A Get Together at the University of Hull!

Students from our Furthering Talent programme in Hull recently started the new school year with a visit to the University of Hull for an aspirational Get Together! Led by lecturers and students currently studying at the university, the young musicians had a chance to experience a day in the life of an undergraduate music student.

In groups they took part in three different sessions across the music department, exploring recording, mixing and psychoacoustics. The first of these sessions took place in the university’s flagship Duality Studio. This served as an introduction to industry-standard recording facilities. Half of the students formed a band while the other half were tasked with recording them. They were taught live recording techniques, experimenting with different microphones and their placements. The singers and guitarists were put in their own booths to isolate their audio while still having the ability to perform live. After some rehearsal and sound checks they recorded an Aretha Franklin song, capturing a raw and authentic sound.

The next session saw students take to the Middleton Hall mixing studio. Using the tracks they had recorded, and field recordings, the group were introduced to levels, panning and equalising. Despite the high-tech equipment available, it was a string and pieces of paper which helped explain how sound travels, giving them a better understanding of how to make the whole piece sound fuller. Once they had equalised and changed the direction of the sound, they added the field recordings into the track before listening to their final piece. It was amazing the difference they had made in just an hour!

They later explored how we as humans experience sound and how our brains can mistake where the source of that sound is. They listened to recordings of different environments on headphones and had to identify what the sounds were, where they came from and what type of environment they were in. They were also introduced to Keith, a pretend human head with microphones for ears. Using the microphones on Keith’s head, they were given an example of how sound can be manipulated.

As the day closed they visited the Ambisonic Studio, a 3D surround-sound studio with a fully adjustable lift and desk for ideal monitoring position. Once the lift had risen, they listened to a piece performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra and had to work out where they were stood in relation to the recording. This was followed by a tour of the campus, led by the students, who shared their experiences of university life. Reflecting on the day, one student said “This has made me want to go to uni” with many more agreeing.

Thank you Hull Music Hub, our Connector Shelley and the University of Hull lecturers and students for organising this university experience day. Last but not least thank you to all of the young musicians for their enthusiasm and curiosity. If you’re looking for opportunities like this in your local area visit our Connectors page and contact one of our Connectors today.

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