Carlin Nicholson, Recording, Mixing, Production and Live Sound Instructor at Mint Music

Carlin Nicholson

Recording, Mixing, Production and Live Sound Instructor

Carlin Nicholson is a Canadian mixing/mastering engineer, producer, and songwriter based out of Toronto, Ontario. He has been a studio owner for 25 years, working as a professional sound engineer and musician – he co-founded XM award-winning and Polaris Prize-nominated Arts & Crafts band, ZEUS. Trained at world-renowned Revolution Studio in Toronto, Carlin has worked on a multitude of albums and musical projects, including award-winning and nominated artists. Carlin blends his passion for analogue sound with modern digital tools, employing different techniques and various pieces of outboard equipment to suit the unique nature of each project.

“A big thing for me as a professional engineer-whether it be mixing mastering or production work – is that there is never one method that always works. Part of the joy and excitement in professional sound is taking the time to discover what any given project may need to be its best, and then following your instincts to produce the best possible version of that material. Like in any trade, the skills are fundamental, and of course quality tools are necessary, but too often I see engineers putting the tool, reputation -or price- of any given piece of equipment before the basic need to make something sound great and the simplest way to get there. When faced with a challenge, I always encourage my engineers to throw out everything they know and approach the material from a listener’s perspective – to ask, ‘what are the 3 things about this recording that make it special?’ – and begin by embellishing those qualities.”

Pliability and an approachable demeanour are at the forefront of every project Carlin works on. He takes time to understand the unique desires and tastes for how an artist or group wants their material to sound and be presented. He believes that even if an individual does not necessarily speak the technical language that professional engineers use, this does not make their opinion any less credible and does not diminish its significance towards making their product the best it can be. After all, the musical experience is a feeling that we are all attuned to in our own unique way; enthusiasts and professionals alike.

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