Richard Nolan is a Music Producer and Mix Engineer After working alongside Marco Barusso (Lacuna Coil) and working in a professional studio for over 3 years he went freelance and has had many of the artists he works with played on the BBC. He also writes his own music and mixes and producers this under the name "Vacation".
After working in a professional studio for over 3 years Richard went freelance and also worked alongside Marco Barusso (Lacuna Coil) and and has had many of the artists he works with played on the BBC. A competent and creative mixer with a powerful sound, working exclusively from the 102 Studios mix room! An expert on Pro Tools and working in a hybrid environment with both digital and analog equipment.
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Interview with Richard Nolan
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Again Lucia Nicoles - The Bigger Picture. I have been the producer/mixer throughout as well as assisting in songwriting. It has been a project I have been heavily involved in since the start. To see Lucia go from there to playing gigs in London and generating a lot of attention and to be part of it makes it one of the best experiences I have ever had.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Lucia Nicole - The Bigger Picture EP several of the singles are already online on youtube.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, but I believe now computers are able to give you the tools to sound analog. A good mic and pre and the rest can be done in the computer. Its not about Analog vs Digital - its about the ears adjusting the knobs.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will work to do everything to realise your vision for the song/s. Never be afraid to talk to me and ask me anything, most often I find that the best things are born out of these moments.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Creating. Seeing something being made from nothing. Watching an idea unfold into a completed art.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How much will it cost, how long does it take, do you have a studio....... My answer is always dependant on what the requirement is. Sometimes I record in remote locations. Time is dependant on what there is to do as well as cost. Every situation various and is different.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That anyone can do it - and because its "fun" its free. Its taken many years of learning and working hard to get to the point where I am now. I still put in as much hard work as I can, and yes of course I love it passionately, but to do it at my level one has to be able to survive.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your music for? What do you want to sound like.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: For production work have as many ideas ready, if possible in logic or something similar to help give a clear view of what you want it to sound like. For mixing, do you best to capture everything as well as you can. It might be worth asking me first for any advice if you are unsure. If recording drums always get overheads - and if you can try to get room mics. Guitars and Vox try to double up (main vocals do a centre vocal and 2 sides one left and one right).
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Macbook pro with Logic and Pro Tools. A good audio interface with 8 inputs such as an Apogee or equivalent. Neumann u47, Waves mercury bundle, Keyboard USB controller. Thats more than enough to make a fantastic sounding track.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I studied Music Technology to degree level. Eventually getting a job in a professional studio. Worked with many locals bands. Eventually I started assisting Marco Barusso who mentored me and taught me a lot of how to be a good producer. I eventually went freelance and I currently work with several bands and artists including Lucia Nicole fromt he UK and The Undivided from Wales.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Relaxed but professional. Able to adjust to the requirements of the artist. Always up for trying new ideas but keeping things on track.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: If its a band I'd love to work with Katatonia - just such a rich and powerful sounding band. If its a pop artist someone like Foxes as I love her voice.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid - try to not live in a box. The more you open your mind to ideas the better the creativity flows. Many things won't work. If you have ideas and something sticks out it might just be the best thing ever.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All types - from Pop to metal, I believe in the song, and the genre usually dictates the atmosphere around the song.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Probably my mixing skills as I was mentored by one of Italy's best producers/mix engineers.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Experience of songwriting, structure and arrangement ideas. I understand how to get various sounds and how to create a powerful sounding mix.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For an entire production I usually discuss with the artist or band their vision and direction. I will work with them on the structure if required and then arrange a few days to record their project - either in my studio or in a remote location. This then gets mixed by myself.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Pro Tools and Logic together on an 8 core mac with a good 24 input/output audio interface. KRK 6000 monitors + NS10s. I have other various hardware including the Kemper profiling amp.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Marco Barusso my mentor and friend (Lacuna Coil), Jens Bogren, Greg Haver, Dr Luke to name a few.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Production, arranging and mixing.