Marc Daniel Nelson is a Grammy-nominated music producer, audio mixing engineer, 4-time PMA nominee, and 1-time PMA winner. Marc has had a successful career producing, mixing, and managing multiple artists for almost 20 years.
As a protege of the music industry, Marc has many music credits including Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Eric Burdon, Fleetwood Mac, Rusted Root, and several others.
Marc has put in an outstanding effort in creating impeccable sound quality and music production. He is also credited for producing music in several films and PBS television shows. His film credits include Blade Runner, Wild Horses, Point Break, Father Figures, and The Vietnam War. Marc Daniel Nelson was also the executive producer for the national video campaign for the Guitar Center and acting creative director for Alcon Sleeping Giant and ArtistMax.
Nelson has also been featured on the cover of Audio Solutions magazine and has had several of his articles published in MIX, Shore, and Business magazine. Business magazine awarded him the “20 under 40” award for his entrepreneurial efforts in the music industry.
Marc is the best of the best when it comes to audio engineering and producing. He learned directly from the legendary producer/engineer Bill Schnee and has shed some light on what it takes to be a successful producer/engineer.
Marc started his career at age 18 in 1999. He started as an intern at the Chicago Recording Company, CRC, shortly after graduating from Ohio’s Recording Workshop. Marc was the youngest musical talent at the company and his skillset got him noticed by the best audio engineers in the music industry.
Within a few months of learning from the audio engineers at Chicago Recording Company, Marc quickly advanced through the company and became close with the well-known producer and engineer Tim Butler. Tim taught Marc the ins-and-outs of the recording industry, the skills he would need to mix and produce, and other skills that would help Marc build a very successful career.
At this time, Marc was learning from the biggest names in the industry, Tim Butler, Doug Sax, and Bill Schnee. He took their advice and made it his own, creating an always learning, and always helping attitude. After completing his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, Marc continued to mentor under Bill Schnee.
By combining the techniques he learned across working in different musical genres, Marc has always been able to create a clean sounding recording with a huge impact. His passion for learning and improving has inspired many of us and earlier this year, we worked with Marc and put together a free mixing course.
Colbie Caillat’s song Goldmine was mixed by Marc Daniel Nelson. In this course, Marc breaks down the entire mixing process for you to follow along with. This is just 1 example of Marc’s unyielding passion for creating impactful music and high-quality production.
To Marc, the best qualities for a music producer are a little different than the qualities needed to be a mixer. To Marc, being a good producer isn’t just about knowing musical theory, or technique, it is the ability to make everyone comfortable and being a people person.
When asked about the differences between producing and mixing for film compared to the music industry, he mentions that he doesn’t change his approach. “The less you do to harm something, the stronger it is,” is something Marc has said when talking about his process. Learning from other producers like Doug Sax has taught Marc the importance of simplicity and using what is necessary.
Creating high-quality sounds is hard, but to Marc, listening to different genres and learning to open your ears and feel the music has been key to creating huge and impactful sounds.
Sitting down and chatting with Marc about home recording and his experiences recording outside traditional studios has shed some light on his thoughts and techniques that he has used throughout his career producing music and audio for both film and music.
Marc tells us that putting together templates when your mixing is a great way to stay consistent and organized. In the past, while working on mixing an orchestral score, Mark used the same template he used when he produced for Fleetwood Mac. Using plugins alongside his template, he can drastically change and improve the sound of a track, and make them sound better.
Marc mentions that there are ‘no rules’ when it comes to creating a mix. He gives the advice of learning everything you can from the people around you, the people you have contact with and grow from the experiences.
It is from his mentorship with legendary producers, Bill Schnee, Doug Sax, and Tim Butler, that he picked up their philosophies and was able to combine them into his own style and create his own unique style and techniques. Learning from your mistakes is how Marc was able to become as successful as he is now.
“The key is to always soak up all the information you can and make of it with what your heart leads you to do.”
Speaking with Marc Daniel Nelson has been eye-opening for many technical aspects of the music industry. You can watch more of our sit-down interview with Marc on YouTube!