Hello, Ramilas, it is very nice to talk with you for a little bit about your learning experience, so tell me how did you choose Live and Studio Sound studies? What was your main motivation exactly selecting Southampton Solent University?
Hey ya, well just before high school graduation I applied to SAE institute first of all. I thought that would be the best place to learn everything what is related to audio and making records. Unfortunately, I find out that tuition fees are the way to expensive (around 10k per year 3 years ago) and the course was only for 2 years… So I end up looking for a cheaper solution. My main criteria was facilities and equipment that can university provide. I didn’t look on university rating lists. Solent University had a large equipment list plus many different profile studios that I thought would be the best place to study. There are many universities around UK that got high rankings but don’t have as much equipment as Solent Uni does. So I chose to study at Southampton Solent University just because I provided what I need and I never regret.
Creative industries, as well as the music industry, are considered to be precarious and very competitive fields, what do you think about it?
Its getting harder and harder to get into the entertainment industry. Technology and internet changed all entertainment business and people have to adapt and that means there are new opportunities for people who are bright and innovative. If people want to be successful in this business they have to make everything by themselves instead of waiting for someone giving them a job. Thats the beauty of it.
Regarding your discipline content, how is it organized, can you tell us more about it? How would you explain Live and Studio Sound for somebody who is not familiar with it?
Well my discipline is really geeky honestly. Thought is related to music and sound its really scientific. Its all about skills, ears and knowledge to make things happen. I’m not studying how to play with guitar or how to write a symphony but I know how to make average guitar player to sound like a pro and how to make orchestra recording to sound that is playing in front of you. My discipline is all about making things sound best as possible. Its all geeky stuff. If you’ve seen some videos where artists performs in the studio and some random bloke controls mixing console (that large peace of equipment with zillion buttons) then you can guess that I’m that random guy who controls studio equipment lol.
Recording session at Uni
Comparing music studies and practices to other countries such as United States or European countries, do you think it is more beneficial choose to study in UK than any other country? Or is it not a big difference to you?
I believe its crucial to study this kind of things at places where this industry is big. Thats the reason, why I moved in UK. There are way more opportunities to make your dreams come true.
How would you relate your study experience with reality, do you think you will be able to use skills you gained to you career opportunities?
Absolutely, I’m happy that I’ve chose to study in the Solent University rather than SAE institute. I’ve learned so much. My course covered such a wide scope of skills that I feel confident wherever I would go in this industry. It provided everything what I need to stay objective and professional.
There are some professionals in the music industry who claim what it is more beneficial just to go and work in the industry instead of taking three years course. What is your opinion about that?
Its absolutely true. I would say there is no point going to university and study music or something like that if you expect that uni will teach you how to be a professional and eventually give you a job. That would never happen. To be a professional it takes more than a 3year course.. I chose uni because I could have access to equipment and everything what I need to learn by myself. Getting internship somewhere its best route to start your carrier. And diploma in this industry doesn’t mean anything at all. Its all about connections and skills. I’ve got a friend who never had any experience with sound but he had his mum who had connections and he got a decent internship just because of that.
We would like to ask about drawbacks of your study related experience, do you have any criticism, opinion about how some things could be changed in the course? What would it be?
Well my university provided everything what I need so I can’t complain. There are a few students who complains about the course but thats lazy people who expects that someone will teach them things that they have to learn by themselves. Some students got access to really high end studios and a huge library filled with any book you need and tutors who can give you advice on anything you might need and they still complain but thats what separates me from them. I know what to do in a studio they don’t. They spend days going out and complaining about a course I spend my time in the studio and I know far more than them.
Do you think the fees of the courses in UK are worth its quality and content? What is your opinion about a recent increase to 9000 per year for BA?
Well, when fees were just over 3k a year it was absolutely fine. But now I don’t see any reason to pay for media course 9k per year. I would rather spend 9k on equipment that I need to start in this industry and get internship somewhere. That would be most logical and practical thing to do.
Tell us a little bit about the projects, practices you work with at the moment, why do you like/do not like it?
I am working on quite big projects at the moment. I’ve recorded with some friends an orchestra that was filmed in 3D and I’m planing to mix it in surround as well as ambisonics in a real cinema environment. Eventually it will be presented for public at our uni private 3D cinema. I’ve recorded some really talented musicians and planing to press some recordings that I’ve done on to vinyl and tape as well as make high end DVD-A and SACD stuff. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. I’m just trying in fill up my portfolio with work that usually other people never did and stay unique.
What kind of music/sound art are you interested in? Do you familiarize yourself with any particular style, historical period or media?
I started getting into music because of hip hop. I’m still fan of it but more I learn about music and how its produced more I start getting interested into funk/soul music or jazz. Hip Hop music brought me into recording studio environment when I was 16 years old. Since then I was more interested into making records and technical side rather than being an artist. Now after six years I changed my musical taste completely. I don’t care about music genres anymore as long it got something interesting that makes me want to press play again and again.
What would you suggest other young creatives, considering to study music related courses in UK? Any tips, mistakes better not to be done?
My biggest suggestion would be to get their attitude right. Be friendly, hard working and always willing to learn something and don’t be a prick in general (sorry for that). I’ve seen many engineers like me who just tells to artists (you sound horrible do this and that..) people need to learn how to make clients feel comfortable and get best result as possible without making everyone upset. I can tell that from my personal experience.
Working with BBC, student project
What about the area you live, does it have fascinating music scene, independent labels, underground scene?
Well, my town is most famous because of one artist probably. Its Craig David. He was from Southampton. In general, there are lots of people who make music here but still I find it difficult to get what I want without getting artists into the studio from London.
Thank you, Ramilas!
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