About Næverly Hills
Næverly Hills is a small sound studio situated in an the town of Næstved, Zeeland, Denmark.
Musician, singer, teacher and instrument builder Phil Nice has been established here since 2010, producing his own music as well as projects for clients. The studio is fully equipped to record a 4 or 5 piece band live (usually done at other, more spacious locations), but it is mainly used for work by solo artists to create a band sound by layering.
Phil has been a professional musician and singer for 30 years, working in numerous styles of music, jazz, pop, rock and folk being the most prevalent. His approach to recording reflects his own preferences. Genuine and often imperfect instruments with slightly varying tunings contribute to an "organic" and somewhat unique sound, as opposed to more "clinical" solutions. This "organic" sound can be likened in a sense to the musette effect of the accordion, or the violin section of an orchestra, where slight variations in pitch meet to create an average that differs from the sound of an individual instrument/voice.
An important factor of the Næverly Hills sound is a set of home-built guitars, tuning in fifths and created for their richness of sound and evenness across all keys. The fretless guitar is another unique expressive tool, landing somewhere between Pastorius' melodic fretless bass and the slide guitar of blues and country. The slapstick, a touch guitar, made for playing one-handed, is quite a different instrument, bridging a gap between a mellow jazz guitar and the funkiness of the clavinet.
Naturally, none of this would be much use without relevant expertise. Phil has devoted his adult life to perfecting an all-round art of musical production, from a mastery of general musical knowledge to the use of his own voice to the technicalities of various instruments and, of course, the studio itself. The only thing he doesn't do is mastering, which is farmed out to a reasonably priced expert.
All in all, Phil works as much as possible with uniquely created sounds, rather than factory VST presets or other ready made solutions. Even when these solutions are the only ones available, the approach is to "seat" them in a sound context that lends them authenticity: a long-standing art among producers of the more "natural" school, working against the constraints of budget and other resources.