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Max Lord 808 MAFIA Talks Audio Engineering Gems, Working w/ Juice WRLD & Southside + More

This is the third installment of the Producergrind Podcast episodes we filmed in Los Angeles in 2020. We had the pleasure of interviewing Grammy-winning engineer & producer Max Lord of 808 Mafia where he told us his come up story moving from Colorado to Los Angeles and working with Fredo Santana, Southside, Juice WRLD, Offset, Cardi B, Young Thug and more.

Max Lord of 808 MAFIA shared with us many music career advice including audio engineering gems, working in the studio by reading the room and paying attention to the artist's vibes, not doing things for money when making music with friends, having beats ready to go, and the true essence of good music.

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00:00 Intro
00:54 Max Lord having a 22-hour studio session w/ NBA YoungBoy
02:19 Making beats w/ Fizzle, producers who play instruments
04:30 Not knowing how to play instruments, appreciating musicianship
05:12 Day job audio engineering & making sample-based beats for fun on the MPC
05:53 Growing up in Colorado, discovering new music in 2008 before social media became popular, listening to Boom Bap from MF Doom, Madlib, Mobb Deep, J Dilla
10:47 Crate digging, sampling old records vs melody sample packs
13:50 Max Lord 808MAFIA come up story, background & song credits, working w/ Southside & Wheezy
16:15 Being close w/ Juice Wrld & working as his engineer, working w/ G Money, not doubting people’s potential, recording Juice Wrld for the first time
22:00 Staying w/ Offset & Cardi B during Cardi’s album, then making the tough decision to leave them to record Juice Wrld
23:30 Working w/ Southside in Miami Florida, then Juice Wrld calling him to go on his Europe Tour in Berlin Germany, Southside getting mad at Max Lord for leaving
25:12 Being an engineer & balancing obligations w/ people you’re already working w/, working w/ one artist vs working w/ a lot of people like Young Thug, Future, Fredo Santana, Keith Ape
28:00 Enjoying making music in the moment instead of being opportunistic & short sighted
29:47 Max Lord first dream before getting into music, wanting to race mountain bikes, photography, not finishing high school, getting into EDM, Dubstep in Denver college, living in the moment
32:40 Having to be analytical to run a business, enjoying what you’re doing so it doesn’t feel like work, Juice Wrld doing Pop songs, Max Lord experimenting w/ music, making psychedelic rock songs w/ Juice Wrld like Tame Impala & Day Wave
35:25 Doing things simply for the joy of making music vs doing things for money, not having expectations, uphill battle to get paid in the music industry as an engineer
40:50 First step into the music industry, his dad lining up a meeting in Los Angeles w/ Paramount worker who met engineer Chris Lord Alge
42:40 Making music for My Little Pony in a songwriting session w/ DJs & producers in Burbank, started assisting the engineer in that session, learning Pro Tools in Pop sessions w/ Lady Gaga’s producers
44:10 Meeting Fredo Santana through making his music sound better through engineering on the spot, meeting Chief Keef, DY, Southside making 14 songs in 12 hours, new workflow different from Pop sessions
49:23 Gems for audio engineers, how to speed up workflow to keep up w/ artists, making split second decisions, being a nerd & reading manuals for gear, how working in live music & setting up sound systems trained his ear
53:52 Engineering for Young Thug for the first time, learning the fundamentals of audio engineering, experience & experimenting is everything
56:07 Difference between being a mixing engineer vs recording engineer, being on your own schedule
01:00:02 Everyone should trip more often to clear your mind before going back to work
01:00:44 Benefits of using a trackball mouse controller
01:02:52 First working w/ Southside in 2016, not being weird, learning how to work w/ people on a personal level, knowing your role & knowing what your job is to do, doing too much is worse than not doing enough, working w/ Playboi Carti
01:08:12 Giving input vs being a yes man, speaking your mind when something isn’t good & being able to explain why, constructive criticism, older engineers have wisdom & experience
01:12:55 Falling asleep, getting tired during a session, being on the same vibes as the artist
01:15:29 Working w/ your friends, always having beats ready, organizing & colorcoding beats for different vibes, working w/ people who are talented but nobody knows them, staying loaded w/ beats lead to Young Thug & Juice Wrld song “On God”, reading the room & paying attention
01:23:07 Not being transactional
01:26:33 Long term goals for Max Lord
01:34:18 Biggest takeaways
01:38:58 Outro

Hosted By

Special Guest

Directed by


808 Mafia