Will Mikkelson Audio

Producer/Mixing Engineer/Songwriter

Producer/Mixing Engineer/Songwriter

My journey in music began as a kid after stumbling upon The Beatles’ Help album in a stack of my dad’s old CD’s. As it spun around in my bright yellow Sony Walkman CD Player, the therapeutic melancholy of “Yesterday,” the desperate harmonies in “Help,” and the ironic cheer of the guitars in “Ticket to Ride” resonated deep within me. I knew then, if music could make me feel this way, I wanted to be a part of it!

I began guitar lessons in High School becoming nothing short of obsessed with the instrument. Its history, construction, sound throughout different ages and genres of music, and the technology and effects associated with it became my world. Being equally fascinated with the technical foundations of music, I took two years of music theory courses at this time as well. By the end of High School I had recorded a short EP with local musicians at a professional studio in town. My experience at that studio sparked a new obsession and exploration of recording technology.

While attending Florida State University I studied classical guitar, music theory, and music business. In the Fall of 2010, I began learning the fundamentals of programming and electronic music in Ableton Live at Ocean's Edge School of music. Since then, I have independently experimented with and researched recording techniques, music creation hardware and software, instruments, plugins, and more. Since college I have been part of numerous recording projects fulfilling the role of songwriter, instrumentalist, singer, producer, and mixing engineer.

A few years later I decided to take a step towards making a career out of studio work by attending The Blackbird Academy at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. With a focus on hands on learning students at Blackbird learn by doing. We had bands from all genres and cities that would come to record with us students while we were given full control of the studio complex and it’s unmatched collection of vintage microphones and gear. We were given the chance to speak with and learn the techniques of - in-person and over the phone - studio legends such as Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele, Jay-Z), Dave Pensado (Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé) Ryan Hewitt (The Lumineers, Blink 182, The Avett Brothers), Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Mute Math), Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, The White Stripes), John Mcbride (Martina Mcbride, Dave Stewart), Ken Scott (The Beatles), Carl Tatz (Acoustician), Chris Huston (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles), and so many others!

The week after I graduated I was accepted as an intern with the Producer and Mixing Engineer Ryan Hewitt at his new studio in Berry Hill, Nashville. In return for keeping his studio in order he shared with me his personal mixing techniques and allowed me to shadow him as he mixed. Those were some of the most instructive and rewarding moments in my entire audio career.

At the very same time I accepted an additional studio internship at The Pentavarit Studio in Berry Hill with Producer and Mixing Engineer Bobby Holland. Here I was able to learn even more recording and mixing techniques as I served as an Assistant Engineer for numerous bands of genres ranging from folk to heavy metal.

Presently, my focus in music has been directed towards the art of mixing.

Through my past experiences in recording projects I have learned invaluable lessons about the art of song creation that have led me to believe that mixing is not just a technical and practical necessity but rather an extension of the song itself, part of its very makeup and character, and as important as any melody, lyric, or instrumental performance within it.

I believe that a mix should express and highlight the songs unique qualities while staying true to the artist’s vision. It should "wow" someone not through fancy tricks or effects but by drawing attention to the beauty and intricacies of the song. At the end of the day, I am happy if an artist says, “that’s how I’ve always heard it in my head.”