“Home is where the Music is”
Michael Nocny, also known as N.O.C.N.Y is a Polish record producer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and mixing engineer. Originally born in Warsaw, Michael has been producing and collaborating with artists around the globe for almost a decade. He has multiple hit records on charts and has established himself as a “genre bending” music producer.
“If you would like to know a little bit about me and my workflow, please read this short interview below”
- Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
- A: I started playing piano when I was about 12 years old and really quickly got into it. Got my hands on the first DAW (Sonar Cakewalk I believe) in the studio environment when I was 17. But that was just studying and having fun. I would say I’ve been doing this professionally for more than 10 years now and been fortunate to work with some really amazing artists over the years. I had multiple songs on top of the charts, placements with major record labels and I have definitely grown a lot as a producer, especially after moving to California. Being able to work with the best talent in the world is a dream come true.
- Q: What questions do you ask your prospective clients?
- A: I usually ask about the goal and the vision for the project. We have to be on the same page and know exactly what we are aiming at. It’s a creative work but it has to be efficient as well. We should know the competition, the audience, artists’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s a team effort and in the end, those recordings stay forever.
- Q: How would you describe your style?
- A: Someone described it once as “Vibey”. That should be pretty accurate. I’ve been growing up listening to funky 80’s and I love strong rhythms and beats but I also love moody, cinematic sounds. These two worlds are definitely present in my production. The music has to be able to take you for a journey when you listen to it. You might love it or hate it but it definitely needs to leave a mark.
- Q: Can you share one music production tip?
- A: It might sound obvious but just don’t be lazy and leave your ego outside the studio. Always do what’s best for the song because in the end, that’s all that matters.
- Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
- A: I would say it’s mostly pop related genres. I love darker, underwater, moody synth sounds but since I moved to California I discovered so many new genres like Country and Americana, and I absolutely love them all! Also, absolutely adore working with unique voices, choirs and a-capella groups. They just have one instrument, which is their voice, and it’s incredible what they can do with it. Its so organic and natural
- Q: What’s your strongest skill?
- A: I think it’s synchronizing with artists in a creative process. Once I get inspired everything happens really fast. I have a pretty strong intuition for a guy so I’m able to feel the artist without asking too many questions :)))
- Q: What do you bring to a song?
- A: Whatever the song needs. It’s always all about the song. Sometimes it’s just a mix, sometimes there should be a change in lyrics or change of a key to make sure artist is perfectly comfortable delivering the story. I bring another set of ears , experience and intuition. I always try to follow what feels right.
- Q: What’s your typical work process?
- A: I can work with anything just to start with. Could be just a vocal loop, drum loop or a particular sound that I like. I spend a lot of time getting to know the artist’s music taste to make sure we are on the same page. I like to make things happen quickly and hear the final project as soon as possible so there no time to overthink stuff. It’s just better to be spontaneous. Music is nothing else then live, evolving art.
- Q: Analog or digital and why?
- A: Both actually, digital gives you speed and efficiency which is so important while creating but analog gives you all the feels, colors and flavors.
- Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
- A: It’s definitely one of my favorite places on earth. Located in Los Angeles, the studio has a very cool retro vive to it. It’s a hybrid setup with 1980’s Trident 65 Series analog console as a centerpiece, calibrated with modern summing from Looptrotter Audio. My main DAW is Ableton which I have been using pretty much exclusively since 2008. The acoustically tuned live room with hardwood floors is big enough to accommodate a live band for a full live recording. I also use Adam Audio monitors and I have actually been using their speakers for the most of my career.
- Q: What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?
- A: Let me put it this way, sometimes it’s not about the music at all, or that snare sound or what mic to use. Sometimes it’s just about the connection and support that record producer has to give the artist he works with. You may be the most talented producer in the world but if you lack interpersonal skills you are not going anywhere.
- Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
- A: Every musical encounter is an incredible inspiration. It’s all about the right energy. There is nothing better than being synchronized in a creative process with an artist in the studio, exchanging ideas and forgetting about an outside world for a minute. That’s why it’s so important to collaborate with as many artists as possible. It’s a beautiful journey.