Working in a studio can be one of the most rewarding jobs in music, as you work closely with artists and help to turn their ideas into a brilliant record.
That feeling is one that Chris Jackson knows too well, as an engineer at the Central Coast’s iconic Grove Studios, and an instructor at The Grove Studios Academy, teaching a new generation of producers and engineers who’ll help shape the future of Australia’s music scene.
“The industry is broad and constantly changing,” he says. “Music is also never going to go away, no matter how much the world changes. Music will evolve, but it will never stop.”
Music is also never going to go away, no matter how much the world changes
It’s a message he has for anyone considering a career in audio production, with his own having seen him work with local and international acts, and reaching further into other avenues like film and television.
He couldn’t have asked for a better job, and it’s one that plenty of music lovers have thought about at least once. But what sort of person should make the leap into a studio career?
“Anyone who is creative and passionate,” Chris tells us. “Anyone who has an interest in the music industry, and loves how layers of sound come together to create music.”
Originally owned by INXS, the Grove Studios have hosted countless big name acts over the years
But, while passion and creativity are the key, a job behind the mixing desk comes with its challenges like any other, and needs the right set of skills to solve them – namely “patience, good ears and common sense.”
“The production of songs takes time,” Chris insists, “and one of the biggest requirements for production is problem solving, either creatively or analytically.”
These are the skills that Chris will be helping to instill in a small class of aspiring studio experts as he and an ARIA-winning team of local pros launch the Grove Studios Academy’s new course, offering the opportunity to qualify with a full diploma while learning skills in a fully-operational studio setting.
The production of songs takes time, and one of the biggest requirements for production is problem solving
It’s not just any studio either; situated on the Central Coast, it was originally owned by the legendary INXS and built a long and impressive legacy before its acquisition by engineer/producer Scott Horscroft.
When he isn’t indulging his passion for the recording studio (his credits include monster records from The Presets, Birds of Tokyo, Olympia and more), Scott also leads a double life as the General Manager of A&R at EMI, but imparting those decades of knowledge on up-and-coming producers is his new passion project.
The Grove Studios offer state of the art facilities to learn in, and a location just perfect for creativity
“The Grove Studios is one of Australia’s leading recording studios, housing some of the world’s largest producers and artists,” Chris says, his face lighting up. “To have an academy operating in a studio of such high calibre is very unique.
“We’re offering experiences and skills in a broad area of the industry, including music production, live sound, music business and sound to picture,” he adds. “We also offer our exclusive internship program to our students, so they can get first hand experience on how professional recording sessions run, and how an industry studio operates.”
To have an academy operating in a studio of such high calibre is very unique
The boutique school is opening up its doors to a select group of 16 students in its first year, giving them access to a full working recording studio with all of the high-end gear and experienced producers along with it – and a proper qualification at the end, a Diploma of Music Industry (Sound Production).
There are no prerequisites for this course, either – only the creativity and passion for sound that all great records. If it’s a career you could see yourself pursuing, you can head along to one of the studio’s upcoming open days to see the place for yourself – it might be your next step towards a career in music.