Mike McNeilis
Audio Production Lecturer
PhD Music Composition (to be completed in 2017)
MA Music Industry Studies
PGCE Mathematics
BA Music with Music Technology
BSc Mathematics

Please tell us about your background in Audio and what route you took to get where you are today

From a young age, I’ve been interested in playing the guitar and writing my own songs. This interest developed into recording and mixing my own tracks, and eventually those of others. Whilst studying music as an undergraduate, I became intrigued by using technology in creative contexts. I also have a Master’s degree in the music industry, and this is a particular passion of mine. These are the specialist areas I currently teach on the programme at SAE Liverpool.

What excites you about passing on your knowledge and expertise to the next generation?

I am excited to see the results of my teaching expressed in the creative works of student projects, from the use of sampling and synthesis that helps to create electronic tracks, to the recording, mixing and mastering process of EPs and albums.  

Why should students choose SAE to further their careers in Audio?

Like all programmes at SAE, the early part of the audio programme provides students with the opportunity to undertake a wide range of topics. This gives them a solid foundation upon which to specialise in their areas of interest. A student’s degree culminates in their final major project, which is an excellent opportunity for students to produce a substantial piece of work for their creative portfolio, and prepares them for both the professional environment and/or postgraduate study.

Which musicians/producers inspire you and why?

Radiohead’s development over the last 20+ years has shown how a group can use technology to progress from conventional indie/rock music to their less commercial but more artistically creative projects. I see their search for originality as a blueprint for my own creative endeavors.

What is the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career?

Hearing my orchestral pieces performed live for the first time.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one album to keep you sane, what would it be?

To borrow a line from Alan Partridge, I would have to say ‘The Best of The Beatles’.

Projects you have worked on outside of SAE and any publications:

My work outside of SAE has been primarily research-based. I have given talks at various conferences and also organised a two-day conference that looked at the piano in contemporary music. A variety of my pieces have been performed at live concerts, and I hope to publish my PhD in music composition in 2017.