Start to Finish: Greg Wells - Episode 8 - Tracking Guitars and Keys

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Before building a name for himself as a first-call producer and mixing engineer, Greg Wells worked as an in-demand session musician and multi-instrumentalist for an incredible range of artists.

In this episode of Greg Well's Start To Finish Series, Greg fills out the arrangement of Bryce Drew's "Lucky Number," by tracking multiple layers of guitar and keyboard overdubs, adding gorgeous soundscapes to the production.

Watch as Greg:

  • Mics up his Divided By 13 guitar amp and cabinet using an SM57 and R121
  • Performs multiple passes of electric guitars
  • Records various instrument passes of vibes, flutes, pads and more using his Mellotron
  • Edits together the numerous takes of guitars and keyboards to create the perfect arrangement
  • Explains his thought process on experimentation and failure in the recording studio

Watch the rest of the series here.

Equipment & Software
  • Royer 121
  • Shure SM 57
  • Mellotron
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Greg Wells

Grammy award-winning, Canadian musician, songwriter, and record producer, Greg Wells, has been dubbed “A Swiss Army Knife” in the recording studio by the legendary Stewart Copeland for good reason.

As a multi-instrumentalist, he has the ability to artfully mold his productions with incredible precision, craftsmanship, and most importantly, taste. Combining his musicianship with his uncanny abilities as a producer, engineer, and mixer, he has seen album sales top 120 million, with streaming numbers in the billions. With a B.

His diverse list of credits includes superstars such as Adele, Dua Lipa, Twenty One Pilots, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Celine Dion, Deftones, Kid Cudi, Weezer, OneRepublic, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Aerosmith and so many more that we would need a really long scroll bar to list them all. 

Greg has seen monumental success recently with the release of the motion picture soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman”, which he not only produced but played on as well.


The Greatest Showman


Katy Perry

Twenty One Pilots

Grace VanderWaal

Dua Lipa

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2021 Apr 07
My first introduction to Puremix and what a series. To be a fly on the wall for this session with Greg and Bryce is magic. So lucky to get this level of insight from the one of the best in the business. Thanks for sharing
2021 Jan 10
Awesome series guys! Just wondering if they ran the guitar mics through any outboard gear like mic pres, eq's, or compressors? Greg didn't seem to talk much about that. Maybe they are using the API pres and eq's in the desk? Thanks again, loving this series! Awesome voice Bryce!! Great playing Greg! Reidrob, I agree. WHY is this not mentioned?? Im not paying money to watch Greg play guitar for 30 minutes. Signal chain, compression on the way in, EQ?? Inform us!!
2020 Dec 27
Incredible Serie . This is Gold.
2020 Mar 02
That whole bit from 32:30 - 35:50 struck such a chord with me (no pun intended) I had to watch it a few times. Powerful, powerful words. I'm a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who has been working on my craft since I was 10. I'm now 38. I got a Tascam 4-track tape recorded for my 15th birthday, and I've been obsessed with recording and writing ever since. I absolutely feel this same way. Brilliant words, and inspiring, knowing that one of the world's best feels the same. I'm a music and recording arts teacher now, and I want to share this with my students. Keep it real, Greg!
2020 Feb 24
Love this series. But WTF You can't use the word SPASTIC in that context!!
L Pass
2020 Feb 04
Signature parts, great arranging, doing what's best for the song, that's the stuff. When a song can go in infinite directions ,we're looking for the musical sensibilities that emotionally make the song great.
2020 Jan 25
Fantastic insights and perspective. Brilliant guitar playing, too.
Nicholas Goodwin
2020 Jan 17
Greg Wells: candid and straightforward ... very inspiring. Thanks.
2020 Jan 15
Greg Wells is a pure Genius! Proud to be Canadian :)
2020 Jan 15
Awesome series guys! Just wondering if they ran the guitar mics through any outboard gear like mic pres, eq's, or compressors? Greg didn't seem to talk much about that. Maybe they are using the API pres and eq's in the desk? Thanks again, loving this series! Awesome voice Bryce!! Great playing Greg!
2020 Jan 15
Nice deleting any negative comments! I guess they cant take criticism.
2020 Jan 13
Bryce is so wonderful!
2020 Jan 13
Greg's rant at 32:45 about the short list of musicians who can enhance a song in the studio. SHOULD BE SHARED AS A CLIP ON YOUTUBE. It's one of the deepest incites he's given in this entire and wonderful series.
2020 Jan 12
Very well done. Coming along. Everyone is doing a great job. Artist should be pretty happy with this, great song. Thanks for doing the series too.
2020 Jan 12
Hey Leobro- yes! The lyric is airplane rows. I’m always ticketed a seat in row 19 :) - Bryce
2020 Jan 12
Really wanted Greg to show us some of the pedal efx used... but he did say he uses 2 delay pedals and a volume pedal. Some tasty playing here and there to hug the track. The mellotron really blew me away... instant Smashing Pumpkins Melancollie album. For the other puremixer, Waterslide is the brand of the guitar.
2020 Jan 11
I love this series. I am super impressed with Greg, and the song runs through my head for days after I watch every episode. But it's been making me crazy for eight weeks: what's the word after "airplane"? "Rows"?
2020 Jan 11
Amazing! Greg is incredibly talented! Learning from failures... That I know for sure!! :-) Thanks Greg! I'm going right back to my garden to dig a little bit before sleep.
2020 Jan 11
Went to Bryce's show last night and she rocked. I know ya'll are here for the knob turning but please notice the artist! Met Brian Lucey, what a great guy!
2020 Jan 11
incredible and inspiring musicianship.
2020 Jan 11
I know I may be a minority here, but I didn't care for any of those guitar parts - except - the "bridge" section. The bridge section is good! All of the other parts seem to me to be distracting and out of place. I don't know. Mellotron is killer, though.
2020 Jan 11
Thanks for this great video Greg’s a real musician with taste and I love the thoughts and comments he gives about his work We need more of these series guys !
2020 Jan 10
Greg is a monster! This video series is amazing! I have really enjoyed my three years subscription and this series is just amazing.
2020 Jan 10
If that harp part stayed I would've canceled my Puremix subscription immediately.
2020 Jan 10
Can Puremix folks advise what make of guitars Greg was using in this vid? They look absolutely sick and I'm pretty sure I need one in my life now :D
2020 Jan 10
I love these videos, thanks so much! Am I the only one who always leaves these videos singing "Bring Me a Higher Love" by Steve Winwood? lol