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Mike Nyquist
About Mike
Mike Nyquist took a smattering of piano lessons between the ages of 12 and 14, inspired to play by listening to his father's old 45s of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Fats Domino. His older brother was learning the guitar, and the two connected with another set of brothers, one of whom played bass and sang while the other played drums. In his early high school years, Mike played piano and organ for selections from Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, among other popular bands.
His brother progressed rapidly, studying the music of Rush, Cheap Trick, and Blue Oyster Cult, among others, as well as experimenting with some of his own compositions. By his junior year Mike began focusing on sound systems to help the bands his brother joined as lead guitarist. He got a feel for the common elements in sound systems and how they worked, handling sound for a dozen or so shows from 1977 to 1980. He still played piano and organ occasionally with other high school pals, usually for parties or special occasions.
He matriculated to Northwestern University in 1980, where he met Sally Freels, who eventually became the founding keyboardist for Grand Parade. The two shared a number of mutual friends, including Brian Meyer, who formed the band Bourne Electric with Sally as bass player many years later.
In 1992, Mike met Martie Marro, the leader of the power-pop trio Stewed Tomatoes. Mike often worked as crew for their shows, assisting with live sound and carrying equipment. Martie also owns Materville Studios, a digital multimedia recording studio. She was the recording engineer who digitally mastered Mike's practice room recording of Grand Parade to create their demo CD in 2001. She also used her talents to digitally enhance Sally's self-produced "Bach on the Roland" CD for Christmas 2001.
Today Mike is studying acoustics and live sound reinforcement through books and talking with experienced sound engineers in the Chicago area. In his work as a science journalist, he has also learned about the physiology of hearing. A key component of his philosophy of live sound reinforcement is avoiding ear-damaging loudness without sacrificing the wide dynamics of the music Grand Parade plays. The perfectionism of the musicians led him to listen carefully to the original recordings in an attempt to transfer the vocal effects used in the studio recordings to the live setting. He respects the talents of all the musicians who have been involved with Grand Parade and hopes to transmit those talents clearly and dynamically to a live audience.