stephen nicholson on SoundBetter
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Reviews (4)Endorse stephen nicholson
- check_circleVerified (Client)
I loved working with Francis.He was very professional and communicative, extremely talented producer, and refreshingly easy going. We made a great song!! Would definitely recommend to work with him, and look forward to collaborating again in the future, Elle xo
FrancisNikolas has skills he doesn't even advertise. I needed vocal tuning on two songs and fast. Once again he exceeded my expectations. The job was done quickly and professionally. This guy has golden ears - I'm very happy with him!
This guy is amazing. He took a dry traditional Celtic song and made it into a fun modern EDM dance mix. Great communicator, he listened and incorporated the few suggestions I had. I'm very pleased with the results and would happily work with him again.
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Sidemouth is an extremely talented producer and remixer. Really looking forward to the next time we work together.
Interview with stephen nicholson
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I collaborated with a producer/artist/singer called Kiri Tse (See examples) recently. She made the topline vocals and i was blown away! I produced the music and Mix/Master and the song has now been given a placement and has had lots of local radio play.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Remixes and i'm putting together a few of my own songs, as well as mixing local songs and internet songs
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I've worked with Sefi Carmel, he's really awesome at mixing and mastering!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like a few pieces of analogue equipment such as program eq's but generally prefer Digital music (Boom!). Try setting up a 60 channel mix with automation on an old analogue desk only to need to revisit the song a week or so later, then master again, run through effects again hard work!.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll work for you. its your song and i want you to love it and not just make my own song out of yours. unlimited technical revisions also
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Its not 9-5 in a stinking hot office, hours in traffic, its is more like 8am till 3am square eyes but i love what i do.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do i have XX piece of Gear and why don't i use that particular software. I'm used to my equipment and can make awesome music using it
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Theres about 100 billion people out there with a copy of garageband or what ever. 100 million of them have speakers and interface, 50 million of them can play an instrument, 15 milliion of them can Mix, 5 million can master 2.5 Have an acoustically treated studio and so on... eventually you'll find that theres not a lot large amount of people out there to choose from with real skills but a lot of people shouting that they are producers!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I usually ask for their infuences, how much they want me to compose on the track. Where the track is going after completion whether its Tv, Beatport, Itunes, NightClub. and technical questions such as can you provide 24bit 48Khz Wav Please and standard stuff like BPM, Key, shoe size
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure your music relates to the person your hiring. Even the Best superstar grammy winning engineers have their particular style,strengths and weaknesses. Take George Harrision for example, hes going to be an amazing Pop producer, but pretty much diabolical at producing Dubstep music ! Also if you want to make Jazz give me a miss!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Powerful computer full of software, Acoustic guitar, My £2k Microphone, Midi Keyboard. wait..... is somebody going to come back for me in a year or so? Wheres the electricity going to come from? Will there be cake?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been making music and performing for 10 years, never quite made it as a guitar musician. I've been producing for 6-7 start stop but have never got the magic break. since mid 2014 i've been enthusiastic enough to made 10 -15 tracks, remixes and am considering an EP
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Pop, Synthy, Wall of sound, Drum and Bass, Show off!!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: This is so difficult to answer as i listen to so much music and am inspired by new and old! I grew up listening to Massive Attack and loved 3D's sound (Robert Del Naja) but i'd love to be part of a modern label such as hospital records for example.if i have to pick a current artist I think i'd choose the prototypes because they know how to make a lot of noise!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When writing a song, never get hungup on how a song should sound with regards to eq, compression, or which synth patch, guitar, what kick, snare, etc. As long as you have good arrangement these can be swapped over and over with modern equipment. Also there is room for everyone so if you are a virtuoso guitar player or epic singer, theres no need to become a mastering engineer or producer.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Remixing, Dance, EDM, Bass Heavy, Chart Pop, Solo artists, Have a listen to my examples!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Arranging a song, most people have an idea or a 'verse chours verse chorus' type track i love adding fills bridges, stops, accents etc... but i enjoy all aspects of production
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I see myself as an allrounder i can do pretty much handle everything, I've spent lots of time performing music but learning the technology in which to create commercial sounding tracks. I would say a turnkey solution.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually like to concentrate on the Arrangement once thats close i keep swapping out/layering synth parts until it sounds huge and cool. then i move into Eq, compression effects, I like to run a vocal through my hardware to add harmonies, Doubling, tuning. then i'll bounce mix after mix using critical listening techniques sometimes getting to 5-6 versions. Finally into my mastering software and make 2-3 versions until i'm confident the song sounds good, on radio, car, club, mono, stereo.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a treated Room in an out-building on my Farm in cumbria (!!) I have around £20k of hardware (monitors Audio interface, Instruments Synths) and about £5k of software (basically every synth you can think of!) but my real strength is my Network of Mac Pro computers which i can combine with Vienna Ensemble Pro and have total freedom from the limitations of CPU. For instance I my last track (We Are We Are) had 55 tracks all with heavy Processing, 5-6 Different CPU hungry Verbs, Delays, Emulating Eq and Compressors etc etc.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love Heavy Bass Songs and DnB/EDM Music, but have a wide range of Genres such as Dnb, Pop, Blues, Old Rock, however, over the last 2-3 years i've been influenced by artists such as Chase n Status, Sub Focus, Metrik, Prototypes, London Elektricity, UNKLE, James Lavelle, DJ Shadow, Maya Jane Coles, Massive Attack. chemical brothers and lots more. If i could pick any artist to work with next it would be Emeli Sande, her voice is awesome, if i could pick a producer it would be 3D of massive attack I love his music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I usually take a demo and turn the demo into a full production from the artists brief, I am firstly a Multi-Musician Playing Keyboards, Guitar, Bass & Drums and also a Producer/Engineer adding Harmonies, Effects, Eq, Compression, Vocal Tuning, then into mixing and mastering