All about Cole Nystrom’s audio mixing masterclass at Chennai’s Swarnabhoomi Academy
LA-based music producer Cole Nystrom comes to Chennai for a residential music workshop at Swarnabhoomi Academy
Cole Nystrom’s transition from a drummer to an audio mixing engineer may have served him a bigger purpose than what he would have originally envisioned when he started his musical career at the age of 13. In his initial years, the 26-year-old American played for several bands of different genres. “I stared playing for reggae and ska groups, and then moved on to punk, rock and metal. Later, after years of playing drums and touring, I enrolled in the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where I pursued a degree in drums and audio engineering. That’s when my musical approach changed considerably,” says Cole, adding that after graduation, he bagged an internship at The Echo Bar Recording Studios in North Hollywood, where he worked with audio engineers like Bob Horn and Erik Reichers for about an year. However, the big moment in his career came when he got to work with Grammy Award-winning mix engineer Dave Pensado. “We got to work on an amazing project on his weekly show Pensado’s Place, which brought accomplished engineers, producers and songwriters together every week,” he says.
Inside the studio
With early musical influences ranging from classic rock to reggae, Cole’s favourite list of musicians include names like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson. “New music always inspires me. I love to blend different styles of music to get something different,” he says., as he comes to Chennai for the very first time to conduct a residential workshop at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM). Cole has his task cut out, as he monitors a group of around 30 aspiring musicians. Explaining his programme for the next week or so, Cole shares, “For starters, I plan to mix a song from the beginning to show the students my way of mixing and my musical approach. Only after that will I do an in-depth explanation of the main tools we use, as engineers” Having brought with him a selection of songs that he had worked on in Los Angeles, Denmark and Canada, plus a few during his time in Trinidad, the musician will have the students mix his songs as well. “The last few days will be spent on the subject of mastering,” he says.
Cole comes with a heavyweight CV of projects done with some of the big names in the music industry, topped with Michael Jackson, for his second posthumous album Xscape. “Getting to meet people like Grammy Award-winning music producer Antonio Marquis Reid through this project was amazing,” he says, listing out names like American band Earth, Wind & Fire as the groups he has collaborated with so far. “It is amazing to be able to experience so many different cultures and styles of music at my studio in Los Angeles. I am always growing and trying to find new ways to create different sounds and techniques,” he says. Currently working on a couple of upcoming mixes and with Canadian musician Sereda as well, it’s fair to say that Cole’s is one busy music engineer.
Till July 27.