Discovering dBs #3 – ​​What it’s like to study the Electronic Music Production course at dBs Plymouth

dBs Institute are our sister Degree provider, offering courses in music and games in Bristol, Manchester and Plymouth. They’ve got years of experience in teaching creative degrees, incredible campuses filled with the latest and greatest technology, and they’re an all round great bunch of people that are ready and waiting to support you to achieve your creative dreams.

To show you a little bit more about them, we’ve launched a new blog series called ‘Discovering dBs’, focusing on their Plymouth campus. The first two pieces of the series are ‘Do you dream of a job in music?’, and ‘dBs Plymouth alumni explain why dBs’ Music Production courses are the best’.

In Part 3 of the series, we discover what it’s like to study Electronic Music Production at dBs Plymouth. Read on to find out more!

Want to learn how to become an electronic music producer, DJ or performer in state-of-the-art studios? Find out what it’s like to study our world-class BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production degree from two dBs Plymouth students!


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DJ Equipment

The BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production degree course at dBs Institute’s Plymouth Campus has produced graduates who have gone on to tour the world, build modular synth gear, run nightclubs and start their own music software companies – and that’s just a few! 

It’s an incredibly versatile course, taught by lecturers who have all been there and done it and the student and staff community is tight-knit, creative and collaborative.

To give you a sense of what it’s like to study music production at dBs Plymouth, we spoke to two current students who are making music outside of their studies and performed at the 2023 end-of-year showcase at Strobe nightclub.


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How would you describe your experience at dBs Plymouth as an Electronic Music Production student?

CR: Fun, vibrant, interesting and experimental. Far from stressful. It’s been a great experience!

FC: For myself, it’s perfect. Small class sizes, an abundance of support, fantastic tutors, support staff and a thriving music scene locally. I started on the A2HE DJ & Electronic Music Diploma after being out of education since leaving sixth form and have been welcomed warmly. I’m making solid connections in the industry and am making money from DJing all since starting at dBs!


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Would you say that dBs Plymouth feels like a close-knit, collaborative community?

CR: Yes it does! It’s awesome and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to get into music. Class sizes are small, which has made the experience better. It’s more personal and more comfortable.

FC: It certainly does. It’s more of a family. Everyone is happy to help each other whenever possible. I like the small class sizes as we get more studio time and 1 to 1 time with the tutors. It has certainly improved my learning experience.


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How close would you say you are to the other students on the course and what’s it like being able to make music alongside your peers?

CR: I’m very close to some of the other students and have built lots of relationships, some which I think could last a very long time!

FC: Like most students, we’re all closer to particular peers, some close enough to offer support outside of university and meet up socially. I click with peers who are a similar age. 


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Matt Ward DJing at Strobe

How close are you to the tutors, like Matt Ward the course leader?

CR: I would say I’m quite close with them! I see them more as acquaintances and great people rather than teachers. They are professionals in their craft and I admire their previous successes. Having that connection is great.

FC: All the tutors are incredibly welcoming and have a wealth of experience and knowledge in their field. I’ve known Matt since secondary school so I am close enough to feel comfortable to ask any questions I may have, similar to all the other tutors I’ve had. It’s made dBs an incredibly comfortable environment to be in. I don’t feel like I’m going to university in a way, more like a job with good friends all around where I get to learn.


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Connor Reed Djing at Strobe, Plymouth

At the end of last year, you and a few of your coursemates put on a night at Strobe in Plymouth. Tell me a bit about that – what was it like organising and playing at the event?

Connor Reed: It was fun! It had a relatively decent turnout. Me and another student organise nights outside of uni so it was fun to get involved in this too.

Frederick Couzens: The event was a great success and a great learning experience overall. This was my first time playing in a club environment on a CDJ setup, so it was a little daunting at first, however, after stepping up and getting the first mix out of the way, it was all seamless from there on. I had booked a session at a studio the day of the show to get hands-on practice on the CDJs and felt much more comfortable performing afterwards. Also, I think it’s incredible to see Strobe run by a former student of dBs!


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What was it like performing with all of your classmates and course leader?

CR: It’s always a blast with that lot. They are all brilliant chaps.

FC: The opportunity to perform with classmates and our tutor was fantastic. It was a great insight to see our tutor in a professional environment showcasing their experience and skills.


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Connor Reed Performing at Strobe, Plymouth

What were some of the highlights from the whole experience?

CR: Meeting MCDJ Ribbz was a highlight and working on the door there were some pretty hilarious sights to see!

FC: Seeing the initial setup of the evening was a good lesson and watching our classmates perform.


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What are you up to now in terms of producing and playing in Plymouth?

CR: All sorts. I wouldn’t even know where to begin! Check the dBs blog and see the post on White Hill Crew for more info on our recent feature with Devlin. I’ve been DJing all over the place as well as setting up nights with more gigs coming up.

FC: I’m always making music, specifically house. I’m slowly accruing music to release monthly. DJing is slow through the winter months, however, when summer hits I have a good number of gigs and it’s growing every year. My goal this year is to perform at a festival.


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dBs Student Mixing

How has studying Electronic Music Production at dBs helped you as an artist?

CR: It’s been hugely important. It made me 10x the producer, rapper and engineer.

FC: It opened my eyes to all the avenues of audio engineering. I came to dBs wanting to just make music, now I’ve gained skills in production, mixing, mastering, performing/DJing, sound design and research. Fundamentally I am much more confident as an artist. 


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What are you hoping to move on to in the future?

CR: Bigger and better streaming, audiences and attention. I plan to expand my brand as much as possible.

FC: Ideally I want to find full-time employment in a studio of some sort – a recording studio, mastering house or work for a broadcast company.  


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Anything else you want to mention about your music? Feel free to plug a release coming up!

CR: Check out Plymouth’s best rap duo White Hill Crew.

FC: Here’s a track I did for my Hardware Production module, I need to change the vocals as they were sampled. 

Learn more about our Access to HE Diplomas, Undergraduate degrees or another one of our Music Production Courses or visit us at a dBs Plymouth Open Day!

Last updated on: 18th June 2024