What Would You Ask Your Peers?

Top Influencers – Dave Grohl, Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuck, Oprah Whinfrey, J.K Rowling, Taylor Swift.

So I had a thought the other day about what I would ask my peers if I met them. I wrote a few questions down and then I thought, what would my answers be? I continued to answer my own questions and actually found it to be a really helpful process to better understand myself and long term goals. I highly recommend you give this a go. Here’s what I came up with:


Who or what inspires you?

I get inspiration from everything, anything & anyone that makes me think about my life & how I can improve it. We aren’t perfect, none of us are but if we are willing to recognise our strengths & weaknesses & to work on both, then I like to think that that helps make us who we are. I think as well, we have to look at what we are good at & we need to use that to be inspired too. So, yea, I guess I’m also inspired by myself in the most honest way possible.


What motivates you to do what you do?

Knowing that I can make a difference, motivates me. Not just in my life, but more importantly in other people’s lives. My family, friends and hopefully you, reading this. Sound is my thing. Anything sound. I have a good ear for sound, literally. The harder I work, the better I become, the more of a difference I can make & that motivates me. And if the right people recognise the work, even better. Even if the wrong people recognise my work & drop their feedback, I’m cool with that, that motivates me even more.


What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to continue being creative. So, I’m not planning to limit my creativity to just one thing. Right now I am writing a book, working in film as a sound recordist, music composer & even doing a little acting here & there. I am also working on writing some new songs for an album which I am really excited about. Long term is just to be the best creatively I can be & to keep sharing what I create in the hope that it inspires & motivates others.


What’s been your greatest achievement so far?

I think getting to this point in my career is my greatest achievement so far. I’ve had very little help & it’s been hard. Real hard. Every day since I left college it has been one mountain after another. Learning what’s what within the ever changing music industry. The who’s who, the how & how not to. Along with that, having to deal with let down after let down. But all this has made me stronger, wiser, & I understand a lot more now because I’ve had to do it myself. I’m always learning, always moving forward. It’s tough but if I don’t do it, no one else will.
So, really, I think my greatest achievement so far, is actually sticking at what I love because all I have at the end of the day is myself to blame if things are shit. I mean, 2013 to 2015, 17 tracks recorded, produced & released by myself on my own record label ain’t too bad on top of managing / creating everything else, website, videos, photography, tuition book, gigs as well as myself. That’s good going for a one-man machine!! It’s not a brag, it’s just what I’ve achieved because I had to put in the work. Sometimes it’s good to reflect on what we have achieved.


If you could do anything, what would you do?

My answer is pretty simple and I’m kinda doing it already & that’s working towards my end game. Helping others through my creativity. That’s me in a nutshell. My end game is to live on a mountain & snowboard every day, well, when it snows but my main thing right now & even when I’m riding down a hill is to be able to help others with my creativity. If what I create can help motivate you or anybody then I’m winning.


What’s the bravest thing you have done?

Simply put. Being me. I have put this off for years because of a huge lack of self-belief & confidence. I’ve had to really dig deep to get in front of a camera to share who I really am with you and to start these blogs. But do you know what, it’s been the best thing I have ever done. Both for myself & for everyone who is now benefitting from this content. It’s been an awesome learning experience & it truly has helped me understand who I am even more. It’s not been easy but it’s definitely been the bravest thing I’ve done to date. I don’t include black runs in the alps as that is just adrenaline madness.


What makes you happy?

What makes me happy is seeing others being happy. If I can make one-person smile, job done. If I can impact someone’s life for the better, job done. Seeing that my family are happy makes me happy & if I can help them in anyway, even if it’s just a hug or chat, then job done. So, being there for the people that need me to be there is key to my happiness.


What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, when I’m not working on being creative I love being outdoors. I used to skateboard loads when I was younger, not so much now but I want to get back into that as a friend of mine currently rides bowls & the whole flow of that really appeals. I do make time for the gym too where I enjoy a relaxed swim & steam at the end of the day. It’s a nice environment to bounce ideas around with friends. I’m really into my snowboarding at moment. I’m currently a snowboard instructor at my local slope near Chatham, which is pretty cool. #dreamjobnumbertwo


Thank you for reading!
If you enjoyed it & got something from it, please share & join me on
FACEBOOK — Nick John Wilson

Your support will enable me to keep giving to you.
Love ’n’ Space Bubbles xNJWx

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Microtia – Music To My Ear

Nick Smile Microtia

Microtia – Music To My Ear

Hi, I was born in 1983 with left side Microtia but only discovered the medical name in 2014 after catching a Channel Four medical programme, Embarrassing Bodies, that featured Sally Evans and her Microtia condition. Thanks to a quick Google search, I then discovered an entirely new world, furthering my understanding about myself and my little ear.

I am a Singer Songwriter/Producer and have been a full timer in the music industry since I was eighteen. Music has always been a huge part of my life; at the age of seven, I picked up a guitar and copied riffs and tunes from my Dad and Mum, who both played of an evening. Before then, I was rather good on the tennis racket, pretending. From the age of thirteen, I began to teach myself more on the guitar and also had a few lessons in School, where I learnt the boring but important theory stuff.

Work & Education

I worked in a music shop from the age of fifteen and learnt a great deal about the retail side along with meeting Pete Green from Fleetwood Mac and we even had Chris Martins’ amp from Coldplay in for a repair once. Although, it would have been cooler to have had Chris in the shop. This was a great ten year experience, where I met so many musicians, learnt more guitar techniques and even formed a few bands. I worked here as I completed my GCSE’s and then went on to study a BTEC National Diploma in Popular Music followed by half an HND in Music. I left the HND course at the end of the second year, as it was not right for me.

Having left college and now armed with a newly purchased Lagoon Green acoustic guitar, I entered into the world of being a solo artist. Even though I was in and out of bands, I wrote with a production team for globally recognised artists, learning a massive part of my production skills too. This is where I experienced the sensation of stereo for the first time.

First Stereo Experience

Sitting on a stool in a vocal room with a pair of headphones on, I was recording a version of one of my own songs and the Producer panned a twinkle effect hard left and automated it to move hard right. The sensation of the sound moved across the back of my neck and it was the oddest feeling ever. Excited about the edit, I asked what the hell was going on. The producer explained and my mind was blown!

This explained why when I would listen to music as a kid on headphones, I couldn’t always make out the full mix of instruments or I would miss hear a lyric. I never really paid much attention or got frustrated, as I had more fun making up my own words. For example, Nirvana have a song called Plateau and I have always thought that the lyric went “Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop and a little iddy book about birds”. Yup, it makes sense right. But the actual lyric is “and an illustrated book about birds”. I have only just found out the correct lyric. So, lesson learnt, read the lyrics in the CD book.

I now make more of a conscious effort to listen to the diction of a singer as it saves a lot of time and I also listen to music on speakers rather than headphones. I use headphones to record and sometimes to mix. In general conversations I combine lip reading and even recognise the tone of some words or phrases. I am not deaf in my fully developed ear, I think, just selective. But aren’t we all at times.

What Is Stereo?

Discovering the effect of stereo spurred me to research what stereo is and how it works from a music and everyday view point. Imagine a straight line and you are in the middle of that line with the line coming out of the side of your head. Now, draw an arch from one end of the line to the other. You now have a 180 degree area in front of you where sound will affect you and reach your ears. From a music production point this is so important for understanding how to mix effectively. From an everyday view point, it helps you to become more aware of your surroundings- don’t forget you will have another 180 degrees behind you. Now imagine a circle of sound in the real world that surrounds you that you have to be aware of. Amazing!!

Volumes & Sound

Now, I’ve never been much of a singer but I had to learn when I became a solo artist. Not that I couldn’t sing, I just didn’t understand how that instrument worked. Lots of breathing exercises, techniques, flares, trills, allsorts. One of the most common things you see a singer doing to help with pitch, is put a finger in their ear. I said ear, not rear. I could already hear my voice in my head, so pitching was a doddle. Just needed to strengthen my angelic vocal chords and that meant practise.

I remember as a kid, I was told to stop shouting. I think it was because I was getting used to volumes or just understanding how to communicate in a reasonable way. Also, I do notice that as I can hear my own voice in my head I am very quietly spoken. Understanding how to project my voice has helped in many social situations. From a music angle, loud and soft are key elements in creating the dynamics of a song and I can always remember being at a noisy gig with a pint in one hand and a finger in my ear. The advantages are great!

I do highly recommend an ear plug for any concert you go to. Or even if you are on a clubby night out. That means you can hold two pints. But seriously, there is nothing worse than ear fatigue and a hi pitch whistle ruining the drive home listening to Beethoven’s 5th or Bohemian Rhapsody. Ear plugs are a great investment too as they come in pairs and last twice as long for us Microtians.

What I’ve Learnt (So Far)

One thing discovering more about Microtia has taught me is that I now understand why I would feel tired after being in a noisy environment. It has made me more aware of allowing for a time out period to give my developed ear a chance to recoup. Between five to ten minutes after no more than an hour of relatively loud sound, music, background noise. This has been awesome for studio work as I have now found an optimum volume that feels good, sounds good and is not too taxing on the fragile ear hairs and drum.

I have never seen my little ear as a disadvantage for my music, creativity or social interaction. In fact, it gives me an advantage over those who struggle with pitch, I can easily switch off when people talk nonsense and it has enabled me to focus on individual sounds in great detail.

Sound is amazing, the way it reflects, bounces, softens and makes us feel can change our lives in an instant. If I had been taught about what sound is on a much deeper level at a younger age, then I would probably have listened more in school but hey, school serves its purpose. I was bullied, but for having long hair and that made me a hippy. I liked that. Being a hippy that is, peace ‘n love, rock ‘n roll. Suited me fine. I think there was only one occasion where I showed the silly bully, who in their defence were non the wiser, my little ear. Saying, ‘That’s why I have long hair’. I never saw him again. Think it scared him off.

The Future

My little ear is my OAP insurance. By that I mean, once I have rocked out and my developed ear has decided to not play anymore, science and technology in Microtia would have hopefully developed ten fold and more to be able to give my little ear the chance to listen to the world.

I love who I am, you can’t please everyone. That’s up to them to decide if they want to understand. Cool either way. I am in fact proud to put a name to my little ear. “MICROTIA”!! I have some amazing information to share about my little ear and so far, everyone who I have spoken to about it have all been ok with it. The hardest thing about the music industry is finding your USP (Unique Selling Point). You may think that it is all glitz, glamour, music ability, chiselled features or a pair of hot pants but I think having Microtia has given me a different edge on where I am coming from. I hear half the sound of a ‘normal’ artist which makes what I do even more amazing. (Trumpet blown)

The Present

So, if I could offer one piece of advice to fellow Microtians, parents with a child who has Microtia, relatives and friends. Get out there and live each day, ask if you do not understand and don’t be afraid to be you. We are after all, unique in every way.

 

I am excited to let you know that you can now learn guitar with me here.


Thank you for reading!
If you enjoyed it & got something from it, please share & join me on
FACEBOOK — Nick John Wilson

Your support will enable me to keep giving to you.
Love ’n’ Space Bubbles xNJWx

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How To Build A Flat Pack Recording Studio Desk – Ikea Style –

Ok, so, in a back to front way of doing things. Meaning, I made a video first, received a request on how I did it and have now put together a PDF with all the gubbings on how I made my very own flat pack recording studio desk for about £300.

I made it with the intention of being able to easily dismantle it if I need to transport it to a new location.

Here’s the original video, which I recommend you use as a reference.

I would highly recommend getting the pieces cut by your local timber yard unless you can do that yourself.
I have given you the number of 18mm MDF boards needed to cut all pieces from.

Your only custom jiggle will be when you come to fit the keyboard shelf. I couldn’t find a link to the original sliders I used and they vary massively. I have left this out of the PDF book purposely.

Here is the link to download the PDF file which has everything you need to know apart from which tools to use.

How To Build A Recording Studio Desk – Ikea Style By Nick John Wilson

 

Here are links to the parts you will need apart from the MDF to give you an idea of cost.

Cam Lock

http://www.screwfix.com/p/cam-lock-15mm-pack-of-50/45045

Cam Dowel

http://www.screwfix.com/p/cam-dowel-24mm-pack-of-50/93435

Vinyl Tiles

http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/value-vinyl-tile—black—056-sq-m-per-pack-107738

Drawer Slider

https://www.bullerltd.co.uk/drawer-runners/grove-mounted-slides/accuride-runners-slides-3301-60.html

Drawer Slider

http://mfd-uk.co.uk/drawer-runners/product/11-db-3501

Drawer Slider

http://www.diy.com/departments/rothley-adjustable-keyboard-drawer-slide-l400mm/271595_BQ.prd

Paint Brushes

http://www.diy.com/hand-tools/bq-value-paint-brush-w-1-1-2-set-of-5/212185_BQ.prd

Felt Pads

http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-cream-felt-self-adhesive-pad-protector-dia25mm-pack-of-8/208329_BQ.prd

Cupboard – Melamine Paint

http://www.diy.com/departments/ronseal-one-coat-black-satin-cupboard-paint-750ml/128376_BQ.prd

Laminate Edging

http://www.diy.com/rooms/it-kitchens-oak-effect-laminate-edging-tape-l10m/1047780_BQ.prd

Long Screw

http://www.diy.com/departments/m4-machine-screw-l-12-mm-dia-4-mm-pack-of-10/250332_BQ.prd

Short Screw

http://www.diy.com/departments/m5-machine-screw-l-10-mm-dia-5-mm-pack-of-10/195009_BQ.prd

Wing Nut

http://www.diy.com/departments/avf-m5-steel-wing-nut-pack-of-10/227618_BQ.prd

Corner Brace Bracket

http://www.diy.com/departments/zinc-effect-mild-steel-corner-brace-bracket/240650_BQ.prd

Shelf Supports

http://www.diy.com/departments/it-kitchens-chrome-effect-steel-shelf-support/37726_BQ.prd

Wood Dowel

http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-wood-dowel-pack-of-25-l30mm/243280_BQ.prd

Thanks for looking and I hope this inspires you to be creative with your own build.

I am excited to let you know that you can now learn guitar with me here.


Thank you for reading!
If you enjoyed it & got something from it, please share & join me on
FACEBOOK — Nick John Wilson

Your support will enable me to keep giving to you.
Love ’n’ Space Bubbles xNJWx

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