Ableton expert visits Cumbernauld campus

Ableton Live expert, tutor and Soma Records artist Simon Stokes paid New College Lanarkshire a visit this week to give a Masterclass in creative music production within Ableton Live. Armed with a small bundle of creative tools, including an Ableton Push controller, a Korg analogue synth and a Zoom field recorder, Simon tried to expand students minds to consider fresh and unique approaches to electronic music production. This included poly-rhythmic drum pattern creation, recycling old field recordings, using twigs to create beats and Warp-streching audio jams to embrace a certain amount of happy accidents. Simon, who records on the name Petrichor on the now  legendary Soma Records label, was also able to preview some new tracks from his upcoming release titled Narisshu. He also keeps himself busy running evening and weekend classes that specialise in electronic music production of all sorts, with a particular emphasis on Ableton, through his subSine Academy. He is also the only Ableton Certified Trainer in Scotland and the opportunity to learn from an expert was not lost on the students: HND Sound Production students Dylan and Josh had this to say about the session:

Dylan: Simon gave a presentation on some of the different production techniques he used to create an album entirely in Ableton Live. The pieces of hardware in his presentation fascinated me – the Ableton Push which is basically an Ableton Live controller allowed him to freely record instruments without having to individually input them into Live. The presentation today changed my perspective of Live. I used to see it as a DAW mainly used for synths and techno style music, now I see that with the right hardware Ableton Live can be an instrument in its own right.

Josh: Simon’s talk was full of inspiration for me in terms of my productions.  I really enjoyed seeing his workflow and some of the methods he uses in his tracks.  What really stuck out for me was the way he took a fairly simple sound from a synth and recycled it in many creative ways making it much more complex.  He did this by recording his synth to an audio channel rather than inputting MIDI notes which allowed him to go on and manipulate his sound further with some of the features in Ableton Lives clip view.

Thanks to Simon for stopping by! You can listen to his music here: https://open.spotify.com/album/3AZtHE8Sycthnm4k7O73Ve?si=sn_Xwyh3SzKwaMw7iqgNQA

Ireland’s future recording stars join NCL for three week intensive recording experience

NCL Cumbernauld’s flagship Sound Production department recently had the pleasure of welcoming three temporary new recruits for an intensive two-week training block within our recording and mixing facilities. Galway Technical Institute students Devon Harris, Aaron Murphy and Thady O’Donovan joined us on a student exchange program here at NCL, learning sound production approaches from staff and students within the college’s state of the art Pro Tools and Ableton Live equipped studios.

Arriving with bags of enthusiasm and keen to take advantage of the college’s three large format mixing consoles, the students spent time with our Sound Production cohorts working alongside NC, HNC and HND students in our two flagship SSL AWS studios learning a range of skills from mic techniques to mixing workflow, editing tips and digital audio workstation techniques.

As well as being among the first to get hands on with our brand-new Audient 8024 HE mixing desk, the Galway students also spent time in our iMac equipped music labs learning the ropes of Ableton Live software. Kindly, Devon, one of our visiting students has provided us with a diary of his experience at NCL Cumbernauld to share with you. Over now to Devon to talk you through his two weeks with us at NCL:

Glasgow, Sunday 10.02.19

Day one, wow, I can’t believe how wonderful it has already been since arriving in Glasgow, what with a beautiful apartment, a bright and sun filled sky and great company to explore the the city centre with. The amount of buskers and performers in the streets are a reminder of Galway but on a much grander scale and only in the best of ways. There is just about everything near the apartment and anything else, well, I wouldn’t say no to a walk around to explore! Tomorrow, school begins, lightly with a show around the campus and an introduction to the lecturers, orienting us for the weeks of work to follow. All in all, an absolutely great start to an amazing opportunity! As for the rest, well, stay tuned!!

Stay Warm, 

Devon 

 

Wednesday, 13.02.19

Things are getting more intense at the campus now, so exciting! We have been working with some great teachers on how to operate different audio desks and set up, re amp and record electric guitar and through it gave a lot of insight as to how a studio really functions as a business. Even one of the technicians took time out of his day to help us set up and record when we were given free reign of one of the many studios they have. All we had to do was ask about something we are interested in and explain why it would be good for us to learn and they would shrug and say “why not?” Amazing people and a marvelous day… Oh, did I mention it was only the third day out of three weeks?

Yeah, good times had by all.

Stay Warm,

Devon Earl Harris

 

Saturday, 16.02.19

Whew. Week one, all done, and it was fantastic. Every day at the college was wondrous and dynamically different than the other with stunning studios, great teachers giving great lessons and tipping around all over the city, including Edinburgh! Actually, Edinburgh, wow. What a beautiful city! Side streets filled with eclectic shops and cafes, parks with beautiful gilding and the castle, marvelous. How could you not enjoy the view from the castle entrance with the whole city splayed out before you?
Through the week there had been many a meal made in my lovely apartment, and plenty of people to eat it with too! I could only hope that the following weeks and days will be just as enjoyable and inspiring.

Stay Warm,

Devon Earl Harris

Week two! Unbelievable. It has gone by so fast! We have been recording a music track, utilizing the fabulous equipment like the stacks of amps and stellar mics in the even nicer studios to record with and in. Today however, we had the privilage of working on live set ups for a miniature jam session we had in the largest of the live rooms, connecting a great deal of cables, setting up drums and amps mics. Sound checking all of the gear, and having some of the students that play instruments to get on the “stage” and help us set the mixing desk and do some equalizing on some hardware! All in all, a fantastic week two.

 Stay tuned for week three!

Wow, Week three just flew past me. How that happened, I could only chalk it up to time flies, really, but now that it is over I find that I didn’t really want it to end. What an amazing facility with superb instructors allowing us to fawn over the slick equipment and studios they have at the Cumbernauld Campus. Hopefully there could be another opportunity to come back and pick their brains and get inspired!
Thanks to everyone at the campus for putting up with us and allowing for a marvellous experience, one that I would gladly and fervently recommend to anyone with an interest in music or sound production!

Stay Warm and Stay Tuned,

Devon Earl Harris

 

Question Session 2019, biggest to date!

Question Session returned for it’s fourth event with a full programme across two Glasgow city centre venues on February 8th. The Lighthouse on Mitchell Lane hosted this year’s daytime conference,  which was followed by a live music event at The Old Hairdresser’s on Renfield Lane.

This free conference offered a comprehensive, tailored programme of workshops, seminars and panels that featured prominent professionals from all areas of the music industry. 

As always it focused on innovation, education and exploring current issues, and was organised by Music Business students of New College Lanarkshire to enable delegates to connect, share knowledge and create new opportunities with established industry practitioners; initiating discussion, and exposing new talent.

This year’s panels and seminars included the following:

  • Releasing your music
  • Nurturing new talent
  • Working as a recording engineer
  • Promoting your event
  • Mental health in music

There was also a series of intimate workshops that included hands-on experience in:

  • Introduction to modular synthesis with Rub-a-Dub
  • Promoting your music successfully
  • Resolving legal issues pertaining to the music industry

The following participants , plus many more were part of this year’s event:

  • Ableton
  • Sub Pop Records
  • DF Concerts – Chris Beltran
  • Help Musicians UK
  • Pledge Music
  • Scottish Music Industry Association
  • Creative Scotland

“Question Session is a superb networking event and platform for anyone interested in a career in the music industry.”

Jamie Houston / Music Officer / Creative Scotland

Former student Lewis Capaldi tops UK music charts

A former New College Lanarkshire music student has topped the UK single charts.

Lewis Capaldi, who completed his studies in HND Music at the College’s Motherwell Campus in 2016, has achieved the number one spot with his single, Someone You Loved – beating global superstars Calvin Harris and Ariana Grande for the top spot.

The West Lothian singer/songwriter spent two years at the College, honing his song writing and live performance skills in the highly practical course, including performing at an end of year showcase in the famous King Tut’s in Glasgow (pictured). He was signed with Universal Music shortly after graduating after they quickly recognised his unique talent.

After selling out two nights at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom in November, Lewis has since announced his world tour with some dates selling out in seconds, and is set to release his debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, on 17 May.

Scott Cowie, one of Lewis’s former lecturers at the College, said: “A gigantic congratulations to Lewis for reaching number 1 in the UK charts.

“Lewis completed his HND in Music with us and goes from strength to strength every single day.

“We are all incredibly proud of him to say the least. Putting extreme bias aside, he may well be the most entertaining artist in the charts just now and in many ways it’s just the beginning.

“All of our students can find confidence in knowing that with the same level of hard work and resources, their future can be just as bright.”

Interested in following in Lewis Capaldi’s footsteps? Apply for one of the College’s various music courses from access level to NQ and HNC/D. Find out more here: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/music-and-music-business

Grunge royalty gives masterclass at NCL

Musical legend Jack Endino gives masterclass to New College Lanarkshire students

Production stalwart and musician Jack Endino swapped his Seattle base for Glasgow as he flew in for this years Question Session event organised by New College Lanarkshire’s Music Business students and staff. The event, now in its fourth year, has built a formidable reputation as both an industry event as well as a showcase for the college, successfully tying together different curriculum areas across the Creative Industries faculty.

However, HN sound production students from Coatbridge and Cumbernauld along with UWS BA Commercial Sound Production students were given a rather surprising and special masterclass the day prior when Jack arrived to outline his mixing approach and philosophy to a full audience eager to hear from the man behind the seminal albums of Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Nirvana.

Lessons in mixing

Working through a session that was presented and unseen beforehand, Jack imparted some of his mix engineering skills and wisdom discussing workflow and technique interspersed with anecdotes from his long and illustrious career as a world travelled record producer and musician.

The enthralled class were then treated to an extensive Q & A session that covered a range of topics including his early career and break into the music industry, the plethora of Sub Pop acts he has worked with over the years, his time in Brasil recording super-band Titas and his views on studio technology.

Question time

This wholly unique event provided an intimate opportunity for students to listen and learn from a giant in the production field and perfectly encapsulated the positive results of synergy across the department.

Course lecturer Ruaraidh Sanachan said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for New College Lanarkshire Creative Industries students from multiple disciplines to work with a legendary industry figure. Jack shared fascinating insights with our Sound Production students at the studio masterclass. The following day, he participated in discussion panels and seminars at the Music Business department’s Question Session event. I am thrilled we were able to bring Jack to Scotland for these events.”

“I really enjoyed my visit to New College Lanarkshire and was glad to share some of my knowledge and experiences with students.” – Jack Endino