Super Troupers record Christmas Nativity Songs

As in previous years the pupils of St Andrews Primary Cumbernauld arrived at the studios last week to record songs in preparation for their Christmas Nativity. This year the HND sound production crew had six tracks to record for the schools’ nativity event, all of which were based on Abba songs.

The choir, which was over twenty strong, was in fine voice and their performance of reworked ABBA hits perfectly highlighted their vocal skills and the recordings were definately on the “Money, Money Money”. Managing such a big group of artists was made easy by the good work and coordination of the HND students and the wonderful teachers and staff from St Andrews who accompanied the youngsters.

HND Sound Production student Ross Merriless said, “This was a fantastic opportunity to work and communicate with a different kind of clientele to what we are normally used to, and put into practice the studio skills we have learned so far in class”.


St Andrews Edit


Former HND Music Student, Lewis Capaldi scores first US number one

Former HND Music Student, Lewis Capaldi scores first US number one with ‘Someone You Loved’. The Scottish singer/songwriter’s track, which featured on his debut album ‘Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent’, has already achieved chart success in the UK, where it went to the top of the singles chart back in March. The singer celebrated by painting his face in the style of the Stars and Stripes. ‘Someone You Loved’ has now reached number one in the US, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the chart dated November 2. It is the 1,091st number one in the Hot 100’s six-decade history, and spent 23 weeks in the US charts before reaching the top of the pile.


The dead can dance…

Course lecturers and HND Sound Production students took their Spatial Recording project activities outwith the classroom last week when they visited the world renowned Hamilton Mausoleum. The location is famous among acoustic aficionados for once holding the record for the longest reverb within any man-made structure in the world (a record surpassed by the oil container chambers at Inchindown, Invergordon which the department visited the year previously – see HERE).

The grandiose stone structure with eye catching Roman-styled domed roof played host to a series of recording and playback experiments in which the students took full advantage of the mausoleum’s unique acoustical features. Students played back a series of specially curated instrumental compositions, performed a convolution reverberation capture of the space and even recorded a group chant with hauntingly effective results.

Course lecturer David Burnett said, “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to bring students to this wonderful location and get to experience at first hand the interaction of sound within this acoustically distinctive environment. We’ve managed to achieve a lot in the two hours we had and that’s testement to the professionalism of our guys. I think we’re all really happy with the results.”.

You can hear some of the work that took place HERE though note that these binaural recordings will require headphones for the most immersive playback experience.


Student band named Best Live Act at Scottish Alternative Music Awards

the-vegan-lather A music student from New College Lanarkshire has been recognised at the prestigious Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs). HND student Matthew McGoldrick joined band members of The Vegan Leather in collecting the Best Live Act award at the event, which took place on Friday 25 October at Saint Lukes & The Winged Ox, Glasgow. The SAMAs are an independently ran music award in association with key partners Rebel Rebel Barbers and Creative Scotland the SAMA’s celebrating the best emerging artists on the Scottish music scene. The Paisley born art-pop quartet, fought off some tough competition from other acts such as Crystal, Bossy Love and Gallus to add to a growing portfolio of New College Lanarkshire music students making a name for themselves on the national stage. 23-year-old bass player Matthew, who has been studying full time at the Motherwell Campus since 2017, said: “The course has been fantastic and has given me a good insight into how the music business operates. “On top of that, the highly practical elements of the course has without doubt helped build my confidence and contributed to the band and I being recognised for our visceral live act.” The win comes almost a year after former student Lewis Capaldi, now a globally recognised household name, picked up Best Acoustic Act at the same awards Matthew continued: “Lewis hasn’t just opened the door for other New College Lanarkshire music students, he’s blew it off the hinges! He has given us some great advice and we would love to do what he done this time last year, and really build on the platform winning an award like this creates.” Scott Cowie, Lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, said: “Last week I heard Matthew’s band, The Vegan Leather, on Radio 1 – then Lewis Capaldi was played straight after. “For me that really signified how much the course has grown with our current and past students having unbelievable success. Hopefully The Vegan Leather will also be number 1 in the future.” The award comes ahead of the official launch of the band’s album, ‘Poor Girls/Broken Boys’, which will be launched at the legendary King Tut’s in Glasgow on Saturday 2 November. For more information and to book tickets for The Vegan Leather’s album launch, please visit: Or follow the band on social media:

  • Twitter @TheVeganLeather
  • Instagram @TheVeganLeather
  • Facebook: The VeganLeather

Applications for New College Lanarkshire’s range of music and music businesses courses are now open. For more information, visit:

Events News

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: