From Abbey Road Institute to Universal’s EMI Archives

Giulio Rusconi graduated last September from our Advanced Diploma, we catch up with him and find out what he’s been up to since then.

Hi Giulio, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Milan, Italy, where I lived until I started studying at Abbey Road Institute. My academic background is Energy Engineering. I have always pursued musical studies, playing guitar and sitar since I was little. In Milan, I had the chance to perform with bands quite active in the local music scene which allowed me to increase my love and appreciation for live performances. Meanwhile, going to the Studios to record as a musician I got fascinated with the amazing environment and all the gears around it. From that moment on wards, I dedicated my free time to deepen my knowledge on studios equipment, desks microphones and so forth.

What was your motivation for studying at Abbey Road Institute and what were you hoping to get out of the course?

I believe that in order to be a complete musician you have to be aware of both the technicalities related to performances and the technical engineering side of music.

I was ok with the musical side but I didn’t know anything about recording processes. Studying at the Institute was a huge opportunity for me because Abbey Road is such a holy place to me!

What was your experience like at Abbey Road Institute?

I came to the Institute with very little knowledge about sound engineering, I was mainly a musician. I was a bit scared at first because I thought that there would have been a lot of competition between the students. I’ve never been so wrong! Since the beginning our class became very close and we did help each other throughout the year. We all come from different backgrounds and different experiences, and it was amazing sharing them on a daily basis. Basically you never stop learning, in the mornings with the teachers and in the afternoon with your (class)mates !

I really loved all of it, from the lessons to the stress before the exams. I was there 7 days a week from 10 in the morning till closing time, and I wasn’t the only one who did that. I spent more time in the Institute than in my house. But in this field you never stop learning as someone said before me it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock’n roll.

Can you describe a highlight of your experience at Abbey Road Institute?

To me the real turning point of the year was when we were given access to the school studio. It was time to convert all of the information we gathered during classes and put them into action. I was one of the first students to have a real session there.

At the beginning things went wrong but in the end after a lot of struggling we had four songs ready to be mixed. It has been very difficult but I loved the challenge and I really learnt a lot from it.

I must say that the highlight of the year was when I played with other three classmates in Studio Two while the rest of the class was in the control room recording us. We played in the same room used to record “The Dark Side of The Moon”, I think that is one of the dreams of every music lover!

What’s your favourite thing about studying in London?

London is a very challenging city, very dynamic and always in a rush but I think that, together with Berlin, is the music capital of Europe and there’s no better place to start your experience in this world. There are gigs going on every time and everywhere, art exhibitions and free museums. It’s a city that offers much.

Do you think the course was valuable? What is it worth doing?

I learnt as much as I could in one year. Of course music production and sound engineering are two very wide topics, always evolving and changing fast. You have to keep up with everything that is going on around you. The course and the teachers can show you the way, but it is up to you really to be up to date.

What would you say are the 3 most important things you learnt at Abbey Road Institute?

During this year I learnt how to get away from my mind set and to receive ideas and suggestions from my classmates. Sharing your point of view is always worth it. We were all there to learn and we learnt a lot from each other, and we still are when we meet. A sense of community grew between us from the beginning, to the point that everyone was involved in everyone else projects. I found myself recording classical music, hip-hop and electronic, genres that I’ve never listened to before joining the course, but I do a lot now!

I discovered that the studio environment can get quite heavy, you have to cope with your stress and, more difficult, with the stress that every musician feels when recording their own songs. You have to make them feel relaxed, no matter how you feel! Deadlines are also part of the job, that’s why you always have to be organised.

What’s next for you? What are you doing now and what are your ambitions for the future?

I just started working for Smart Lab UK at Universal’s EMI Archive in Hayes. My role is “digital preservation engineer”, basically every day I receive master drives from mixing engineers and producers and I have to verify their content and preserve it. The best part of my job is that I have the chance to have a deep sense of how professionals work, studying their mixes and how they deal with different music genres. It is always worth it because you are constantly learning and discovering mixing technics that nobody can teach you and you are preserving recordings for future listeners!

Does this sound like the course for you?

Apply for our Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering. Our next intake is in September 2017.