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Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering & Music Production

£10,980 (9-months)

Register Interest
Next Course Dates
  • 29th September 2014 to 21st June 2015

See "dates / apply" tab above for more info

 
Entry Requirements
  • Minimum age: 18
  • GCSE maths & a science at Grade C or above (or international equivalent)
  • Successful interview
  • Visa students, please refer to our international student guidance page
  • Tier 4 Visa Application Fee: £670

Advanced Optional Modules


Here is an recent example of a song produced by students during their production workshop classes.




Visit www.soundcloud.com/alchemea for more alchemea productions.

Discounts are available for student’s who take this course as a bundle with our Diploma in Audio Post Production & Game Sound.

 

The Studio Sound Engineering & Music Production Diploma is Alchemea’s most popular course and has proven to be highly successful in preparing our students for the world of commercial sound engineering. We are well connected in the industry and do our best to match our students with jobs. To date 85% of our “distinction” graduates have found work in the industry within 6 months of leaving. The industry recognises that our graduates have not only the “real world” practical skills, but also the right attitude to make a successful employee.

 

Students focus on all key aspects of audio engineering including recording, editing, processing and mixing techniques, programming and also receive an introduction to post-production (sound for moving picture). As well as gaining a solid understanding of all underlying audio theory - from basic maths and physics to advanced digital audio concepts - students will also be introduced to audio mastering and live sound production.

More Practical Time than at any other music production college!

Each student is guaranteed over 1,000 hours of individual practical time. This is time to re-enforce knowledge gained, complete practical assignments and undertake own projects.

 

Our studios and workstations, which are equipped to the highest standards, are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No other college guarantees students the same level of individual hands-on practical activity and around the clock studio access. It is this level of practical exposure that breeds confidence and ultimately makes our graduates so employable.

This course is intensive and requires commitment and hard work to succeed...

Alchemea’s full-time courses are not for the faint hearted and we make no apology for their intensive nature.  Many of the other courses you may be considering will be spread out over 2-3 years and they may not require your presence on a continual basis. 

 

Some colleges only schedule lectures and allow you access to the facilities 2 to 3 days per week! We strongly believe that students learn more efficiently and develop their confidence quicker when learning in an environment of unbroken study. This is one of the reasons why we do not follow a traditional term calendar. As a Diploma student at Alchemea, your course will break for between a couple of weeks in the Summer and over the Christmas holiday.

Progress on to a Degree at Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia-Ruskin-Cut-Out

 

Alchemea have partnered with Anglia Ruskin University to provide their Studio Sound Diploma graduates with a degree pathway.

 

Any student that passes Alchemea’s Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering may be eligible to enrol on to year 2 of Anglia Ruskin’s BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology. Based in the prestigious university town of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin is seen as one of the leading providers of vocational and workplace focused degree programmes.

 

Visa Students

We are proud to have been awarded “Educational Oversight” by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI).In fact we “exceeded expectations” right across the board. Every aspect of our operation was thoroughly assessed to check that we are delivering an effective and quality learning experience. Education oversight is also a prerequisite for Border Agency Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status. This enables Alchemea to enrol international (non-EU) students on to courses over 6-months in duration. Please refer to our International Students Page for more information about how to apply for a student visa.

 

Testimonials

  • Things went really well for me after Alchemea! I've worked for Phil Manzanera, and Javier Weyler (ex Stereophonics drummer), then I went back to Montevideo, Uruguay where I started working as head engineer at the best studio in the country! Now I have recorded pretty much every successful musician around.
    Horacio Bolz (Uruguay),Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma - 2012
  • A lot of things have happened (for the better) in my life and I have to say that my passing through Alchemea has a lot to do with it. I now live in Bergen, Norway with my girlfriend (as was planned) and I’m building my little home studio and writing music for an upcoming new album aaaaand....I got a FANTASTIC JOB as a live sound engineer at a place called PAP (PA Produksjoner) Bergen....and that makes me a genuinely happy guy.

    The training Alchemea is giving is FANTASTIC!!! I can’t be more GRATEFUL to Alchemea because I probably wouldn’t be here doing what I do, having the life I have and working in what I work (confidently!!!) if it wasn’t for the time I spent there; all the knowledge, professionalism, ethics and values I learn from everyone at Alchemea gave me the right bases to start a career as a professional...WOW!!

     

    People don’t question what you know when they see your passionate about what you do and when they see you know what you’re doing. I’m SOOOOOOOOO lucky I got to learn from the best and I’m so glad I did these course with the enthusiasm I did, INSPIRED by the real, true passion that everyone there has for audio and for true professionalism...it’s contagious!!!

     

    Thank you once again, although a simple thank you can’t really express my gratitude and love!!! I have to say those times have been one of my happiest in life!

    Sebastian Acosta,Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma (2011/12)
  • After researching for Sound Engineering Courses in London I came across Alchemea’s website and felt it was undoubtedly the best place to study. I was also attracted to the fact they were the Europe’s leading Pro Tools Training Centre (Avid Pro School) and my training would be delivered by leading industry professionals.

    I therefore signed up to take the “Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering” integrating the Pro Tools music, post and ICON certification modules. The course was very intensive and required a great deal of hard work, commitment and time, but it was definitely worth the effort. Getting my hands on amazing equipment, learning from experienced professionals and making new friends from many cultural backgrounds were among my best experiences at the college.

    Once I finished all the courses in Dec 2010, I decided to take my Pro Tools knowledge to the highest level by signing up for the 310M & 310P (Expert) modules. It was incredibly tough but I passed and am very grateful for I received in helping me to succeed and achieve my goals.

    Overall, I would strongly recommend Alchemea and would like to say a big thank you the staff for giving me the real world knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in pro-audio. The experience will be cherished for the rest of my life.
    Vinit Gala: India ,2010/11
  • I'm DONE. What an amazing 9 months on Alchemea's Studio Sound Diploma course. Huge shout out to all Alchemea staff for making it so great. Met so many wonderful people. Feeling very lucky to have been a part of this school!
    Simon D Pratt,SSD 2012
  • Had such a great last 9 months on the Studio Sound Diploma, learnt loads of awesome things, got to play with some amazing tools, was taught by fabulous lecturers & met some fantastic people. It's been an absolute pleasure!
    Joe Standen,SSD 2012
  • "Alchemea College is the perfect place to learn everything from recording, to mixing and mastering, as well as Post Production. Of course it requires a lot of effort, committement and time, but it's definetely worth it. The skills i gained at the college were crucial for me to find work after the course completition, especially the Pro Tools lectures. The Software is well taught by industry professionals and is present in every workstation and computer in the college, and this makes the learning process much easier."
    Paulo G,Studio Sound Diploma 2009
  • Great course, awesome lecturers, anyone who has any interest in recording or live sound should check it out! I was a total novice coming into this, not even half way through and have already learned so much - Alchemea = awesome!!!
    Russell Nie,Studio Sound Diploma: 2010

Duration: 36-weeks

1300 Guided Learning Hours separated into:
• 300 hours of lectures in classroom
• 1000 hours of individual, supervised practical time

Studio Sound Engineering Course Structure

The Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma course is 36-weeks long and is split into 4 parts. Part 1 is our 8-week Studio Sound Certificate and covers the fundamentals. This module provides solid foundations for the more advanced parts of the course. Part 2 aims to teach candidates the basics of running a recording and mixing session successfully. Part 3 introduces students to the fields of Audio Post Production for Film and Television and Electronic music production. This final part of the course builds on the technical knowledge acquired in the previous parts and aims to consolidate the student’s skills and knowledge thus preparing them for the workplace. Click on the NCFE Unit Overview Button above for detailed information about the Studio Sound Diploma curriculum.

Lectures

Lectures last for approximately 3 hours (with a break) and run Monday to Friday for the majority of the course. We limit our enrolment to 20 students which is then divided into two classes of 10. We therefore run the same lecture twice in a day. The morning lecture starts at 11am and the afternoon lecture starts at 3pm. There are a few weeks at the end of each part where you will have no lectures. During this time you will be expected to complete your practical assignments and revise for your end of part exams. If you choose to study for your Pro Tools Operators Certificate then you will take the additional lectures at this time.

Practical Sessions

Students are generally allocated 8-hour practical sessions in our state of the art studios. These sessions are booked around your lecture so if you take the morning lecture your practical session will run from 2pm to 10pm and if you take the afternoon lecture your practical session will run from 6am to 2pm.
Occasionally all students will be allocated the graveyard shift (10pm to 6am). It is not uncommon for student to then get a few hours sleep on the common room sofa before either making their way home or going to their morning lecture.

Practical Course WorkTape Machine Calibrating on Studio Sound Diploma Course

We expect you to complete the following practical assignments over the duration of the course:

  • 2 x live to stereo recordings
  • 2 x multi-track recordings
  • 2 x programming exercises (1 in Logic & 1 in Pro Tools)
  • Sampling Project
  • Audio Editing Exercise
  • Sound to Film Project
  • Radio Show Production

We stagger these projects over the 9-months and the more advanced assignments take place later on in the course. You will have plenty of time to complete these projects however we strongly recommend that you don’t leave them until the last minute!

Tests & Exams

Over the duration of the course you will be expected to sit 6 written exams, 4 practical exams, a fault finding test, file management test, sampling test and music composition test. 80% of your final mark will be determined by the standard of your practical course work. We will set course work at the start of each part of the course. You will need to submit this at the end of the part and we aim to mark and feedback within 6-weeks. Closely tracking your progress throughout the course will enable us to continually support your development.

software-manufacturers-logos

Avid Pro Tools Training Included

Pro Tools is the industry standard application for recording, sequencing, editing and mixing audio. It can be found in nearly all of the major music and post production studios around the globe. The chances are that the majority of music and film sound you listen to has passed through a Pro Tools system at some point. Avid’s Pro Tools 101 , 110 and 201 modules are included in the Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma course. For an additional cost, students have the option to integrate the 210M/P (Music & Post Operator Certifications). These additional modules run concurrent to the later stages of the Diploma course and if you pass the online 210 exam you will be a “Certified Pro Tools Operator”. This industry certification could help you to secure your first job upon completion of the course.

If you wish to study up to Expert level (310) you can take these additional modules as a short course after the Diploma program and receive a 30% – 50% discount (class size dependent)
avid.com/training

Apple Logic Pro X 101 Course & Exam Included

Alchemea is one of Europe’s premier Apple Authorised Training Centres. The Logic 101 (Level 1) course, accompanying book and DVD are included in the Studio Sound Diploma.

One of the main aims of this course is to prepare students for  Apple’s Certified Pro examinations. These industry‐recognised qualifications are a useful addition to your CV demonstrating that you are a confident and knowledgeable Logic Pro X professional user. The pass mark is 80% and if you pass you become an “Apple Certified Pro” (Level 1). You will also receive a nice certificate from Apple. We include one attempt at this exam with your course.
training.apple.com

Ableton Live & Reason
Alchemea is an Ableton Certified Training Centre. We look at Ableton Live in this course and also include training on Propellerheads Reason. Both are excellent stand along music creation programmes in their own right however they can also be re-wired into other DAW’s like Pro Tools and Logic.

NCFE Level 4 validatedNCFE Logo

Alchemea’s Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering has been independently validated by the Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE) at level 4 against the Qualification and Credit Framework. While it is possible to progress your education after this course, our main aim is to give you the skills and confidence to enter straight into the workplace.

 

Beyond the academic and theoretical side of the course, we must stress that this course is not only intensive but very practically orientated. Upon completion you will have accomplished practical tasks that mirror those in “real world” working environments.

 

www.ncfe.org.uk

 

Course Grading

A 4 point grading scale is used - Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction. Alchemea College refers exclusively to industry standards (see Employer Involvement) as the benchmark for Pass/Merit/Distinction.

 

Below 50% - Fail.

 

Above 50% - Pass. This means a student has repeatedly shown to be aware of broad theoretical concepts, technically capable in simple situations and able to follow a brief even under time restrictions.

 

Above 60% - Pass with Merit. This means a student has repeatedly shown to be knowledgeable, technically capable in a variety of situations and able to be creative while following a brief, even under time restrictions.

 

Above 70% - Pass with Distinction. This means a student has repeatedly shown to be very knowledgeable, technically proficient in a variety of situations and able to show creative flair while following a brief, even under time restrictions.

 

By ensuring that the course directly meets the requirements of employers, the course meets National Occupational Standards, as laid out by Creative and Cultural Skills, the Sector Skills Agency responsible for music.

 

 

 
Christian Huant College Principal
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Neil Pickles Director of Short Courses
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Jon Olliffe Head of Studio Sound
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Alex Burak Tech Manager & Lecturer
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Jim Bryden Operations Manager
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Thom Ntinas Studio Sound Course Co-odinator & Lecturer
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Marcello Ruggiu Ableton Certified Trainer
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Daniel Jaramello G. Avid Pro Tools Music Expert Instructor
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Marcel Van Limbeek Freelance Live & Studio Sound Tutor
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Justin Fraser Avid Certified Instructor (Post / ICON)
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Tony English Freelance Audio Tutor & Studio Designer
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Haydn Bendall Freelance Lecturer & Abbey Road Engineer
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Richard Bignell Avid Certified Pro Tools Instructor
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Rebecca Duncan Studio Sound Tutor
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Nick Bridge-Butler Freelance Audio Tutor
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Mat McKinley Music Theory & Composition
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Oscar Pablos Salazar Ableton Live Trainer
View my profile
 

Apple Technology Lab (Classroom 2)


See more of this facility

Soundcraft Control Room


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SSL G Series Control Room


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SSL Duality Control Room


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Synth Programming Room


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The enrolment process for students applying for Tier-4 student visa's is an involved and time consuming process. Alchemea employ a dedicated staff member to help administer this process. To maintain our status as a Highly Trusted Sponsor we also have to undergo rigorous yearly inspections by the British government and by our validation body NCFE. This not only carries inspection fees, but we also have to pay numerous yearly subscriptions. For these reasons international students are required to pay a £670 application fee (IAF). This is in addition to the standard £500 course registration fee. If a visa application is unsuccessful - and we are at fault, we will refund the IAF and course deposit in full. Or we will issue you with a new CAS and guide you through the application process again for no additional charge. We are however very thorough in our checks and have a very high application success rate (nearly 100%). We will not issue a CAS until we are confident that your visa application will be accepted.
Alchemea's full time programmes are very intensive. For this reason we recommend that student's do not undertake too much additional work to support their studies. It is therefore important that you have sufficient funds to get you through the course. If you do have to work then we advice that this is not more than one day of the weekend and possibly a night or two in the week. NOTE - visa student's are unable to work in the UK. If you hold a Tier-4 (General) visa you will be allowed to undertake unpaid work experience.
Alchemea closes for 2-weeks at the end of June and over Christmas. During this time full time students are free to take holiday. Short courses and events will still run during the summer break. Students will work on most public holidays. Our Diploma courses are intensive and you will be allocated practical sessions over some weekends. If you have a commitment, and assuming you give us plenty of notice, we will avoid booking your session on the weekend.
Tier-4 (General) student visa. Because our Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering course is over 6-months in duration you will need to apply for a Tier-4 (General) student visa. Once you have satisfied the application requirements for this course we will issue you with a CAS which will allow you to apply for your visa. Please visit our "International Students" page for more information.
This venue for this course it at our Windsor Centre facility in Islington.

Alchemea, The Windsor Centre, Windsor Street, London, N1 8QG
Click here for a map
 
Things went really well for me after Alchemea! I've worked for Phil Manzanera, and Javier Weyler (ex Stereophonics drummer), then I went back to Montevideo, Uruguay where I started working as head engineer at the best studio in the country! Now I have recorded pretty much every successful musician around. Horacio Bolz (Uruguay), Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma - 2012

A lot of things have happened (for the better) in my life and I have to say that my passing through Alchemea has a lot to do with it. I now live in Bergen, Norway with my girlfriend (as was planned) and I’m building my little home studio and writing music for an upcoming new album aaaaand....I got a FANTASTIC JOB as a live sound engineer at a place called PAP (PA Produksjoner) Bergen....and that makes me a genuinely happy guy.

The training Alchemea is giving is FANTASTIC!!! I can’t be more GRATEFUL to Alchemea because I probably wouldn’t be here doing what I do, having the life I have and working in what I work (confidently!!!) if it wasn’t for the time I spent there; all the knowledge, professionalism, ethics and values I learn from everyone at Alchemea gave me the right bases to start a career as a professional...WOW!!

 

People don’t question what you know when they see your passionate about what you do and when they see you know what you’re doing. I’m SOOOOOOOOO lucky I got to learn from the best and I’m so glad I did these course with the enthusiasm I did, INSPIRED by the real, true passion that everyone there has for audio and for true professionalism...it’s contagious!!!

 

Thank you once again, although a simple thank you can’t really express my gratitude and love!!! I have to say those times have been one of my happiest in life!

Sebastian Acosta, Studio Sound & Music Production Diploma (2011/12)
After researching for Sound Engineering Courses in London I came across Alchemea’s website and felt it was undoubtedly the best place to study. I was also attracted to the fact they were the Europe’s leading Pro Tools Training Centre (Avid Pro School) and my training would be delivered by leading industry professionals.

I therefore signed up to take the “Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering” integrating the Pro Tools music, post and ICON certification modules. The course was very intensive and required a great deal of hard work, commitment and time, but it was definitely worth the effort. Getting my hands on amazing equipment, learning from experienced professionals and making new friends from many cultural backgrounds were among my best experiences at the college.

Once I finished all the courses in Dec 2010, I decided to take my Pro Tools knowledge to the highest level by signing up for the 310M & 310P (Expert) modules. It was incredibly tough but I passed and am very grateful for I received in helping me to succeed and achieve my goals.

Overall, I would strongly recommend Alchemea and would like to say a big thank you the staff for giving me the real world knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in pro-audio. The experience will be cherished for the rest of my life. Vinit Gala: India , 2010/11
I'm DONE. What an amazing 9 months on Alchemea's Studio Sound Diploma course. Huge shout out to all Alchemea staff for making it so great. Met so many wonderful people. Feeling very lucky to have been a part of this school! Simon D Pratt, SSD 2012
Had such a great last 9 months on the Studio Sound Diploma, learnt loads of awesome things, got to play with some amazing tools, was taught by fabulous lecturers & met some fantastic people. It's been an absolute pleasure! Joe Standen, SSD 2012
"Alchemea College is the perfect place to learn everything from recording, to mixing and mastering, as well as Post Production. Of course it requires a lot of effort, committement and time, but it's definetely worth it. The skills i gained at the college were crucial for me to find work after the course completition, especially the Pro Tools lectures. The Software is well taught by industry professionals and is present in every workstation and computer in the college, and this makes the learning process much easier." Paulo G, Studio Sound Diploma 2009
Great course, awesome lecturers, anyone who has any interest in recording or live sound should check it out! I was a total novice coming into this, not even half way through and have already learned so much - Alchemea = awesome!!! Russell Nie, Studio Sound Diploma: 2010

Alchemea Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering & Music Production has 4 enrolments per year. Each intake is restricted to 20 students and this is split into 2 classes of 10. This means that this courses can fill up well in advance of the start date, epsecially for the January and September intakes. If a course is full you may like to put your name on the waiting list. as sometimes space become available as a result of deferrals. Below are the course dates and availability for our next few enrolments.


Course Date
Course Code
Notes
 
From: 29 September 2014
To: 21 June 2015
2014.4SSD
8 Places Left
 
From: 05 January 2015
To: 27 September 2015
2015.1SSD
16 Places Left
 
From: 30 March 2015
To: 20 December 2015
2015.2SSD
17 Places Left
 
From: 06 July 2015
To: 27 March 2016
2015.3SSD
19 Places Left
 
From: 28 September 2015
To: 19 June 2016
2015.4SSD
20 Places Left