Start to Finish - Vance Powell & Tyler Bryant The Shake Down: Ep 1 Room Rundown

Pro Video
pureMix Fall Sale Get 50% OFF



Getting a hard hitting, thick, and punchy rock track doesn’t just come together in the mix, it starts with a vision and sonic direction from an experienced producer and engineer. Recorded live at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, Tennessee, Vance Powell teaches you the tricks he has developed over decades of live sound and studio gigs.

Four time Grammy winner Vance Powell explains his entire recording and production process and details how he sets up a tracking session for the band Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. Learn tips and tricks to use for recording drums, bass, guitars and vocals on any project.

Vance’s signature sound is all about committing to compression, distortion and embracing bleed to create a cohesive and rockin sound.

Watch how a session happens in real time, step by step, and hear before and after comparisons as Vance explains:

  • Placing the drums and amps in the room for optimal bleed
  • Microphone placement on drums, bass, guitars, and vocals
  • Tracking workflow using SSL console and external preamps
  • How to nail a great sounding balance with the faders all at 0
  • Checking phase coherence between multiple microphones
  • Adding compression, distortion, and EQ to mics during the tracking session
  • Using creative routing and parallel processing during the tracking process
  • Adding guitar pedals as effect sends
  • Setting up headphone cue mixes
  • Producing a song without a click track
  • Recording lead vocals with effects “to tape”

Learn how to produce and record a band with one of the biggest names in rock music.

Between the tracking session and the mixing session is the often overlooked editing and production process that adds the finishing touches and details that can make a song stand out.

Every producer and engineer needs to help guide artists towards a cohesive vision for their records. Grammy winner Vance Powell works with the band Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown to add layers of vocals, guitar overdubs and create the final song arrangement together at his studio Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN.

Vance demonstrates and explains his strategies for:

  • Vocal comping, working line by line, take by take, to make a good performance great
  • Recording background vocals to make the arrangement even more dynamic
  • Using Vocalign on the vocal doubles for a wide and tight sound
  • Special effects processing including reverse reverb, distortion, and delays
  • Crafting the perfect guitar solo tone from the comfort of the control room
  • Vance’s special “spin fader” trick using analog delay

Learn how to give a song both polish and attitude with clever production touches that take the record from sounding good to feeling incredible!

Equipment & Software


  • Sony C48
  • Shure SM57
  • Shure SM7
  • AKG D12
  • Neumann FET U47
  • Neumann KM84
  • AEA R88
  • Ampex 1101
  • Coles 4030
  • Chandler Limited TG-1
  • Sta-Level Retro
  • UA 1176
  • Empirical Labs Distressor
  • SPL Transient Designer
  • PigTronix PolySaturator
  • DBX 500 Professional "Disco" Boom Box
  • CAPI MicPre
  • ARA RPQ 500 Ribbon Pre

Not a Pro Member yet?
Pro Memembership
Watch all videos for
$24.99 / month
Vance Powell

Vance studied electrical engineering in Missouri and started his career in live sound as a front-of-house engineer. In 2002, he moved to Nashville in order to become studio manager and chief engineer at the legendary Black Bird studios in Nashville. In 2006, he co-founded Sputnik studios along with Grammy-winning engineer Mitch Dane, still in Nashville.

Vance Powell has won 6 Grammy awards working with rock artists such as The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and more.

Powell's domain of expertise is definitely mixing and producing rock music. As shown in his pureMix videos, Vance likes to experiment and create new fuller and exciting sounds using all kinds of pedals, echos, analog outboards and plug-ins. Vance was used to recording to tape and definitely has an analog approach that makes him commit to fewer good sounding tracks rather than piling up takes in Pro Tools.

His goal is to make something new and warm that fits the band's vision with upfront snare drums and powerful guitars. Rocking.


Jack White

Chris Stapleton

The Deadweather

The Raconteurs

Arctic Monkeys


What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2020 Dec 11
John Bonham Isolated Drums
2020 Dec 11
Also, when I came across this John Bonham isolated drum track lately and thought you might like it because you mentioned him, I think this is the most musical drum playing I have ever heard, these drums do not need any other instruments to carry the sound, which is something on a handful of drummers could ever do. Take care and God Bless! John Bonham - Led Zeppelin - Fool in The Rain - Isolated Drum Track AWESOME - YouTube
2020 Dec 11
The question I have is this, what do most modern engineers use for a kick sound on modern rock radio? I read that a lot of engineers with use sound replacement make a kick and snare sandwich with parallel compress, but is the original kick open, half open, or dampened when they are tracking? I know all engineers work differently, just wondering what the standard is to? Thanks so much, you are awesome and might be related to me, for my grandmother is a Powell and that is my middle name.
2020 Dec 11
I love how you mentioned the dampening of the kick drum! I unfortunately I must use VST drums when recording due to not having a place or the 5-25 thousand dollars of mics and equipment to do so. However, the dampening thing has be troubling me for a few years, with VST’s you have three options: full dampening, half open, and open, which one do you use? The John Bonham kick is big and open and it does not sound like he uses any dampening. But for me, I want a deep sounding kick that can cut through a mix with 2 guitars, bass, drums, several vocals, keys, and effects.