JAMES and the University Studies at West Suffolk College are happy to confirm the second year of ‘JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions’. Once again, the event will offer post-graduate students practical training and ‘live’ recording experience with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

This year the students will be recording the Mythical Creatures rehearsal and concert performance by the RPO at Cadogan Hall in London on Thursday 20 June - www.rpo.co.uk/whats-on/eventdetail/1078/-/mythical-creatures

Based on the proven format of the Gus Dudgeon Foundation and JAMES Summer Course, students from JAMES accredited university courses are selected to work with industry professionals to experience the recording and mixing process in a real-life situation.

Sonnox, sponsors for 2019 will be awarding the best performing student of the week, a Sonnox ‘Elite Collection’ of Oxford Plug-ins. Many thanks also to sponsors Steinberg and AVID who are also awarding prizes.

There are challenges with having mics on the stage, sometimes you're very limited with what you can do. You've really got to think about frequency response and mic positioning and define what you really want to capture. This has really opened my eyes.
John, University of South Wales
Not only did I learn a great deal, but also met some great friends along the way. It was really valuable to be in a real-life industry situation, although we learn about that at uni, you can’t fully understand what it is actually like until you are doing it.
Jessie, Leeds Beckett University
I have some recording experience with different genres of music where I have used a certain set of rules. But with classical music, they don't quite apply, so I've had to learn a different approach, which is great.
Robert, University of Portsmouth
This course has been a great opening into industry standards, and also gives us hands-on experience. It's great meeting different students with different ideas and experiences, talking about different career paths.
Kaneda, Anglia Ruskin University
Stacks Image 94907

Recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2018
Click above to read the full 2018 feature as published in Resolution magazine.

Stacks Image 94713
Stacks Image 94717
Stacks Image 94719
Stacks Image 94923
Stacks Image 94970
Stacks Image 94968
Stacks Image 95037
Stacks Image 95039
The graduates really benefit from having a new recording challenge and networking with other graduates that come from across the UK. The programme is unique and the students leave with a fortified C.V.
Gary Kelly, Programme Leader for the Live Sound BSc (Hons) at University Studies
Stacks Image 95017
Of course, we're all winners, woo! But the special winners (names picked from a microphone case as everyone was so good) were Phoebe Pearson (far left) from University of the West of Scotland who won the AVID Ultimate Bundle and Charles Harrison (far right) from Bournemouth University who won the Sonnox ‘Elite Collection’ of Oxford Plug-ins.

The students took it in turns to mix the sections of the Orchestra using a Digidesign C24 desk and Avid Pro Tools Ultimate 2019 and processing with Sonnox plugins. They were taken through how to manage the session and what to aim for as a ‘quality audio mix’ with an overview of the conductor's perspective and the client's remit.
At the end of the day all production choices should meet the requirements of your client! The students had different views regarding reverb and overall tone so some interesting discussions were undertaken, they were all happy with the final result!

LATEST NEWS - Steinberg awarded their Dorico Pro 2 scoring software to another lucky winner - Lewis Whymark from the University of Hertfordshire.
DAY FOUR - 20.06.2019
Stacks Image 94994
One issue of recording in a live venue is that the microphone placement should have minimum impact on the stage - no Decca Trees here then! Just four overhead mics slung from the ceiling (very high), a few stereo pairs and a few single mics specifically dotted around. Nice and neat, as you can see.
Stacks Image 94999
The pairs of DPA 2011 and 4011 mics loaned by Britannia Row Productions and DPA were very popular with the students and were great to use on the piano and woodwind.
Stacks Image 95005
Stacks Image 95044
Stacks Image 95046
Stacks Image 95049
Stacks Image 95052
Stacks Image 95010

Jobs done - test the live rig and back-up system, refine mic plan and signal path and go in-depth with contracts, insurance, health and safety risk assessments and event management. It's not all fun and games you know!

And we've just heard that DPA and Britannia Row will lend us some high-end DPA recording mics for the event Thank you so much!

Ok, we're all set for tomorrow - bring on the RPO and Cadogan Hall!
DAY ONE - 17.06.2019
Stacks Image 94976
Students have all arrived, settled in and get stuck into devising a mic plan in for Cadogan Hall recording on Thursday. Deep discussion takes place.

More decisions need finalising after visiting the Tech Rider and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra schedule. Excellent to have so much information from the RPO to help decide the best way to record them.
Hang on is that the phone? The group get a surprise call from Front of House mix engineer Davide Lombardi (pictured right).

One of our own alumni calls to discuss his journey into the industry and how his dissertation highlighted that employers are requesting degrees and industry training that reflects the workflow.
University of Portsmouth
Along with consistently good grades, Robert has engaged in work placements and further
extra-curricular work demonstrating his passion for the subject throughout his studies.

University of South Wales
John has acted as class rep for the entire three years and performed those duties well - he will gain a lot from attending the Orchestral course.
University of the West of England
Alex's work is of a consistently high standard and he aims to make a living from music recording and mixing, already taking joint ownership in a recording studio in the West country.
University of the West of Scotland
Nominated for 6 awards at our students award ceremony this year, Phoebe has a keen interest in music for film. She plays Clarsach, I think she will very much gain from the experience of the orchestral recording.
University of Central Lancashire
Commitment to the recording modules and engagement across all three years of study, Gordon certainly deserves the recognition and a place on this course.
University of Hertfordshire
Lewis demonstrates great attention to detail. He is both technically and creatively strong, and confidently looks for opportunities to collaborate with others and forge connections with industry.
University of Huddersfield
Chris has proved to be an extremely student and has gone above and beyond of what has been asked of him, especially in his support of other students in our Live Sound Module.
Anglia Ruskin University
Kaneda has demonstrated a keen enthusiasm for learning about aspects of the course outside of her comfort zone and has excelled - and well deserves this nomination.
Bournemouth University
Charles has performed extremely well throughout his degree studies, and is an experienced and proficient violinist. I think that he would benefit hugely from taking part in the course.
Leeds Beckett University
Taking part in the Orchestral week will add another dimension to Jess’ excellent work and she will benefit greatly from the experience. I know she will put it to good use as she seeks to develop her career in the future.
THE RECORDING ENGINEERS (who guided the students through the week)
Andrea Healy
University Studies at West Suffolk College
Course Leader for BA (Hons) Creative and Commercial Music (& Centre Manager)

The singer songwriter, composer, performer, producer, audio engineer and consultant has played in many Orchestras from the age of seven. As a classical trained musician she taught the ABRSM syllabus from the age of 19. Recording her band and scoring in early software programmes she moved to recording orchestras when she studied her degree in Music Production. Andrea initiated the recording relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013. As a project manager she also raises funding for dedicated music projects to integrate cross-discipline workflows involving students from diverse age ranges and backgrounds. This year liaising with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe to write and record orchestral games scores with the RPO for ages 16 to 24.

Her academic background includes external examining for the prestigious suite of orchestral, cinematic and games composing postgraduate degrees at ThinkSpace in Chichester and Music Production degrees at Oxford Brookes. Technically certified by AVID for Pro Tools DAW software to 210M.

“I chose the Cadogan for this recording because the venue has so much to offer young recording engineers. The experience of hanging mics from the loft, rigging main stage and recording down in the ‘Green Room’ requires a precise industry workflow and etiquette for the desired successful outcome. Recording a live orchestra is always a compromise and it is the engineer's sole purpose to get the best audio result with minimum disruption to the orchestra and audience."
Gary Kelly
University Studies at West Suffolk College
Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Live Sound

Gary is a respected academic, audio consultant, music producer and mix and audio engineer, with over 40 years’ expertise in the many techniques and technologies that have shaped modern record production. Gary runs an impressive AVID HDX studio, complete with enough plug-ins and virtual instruments to last a lifetime with regular production work constantly coming in.

His specialist areas include music synthesis, electronic composition, mixing, mastering, video production and live sound recording. As an AVID Certified Instructor (ACI) for both music and postproduction he regularly runs training workshops in Pro Tools. He is currently an external examiner for BIMM and The University of Salford and has been an external examiner to many different universities over the years.

Andrea and Gary work in partnership to write and develop new industry focussed degree programmes, having already written and validated for three different universities in the UK and Europe. They both regularly sit on validating panels for new audio degrees. They professionally work with many well-known artists, orchestras and ensembles. Both Andrea and Gary really value the JAMES Accreditation and work closely with JAMES to keep industry in Higher Education.