Sound Advice

Course: Audio & Music Technology BSc

2 December 2019

SimonGogerly at sound desk

I'm a Grammy award-winning mixer and producer with over 30 years worth of top-level industry experience and my own recording and mix studio. Now I'm bringing that front-line experience to my students as a Senior Lecturer/Practitioner on the Audio & Music Technology BSc (AMT) at ARU.

I've worked with lots of respected, successful artists and producers such as U2, Gwen Stefani, New Order, Soul II Soul, Underworld, Paloma Faith, Sly & Robbie, Rick Nowels and Nellee Hooper. I've also worked on several projects with Danny Boyle, including T2 Trainspotting, Trance, Frankenstein at the National Theatre and the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Bringing this level of current industry practice into the course content is really key to the employment prospects of the students. The more they know about working practices, industry bodies and networking skills, the better prepared they’ll be to compete for jobs once they graduate. During my first year at ARU I’ve been able to introduce a lot of relevant new content to the third year portfolio modules. I also organise regular sessions from a wide variety of visiting audio and music professionals.

I particularly enjoy working on practical studio projects with the students; sharing my tips and tricks for recording and mixing while also picking up new ideas and approaches from them. The whole process is very collaborative, which relates closely to real world creative projects. Sometimes it’s easy for students to get used to working in isolation, but this isn’t a very realistic approach, so I’ve been doing as much as I can to promote collaboration between students from different courses within the school, in order to simulate the kind of working practices that they’ll face in the future.

One of my favourite practical exercises is recording the ambience of real acoustic spaces. We do this by generating a sound (an ‘impulse’) in the space and then recording the way that the space responds to it.  We call the result an impulse response. The sound we use can either be a scientifically measured tone sweep or a simple short loud noise like a balloon pop.  The impulse response is then converted by software into a reverberation (or ambience) patch that we can use on any sound. I also teach the science and analysis of impulse responses as part of the AMT acoustics modules.

We are constantly working to keep the AMT course and facilities fully up to date with advances in technology and software, especially in the rapidly expanding fields of film, game and 3D/VR audio. But we also appreciate and fully cover the traditional, fundamental theory and techniques of analogue audio and electronics.

Simon Gogerly is a Senior Lecturer/Practitioner on the BSc (Hons) Audio & Music Technology course. Check out his website:
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