I am a 21 year old DIY multi-instrumentalist and music producer from Bristol. I am currently towards the end of my 2nd year studying the BA Hons Degree in Music Production at BIMM Bristol and I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here! Everyone is really nice and I have learned a whole lot of new skills and made a whole lot of new friends!
How did you get started in music production?
My overall journey in music started when I was around 7 years old in primary school, learning and taking lessons on how to play musical instruments such as the keyboard and the trumpet. From there I picked up skills including how to read musical scores, aural perception, rhythm, names of notes and note values, time signatures and key signatures, which lead a path on my way to music production.
My journey in music production began in year 8 at secondary school in music lessons. Back then the main popular DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations) to use where Cubase and Reason. There was one lesson where we used a DAW and I was fascinated, from there I started to engage myself more in lessons and learned more about DAW’s and gradually picked up new skills along the way such as signal routing, quantisation, modulation and pitch bending with synthesisers and MIDI Controllers. I then started to produce tracks on a whole range of DAW’s, even including Logic Pro 9. I started to learn about how to mix and master tracks effectively using Logic Pro X and how to bounce tracks in formats such as, wav, aif, mp3, and how to choose the right sample rate for your tracks and how best to share them online.
Why did you choose BIMM Bristol?
I chose BIMM Bristol as my No.1 University based on the fact that they help students reach their career goals in the music industry. With careers advice, helping students to get their name out within the local music scene and all types of promotion, which is extremely important if your looking to get signed to a record label, earn royalties and have different types of income stream.
BIMM also gives you numerous opportunities to perform in front of A&R, managers and record label representatives at BIMM Live, and helps you build your fan base by giving you extra tutorials and additional modules with BIMM extra.
All the tutors have worked with the most famous names and bands in the music industry and are always willing to make sure that you improve on your weaknesses.
My aspirations in the music industry have always been to have a portfolio career. That is to become a music producer, be a session musician and to start my own record label. There’s a wide array of career paths that you could take after a BIMM degree. And the choices continue even if you change your mind during your course! Whether you’re studying music production, songwriting or music business, there’s always a wide range of career opportunities available. BIMM also have a great number of alumni who have gone and made it big in the music industry as well.
What has been your highlight so far at BIMM?
Since I started Year 1 of the BA (Hons) Music Production, I’ve learned a vast number of skills ranging from performing live sets using Ableton Live to practical new skills on Logic Pro X, such as ‘side chaining’ using compressors. I’ve also learned how to use Pro Tools effectively and mic’ing up sound sources effectively in live rooms to achieve the desired sound for live recording. Also, learning more about the music business itself such as synchronisation deals, A&R, different income streams, merchandising, promoting and touring, major record labels and indie record labels and a whole lot more.
My highlight so far was when I got to perform a 10 minute performance using a live set of one of my singles ‘Questions’ using Ableton Live and using hardware such as Ableton Push and Novation LaunchPad Pro MIDI controller.’ Also going to the BIMM Extra classes and learning more about how to make great music videos for your songs, effective ways of using Facebook as a good promotion tool and creative writing techniques. There are always plenty of opportunities to meet new people and to make new friends.
What advice would you get to future students on your course?
The No’ 1 rule while you’re on your course – whether it’s songwriting, bass, guitar or vocals – is to make the most of your time to promote yourself properly. You need to make a name for yourself and build up a good reputation around your hometown. There are plenty of ways such as busking, word of mouth, touring, etc.
BIMM are the best at helping you in terms of advice, but you’re the one responsible for putting in that hard work to get where you want to be. The standard is high here, so you have to be willing to learn and better yourself within your chosen field. Always participate in practical activities during class and be willing to learn new skills. Always pay attention to what’s going on around your campus, not just on your course, but on others too. Whether it’s opportunities to perform in front of A&R/managers or taking BIMM Extra classes.