Working with Matt Mahaffey
Old 19th July 2011
  #1
Gear addict
 
rhythmic5's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Working with Matt Mahaffey

I love the collaboration on 'Stay Home' on the Shrek soundtrack from about 10 years ago, and I was curious if you still remember anything from the session. The use of 'sampled' material in the song (the weird bell loop at the beginning/breakbeats/misc other 'hip hop' samples) were masterfully used and I've always wondered how they're introduced in songs you've produced... whether it's always the artist, or if you happen to add from your own collection or something.

Also, I really enjoy the 3 bass tone ensemble thing that happens in the verses (it sounds like a bass in the center, a guitar playing low notes on the L and another bass playing a harmony on the R), which reminds me a lot of the verse in All Star by Smash Mouth, and I was wondering how that arrangement came to be...
Old 12th August 2011
  #2
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ev33's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
I love the collaboration on 'Stay Home' on the Shrek soundtrack from about 10 years ago, and I was curious if you still remember anything from the session. The use of 'sampled' material in the song (the weird bell loop at the beginning/breakbeats/misc other 'hip hop' samples) were masterfully used and I've always wondered how they're introduced in songs you've produced... whether it's always the artist, or if you happen to add from your own collection or something.

Also, I really enjoy the 3 bass tone ensemble thing that happens in the verses (it sounds like a bass in the center, a guitar playing low notes on the L and another bass playing a harmony on the R), which reminds me a lot of the verse in All Star by Smash Mouth, and I was wondering how that arrangement came to be...
Dreamworks had temp'd (a temporary placement of a song to get the idea of the vibe for editing that is going to be replaced later) in the song All Star in the opening of Shrek. The director didn't want to use it because it had recently been used in a couple of other movies. They hired Matt to write and record a song that had the same vibe as All Star. Hence the similarity. He was hired specifically to copy it without legal infringement. Matt had demo'd the song and Dreamworks agreed to pursue it and then I was hired to help make it sound more like All Star. Matt's demo version of the song was great and already had most of the cool stuff on it. We mostly only rerecorded guitars in the chorus and the main drums through out the song. On the drums I did my usual thing at the time of recording a live drum track and then supplementing it with loops or samples from old sixties drum recordings. The weird bell loop was a part from the original recording that Matt did himself. He had just done a record where he used all toy instruments. I think that little bell loop was created from some toy xylophone or something. The main issue for Dreamworks was the over all voicing of the track. All Star is a very hifi type mix once it gets going and leaves a lot of room in the mid range. It made it very easy for the film mixer to fit in all the sound fx and bits of dialog in the intro of the movie. I seem to remember that we did quite a bit of work on the bridge section at my place. I think that part may have been added after the project moved to my place. Matt and I worked on that thing for a while. Putting a song in the intro sequence of a movie is bit like a 50 yard putt. it is really really challenging. Basically while you are working on the song the film company is constantly sending you revised versions of the edit of the opening sequence. They will say things you have to cut out 3.2 seconds at about 1:10 on the song because we changed the edit. Then you have to go back and figure out how to remove a totally random amount of time from the song and still have it sound musical. After almost a month of tweaking and revising and editing and refining Stay Home, they played the final version of the opening sequence for Jeffery Katzenberg and he said "why don't we just use All Star in the beginning I like that better" and that was it! Stay Home was relegated to the sound track and I think deep into the ending credits.

Working with Matt was really fun. He is a great guy and unbelievably talented. he is one of those "do anything" type people. he can sing it, play it, write it, engineer it, mix it. Just a really gifted guy.

EV
Old 12th August 2011
  #3
Gear interested
 
dirtykeys's Avatar
 

to hell with smash mouth
matt mahaffey all day
everyday
...
Old 12th August 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtykeys View Post
to hell with smash mouth
matt mahaffey all day
everyday
...
What he said!

Self rules. Matt should be a huge rock star. If the music industry wasn't so fu#ked up, he would be.
Old 12th August 2011
  #5
Matt is absolutely an amazing talent. I was lucky enough to be in his part of the world when I went to college and got to see self perform a few times. "Self" and Matt's other project "Wired All Wrong" are both awesome. He's in my top 5 songwriters of all time.
Old 12th August 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank S. View Post
"Self" and Matt's other project "Wired All Wrong" are both awesome. He's in my top 5 songwriters of all time.
He is easily one of the last brightest new hopes for modern rock and pop music. The Self project (essentially mostly just Matt) was consistently brilliant and awesome. Great songs, musicianship, production, etc. A great mix of musical styles too. Very much a progressive power pop/rock kinda thang.

Any Gearslutz' who want to learn about production should study his recordings. They are pretty impressive to say the least.

Subliminal Plastic Motives, The Half-Baked Serenade, Gizmodgery and Breakfast With Girls are all utterly fantastic and deserve to be heard by a lot more people. The fact that all but one of those recordings are out of print (and fetching $$$ used) is depressing. Shows you how much music made by real artists with real talent is valued today.

He's really ingenious at using old school recording gear and mixing it with high tech, modern production.

I definitely look forward to hearing what he's gonna be up to next. I think he's just getting started...

Also, he has the coolest computer monitor stand ever!
Old 13th August 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mershi Duween View Post
He is easily one of the last brightest new hopes for modern rock and pop music. The Self project (essentially mostly just Matt) was consistently brilliant and awesome. Great songs, musicianship, production, etc. A great mix of musical styles too. Very much a progressive power pop/rock kinda thang.

Any Gearslutz' who want to learn about production should study his recordings. They are pretty impressive to say the least.

Subliminal Plastic Motives, The Half-Baked Serenade, Gizmodgery and Breakfast With Girls are all utterly fantastic and deserve to be heard by a lot more people. The fact that all but one of those recordings are out of print (and fetching $$$ used) is depressing. Shows you how much music made by real artists with real talent is valued today.

He's really ingenious at using old school recording gear and mixing it with high tech, modern production.

I definitely look forward to hearing what he's gonna be up to next. I think he's just getting started...

Also, he has the coolest computer monitor stand ever!
I love all his stuff..
I'm good buddies with his cousin..(who's a great singer/musician here in town) haven't met Matt yet. had couple of friends work with him.. He's awesome though..
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