Discover the dynamic world of music technology at BCU

After graduating with a first-class degree in BSc Music Technology, Deepali Mistry shares their experience and insights into how the course has propelled her into the world of work - from jetting off to Italy for work, to assisting backstage with Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

From an early age, Deepali’s love for music and curiosity about the technology behind it drove them to explore universities offering sound engineering courses; however, BCU really stood out to her.

The breadth of the Sound Engineering course at BCU allowed Deepali to become a well-rounded sound engineer with expertise in various fields. The degree provided them with the knowledge and skills to excel in different settings, whether it be television, live concerts, or game audio. It set them apart from others in the industry who lacked the skills that her degree in sound engineering gave her. 

Through modules like Music and Audio Industries, professionals from the field were invited to share their insights and network with students. Deepali took the initiative to engage with these industry experts, which led to valuable work experiences, such as assisting at the Royal Shakespeare Company and securing a placement at Redditch Palace Theatre through BCU's Graduate+ program.

When it comes to entering the world of employment, Deepali emphasised the importance of social networking. They advised students to volunteer their time, network with professionals, and shadow lecturers on their jobs. Building connections and gaining hands-on experience, even if it means working for free initially, can open doors to paid opportunities and future career growth.

Now, as a sound assistant at a prominent OB broadcasting company called Timeline Television, Deepali’s career has taken off in exciting ways. They work with major broadcasters like BBC and ITV, providing sound expertise during live broadcasts. From football matches and sailing races to prestigious events like the Commonwealth Games, their job takes them to various locations, offering a thrilling and ever-changing work environment.

While thriving in television, Deepali envisions returning to their passion for research and sound design. As freelancers, they aim to delve into sound design for film, game audio, and immersive sound experiences, knowing that their BCU education has equipped them to excel in various domains.

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From studio spaces to mastering suites and workspaces. I'm going to show you what it's like to study sound at BCU.

So this is the Concert Hall control room. This is where we do a lot of surround sound and get to record the amazing Bradshaw Hall here at the Conservatoire. So this is the SSL Duality Desk. It's one of the largest in the Conservatoire. Here we get to record the Bradshaw Hall and also everything in 5.1 surround sound and stereo. Now going to show you some of our recording studios at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Let's go explore recording studio one.

Here we have one of the control rooms that leads over to the live room here. You can record bands of all sizes. And again, on our SSL desk. We have it fitted with ProTools and Logic, Ableton and those that I can't even name off top of my head. But Play us out...  

Cheers mate. Let's go explore the live room. So here we have one of our biggest live rooms.  And here is one of our biggest recording spaces. We've got kind of drum kits on the go grand pianos and mini grands in the studios. We've got Steinway here, Boston Pianos in other recording studios and Yamaha's across concert halls and stuff. We've got a range of great microphones ranging from AKG's to RODE's, Aston Spirits, and as you go through the years, the more better they get.

So we don't just have one recording studio, we have multiple and they're all unique in acoustics and apparatus. So we have quite a lot of gear and different outboards to use to cater to your musical preference. We also have a very unique relationship here with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students. So, whether it's recording foley or mastering an EP, BCU really gives you the experience you need for the working world.

So this is the mastering suite. This is where you take your recordings and make them into masterpieces. So here we've got state of the art speakers, we've got Bowers and Wilkins. We've also got amazing outboard gear from Maselec. We've also got SSL control servers and this whole thing is fitted out with a PRISM audio interface. But my favourite part of this entire room is the tape machine. So over here we have a Studer tape machine. There's not a lot around and we're one of the only universities is to have one. I myself have mastered many of my tracks on tape and it just adds that little antique-y sound and makes it quite clean and also rough at times, depending how you want to master your track. So this is the edit suite. This is where we get to kind of fine tune and make rough edits of our tracks. So as you can see here, this is ProTools and one of our most kind of common editing tool softwares, but we can also record in this facility.

So we've got some Focusrite gear, Audient gear as well as ways to make beats. So we've got some crazy synths and sequences that you get to play around with, plug into the system and mix, make your own music really.So next I'm going to show you the Mac Labs. That's where we spend most of our time learning software and kind of having our mini lectures there. So let's go check it out.

So this is the Mac lab. We have two of these in the Conservatoire. We have Macs in both, MIDI keyboards and audio interfaces. Here, we'll kind of have 1 to 1 sessions or smaller workshops with your lecturers learning different software like ProTools, Reaper, Ableton and Logic. One thing to note about BCU is the lecturers. They are very passionate about music technology. They give you work opportunities and experiences. Like myself, I had an opportunity to go to the Royal Shakespeare Company for a day and shadow the head sound engineer there, So it's very impressive with how much they care about their students and how much they're willing to give you. Now let's go tour the Millennium Point facilities. Welcome to Millennium Point.

Over here we have even more studio space. So in this one we're still fitted out with SSL desks. We've also got a bunch of outboard gears. You've got good pressers, limiters, anything to help you make the best production possible. We've even got some unique acoustic equipment. So over in the studio we have a Helmholtz resonator made by one of our students, which I'll show you now. So over here is a Helmholtz resonator where frequencies and air will resonate in the cavities here. So certain frequencies we like and don't like will resonate, making the space more acoustically appropriate.

So welcome to The Orchard - another room filled with Macs where we get to learn ProTools, Logic, Reaper for video games, Matlab for coding. In your third year you get to sound design and collaborate with video game students and make your own video game. We also do a lot of experimental acoustic stuff.

So over here we have the drum tank where we will run frequency sweeps through a room, learn how frequencies interact with the acoustics of the space, and just kind of learn how sound reacts to a room. There's a lot of experimental stuff we get to do in our degree, as well as producing and as well as studio time. So together, they kind of go hand in hand and you really learn the whole science of sound.

So I hope you enjoyed our tour today and seeing what it's like to study sound at BCU. If you have any questions or want to chat with one of our students, please look at the link in the bio.