It’s very possible that CIQ might be one of the most creative producers and studio engineers in the world. She learned her studio skills engineering records for other artists while attending the prestigious Harris Institute arts school in Toronto, while studying producing engineering and working in Toronto’s music industry.
“I worked with some great artists from many different styles of music. But I always felt held back working on other people’s records. I always wanted to do more with the sounds. Add more flavour, more style, more instruments and sounds, new different effects. But not every artist wants that, they want their exact sound.”
Before she was mixing records she was playing in live electronic bands. There was never a shortage of demand for her unique performance ability. Often people said she was ahead of her time, always original. She was also in demand because she was completely flexible, at times playing different instruments in different bands, working with different artists, capable of many genres of music. When she started her first electronic live band playing keyboards and singing lead vocals she was the instant favourite at the first festival she played. At that time she could have started touring but had just started at York University for music so she decided to focus on her studies first. “I wanted to be a musician that I could respect.” Considering many of her family and friends are multi-talented musicians, most with training in classical music, she feels the need to measure up to a high standard.
Growing up she listened to music but spent more time playing with her own keyboards. When she worked for awhile in Toronto’s downtown synth shop, she was exposed to some great synthesizers and learned to play even more with the sounds. At that time she picked up several new synths for her own studio.
She has always been ahead of her time. At thirteen she was the youngest violinist ever in a symphony orchestra. She was DJing and working in studios long before many women considered that an achievable career option.
“What inspires me these days is working on my own music. I have complete flexibility over the sound and I can do whatever I want.” People are always asking her for tracks with her own vocals. So she has decided to commit some of her own music to records. In the past she hadn’t done so as a performer, before she learned studio engineering for herself, because she didn’t find any studios that she realistically thought could help her create the sounds she wanted and who could understand her creative vision.
“I’m not as much of a perfectionist as I used to be. Which means I am far more productive.” Part of her studies were in improvisation, so she didn’t just perform live, she made an art form of live creative performance. Now she is translating all those years of experience into the studio with her mixing skills and her studio equipment. She hopes to release a lot of tracks this year.
Listen to CIQ Studio Technique: http://soundcloud.com/CIQ