There is a lot of misinformation floating around about studying music technology at university. Here we debunk some of the most common misconceptions.
Music technology can seem like a niche pursuit, a perception that's not helped by myths surrounding how it is studied. In an effort to set the record straight, let’s bust some of the biggest myths...
1. Music tech grads have no career prospects
Working in music can seem like a pipe dream, but many people are not aware of the diversity of roles on offer. Whilst performers are the most visible careers in the music industry, there is an array of job opportunities available for those with motivation, tenacity and drive.
When it comes to landing a role in the music industry, getting your foot in the door is usually the most difficult part. From there, you are far more likely to progress towards the role that you want. That’s why at dBs Music, we have a dedicated Student Employability Engagement Officer, whose job it is to seek out exclusive employment opportunities for our community. Our in-house audio and production company dBs Pro also exists to provide students with hands-on, real-world experience working on commercial recording and media projects.
To find out more about the different paths you can pursue in the audio industry, check out our Careers in Sound page.
Our commercial recording studio, dBs Pro
2. You need an in-depth knowledge of music theory
Whilst an understanding of music theory can have a positive impact on your creative output, it is not a prerequisite to being accepted on our degree programmes. As part of our course content, we provide an introduction to music theory to help you understand what’s going on behind the music in its structure, instrumentation and composition.
Rather than a rigid set of rules, we think of music theory as a framework to help support and inspire your ideas and help you work more efficiently.
3. Music technology is a male thing
It’s a fact that there is an underrepresentation of women, female-identifying and non-binary people in the music tech industry, but just because fewer members of these groups currently attend music tech courses, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Many of our most successful students and popular members of staff are womxn and we are working hard to increase representation. That’s why, for the past three years, we have been partnering with Saffron Records to provide space and facilities free of charge for womxn to dip their toes into music technology. As a result of this partnership, more than 200 womxn a year pass through dBs Music’ doors, with many going on to pursue music technology at a higher level.
Madame X delivers a workshop to budding female DJs at our Bristol centre as part of a Saffron Records and Red Bull event
4. It’s not academically rigorous
Whilst many music technology skills are learned hands-on, our degree programmes incorporate distinct academic elements designed to equip you with transferable skills that important to seeking and gaining employment. These include CV writing, working to different briefs and moving beyond your comfort zone where additional challenges help to develop your core skills.
The truth is, academic study within the field of music technology helps to expand mindsets and equips students to move beyond the traditional patterns and practices of professionals. This encourages innovation and progression into brand new areas of practice.
Our degrees also give students the opportunity to specialise and make an in-depth study in an area of interest with the support of experts. Many of our BA (Hons) students move on to our Master’s degree (MA Innovation in Sound) in order to develop these academic and personal projects further.
5. You need loads of expensive equipment
We won’t lie, studio gear isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to fork out a small fortune to begin your learning journey. At dBs Music, we believe in making audio and music technology as accessible as possible. That’s why we deck out our centres with some of the latest and greatest audio equipment the industry has to offer.
No Mac? No problem. All of our production suites and recording studios are kitted out with iMacs, installed with both Logic Pro and Ableton 10. Students can book a seat in any of our iMac suites to continue working on projects, or can book out one of our very many Macbook Pros. All students are also given 3 hours of studio time a week. Additional time can be booked outside of this allowance if there are studios free within 24 hours of when you are looking.
From CDJs and guitar pedals to microphones and modular synths, we also have a large amount of bookable equipment available to use both on and offsite. During COVID-19, a combination of UVC sterilisation and stock rotation will be implemented to ensure this equipment remains available for your use.
The Neve Genesys mixing desk at our Plymouth centre