Nicholas Di Lorenzo is a Melbourne-based mixing and mastering engineer operating from his self-owned Panorama Mixing & Mastering Studio. The passion for music came early for Nicholas, who took interest in the drums at school and then played in a variety of ensembles from pit orchestras and big bands, to indie rock and punk bands, up until university. It was in late high school that Nicholas developed a strong interest in sound engineering, and he went on to study a Bachelor of Arts with a Music Industry major at RMIT.
Upon completing the degree, Nicholas spent four months at The Aviary Recording Studios in Melbourne where he worked assisting Fraser Montgomery in the recording and production of El Moth’s and Jungal’s albums. For further experience, he assisted at Edensound Mixing & Mastering under the guidance of Martin Pullan. In this capacity, he worked and attended to the post-production of records by acts such as Deep Purple (re-mixing of live performances ‘72-’74), Jimmy Barnes (Tape Transfers), Julia Henning and Andrew Haggar. In his work today, Nicholas offers a wide range of skills and a deep knowledge of the many sides of the industry, as well as a dedication to support his clients’ artistic vision.
This is a Week In The Life Of Nicholas Di Lorenzo!
As a studio owner, mastering and mixing engineer, my job involves not only finalising the productions, recordings and material which clients bring to work on but also managing the operations of the studio, maintenance, social media and bookkeeping. I consider myself as a musicpreneur, the landscape of the music industry in the 21st century is no longer about surviving purely off your service skills, but through your leadership skills, social media presence, and ability to provide value in other formats to an audience. A whole media company/package.
Today I am up and early at 6:30 to miss the Mickleham Road traffic and enjoy a coffee and pastry for breakfast while updating my followers on Instagram about the day I have ahead. Upon arriving at the studio, I fire up the stove for another coffee and dedicate 45 minutes of what I like to call “give-back” on Facebook groups, twitter, and Instagram, contributing back to the communities with discussions concerning audio and music industry. Now, I have mixes to listen to which have hit my inbox over the weekend which includes quoting material for mixing, set up for mastering, and also some mixes where people are requesting feedback during their process of recording/creating a record. Today, I also have an unattended mastering session for The Vacationists, a band based in Sydney. Having finished the session, I put everything up to Dropbox, and it’s left me with some time to navigate the material which has arrived in my inbox for tomorrow’s session with San Antone to conclude the day.
Much like yesterday, I meet this day with my regimented routine; alarm at 6:30, coffee, pastry, miss the Mickleham Road traffic, arrive at the studio, fire up strove for another coffee, 45 minutes of giving back, listen to mixes that hit my inbox and send out quotes. All of which I’ve completed in a timely fashion as the San Antone band arrive in full force at 10:00 am for an attended mastering session. These are the sessions which give me a great sense of accomplishment, seeing artists faces light up in the studio as we conquer the finalisation of a product they’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into. After a successful session, I begin preparing a pop record for mixing, and I send out all the vocal stems to my vocal production team at Spectrum Sound for tuning and alignment. In addition to this, I have another mixing session to set up for Pinnacle for tomorrow. It’s a little quiet working on my own in the studio when nobody is in for a session, so I set up the Pro-Tools session while feeding through to Instagram live to take my followers through my process for how I set up a session. Then I shot a YouTube video for my channel, cut and uploaded within 30 minutes. I don’t have a lot of time in my day to do flash editing, graphics and rendering, so all my footage is quickly and easily shot on my iPhone. While this uploads I begin packing down the studio to get ready to head out for dinner in Carlton with mixing engineer, producer and friend, Mike Trubestkov!
Like the last two days of this week and every day of my career, yes, I start my day the same; alarm, coffee, pastry, miss the traffic, studio, more coffee, 45 minutes of give back and listen to mixes/send out quotes.
In the first half of my day, I am met with the task of setting up mastering sessions and QCing PreMasters:
-A session for San Antone, who readily had another single ready to get mastered after yesterday’s session.
-A record for Scofie who my vocal producer at Spectrum Sound had just completed production/mixing on.
-And another single for Matt Cassey.
I meet the second half of my day with Jay and Spenser from Pinnacle, and we are mixing another record off their album. Hip-hop records are great to mix, and this one especially. I’m given the freedom to do “my thing”, not only technically as a mixing engineer but creatively as well. Jay, Spence’s and my level of communication are on the same page, so we all understand exactly what the end goal is creatively for the album, which produces excellent sessions and mixes.
Because Thursday chooses to be a little different, I start my day half an hour earlier (At 6) to drop my partner off at work on the way to the studio. Then the following routine has remained unaltered; miss the traffic, studio, more coffee, 45 minutes of give back and listen to mixes/send out quotes. Before my first session, I’m on Skype for a weekly peer review with Mastering Engineer Christopher Carvalho over in England where we share work with one another and provide constructive feedback to help develop one another’s mastering skills. After this wraps up, I start my day’s sessions mastering for Right-0 with Anthony. Which as usual, is always met with great vibes where I’m dancing during the final prints. In my next session today, I am excited to begin having received the vocal stems, tuned and aligned which I sent out on Tuesday for completion. I begin setting up and mixing the session. Because this session is unattended, I opt not to finalise anything and get it to a rough mix to receive feedback from the client before preceding any further. Upon completion, I conclude the day uploading the roughs to Dropbox and setting up two mastering sessions for tomorrow.
To finalise my week, my routine doesn’t halter, 6:30 up, and onwards. Today, I have 2 sessions for Scofie and Matt Casey which I set up on Wednesday. My first session with Scofie is attended. It’s his first time having a single professionally mastered so I talk him through the process, and A/B each of the steps for him to gauge exactly what’s going on and the direction in which the record is being taken. Then my final session is mastering the record for Matt Cassey, who isn’t attending today, but who has in the past given me free reign to “do my thing”. Upon concluding the mastering for today, I again keep on top of my socials and shoot another YouTube video for the channel to conclude my week’s work which takes me a little longer than usual – 1 hour to complete and upload to YouTube due to technical difficulties.
Saturday & Sunday, recharge, and relax!
Challenges and Accomplishments
Biggest challenge this week:
Finishing my working day on Tuesday at 9pm and sticking to my 6:30 morning routine the following day.
My greatest accomplishment for the week:
Squeezing in and publishing two YouTube videos for my social media followers.
Highlights of the job
Connecting with artists in attended sessions; nothing is more rewarding than making people’s visions come to fruition in mixing and mastering. When clients sit in the studio and you see their faces turn as you dial in just the right amount of “something” they were looking for, is a real highlight of my job.
Lowlights of the job
Sometimes technology gets in the way, and shooting my YouTube video on Friday took longer than usual which was a bit frustrating.
Words of Wisdom
Starting out as a freelancer and wanting to build a career as a mastering engineer, I always “played it safe” but it only held me back. Push your boundaries and exit your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to make mistakes because it will only bring out the best of you to overcome them and progress!
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