6 Things To Look Forward To In 2021

It might not feel like it right now, but this year is full of promise for our community.

With the festive season behind us and a lengthy lockdown ahead, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little unenthused about the dawn of 2021. But despite current circumstances, it’s important to remember that better times are on the way. Whilst we await the rollout of the vaccine and an eventual return to normality, here are some great things you can look forward to this year.

The launch of Ableton 11

Last year, Ableton announced that the latest version of its Live software would be launching in early 2021. Since then, our Electronic Music Production tutors have been busy exploring the BETA version of Ableton 11, ready for the DAW’s release and rollout across our Bristol and Plymouth centres.  If that’s not enough for you, you can also expect a first-rate set of video tutorials from Plymouth tutor and Certified Ableton Trainer Chris Pratt, who will be showing you how to make the most of the software’s new features. 


Ableton Live 11 is expected to launch early this year

Industry Week (18th - 22nd January)

Our annual Industry week sees a selection of sound professionals, as well as a special dBs alumni panel, join us to share their expertise and insights across a range of areas. This year our programme includes talks and discussions from the likes of Hattie Wynter, Marketing Coordinator for Native Instruments, Sean McGovern, Founder of 1020 radio and YouTube star Cuckoo. Spaces are open to all students from both Bristol and Plymouth HE centres, and spaces for graduates are also available. Due to current restrictions, all industry week events will take place virtually. To find out more please contact tugkan.mutlu@dbsmusic.co.uk.

Cuckoo is known for his synth YouTube tutorials

Cuckoo, known for his synth YouTube tutorials is just one of the many exciting guests joining us for Industry Week

Cutting edge research and innovation

Last year, our research and innovation arm, dbs-i, was awarded funding from SWCTN to develop ‘Mindflow’, a project exploring how data can be used to create tactile and audio experiences that help to combat dementia, isolation and anxiety. This year will see the kick-off of the project with the production of three nonlinear audio stories. These stories will be delivered by a smart device that measures heart rate and selects personalised content based on its user’s state of mind. It will draw on the contributions of dBs students, who will have the opportunity to collaborate on the project via our in-house creative audio company, dBs Pro

The logo for Mindflow is a project funded by SWCTN

'Mindflow' will explore the use of data to create tactile and audio experiences with therapeutic benefits

Field recording in spring

Bringing some warmth and light into our lives, and hopefully a loosening of lockdown measures, this spring will be a fantastic one for field recording. From buzzing bees to singing birds, there’s so much nature that comes to life at this time of year, and with reduced air and road traffic due to coronavirus restrictions, we should be able to hear much more of it than we normally would. Before you head out, don’t forget to check out our top tips for field recording to set yourself up for success.

Music technology student field recording in spring

Field recording is a fantastic way to capture changes in our natural environment 

The launch of our Sound Design and Audio Programming degree

This September we will welcome our first cohort of Sound Design and Audio Programming students. This BSc programme is uniquely positioned across the disciplines of art, science and technology and will teach students the skills to compose, programme, transform and integrate audio across a wide range of digital media. With the course’s emphasis on innovation an exploring the possibilities presented by emerging technologies, we can’t wait to see where it leads. You can find more detailed information about the course here.

Sound design and audio programming student explores VR

Our BSc programme is taught with an emphasis on current and emerging technologies, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality

Standout student projects 

During the first lockdown, we were blown away by the resilience and ingenuity of our student community who continued to deliver a diversity of exceptional projects, against the odds. Many of these projects sought to address challenges posed by the coronavirus including a 3D game to ease lockdown stress and a remote collaboration exploring the therapeutic benefits of music production. We have no doubt our community will continue to pull it out the bag this year with a number of exciting projects already on the horizon. These include the audio mix for 'When I Killed the Cat', a short film premiering at festivals this February and the creation of an ambisonic sample library for dBs Pro.

When I Killed The Cat [Final Poster - For Blog]

Featuring the sound editing skills of four dBs students, 'When I Killed the Cat will be premiering at film festivals this February

 If you're looking to make the most of the year ahead, then why not take a look at our diverse range of degree programmes? You can find them all here.

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