NCL HND Sound Production students ended the year in style with a comprehensive studio tour and recording masterclass at Glasgow’s premier recording facility, Gorbals Sound Studios. Resident studio engineers Kevin Burleigh and Darryll McFadyen took time out of their busy schedules working with artists (including Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian and Simple Minds and many more) to tour students through Gorbals Sound’s two world class Neve mixing console equipped studios discussing everything from room acoustics, approaches to microphones choice, vintage musical instruments and many other elements involved in a truly top end recording session.
The tour included a mix playback session in which engineer Kevin Burleigh took the students on a deep dive into his mixing approach and an extensive Q&A allowing students to ask questions on all areas of the recording process.
As an added treat for students, a 1963 Ludwig Beatles-era drum kit was set up with engineer Kevin Burleigh’s custom microphone techniques for a comprehensive drum recording workshop. A great sounding end to an informative trip for our students who had this to say;
“This was my first visit to an external professional recording studio and it did not disappoint. From the different acoustic spaces, to the consoles and racks of outboard in Gorbals Sound, I felt a bit like a wean in a sweetie shop looking at all the gear! It was pretty cool actually to see that we have the same Distressor unit in our college studios, which just goes to show how good our equipment and facilities really are!
Chatting to Kevin and Darryll was so enlightening – just finding out about their workflow in Pro Tools, how they set up and engineer drum recordings (which is a big part of studios’ business these days) as well as discovering that one of the Gorbals’ studio engineers had moved into this role after completing his HND in Sound Production – I found that encouraging and it made me think that maybe I too could work in a cracking studio like this one day in the near future!“.
In preparation for their Christmas Nativity, the pupils of St Andrew’s Primary in Cumbernauld were recorded by three of NCL’s HND Sound Production students this week. Shaun Cassidy, Carla Robertson and Andrew McTague gave the superstar treatment to the twenty strong choir, who were all in fine voice as they performed hits from their upcoming shows. The reworked classics were obviously very well rehearsed as the captured results perfectly highlighted their vocal skills and abilities. Managing such a big group of artists was made easy by the good work and co-ordination of the HND’s leasing with the wonderful teachers and staff from St Andrew’s who accompanied the youngsters.
NCL student Shaun Cassidy said, “As well as being a fantastic opportunity working with a different type of cliental, in which we had to adapt our approach in order to make the kids feel at ease during the recording, it also allowed us the chance to develop our skills of capturing larger sources. Challenges such as fighting against excess bleed from the monitor which we used to play the backing track for the kids for example was our main issue in this instance. Overall, this was a great experience in working quickly and professionally whilst maintaining a high standard of communication with the staff and pupils of the school.”.
A great time was had by all with one pupil, Lewis Jack, even getting behind the desk to share recording duties with the HND’s! A possible producer of the future perhaps…? The Nativety Shows took place on the 11th & 12th of December and were a singing success.
Our Cumbernauld Campus were delighted to welcome Jason and Kian from Glasgow-based synth company Instruo. Jason started the company as a hobbyist in 2015, creating Eurorack synthesiser modules on order to customers worldwide. These days, he has help from Kian (himself a former graduate of our HN course) and current HND student Aimo.
Having recently increased their production and distribution, it was nice of them to drop by to perform, discuss and demonstrate their current range of modules to our HN Sound Production students. Topics included company history, design philosophy, benefits of modular synthesis, production workflow and future developments.
Students were then invited up to try their hands on the different modules brought along, resulting in a noisy din that can still be heard within the walls of the college if you listen close enough…
Big thanks to Jason and Kian for taking time out their busy schedule!
New College Lanarkshire are currently taking applications for two January Start courses for those considering studying either Sound Production or Music Performance. Covering a range of skills and disciplines via a host of practical activities, these 18 week access courses are designed to introduce and prepare learners for progression onto the full-time NQ programmes. Further information and the ability to apply online can be done using the link below.
Applications for January Start
We were delighted to welcome David Scott to the Cumbernauld Campus to give a guest lecture to our BA Sound Production Students. David has over 30 years’ industry experience as a songwriter, recording artist, producer and arranger. David also somehow finds time to lecture at the University of West of Scotland and host music documentaries for BBC Radio Scotland, such as the very popular Classic Scottish Album series.
David gave an excellent, in-depth lecture on the Artist as Producer. Using his own songwriting and industry experience as illustrations, David touched on topics such as limiting technology to improve creativity, his recording and arrangement process, and how, in the end, it is always about the song.
The students found this both highly informative and entertaining.
Thank You David.