Steven Lees Interview BEAT Magazine 26th of may 2016
1. What was your initial impression of your course at Abbey Road, and what drew you to the institution?
During the open day I met staff and music industry professionals that had a lot of knowledge and passion for music. That first meeting was special as it was a new creative and learning environment I have not seen anywhere before, and it was a huge opportunity to develop my skills and to be surrounded by world class professional who were really excited to teach and pass on a lifetime of music production skills and music business management.
The facilities of the studios and school really drew me in to study. I have been a recording artist for 8 years and I was blown away with the analogue API control room, the hardware and the recording space.
Also being taught by an institute like Abbey Road, having that 80 years of knowledge was a for me a once in a lifetime opportunity and the biggest draw card.
2. What skills have you gained through your time at Abbey Road that are helping you professional or musically?
We have very powerful DAW programs like Protools, Logic and Ableton Live, and since starting the course I have gained expert knowledge on how to use these programs and all of their functions inside each program. Our lecturers have gone into great detail explaining the properties of sound and how sound can be manipulated and shaped. This has helped creatively and practically so much that I have started to collaborate and pick up work as a “producer”. and mix engineer.
The recording and mixing techniques that Abbey Road have taught me really have improved my ear that now I can hear and understand techniques of my favorite recording artists which excites me when listening to music.
3. What do you like most about studying at Abbey Road?
I get to come to a recording studio for 30+ hours a week and I am constantly thinking about music at school and at home. I am surrounded by very helpful staff and talented students that have dedicate a lot of time helping me improve as a musician, producer and engineer.
I’m in a creative and quiet space so making music for me has gotten a lot better and the opportunity to create new music in a variety of genres has expanded my songwriting skills.
4. Highlights of the course to date?
The highlights for me have been the master classes where music producers from around Australia and from overseas have given us priceless industry knowledge from vocal recording and mixing techniques, to managing yourself as an industry professional. The course has also expanded my network and friendships in the industry and it has given me an opportunity to talk and work with other producers who have been very welcoming in helping me with my mixes and just being able to talk about sound in general.
Also we went to Jack The Bear’s Mastering studio and in that few hours he explained many questions I have had for years about mastering and the recording process as a whole, plus he was such a good dude it was hard not to be inspired and to have a goal to achieve to.
5. Any advice you have for anyone wanting to enter into a course similar to yours?
The Advanced Diploma in Music Production could be a bit too much information for beginners and people who just want to create and write music. It will accelerate your knowledge of sound and production so much that I already feel confident working with sound and by the end of the course your foundations for the industry will be more than enough to start working as an engineer, producer, or composer. This course is for everyone from electronic music to folk, rock to hip hop.
The music industry is not dead, people’s thinking has changed about the industry yes, but it is so alive that the right people with the right attitudes will get the right opportunities.
Whatever your creative passion is for music you will grow a lot by studying. If you have the opportunity and time really consider learning. Australia could always do with more talented and innovative people, don’t let your what if’s and assumptions prevent you from doing what you love.