Music Mixing Analysis: Ingrid Michaelson – Parachute


I talked about this song yesterday but I wanted to hold off on talking about its audio production qualities until our next music mixing analysis session. “Parachute” is a great example of how much you can do with an amazing vocalist. Listen to the song real quick before we continue:

Drum Beat

The drum beat is a really simple kick/snare affair. The grungy snare with the thick and roomy sounding kick sound give the otherwise electronic beat a real natural sound. The hand-claps and hi-hats are added in in specific places to enhance the drum beat and add excitement.


I love how big a part the vocals play in the production of the song. Not only is the vocal melody catchy but the background vocals are used makeshift riffs instead of using a synthesizer or some other instrument that could be playing the “ba-ba-ba” lines.


Like I said before, the vocals do most of the work in creating the riffs around the actual melody. The harmonies sound almost synthesizer-like and could easily be substituted with a keyboard part. The fact that they aren’t is what makes it so unique. I especially like the accented reverse-sounding riffs in the verses, they add anticipation to the snare hits in a very effective way.


A lot of the breaks and fills are in the vocal department. They just do an incredible job of weaving in and out of the melody. Otherwise, the song does not have a lot of fills or breaks. It’s very straightforward arrangement-wise; the drum-beat just acts as a drum-beat and the instruments just add to the rhythm.


It’s just an amazing song in its subtle simplicity. The vocals sound great, they are used differently and the natural sounding beat creates a different texture to what could be otherwise described as a electronic pop song.