Nicolas “Nick” Peck – Composer/Sound Designer/Audio Director/Electronic Musician

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 had 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, though, I’d been a composer of experimental electronic music – releasing albums, contributing to compilations, and performing. Now, at this phase of my life, my art music is again fully devoted to the experimental/ambient/Berlin school electronic genres.

I hold 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. I have been the audio director of Disney Publishing Worldwide for the last 8 years. I have an amazing team of sound designers, dialog experts, and composers, working every day to contribute 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 25 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 my Bandcamp page.

At Disney, I use Cubase with a number of orchestral libraries for composition, and Reaper 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, but my primary passion is for Serge, Buchla and 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 age of synthesizers, and I’ve been deeply involved in that world – creating music and tutorial YouTube videos, going to synth conventions around the world, and building DIY synthesizer modules.

I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley for the last eight 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 here that appeals to you.

Nicolas Peck
Burbank, CA 8/15/20