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vinifeijo

Mike Shinoda music style

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I'll start saying I know nothing about music production or intricate details.
 

The thing here is: Mike's style is very recognizable... most of his beats you can hear without seeing who made it and you know it's him.

 

BUT i can't get what is that make them so recognizable.

Could someone tell me what it is?

I mean... there are so many different songs he made and yet it has his signature on it somehow.

What makes Mike's style?

Why do i  know, even not being an expert in music in any means, that some random song i hear out of nowhere is something in Mike's style?

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Posted (edited)

I'm a music producer and songwriter and I'm highly inspired by Mike so I try to closely follow more technical side of his music.

 

The streams that he's doing nowadays are really helpful. Still, to be honest, it's a hard question to answer. There is no one specific rule. His production on "Heavy" sounds different than his production on "World's On Fire", right? When it comes to the LP-sounding stuff, I think that it's a specific type of melody that is more important. I hope that you'll get what I'm saying - sometimes there is a feeling in the song that it is really LP-ish without any specific sound. Nevertheless, I don't have almost any theoretical background when it comes to music/songwriting so I won't dig into this. Maybe others will help you.

 

I can say something about his production though as I'm super into this part of Mike's music. He uses a lot of saturation/distortion (saturation more frequently, I believe), that's why his drums or synths often sound "dirty". Usually it's really subtle but it gives a specific type of sound that gives a cool flavour into the sounds. Mike also likes a lot of glitchy stuff. When you have this "stuttering" effect in a song, it's often him experimenting with a different plugins or cutting samples/loops into pieces to get that effect (he explained it on one of the early streams on the example of "In Stereo" outro). On the recent songs (LP/MS 2010s; A Thousand Suns and further up), he also uses a lot of 808s (Wretches And Kings, I.O.U, Until It Breaks to name a few). What I also found out from the streams is that he uses a lot of delay effects to get that "space" vibe. Obviously, there is a lot of reverb to get that "beautiful/epic" feeling in the tracks, but I think that every producer uses reverb so I don't know if it's even important. There may be something in a specific type of guitar that Mike's using - I play the guitar too, but I think that, for example, Astat can say more about this as I'm not a specialist; I'm not super into the technical stuff of guitars. What I can also say is that when I've been watching the streams, I am surprised that he doesn't use any unique VST plugins - a lot of stuff that I use too, like Massive, Kontakt, etc. Nothing special here, to be honest. His physical synths are more imporant - OP-1 is the one that he uses a lot and he creates many atmospheric sounds with it, which definitely give a lot of "Shinoda vibe". 

 

Besides the effects/plugins stuff, I can also say that his typical track structure is to build a verse around one/maximum two chords/notes only (frequently it sounds more agressive/heavier than the chorus) and then goes with a full chords progression in the chorus. The chorus sounds much "bigger" than verses then. I found it useful in songwriting in general, not only in creating LP-inspired songs. It simply often makes songs more interesting. 

 

To put it simply, there are a few "tricks" to make your tracks sound like Mike's/LP's ones, but there is no formula. I gave some examples of effects that he uses, but that's all that we can actually do. I think it all comes to listening to a lot of his stuff - sometimes I've got a feeling that I unintentionally copy his style in some of my tracks because I simply listen to a lot of LP/FM/MS songs and follow everything that is connected with how Mike produces tracks. To be honest, it's not really hard to recreate his signature style when you have some experience and are really into how he does stuff. I hope what I've written will be somehow helpful for you.

Edited by blackout
Adding one paragraph; correcting some errors

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A lot of the Mike's beats seems to be a reflect of the music that was/is popular at the time:

From Xero to Meteora: it was Underground Rap, Industrial and Rock/Metal

MTM: was Rap and more chill or "emo" stuff and bit of pop. and so on

 

Of course he has been developing his style from like 25 years or something like that, so he unconsciously can write a song in whatever genre and you know is a song by him,

Thanks in a big part to this: 

 

11 hours ago, blackout said:

He uses a lot of saturation/distortion (saturation more frequently, I believe), that's why his drums or synths often sound "dirty". Usually it's really subtle but it gives a specific type of sound that gives a cool flavour into the sounds. Mike also likes a lot of glitchy stuff. When you have this "stuttering" effect in a song, it's often him experimenting with a different plugins or cutting samples/loops into pieces to get that effect

 

And some other factors. like the gear he use MPC, pads and all of that stuff, is not the same to program drums by using maschine or any other products like that than do it with your mouse.

 

Plus he really know what drum samples use in each song, you can hear this for example on The Rising Tied all the drums are very similar sounding. it has that hard hitting sound and they then to be very dry

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