A good producer understands all of the inner-workings and components involved in making a record. This includes (but is not limited to) everything from operating studio gear to interacting with record labels/sound technicians/fans etc. What makes a truly exceptional producer is having a great set of ears; instinctively knowing how to create well-defined, sonically superior and recordable sound.
This is about more than just taste; it involves knowing whether to apply formula or originality, or simply when to tweak and tweeze a song and when to leave it alone.
Phil’s technical know-how and ability to speak both the artist and engineer’s languages allow him to take the artist’s vision to the next level. He brings passion and proficiency to every project and helps breathe life into old ideas. His expansive skill set and expertise have been refined over the course of his career, making him the sought after record producer he is today.~
Fundamentally speaking, a mixing engineer earns their “ears” through countless hours of practice sitting at a console or board. Mixing is as much an art as it is a science, and the importance of the ‘mixdown’ process is paramount to producing a quality song. The mixing engineer’s job encompasses many different elements, and while there is technically no right or wrong way to mix, there are engineers who stand out from the rest for consistently delivering exceptional mixes again and again.
Phil’s unique talent as a mixer have been shaped and molded over a highly successful career across all genres of music. With every project he undertakes, he employs both instinct and a myriad of techniques garnered from his more than 40 years in the industry to shape the sound of each track.
Phil utilizes his SSL 4000 E/G board in combination with a host of hardware units and software programs as well as digital and analog equipment to mix tracks at his Studio 4 facility in Conshohocken.~
Similar to framing a piece of art or applying the final layer of paint and wax to a sports car, mastering is the final stage of the production process. The importance of mastering and its impact on a piece of music is often overlooked. A mastering engineer must have extensive experience working with an array of software and hardware, an acute sense of hearing and carefully designed listening environment, a creative artistic mindset, and a working knowledge of the genre and current music industry.
Many engineers swear by ‘tried and true’ procedures that rely on software plug-ins and formulaic routines to process audio while others ‘push’ final levels in what is known as the “loudness war”. These methods may occasionally produce decent masters, but why settle for anything less than the best?
Phil takes mixes to the next level by utilizing both digital and analog processing techniques at his state-of-the-art mastering lab at Studio 4. He is responsible for molding mixes from various genres into exceptional masters, evidenced by his winning a Grammy Award for mastering the salsa/meringue hit album Across 110th Street by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra in 2005.
Phil welcomes clients to attend their mastering session and work on a one-to-one basis. Alternatively, Phil offers a tailor-made virtual service for global clients through the Phil Nicolo Online Mastering service.~
Phil is an exceedingly talented and world-renowned live sound technician. He has a host of experience designing and recording live sound for concerts, venues, and events of all sizes and acoustic environments. From Bon Jovi to Lauryn Hill, The Roots to Nelly Furtado, there’s nothing he can’t handle. His character, charisma, and comprehensive knowledge of sound design and equipment combine to make him an indispensable member for any project, while his determination, dedication, and drive are what set him apart from others.
A behind the scenes legend, Phil is known for making the best of any and every situation. His ability to capture and mix live sound is unparalleled. With his unflinching enthusiasm for live music and recording, it is no surprise he has become such a prominent and sought after figure in the industry.
Recently, Phil has been traveling to China to design live sound for 25,000 person concert venues featuring the rock group Black Panther and China superstar Wang Feng.
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