Nicolas “Nick” Peck – Composer/Sound Designer/Musician/Technologist

Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the interweb. I started piano lessons when I was eight, and bought my first computer, a TRS-80 Model 1, when I was 13. Since that time, my life has followed a path that has straddled those two loves.

I made the switch from classical to pop in my early teens, and proceeded to play in bands from then until well into my 40’s. The majority of that work has been in composing and performing original music in a variety of genres. I’ve had stints in progressive rock, hippie jamband, traditional jazz, and organ-driven soul jazz. All along the way, I’ve also dipped my toes into the waters of experimental electronic music.

I have both a BA and an MFA in Electronic Music. I’m a huge believer in education, and have paid back my amazing teachers (Herb Bielawa, Maggi Payne, and Pauline Oliveros, to name a few) by teaching others. I’ve taught college-level music in the past, and now deliver lectures at colleges and trade schools, write articles for various music magazines, and blog here. My goal is to expose as many people as possible to the wonders of music, empowering them to find their unique musical voice.

My main profession of the last 20 years has been a sound designer and audio director, primarily for interactive projects and games. I’ve held the position of sound supervisor at Lucasarts Entertainment and Skywalker Sound, and audio director at Activision, Perceptive Sound Design, and the Walt Disney Company. My current job is audio director of Disney Consumer Products Content and Media. I have an amazing team of sound designers, dialog experts, and composers, doing our level best to live up to the amazing legacy of Disney music and voice.

I’ve always been a gear nut – I think it comes with the territory. I started collecting synthesizers and recording gear when I was in my teens, and have constantly learned and grown as a composer, producer, engineer, and performer during that time. I had always been a pianist and synthesist, but then about 20 years ago I discovered the Hammond organ, and subsequently spent my time learning the performance practice of that instrument, as well as the rest of the electro-mechanical instruments of the 70’s. You can hear the fruit of that labor in the album “Fire Trucks I Have Known”, on the albums page.

At Disney, I use Cubase with a number of orchestral libraries for composition, and Pro Tools for post-production work. As a result, my musical energy when I get home is spent as far away from computers as possible. I play bass quite a bit (or did, until the carpal tunnel problems that had undoubtedly been growing for decades finally presented themselves. I’m in between surgeries, and anticipate a full recovery by beginning of Summer 2017). My other great passion is for Eurorack modular synthesizers. I had spent so much time studying and working with the great modular instruments from Buchla, Serge, and Moog while in school, but was never able to subsequently work on a modular – until now. The resurgence of modular synthesizers has ushered in a golden ago of analog audio, and I’ve been steadily designing and building an improvisation and performance-oriented modular synthesizer. Expect to see a lot of discussion and tutorials on these pages.

Finally, I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley for the last five years in order to work for Disney. However, my heart will always be in Marin County, where I grew up. You can take the boy out of Mill Valley, but you can never take Mill Valley out of the boy.

Thank you for coming. I greatly appreciate it, and hope that you find some music or knowledge on this site that appeals to you.

Nick Peck
Sherman Oaks, CA 1/24/17