How we use music history to prepare you for the future

When you read the words “Abbey Road Studios” what do you think of? The Beatles? Pink Floyd? Radiohead?

What about “the birthplace of modern music production?”

Abbey Road Institute’s curriculum is drawn directly from the studio’s long history of sound recording and technical innovation.

In fact, the studio itself is an innovation.

Abbey Road’s past

In the 1920’s a new revolution in recording technology was being introduced: ‘Electrical recording’ – recording utilising a combination of newly developed tube amplifiers, loudspeakers and microphones – began to replace the mechanical recording methods pioneered by Thomas Edison in the 1870s.

Emile Berliner’s The Gramophone Company (later to become EMI) saw how a brand new industry was forming. With the introduction of high-quality electrical recording would come a dramatic increase in demand for more music.

Back then, there was no such thing as a recording studio, so The Gramophone Company set out to build the world’s first.  On December 3rd 1929, they purchased, for the sum of £16,500, the freehold on a nine-bedroom Georgian house at 3 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, London.

A purpose built recording facility would allow greater control over every aspect of the process. Acoustics could be carefully controlled and recording equipment could stay in place. Most importantly, recording techniques could be developed and perfected.

The modern music production industry was born.

Your future career

Over the course of the next 87 years, Abbey Road’s engineers have captured countless magical performances inside Studios One, Two, and Three. Recently, the main studios have hosted recordings by Anderson Paak, Novelist, and Florence + The Machine.

From the world of cinema, the soundtracks to Black Panther, Baby Driver and The Shape of Water have all been recorded here (and many more).

Among the studio’s engineers, there is enough collected wisdom to write several books!

Luckily for us, the techniques and innovations that have developed at Abbey Road have been documented, preserved, and passed on to the studio’s current roster of engineers.

In developing our curriculum, we were in the unique position to pick their brains. What we learned during this process, and what you will learn when you study with us, is that it takes more than just skilful mic placement and great equipment to make great music.

How do you approach a recording session? What kind of conversations did you have with the artist? How do you coax a great performance out of a musician?

(For more insight into our curriculum, read this Sound on Sound interview with CEO Luca Barassi and Programme Director Carlos Lellis)

We’re happy to be able to share what’s worked so well in the past. We’re even happier to prepare our students for what’s to come in the future. Whether it’s through expert analysis of changes in the music industry, our close connection with Abbey Road Red, or simply seeing our alumni become producers in their own right, we’ve got our eyes set firmly on the future.

Not unlike The Gramophone Company did, back in 1929…

Were you born for music production? Then why not study where modern music production was born! Check out our Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering, or contact us for more information.