Chris Nicoll

Beat Producer / Sound Designer

Chris Nicoll on SoundBetter

I run an audio production business called 'wizzFX' delivering unique and individual audio branding, music, sonic identities and sound design with clients from all over the world.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
A 'Big Beat' album for No Sheet Music, a production music company: [Link soon]
Morning Show Intro and Promotional Music for a Rock Radio station in Estonia: https://wizzfx.com/audio/rock-fm/

STYLE
I love big drums; think Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers and older Daft Punk. I'm a big fan of the synth sounds of that era too. It's old-school, but there's a certain flavour today's stuff doesn't have. Similarly with sampling; in my opinion there's something about the sound of lo-fi samplers that gives authenticity and life to music.

But that said, you'll hear all sorts of genres in my demo.

BACKGROUND
I have 15+ years experience in Audio Branding and Sound Design. With a career spanning some major media brands in the UK including Capital FM, Capital XTRA and others in the Global Radio stable. I've also worked on branding for stations the world over including Iceland, Germany, the USA and many places in between.

Be it TV, Radio, Live Events - my work has been heard on all.

Over my career I've picked up a multitude of awards for my work, including:

- Radio Academy 30 Under 30 Recipient.
- Radio Arqiva Gold for Station Imaging.
- Sony Silver for Station Imaging.

As well as numerous others in a similar vein.

My DAW's of choice are Pro Tools and Ableton.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

Interview with Chris Nicoll

  1. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  2. A: I write 'in-the-box' with Ableton Live, but make use of external samplers and synths to brit some added raw-ness and tone to my work. Some of my favourite plugins include FabFilter, the Schepps Omni Channel and a bunch of UAD stuff (especially the Shadowhills Mastering Compressor). I have an outboard Lexicon reverb in my Soundcraft desk I like to use from time to time.

  3. Q: What's your typical work process?

  4. A: I like to have a reference(s) to work off. Often I find that clients don't know what they want, but have heard something pretty similar in another piece of music. OR, a couple of ideas from various songs they'd like combined into something fresh. Then I'll set about constructing various short phrases and ideas, usually around 5 different starting points to share with the client. Then once we've both found something worth expanding I'll set to work creating the final track.

  5. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  6. A: I usually work on instrumental pieces with a Plunder-phonics, Big Beat and Hip Hop feel. But I'm always listening to other music to search for new sounds and ideas to bring into these worlds -- be it ambient, chill, 8-bit or even the song structures of Punk and Metal.

  7. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  8. A: Be organised. Knowing where your samples are, having all your gear wired up ready to use, having a system for saving and archiving. Being organised means you don't have to spend all your time hooking stuff up and finding stuff, you can just get into the best bit -- being creative!

  9. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  10. A: I began in radio production in 2002 in New Zealand. After spending 7 years doing that I moved across the world to the UK to continue in radio. During the course of my career I've gone from using other people's music and sounds to creating my own! It's infinitely more rewarding to use my own music and sound design in my work.

  11. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  12. A: 1) Computer (of course). 2) UAD Interface (duh). 3) Korg Volca Keys (diverse little beast). 4) Boss SP202 (retro feels) 5) Akai MPKmini (to play stuff by midi).

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: I'm often asked if I can you do it for any quicker (and cheaper). My response is always to send this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRO-tjW-vnA. You get what you pay for!

  15. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  16. A: There are benefits in both! I like using some of my outboard samplers and synths alongside those 'in the box.' I like using analog modelled plugins alongside new tools and technology. For me, it's a mix of both that helps give a great sound.

  17. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  18. A: Right now alongside client demands I'm working on my own EP project -- a sort of Plunder-phonics, Big Beat and instrumental Hip Hop vibe.

  19. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  20. A: Manipulating samples -- I don't mean sample libraries or illegal samples. I love to record my voice, synths, drum machines, kids toys and work them into new and unexpected sounds to create melodies and instruments from.

  21. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  22. A: Bentley Rhythm Ace. Because their music was super wild and free.

  23. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  24. A: I like to say I work on music for brands rather than bands. I'd like to do more of the latter, although it's more like working on music for artists than bands.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Cut-up, filtered, lo-fi, beat driven, bass-line focussed with a sprinkling of pads and arpeggios to taste.

  27. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  28. A: I love creating. The idea that you can sit down and create something that will influence how a person feels is extremely powerful to me. Remember the first song you heard? Remember the first album you bought? Remember the way you felt when you heard that song? It's all so emotive and expressive. I have so many memories tied to music, I love being able to create music that might make people feel something themselves.

  29. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  30. A: Not yet, but I'm hoping I can soon!

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Recent Work

I was the Producer, Beat Maker, Mixing and Mastering Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

Turn around times and additional costs can vary but will always be agreed at the beginning of a job. Unlimited revisions where possible and where reasonable.

GenresSounds Like
  • Fatboy Slim
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Daft Punk
Gear Highlights
  • Pro Tools
  • Ableton
  • UAD
  • KRK
  • Akai
  • Korg
  • Novation
  • Soundcraft
  • Boss
  • Roland
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