Words by Leah Phillips
Let’s face it; the music industry is a competitive place. Whether you’re a musician, a roadie or a journalist, it’s safe to say that having multiple skills can lead to new opened doors. So if you’re wanting to go that step further and develop a specific set of skills, why not do a short course at SAE Institute?
Nestled between South Melbourne and the CBD lies the spacious warehouse hub that is SAE Institute’s Melbourne campus. The Institute has over 35 years experience in education and offers multiple courses relating to audio and electronic music production, from two-year bachelor degrees to seven-month diplomas. Although the diplomas are fairly short in duration, SAE bases them heavily on practicality and industry learning; making them an attractive choice for a budding audiophile.
At the Melbourne campus, the Diploma of Sound Production is broken into three different specialties (Live Sound, Studio Production and Electronic Music Production) in which students choose to undertake one over the course’s seven month duration. All three diplomas share some core units but eventually deviate into their specific streams.
The first three weeks are theoretical so students get an understanding of the in-house equipment and terminology before diving in. After the first three weeks, students are in the studios doing practical activities with smaller groups and a tutor. Once this L-plate period of small group (less than 10-15 students) tutorials is over, students can book the studios privately to practice and complete assignments.
If you find yourself in the Live Sound Production diploma you’ll be spending roughly two days per week working on campus and two days off campus at The Hi-Fi on Swanston Street. The relationship with The Hi-Fi is unique to SAE, giving students a guaranteed, regular opportunity to work in an actual venue in and outside of operating hours. As part of the course, each student will get to work behind the panels for a minimum of two live shows at the iconic venue as they progress through the diploma.
The Electronic Music Production and Studio Production diplomas on the other hand are taught mostly on campus, utilizing the nine various studios currently on offer. Each studio is fully decked out with a range of analogue and digital consoles and software including Pro-tools, Ableton and Logic. Other perks of the campus are a fully stocked library of physical and online book catalogues and the assistance of friendly, informative staff.
SAE is currently undergoing an expansion to house a new live sound production recording room. It will be about eight times the size of the largest space they currently have and fully equipped with a lighting rig on hydraulics, a huge stage set up and a top of the range elevated mezzanine consol.
You can undertake a Diploma of Sound Production with SAE Institute at any age or with any level of musical ability, although having some experience will obviously be advantageous. The courses are all eligible for Fee-Help from the Australian Government and further information about enrollments, information sessions and contact details are available via the SAE website.
SAE also offers a Bachelor in Audio (Two years F.T) with the opportunity to study overseas for a semester at one of the institute’s many impressive campuses.
Find out more via sae.edu.au