Hi, my name is Mike and I help people make music for a living. :-) I've been working in music as a record producer (rock, metal, indie), mixer, and drummer for 10+ years. Currently own/operate a wicked lil' room downtown Toronto, called The Pawnshop. Various indie and major label credits and a handful of nominated projects and wins. #goodtimes
My goal is to work closely with the band, artist, or whoever is footing the bill, to help get the sound in their head to come out the speakers. I believe the entire recording process should be a fun and memorable experience throughout pre-production, recording, mixing and mastering. I've worked on everything from Metal to Children's Albums... like everyone else here, good music is good music!
Thank you for taking the time to check out my SoundBetter profile.
All the best!
P.S. I also really enjoy the boring/tedious stuff like drum editing, de-noising, and tuning vocals... so boring sometimes... but it really helps the end result in most cases. As they say, better is better!
P.P.S. I should also mention I'm not really a gearslut... I mean, there's tons of great gear available these days but I care more about the songs, arrangements, and performances... and vibe.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- Crash Karma
- Hawksley Workman
- Tupelo Honey
- Rex Goudie
- Dane Hartsell
- Charlie Hope
- Age Of Days
- Alyssa Reid
- Evans Blue
- Scarlet White
- Vince Hawkins
- Sea Perry
- Isle Of thieves
- Fallen Heirs
- Blind Race
- The Sole Pursuit
- Luke Michielsen
- Kevin Matisyn
- All But Over
- Tara Oram
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Interview with Mike Langford
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: ... as of September 14, 2015 - Mixing a female fronted prog-rock band, co-writing/preproduction for 2 EPs and 1 album, and moving soon... and winter hockey just started.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The people. I'm a people person... I'm good with people! ... seriously though, I like that my reason to get out of bed in the morning is to create music... and that if some day I wake up and think this job can shove it, I can go do something else! There's a sense of freedom when you work in any create field knowing you can walk away at any time.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Do you mix and master?" To me, it's sorta like asking someone if they "Do dry wall and painting?" I'm sure they could... but I think it's best to hire people who somewhat specialize in one of the other, instead of simply taking the money for both. Plus I highly recommended a 2nd set of ears on a mix project... one that doesn't care how it sounds in your car.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The latest Charlie Hope (Children's) album... always an adventure switching gears from rock to wheels on the bus.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: ... bit of a loaded question. Digital, it's [insert current year]... but without analog, we don't have voltage pushing speakers and speakers pushing air.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Objectivity. I'm on your side though... I want to see the people I work with generating some form of income from their music. Music doesn't owe you anything, but there are ways to increase your chances of making money doing what you love.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's easy... it just looks really easy when you're working with people who are good at what they do.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the plan with the recording(s) once we're done? How often do you play live? How many other producers/mixers have you worked with?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do your homework and know what you plan to do with the recording(s) when you're done with them. It drives me nuts when bands and artists are all "yeah we made an EP and nothing really happened". You posted a YouTube link on Facebook... and it reached 17 people... that's not a plan.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Knife (like a real one, a "noife"), flint, metal pot, mirror, polarized sunglasses... everything you need to get through a bad recording sessions. ... little studio humour there.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: ... over 10 years now. I had some really good mentors early on and great opportunities. It's a grind though, especially being part of the Napster transition generation. You work with some people we are like "back in my day, the royalties off a mixing credit bought me a new Lambo!" Nowadays, royalty credit could mean you made enough money on the deal to buy something from Dairy Queen.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Progressive... but with a chorus.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: My grandfather... he's the one that got me into music and it's a shame we never got a chance to even play two notes together.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: ... that's like asking to share one tip for dental health... meanwhile it's inevitable, you're going to get a cavity at some point no matter how hard you try. *light bulb* I guess the tip would be to spend the time learning how to deal with cavities. I think that becomes the real calling card of a professional, how quickly they can assess and fix a problem or paint themselves out of a corner, and make it look easy or normal. They've already been there before... and they don't stress when sh*t hits the fan.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Guitars and drums based music... I'm a rock fan at heart... I love recording and working with drums and recording guitars that make my molars feel like they're going to explode... thanks Bogner!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Sense of humour... aside from thick skin, I think it's the most important skill to have in the music business. ... I'm pretty good at editing though.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For projects I'm producing... put in our time during preproduction and song selection. I figure if we ask a lot of tougher questions in the beginning as to the "why we're doing this", it helps answer a lot of questions during the actual recording process. Who are the songs for? What are they expecting? How do we get them there? Why are we recording again in the first place? After that... it's 10% work, 90% play. :-)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's pretty simple... live room > instrument > mic > mic pres > converters > Pro ToOls > speakers. I don't have a huge console, I barely have a patch bay. When putting The Pawnshop together I wanted a space where the gear (signal flow) was transparent in the recording process... as in, after the mic is plugged in and the levels are set, we're ready to hit record... and it sounds good!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: The Hives, Radiohead, Mew, Primus, SOAD, ATDI, Tame Impala (<-- first record... so good), The Doors... I'm trying to think of music that forces an emotional response... either makes me smile and/or make the hairs on my arms stand... it's the reason I don't shave them.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: ... fixing things... putting out fires.