Michael Nielsen (Big Hairy Guitars ) Ask Me Anything?


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Michael Nielsen • the long bio

Michael has composed scores for some of the worlds most successful game franchises, including Forza Motorsport, League of Legends, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. Splinter Cell: Conviction was one of the highest grossing video games of the year with over two hours of cinematic score recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Warner Bros Eastwood Scoring Stage. Michael has also composed scores for the video game tie-in to the Green Lantern movie as well as Activision’s Battleship video game. Michael also provided the original score for League of Legends: Spirit Guard Udyr, and LoL Championship "Road to the Cup,” which debut in LA’s Staples Center.

Michael is an owner and principle composer for Ninja Tracks, a first call music production company specializing in film and video game advertising. With literally hundreds of advertising campaigns for Hollywoodʼs biggest blockbuster films to their credit, Ninja Tracks continues to thrill audiences on both the large and small screen. Recent credits include John Wick 4, Elvis, Moon Knight, LoTR Rings of Power, Top Gun 2: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Lightyear, Dune and countless others. Not stopping there, Ninja Tracks has scored numerous commercials for clients including Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, NBC, Mattel, Activision, and Disney.

Michael wrote and produced the Selena Gomez single, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” which has sold over a million copies and has over 60 million streams. Also, Michael has written and produced songs for films such as Another Cinderella Story, American Pie III, Scooby Doo, Blue Crush. Michael also co-scored Marvelʼs hit animated series Wolverine and the X-Men which garnered Nicktoons their highest ratings to date. Michel played guitar as the character Top Hat (Death), in the cult classic movie "Six String Samurai". Michael has collaborated with and produced music for iconic artists including James Brown, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins, The Pussycat Dolls, The Baha Men, John Sykes, Eric Gales and Lenny Kravitz. Michael produced blues/rock artist Philip Sayce’s “Peace Machine”, which was a best seller in the blues charts and has received critical acclaim.

Michael received an RIAA Gold Record for Disneymania which remained on the Top 20 over a year after itʼs release. Michael also contributed to Disneymania 2 which remained in the Top 5 on Billboardʼs Childrenʼs Chart for over 23 consecutive weeks, entering at #1 the week it was released. The song “Tell Me Something I Donʼt Know” reached #3 on Radio Disney and debuted at #7 on Billboard.

Michael has a YouTube channel called Big Hairy Guitars were he regularly does launch demonstration videos for some of the worlds premier music instrument companies, and is a creative outlet for his passion for guitar, mixing and mastering.

Big Hairy Sounds is Michael’s sound design company that specializes in guitar sounds like impulse responses, Kemper profiles, and software presets.

Michael and Ninja Tracks are currently based in Ninja Tracks HQ, a world-class studio that was featured as a standout in Mix Magazine’s “Class of 2014” studio feature.

Michael graduated from UCLA. He currently (and always has) lived in Los Angeles and loves the Dodgers.
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Hey man great to see you here! In the 50 times I owned a Kemper :bag ; I used quite a few of your profiles and really dug them.

Didn't you offer Two-Notes cab packs at one time? I always thought it would be cool to grab some non-proprietary IRs from you but not sure if you ever had those available?

Always dig your channel and GAS is usually right around the corner with whatever "cheap now, but not going to be cheap 6 hours after the video drops" rack gear segment :hmm :rofl
Should I proceed with my plans to sell an organ for the Friedman SSv2?

How do you rate it, compared to the other Friedman offerings?

Great to have you here!

What’s your primary go-to setup tracking guitars for a film or game trailer?

You’re rack rig is killer, what’s your favorite rack preamp and power amp?
Hi Michael. Thanks for stopping by! What's your favorite Synergy module? Any news on some new modules coming our way?
Hi Michael,

Love your channel, playing, Kemper profiles, the works really.

In an old video you talked about Suhr, Anderson and Tyler (I believe it was those 3 but feel free to chime in on any high end boutique brands!) and said that they all have a specific voice/vibe. I'm curious if you could elaborate on that a bit more. I've only had the opportunity to play a handful of those so I'm curious to get your perspective on them.
Alright! One of the only YouTube gear guys I trust. Your take on the F12-x200 was spot on. Great speaker for modelers for sure. Looking forward to your contribution to the forum!
badass. always dug your channel.

UCLA grad here (economics/business 1991).

but i have my MBA from USC.
Thanks for joining, Michael! I was hooked to your channel after the SPX-90 video!

What are your go-to VST’s for sound design? Specifically for video games, if there’s any difference in choice.
Learned a lot from your channel over the years, thanks for doing this. I am on a journey to achieve the best bedroom guitar playing experience possible. Right now I'm playing through a Marshall Plexi (SV20H) into a Suhr Reactive Load, into a DAW, and using Two Notes DynIRs for the cabs, and various plugins. I'm listening with Kali LP-8 monitors, in a smallish untreated room. Besides getting new guitars, from your experience, what would be the best next step to make my playing experience more delightful? Acoustic treatment? How much better would the experience be with upgraded monitors (like using 3 ways instead of 2 ways?), or using some "FRFR" cab? Any in particular you recommend? Sorry for the long, broad question, happy to hear any advice you have to offer, thank you.
Thanks for starting this! I love your channel :)
You represent 80’s Guitar Playing and Gear incredibly well…what is your history?
No questions, just wanted to say welcome and highlight that your Friedman OD pedal comparison is killer and prompted me to try a Marshall in a box pedal (not leaving my side).

Crazy Bio indeed!
Are you going to come out with a shirt w/ your bitter beer serious guitar face?

I kid…sort of. Dig your YT vids. Like the old rack gear ones, the Dirty Shirley v Small Box, and the old guitar mag read throughs.
Seriously love your channel!

Scoring was my dream, but I never quite got there. What programs do you use to score?

I know your channel is guitar-centric but I'd love to see some scoring tutorials.

Btw, loved your magazine vids.
Michael. Best channel on you tube man. Thanks for doing all you do and posting all the killer videos. Your IRs changed my whole opinion about the tech and I use them pretty much exclusively now.
I dig your YT channel. Your vids even got me to buy the Friedman cabs for 2 notes WoS even though I don't care for or use 2 notes products lol. With that said I do like your ear for things, do you think you or Dave would ever sell IR packs that are not tied to 2 notes? Just IR's, not a billion IRs in a folder(s), just like maybe 10 of your favorites? Glad you are here. 🤙
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