“Gotta Be Somebody” — Radio Mix — Nickelback
Single: “Gotta Be Somebody” — Radio Mix
Album: Dark Horse (Roadrunner)
Producers: Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Nickelback
Engineers: Olle Romo and Scott Cooke Assistant Engineers: Keith B. Armstrong, Nik Karpen, Brian Wohlgemuth
Single Mixer: Randy Staub at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, BC in Fall 2008
Other Projects: Staub has mixed countless hit singles and albums for artists such as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Avril Lavigne, The Tragically Hip, H.I.M., and Brian Adams.
Single Songwriters: Chad Kroeger and Nickelback
Mix Console: Solid State Logic 4072G Series with black E Series EQ and Total Recall
Mix Monitors: KRK E8 with KRK V12 subwoofer, Yamaha NS-10 nearfields with subwoofer, Advent Powered Partners AV570 bookshelf monitors, and an Auratone speaker (mono)
Audio Platform/DAW: Pro Tools HD
Select Mix Processing: WAVES C4 Multiband Dynamics Processor TDM plug-in (lead vocal), Focusrite d2 EQ TDM plug-in (lead vocal), and Sontec MEP-250 EQ (across mix buss) Mixer’s Diary:
It could be argued that there is no better endorsement of rock star status than a production collaboration with Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and that is exactly what Chad Kroeger and his band, Nickelback, have with their latest single entitled, “Gotta Be Somebody.” The radio mix of “Gotta Be Somebody”—expertly crafted by superlative mixer and frequent Nickelback collaborator Randy Staub at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver—melds a familiar sound that North American modern rock fans have become accustomed to, with a grand, quasi-world music chug that Lange clearly brings to the table.
“The differences in this song are built into the track,” explains Staub regarding the growth of Nickelback as reflected in the first single from Dark Horse, the band’s sixth album. “It’s not a mix thing; it’s a Mutt thing. They [Lange, Kroeger, and the band] were very particular about never losing the kick drum throughout the song. They wanted to make sure that the kick was there, maybe even a bit more than the snare, to get that driving, four-on-the-floor from the kit, which is kind of a Mutt thing. But I think that Mutt’s biggest influence can be heard in the background [vocal] parts.”
Speaking of vocals, Staub notes that Kroeger’s signature rasp can sometimes be a challenge to mix in such radio-ready tunes. “He has pretty strong upper-mid frequencies—anywhere from 2, 3, or 4k, maybe even 5 or 6k,” Staub explains. “For me, this Nickelback record was a little different in that he and his Pro Tools guy would automate vocal levels and EQ, manually ducking frequencies out that were too strong. By the time I got the vocal track, it was pretty even, but once you start compressing and EQing, that part of Chad’s vocal becomes a challenge again. I think I usedmore frequency-dependent compression on this record than I have in the past and maybe more automated EQ, too.”
For monitoring, Staub relied on his usual setup: Yamaha NS-10 and KRK E8 monitors, both with respective subwoofers, as well as Advent bookshelf speakers and an Auratone in mono. “I’ve never used NS-10s without a sub,” he admits. “The KRKs are some of my favorites, for sure; they’re just great-sounding speakers. They go incredibly loud, they’re clean, and sound good quiet, too.”