Space Between The Notes is a new online music series, run by SAE audio production degree alumni, that focuses on promoting independent up-and-coming talent from across the UK. With an aim to to promote, inspire and educate new UK talent, SBTN sat down with SAE to talk about their inspirations, time at SAE and what we can expect from them in season two.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your co-hosts?
The team at Space Between The Notes all met at SAE institute Glasgow in 2018. Having all come from different cultural and musical backgrounds we bonded over our common love of music and audio production.
Francesco is an Italian modular techno producer that started creating music on his laptop and slowly built up his modular rack over the years. Under his alias b.mod he has released several EPs with various labels. His influences are both 90s and early 2000s hard yet groovy techno as well as deep and harsh contemporary productions. Few of the many artists he draws inspiration from include Paul Mac, Luke Slater, Jeff Mills, Mark Broom, DaxJ.
Peter Wooldridge a Scottish Hip Hop beatmaker and producer that started his journey producing beats at SAE institute and has under his artist name session9 created hundreds of beats covering a range of genres influenced by trap, trip-hop, lo-fi, 90s hip hop, drill, grime and many more.
Rónán Murphy is an Irish producer and DJ who goes under the name Murph. Beginning at 14, through watching tutorials on youtube over the years he has developed his own sound mixing Irish traditional music with house and techno. His influences are Martyn Bennett, Bicep and Disclosure.
George Burns a Danish acoustic singer songwriter that developed an interest in learning how to record and produce music through his love of classic rock records from the 1960s and 1970s. Since he started at SAE institute studying a music production course he has released his first album “Counting Sheep” inspired by The Beatles and is currently working on his second album. His influences are artists such as The Beatles, Gilberto Gil, Simon and Garfunkel, Babe Rainbow, Mac Demarco, Fela Kuti and more.
What was the inspiration behind Space Between the Notes?
Having enjoyed working together during our time at SAE Institute, we were inspired to create a relaxed music series that focused on music production and the stories and struggles that come with being creative. We also wanted to bring in live music and promote up-and-coming artists in the UK.
We are inspired by Tiny Desk, Against The Clock by Fact Mag and podcasts outside of music such as Joe Rogan for its relaxed and laid back atmosphere.
What can we expect from season 2 of Space Between the Notes?
We just launched our second season this January. Last year we focused on a podcast format series where we talked with local producers, sharing their techniques and experiences. This season we are expanding the project. We are bringing video to our classic podcasts, enabling artists and producers to go more in depth by also sharing their projects and we are introducing live performances and interviews.
Our aim is to be able to create a community where we are able to promote, inspire and educate new UK musicians and music producers, all in one space (between the notes).
If you are a musician or music producer interested in being a guest on the show please reach out by sending us an email at email@example.com
What made you decide to pursue a degree in audio production?
Francesco: I always had a passion for music, with a focus on electronic music, and I wanted to take my expertise to a higher level – where I could take care and understand all technical needs related to any project that I wanted to pursue. Moreover the knowledge and practice gained throughout the audio production degree significantly improved my personal productions that I release under my alias, both in terms of technical quality as well as the overall musical experience.
Peter: Before searching for audio production courses I’d been heavily involved in music in school and had some great live PA experience through my church. My passion for live audio and playing instruments grew through these, and so when it came to picking what I wanted to do with my life, I feel like it was the only thing I wanted to pursue.
Rónán: I never studied music in school but I felt this was the right option if I wanted to maximize my potential as a producer and engineer. Making the change from my bedroom studio to working and recording on the Neve console has also given me the confidence for any studio sessions in the future where I’m working with new artists.
George: I developed an interest in learning how to record and produce music through my love of classic rock records from the 1960s and 1970s. Pursuing a degree in audio production was a way for me to learn about the recording process in a guided manner that would benefit me with finding a job in the industry.
What made you choose SAE?
Francesco: I was immediately drawn by the friendly and intimate environment that SAE provided. The lecturers appeared very approachable with a genuine passion for teaching and sharing experiences. Moreover the facilities had all the equipment that I was interested in learning and playing with, making the choice fairly straight forward when compared to other courses around the UK.
Peter: What drew me in was the type of learning that came with having such a small campus. I am quite dyslexic so being able to learn in a very hands-on way with the equipment and software was a massive thing for me. By having such small classes also helped the learning environment be less competitive but more friendly and open, I felt like it was easy to ask questions. Of course, the audio production facilities as well outweigh any University I had viewed before.
George: Having studied at a university before and been underwhelmed by the experience, I was looking to find a course that was short, practical and intense. The main factor for me was the ability to learn about music production in a more hands on approach with equipment that at the time, I knew little about. Knowing I’d be able to create an album for my major project as well, gave me a focus from the very beginning, and I knew that it was a challenge that I wanted to do not only academically but personally too.
Rónán: After attending the open day I was instantly hooked, the practical approach to teaching and also having access to the studios played a huge role. The crossover between the different subjects and the number of opportunities through collaboration that could come from it was a no brainer.
What did you enjoy most about your degree and time at SAE?
Francesco: As cheesy as it may sound, relationships were definitely what I enjoyed most. Relationships with fellow students as well as with lecturers. SAE managed to create an environment where we could all share and contribute with ideas and immediately bounce them off to lecturers which were always extremely helpful in assisting and supporting whatever needs we had.
Peter: Other than the friendships that I created with students and lecturers at SAE, I really loved the studio classes. They were extremely informative and well taught that I made sure I was at every one of them. Having the freedom of being able to use facilities and equipment to work on personal projects as well as course material was also a thing I enjoyed massively. I think another thing they did very well was listen to the students and change certain aspects of the course based on how helpful and enjoyable it is for them.
George: For me the most enjoyable aspect of my time studying music production at SAE was being in the studio creating my album and recording songs with friends. I have so many wonderful memories of all of us having a go and trying various microphone techniques, signal chains, compressors, using the tape machine. Learning whilst having a load of fun at the same time. The teacher’s passion for music and eagerness to help us with our projects was also something that I was extremely thankful for.
Rónán: I’m the same as George, being in the studios every day working on projects or my music, chatting to other students and lectures in the other studios, bouncing ideas off each other. Putting yourself in that environment, around people with the same passion as yourself is extremely powerful.
What would you say to someone considering applying to SAE?
Francesco: Make the most out of it, especially in terms of asking questions to lecturers and using your studio time. There is no better way to learn with hands-on experience and being able to discuss it with an expert.
Peter: If you want to enter the creative industries learning in a very hands on, experience based way, then definitely go for SAE. You’ll leave with the skills and network that sets you up amazingly.
George: If you are willing to work hard and have the passion for learning how to record music, I think it is an amazing course. The teachers are great, the curriculum is full of information and the facilities are incredible. Like most universities, you get what you give. The time there will fly by fast, so make the most of it!
Rónán: Do it! It has probably been the best decision I’ve made, being from Belfast I wasn’t quite sure if it would work out moving away from home for the first time but the relationships, memories and experiences of being in SAE have been central to where I am now as a producer and audio engineer. I’m always so jealous when I talk to students beginning their SAE career, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!