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