Friday, 10 June 2016

Orchard Studios host recording workshop for Strode students

BTEC Music Technology students from Strode College spent the day over at Orchard Recording Studios yesterday recording an up and coming band called 'Time Slaves.' The owners of the studio Charlotte and James worked with the students allowing them to use the studio themselves. We looked at microphone choices, placement, using the desk, running Logic and how to work with the musicians to get the best out of them. 

Pictured from left to right
Thomas Crabb, Jack Radford, Ethan Wroe, Nick Rickett, Aaron Norris, Sam Johnson, George Wilson and Luke Cowap
Strode College has a strong link with Orchard Studios and have now established regular recording session there that help our students get a taste of a real recording environment. Industry links are important

Orchard Studio has established itself over the last 10 years or so as being one the best studios in Somerset. Their facilities are excellent with a large range of top quality microphones and vintage amplifiers and outboard available for use. 

Check out the video below 

If you want to find out more please contact Adrian Smith at Strode College
Or search 'Strode College Music Technology'

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Rock Legend visits Strode College

Paul Gray, former bassist with the band `The Damned`, joined Strode College music students recently, to share his knowledge of the music industry to help them with their course and their future careers.

Paul Gray has made his living as a musician for most of his life, having played bass guitar for a number of high profile rock and punk bands, most notably 'The Damned', 'Eddie and the Hotrods' and "UFO".  He is also regional officer for the Musicians Union in Wales and the South West. 


The students gained valuable information and advice for their coursework and for their own development as music producers, musicians and song writers. They discussed issues such as copyright, music contracts, licensing and selling music, instrument insurance and public liability cover.  And, they were able to ask Paul Gray questions relating to their own music production projects, events and performances.

Adrian Smith, course manager for Strode’s BTEC Music Technology courses said. 'Paul Gray's visit has given our students an important insight into the many pitfalls in the industry and how important it is to get the right advice and guidance early on. Our music industry continues to thrive and to attract many young people who want to combine their love of music with a career.  We want our music students to develop a good understanding of the industry alongside their creative skills and talent, because we know it will help them achieve their ambitions and succeed in the future.”

Strode College offers A Levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas in Music and Music Technology.  Previous music students have gone on to study a range of subjects at university including Creative Music Technology and Commercial Music at Bath Spa University, Audio and Music Technology and Marketing at the University of West of England, and Creative Events Management at University College Falmouth.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Extreme Studio Recording Techniques

Extreme Studio Recording Techniques

We are looking out for extreme or 'overkill' studio techniques. This is great fun and does throw up some interesting topics for consideration when talking about mic choice and placement during music production sessions at Strode College

  • When is OK to use this many mics in a kick drum? 
  •  Do we need this many choices during a mixing session? 
  • Maybe this is more to cover up a lack of experience or production direction during recording? 
Who knows.....

Photo taken from a wonderful SOS article. Please go read it

How about 16 mics on a snare drum. Is that OK or simple just showing off?

  • How would the drummer fit into this? 
  • Maybe this should become standard for live sound? 
  • How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • Maybe, in this case the joke could be focused more on the recording engineer or the microphone(?)

How many microphone does it take to get a good snare sound?
I don't know, how many microphones does it take to record a snare sound?
1 for the crack, 1 for the sizzle, 1 for the top, 1 for the bottom... (Hold on, that doesn't work as there are 16 more mics under the snare)

Photo taken from here. Again, this is a great article. Well worth a read

Monday, 7 March 2016

Industry Experience for Music Technology Students @ Strode College

A group of A Level and BTEC Music Technology students from Strode College visited the O2 Academy in Bristol this month for a technical tour of the venue. The sound and lighting manager Matt Royston-Bishop took the group backstage, on stage and behind the main mixing console. He explained the features of the digital desks and how the sound is sent all around the venue from the stage. The students had a chance to operate the mixing console and ask questions of a highly experienced sound engineer. 

This is part of a wider focus on building awareness and creating links in the local music industry. Music tutor Adrian Smith commented “ We have now established a link with the O2 in Bristol and built this visit into the live sound and technical stage management areas of the course.” 

While in Bristol the students spent some time in the Professional Music Technology shop. Here they were able to try out a large range of guitars, drums kits and synthesizers.
We have a number of successful students who have gained work in live sound including Sofie Hunter who works for a local live sound company running the sound and stage for corporate events and festivals including Farm Fest in Bruton, Dave Perry who works at the Octagen in Yeovil, Ollie Chamberlain who works for Vortex Events Ltd and Bruce Macdonald who is currently touring the UK as sound engineer for an up and coming metal band.
Search ‘Strode Music Technology’

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Pro Sound Experience at Strode

Music Technology students at Strode College experienced a taste of the pro live sound music industry last week when Adam Benton, managing director of ASB Industries Ltd found time in his busy touring and festival schedule to pay them a visit.

He brought with him two digital mixing consoles, a MidasPro2 and a Yamaha LS9, both examples of professional sound equipment used throughout the music industry. Adam discussed how to setup and control each mixing console as well as talking about the pro sound industry, job opportunities and working practices.

Subject leader for music technology, Adrian Smith said “ Music industry links and experiences like this are so valuable for our students so we aim to build in as many opportunities as possible.”