Anyone here know anything about DBS? (the music school)

Discussion in 'Production' started by IFTN, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. IFTN

    IFTN Active Member

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    As title says, has anyone attended or know anyone who's attended DBS? They have schools in Bristol, Cornwall and Plymouth and offer diplomas and BAs in things like Sound Engineering and Music Production. A new branch is opening in Berlin this September and I'm thinking of doing the bachelors in "DJing and Electronic Music Production" but was just wondering if anyone had any experience with the schools?
     
  2. terratactics

    terratactics Member

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    Yeah, I'm currently studying the HNC in DJing and Electronic Music Production at dBs in Cornwall. What did you wanna know? :)
     
  3. IFTN

    IFTN Active Member

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    well, what it's like! are you happy with the sort of thing that is being taught in the course? is it all relevant to the current music industry? (i've heard that some music schools are too "academic" and teach you about archaic practices or irrelevant equipment etc).

    what education did you already have before going to dbs, and does it feel like a continuation from that or is it a step up/step down?

    what's the atmosphere like? both students and teachers? are people there generally eager to learn and take the course seriously?
     
  4. StrifeII

    StrifeII Member

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    although it's a different school, I studied for a HND in music technology and production. one more year would have been a degree. i learned more in a week from a live engineer than I did in 4 years there...the model of going from teaboy/mailroom assistant to record label superproducer doesn't exist like it used to, so you need to find a way in. it is possible, it's just not set in stone like it used to be.

    if you were to spend money on musical education, i'd certainly suggest some studio days with engineers and get to know the people in the right places. a lot of professional dnb producers run studio days. I'm not saying your course will be a waste of time, it could be 20x better than the one I did - but imo, qualifications mean fuck all in the music industry anyway so don't worry about how it looks on paper, and that time and £4000 I spent could have gone to much more worthwhile places...where would you rather learn about DJing from - a textbook or a professional dj? and when you're good enough, everybody you've done studio work with will listen to your music, support it, get you a foot in the door with promoters, etc. it's really hard to get from CD demo/bedroom DJ stage to playing out and having tracks signed, but once you're established, you'll struggle much, much less.

    but if they have industry connections, really good suites, and suit you perfectly, there's no reason not to. i don't really have the answer, just hope this personal experience hopes you make up your mind!
     
  5. terratactics

    terratactics Member

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    Well, the HNC DJing and Electronic Music Production is a brand new course and we're sort of guinea pigs to the whole thing. It's really good, but you can sort of tell they're still working things out a bit... So far we've covered Structure and Composition, Recording and Mixing down live bands in a studio, Mastering, Event Management, The Science of Sound and Analysis of a Genre. There are a few things that seem irrelevant to electronic music production and there is a lot of essay writing, but I think they have certain criteria to cover as a higher education course, and I suppose some of it allows us to keep our options open for other directions we could take in the music industry. They've put a lot of money into getting some really good hi-end equipment and acoustic treatment, and the tutors are really good - most of them are involved within the music industry (My tutor last year was this guy - https://soundcloud.com/defazed)

    Before this, I was doing the same course, but at a BTEC level, it was the opening year for Cornwall dBs, so once again we were kind of guinea pigs... It's a 2 year course, but me and a few others had already had a fair bit of experience with music production before doing the course, so we got moved up to the higher degree instead of going onto the 2nd year. The BTEC's obviously not as intense as the HNC and it literally starts off you off from the basics of EDM production, but I definitely learnt a lot from it. Another thing with the BTEC is that there are actual modules on DJing and developing your performance skills, whereas the HNC doesn't actually cover DJing, it's all based around production.

    But yeah, it's a really good music college, the atmosphere's wicked and I've met a lot of sound people there. You get the odd person who doesn't take it seriously, but most of the people on our course are really dedicated to it! Wish I could do it in Berlin to be honest, the music scene's a lot better over there than it is in Cornwall!
     
  6. IFTN

    IFTN Active Member

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    cheers for the input! these are things i've already considered greatly. i'm not doing it for the degree on paper though, obviously i don't expect to turn up at a club and be like "look i have a degree in DJing, book me!". i already play out and i'm working on my producing quite a lot at the moment and i'm improving massively without any school or tuition (other than free material online). my main motivation for studying would really be to formally learn the nitty gritty of the things i've either figured out on my own or had explained briefly by a friend/online tutorial/whatever. the idea of really understanding all the techniques etc i put in to practice really appeals to me, as opposed to knowing what sounds good but not really knowing why. BUT at the same time i want to learn in an environment that feels like it's actually relevant to the music industry, i.e. gaining knowledge i will actually be able to use as opposed to just things that are interested.

    the studio days with engineers/producers that you mentioned sound really interesting though, i've never heard of that sort of thing. what does that involve and how would you go about doing something like that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    great, really useful info thanks. i'm not actually sure what a HNC is, the Berlin one doesn't offer that - the choice here is either a 1 year diploma or 3 year BA. i'm guessing the HNC is equivalent to the latter though?

    and how much of the stuff you do is things like essay writing? because i understand that it's neccessary to do that to come away with a HE qualification but by the time i start studying at DBS (if i do) then i'll already have a BsC in Maths from a good UK uni so i really wouldn't be doing the course for the actual qualification!
     
  7. terratactics

    terratactics Member

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    HNC is a level 4 university qualification and then the 2nd year would be an HND, which is level 5 - I'm not really sure how that relates to the education system in Berlin, but it's just basically a university course, so I guess it's the equivalent of a BA. We also have the choice of doing a 3rd year, although I'm not too clued up on that!

    There's usually an essay with each module, or some kind of written evaluation of our work, which really sucks, but I think it's the case with all higher education courses, as there has to be a balance of practical and written work. To be honest, I couldn't give a shit about the qualifications at the end of it, as they don't really count for much in the music industry, as long as I'm learning that's all that matters. The great thing about dBs is that the courses are very focused on specific areas of the music industry unlike a lot of other music courses, so each course is tailored to suit the learning needs of the subject you choose, instead of covering areas of music that irrelevant to what you're interested in.
     
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  8. StrifeII

    StrifeII Member

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    ah no, i understand that - hahah. i'm talking more if you were to take an industry approach - work at a major label, help to run large events, etc - don't rely on a degree then because experience heavily outweighs it. i realise it's completely irrelevant to djing etc XD

    i've seen them posted plenty of times before by producers around facebook etc, Harvest runs his own studio and tutors out of that down the road from me. it might be worth finding somebody local enough to travel to who has decent kit, good producing/engineering skills, label connections etc and ask if you can have some studio time with them - i'm sure there's plenty that would say yes that don't advertise it formally. the advantage there is connections, a professionally produced track, lots of hands on learning, and it's entirely likely that the music you write will be put out too. Same goes for DJ's - ask if they can tutor you, and I'm sure somebody who DJ's out regularly would help get you to the right places. that's why I like these kinds of things - the things you learn are useful because they're being useful as you learn them.

    i'm glad to hear terratactics has had a good experience there - and there's nothing wrong with the cornwall music scene, providing you like the wurzels and chas and dave. :D
     
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