Grammy award-winning recording engineer and former multi-wind specialist Dan Nichols joined the NIU School of Music Faculty in 2008 after finishing his master's degree at NIU. During his tenure as a graduate assistant, he completed the first significant overhaul of the recording studio since its inception. He has been seen and heard on the other side of the microphone, performing in such venues as Ravinia, the Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre, McCormick Place and with Mel Brooks' The Producers as a member of professional orchestra both on stage and off.
Mr. Nichols choreographed the School of Music's inaugural Internet 2 musical telepresence session with the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center as a graduate student and has since streamlined and enhanced the school's multimedia and educational web presence through a variety of traditional and cutting edge applications. The NIU School of Music, under Mr. Nichols' guidance, specializes in the use of Access Grid, DVTS, H.323 hardware and software solutions, LOLA, ConferenceXP, JackTrip and UltraGrid. He actively manages and updates the NIU School of Music YouTube channel, which has nearly 2 million views worldwide.
An avid audiophile, Dan Nichols dabbles in microphone modification and repair as well as audio electronics design. Nichols has also designed and deployed a number of custom computing solutions for webcasting, video editing, musical telepresence and the NIU School of Music Recording Studio. He actively trains and manages a workforce of graduate and undergraduate student audio engineers to provide audio/visual support to the faculty and guest artists. Mr. Nichols' recordings can be found on Albany Records, AppleJazz Records, Cedille Records, New Amsterdam Records and Mode Records, among others.
Mr. Nichols maintains extensive creative and professional collaborative relationships with groups including Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Dal Niente, Eighth Blackbird, ICE, Quince and others. He is an active member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago and The Recording Academy, sponsoring memberships for all Recording Arts Majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has collaborated with composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, George Lewis, Chris Fisher-Lochhead, Aaron Einbond, Ben Hjertmann, Joe Clark and others.
Nichols has provided consulting services to institutions such as the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia, West Virginia University, Northwestern University, Piano Forte Chicago, the University of Notre Dame and more. In Spring of 2016 he toured Europe and the US with Third Coast Percussion, Glenn Kotche and On Filmore as an audio and video production engineer.
In 2010, Nichols launched Aphorism Studios, a multimedia production company geared towards hi-fidelity, unified audio and video multimedia documentarian services. Aphorism Studios is staffed exclusively by musicians and artists that have technological aptitudes and serves the larger theatre, dance and music communities onsite or in the studio.
Technology aside, his teaching responsibilities include courses relating to the recording arts and general music electives.
M.M., Northern Illinois University
- Head of Recording Services
- Internet2 Multimedia Specialist