We’ve brought together a selection of the music industry’s leading producers, engineers and musicians to create an exciting and unique 4-day masterclass. The team is led by engineer/producer/mixer supremo, Sylvia Massy, whose credits include Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash to name just a few.
Producer, Engineer, Mixer
Sylvia Massy has been producing, engineering and mixing popular music for decades. She’s renowned for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash and Prince. Having received over 25 gold and platinum records including awards for her work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sevendust and Tom Petty, Sylvia is highly respected for her work.
She’s also an accomplished fine artist, a published columnist, in-demand educator and relentless entrepreneur. Hugely passionate about all things audio, she is an avid collector of microphones and is thought to have the world’s largest collection of vintage microphones. Her visits to Abbey Road, alongside masterclasses with our students, have included documenting the microphones owned by the studio for a new book.
Sylvia has delivered some of our most avant-garde workshops to date, including experimentation with filtering sound through mini Babybel cheese, pickles and a lamp.. you can find out more about Sylvia’s creative studio techniques on our blog.
Mastering Engineer at Abbey Road
Oli Morgan has always had music as a focal point in his life, writing and recording from a young age, going on to study creative music technology at university and music production thereafter. His mastering career began when he was appointed as the first full-time addition to the team at Fluid Mastering, which allowed him to develop his craft across projects for the likes of Blossoms, Gregory Porter, Princess Nokia, Seal and Englebert Humperdink.
While at Fluid, Oli found that the quick turnaround of stereo mastering didn’t allow him to fully enter the world created by a song. As he continued to produce and mix tracks for himself and others, he started to combine this with his formal mastering training and explore the world of stem mastering – a specialist process that allows greater control over the sonic balance of a track. At a personal level, stem mastering allowed Oli to get a deeper understanding of a song and really get to know the artist. Since beginning to offer the service, Oli has found his home in post-production and worked on releases as varied as black metal pioneers Venom’s latest offering to the introductory release of pop artist Alexina.
In his role at Abbey Road, Oli combines traditional mastering with expertise in stem mastering. With stem mastering, Oli is not only able to shape the overall tonal balance of a track, but he can go even deeper into each component part to help achieve an even better result. On his days away from Abbey Road, Oli enjoys writing and producing material for himself and with other artists.
Microphone Technical Specialist
50 years ago, Lester Smith joined EMI and became an integral part of the Abbey Road Story. From Paul McCartney and Roy Orbison to Alexander Desplat and John Williams, over his 48 years working within the studio, Lester has befriended a huge number of iconic artists and, as many will agree, has become a legend in his own right. Since the early 70’s he has been the custodian of Abbey Road’s microphone collection, the largest collection of its kind in the world, and his knowledge and warmth have become an essential part of the Abbey Road experience to staff and artists alike.
Watch Lester talk about some of his fondest memories of Abbey Road Studios and why his interest in the technology used within its walls has never faded.
Fiachra Mac Oireachtai is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Born into a big musical family, Fiachra began his journey picking out nursery rhymes on the piano at the age of 3. He spent his childhood playing predominantly classical music as a pianist & violinist and touring with The Dublin Youth Orchestra while simultaneously immersing himself in his parents’ Beatles, Nina Simone & Steely Dan records.
When Fiachra entered secondary school, his musical perspective was blown wide open as he discovered what was happening in the world of experimental and alternative heavy rock. Drawing influence from bands such as Mr. Bungle, Deftones and System Of A Down, Fiachra took up the drums and started his own band with his school mates. He would continue to write, record and play live with various bands throughout his teen years around Dublin’s thriving alternative rock scene. It was also at this point in his life when Fiachra discovered his passion for recording and producing other artists, acquiring a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder for his 13th birthday.
Fiachra then moved to Manchester to study Popular Music & Recording at Salford University. Here, he took advantage of being surrounded by an abundance of talented musicians to start road-testing his new 9-piece project Fjokra. This project incorporated almost every musical influence that Fiachra had picked up along the way from his classical roots to his love for Hip Hop, to his admiration for boundary-pushing pop artists like Prince, Queen, Bjork & Beck. Fiachra also discovered a newfound respect for electronic music due to Manchester’s thriving electronic scene, experiencing artists like Aphex Twin & Squarepusher live at warehouse parties.
After graduating from University and receiving a First Class Honors Degree, Fiachra moved to London where he endeavored to take things further with Fjokra. Touring extensively around the UK & Europe and supporting acts such as Adam Ant, his music landed opportunities for him to collaborate with people such as John Taylor & Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Mick Jones of The Clash and Tyondai Braxton of Battles.
Fiachra’s versatility enabled him to team up with jazz & blues singer and Portobello Road native Annie Bea. Together they traveled the world playing for high-end events as a piano and voice duo, enjoying a 5-year annual residency in New Orleans and playing for the likes of Ennio Morriocone as well as the Oscars afterparties in the Hollywood Hills.
Currently, Fiachra is working as a producer for various artists & as a composer for television & film while he is putting the finishing touches on his debut album for a brand new solo project set for release in 2024.
Fiachra was the recorded artist for the Song Production Masterclass with Sylvia Massy.
An inspiring and incredibly well designed course that gave me the best musical education I could have dreamt of. Life-altering.
The curriculum is fantastic, extremely comprehensive, contemporary and relevant to today’s industry.
This course has helped to develop me into a well rounded producer, engineer, and musician. It has helped open doors to career opportunities that I would otherwise not have had access to. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the fantastic team, course, and resources available at Abbey Road Institute London!
The course taught me what it means to be a producer and engineer in the industry, I learned things I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.
Abbey Road Institute trains you to deliver high quality work that matches industry standards.
I had an incredible experience. The staff have so much to offer and cover so many different areas of music.
The Abbey Road Institute helped me to unlock my musical potential.
Applying for the diploma was the best thing I could have done for my career. I'm really amazed at how much I learnt in one year.
There is some real visionary foresight in Abbey Road Institute being established to preserve the cultural legacy of Abbey Road.
It’s a unique experience in so many ways, the location, the calibre of guest lecturers and access to Abbey Road Studios for classes is pretty amazing. There aren't many places you get to record a full orchestra!
Come with an open mind and a voracious appetite to soak up the magic! Be prepared to work hard - you’ll get out what you put in.