Alt-rockers spend studio time with Northampton music students

Date 20.05.2021

Pictured from left are Lecturer Tony Platt, student Francesca Sene, Francis Smith from Sleepy Beaucat, student Michael McKenna and Sleepy Beaucat’s Robin Rushton.

Students have been honing their music production skills with the help of an up-and-coming band from Northampton.

Alt-rock outfit, Sleepy Beaucat, have been working through both semesters in the studio at the University of Northampton with Popular Music undergrads, who were tasked with recording and producing their tracks.

The band were invited to campus to give the final year students a chance of putting what they’ve learned on the recording music module into practice.

Split into four production teams, the students had produced demos last semester leading to each team spending four intense days in each of the last four weeks, producing commercial quality recordings of the chosen songs.

“This was something I never thought I would be able to do, when I first joined the University,” said student Francesca Sene.

“I joined as a singer, but never thought I would have the skills to be a part of the industry. But thanks to the training over the last three years, I feel ready for it.

“It was brilliant to be able to work with a band, and to drive the mixing desk. When I joined, I was scared to go near the desk as it looked so complicated, and I was daunted by Pro Tools music software. But our tutor, Tony Platt, has been an amazing teacher. He took the scariness away from everything, and now I have a handle on Pro Tools and how to drive the desk.”

The recording sessions.

She added: “Tony has an amazing background in music, working with the likes of ACDC, and you might think that would make him a little dismissive of us students. But he has spent so much time helping us, he cares about us and has been so rigorous with our training. He’s made us all self-sufficient as we look to head out into the real world.

The course has also changed the way Francesca listens to music, as she found her critical ear – something that’s obviously an essential component of production work.

“I never really gave production a thought,” said Francesca. “We were asked to bring in our favourite songs and I chose Rolling Stone by The Weeknd. After we analysed it, we found out it actually was a really bad mix, I couldn’t believe it. Now I have the knowledge to spot the subtleties of what makes a good and a bad mix, which is a huge leap for me. It’s been life changing.”