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Explore the cutting-edge facilities at dBs Institute Featured Image
Sam WillisJul 9, 2024 12:15:31 PM7 min read

Explore the cutting-edge facilities at dBs Institute

Clearing is now open, and if you need a reason to choose dBs Institute for your creative industry degree this September, our incredible facilities are one of many. Find out why here.

At dBs Institute, we’re insanely proud of the cutting-edge facilities we’ve built over the 25 years we’ve provided degree-level training for the creative industries. From our beginnings in Plymouth to our expansion into Bristol and Manchester, we’ve developed facilities that are as good as any you’ll find elsewhere in the country.

Whether you’re joining us this September through Clearing to study one of our music production courses, game and digital technology courses, sound and audio courses or a postgraduate degree, our centres are brimming with spaces that have been modelled to match what you would expect in a professional environment, with access to some of the best gear available. 

Read on to learn more about the types of professional-grade facilities we have across our campuses.

Recording Studios & Live Rooms

The recording studios and live rooms at dBs Institute are the beating heart of our facilities. From the advanced flagship studios, like our Neve suites in Manchester and Plymouth and API 1608 studio in Bristol, to the recording studios where our first years cut their teeth, these spaces make dBs a unique place to study.

Across Bristol, Plymouth and Manchester, we have 17 dedicated recording studios and 6 live rooms packed full of industry-leading gear from the biggest manufacturers in the music industry including Solid State Logic, Trident and Audient.

Studio 3 Desk

Whether it’s post-production projects using the 5.1 PMC surround sound system in Bristol’s Studio 1, recreating the Amen Break with Clive Deamer or recording local Manchester outfit Cottons, our recording studios have provided the space for some incredible projects over the years and they remain a huge reason why so many of our students have loved studying here.

“If you’re a producer, I don’t think you can get better equipment than what’s available at dBs... For me, there’s honestly no other option if you’re going to go to university for something like music.” Montel Brown, BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering graduate

“A major advantage of the studio spaces is that you can become very familiar with a range of outboard equipment that most people don't have access to and, therefore, do not know how to set up and operate. In particular, it’s been great to be able to use mixing consoles such as the SSL Duality and API 1608 which are both amazing in terms of sound and flexibility. Having this alongside the degree makes the transition into bigger studios much easier and has assisted me in setting up and running a mixing and mastering business.” Benjamin Mercado, BA Music Production & Sound Engineering graduate

Production & DJ Suites

When you’re inspired and ready to make music, you don’t want to interrupt that flow with laborious set-up time or turn up only to find that you have the wrong cables. That’s why our production suites, packed full of synths, Eurorack gear, speakers and hardware effects, are pre-patched and ready to go as soon as you arrive. Our DJ suite, located at our Plymouth campus, features Technics turntables, Pioneer CDJs, classic Akai samplers and a range of hardware gear so, whatever your mixing style, you’ve got the tools to practice with.

Modular Grasso Student

The production suites in Bristol and Manchester and our dedicated DJ suite in Plymouth are a favourite amongst our BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production students and provide the perfect space to work on new ideas for future tunes or sharpen a mix before a set on the weekend. 

“To have the equipment and the facilities we've got here, it's really good. The stuff we have here is as good as it gets! To be able to learn on that, it's really, really amazing.” Alex Kearney, MA Innovation in Sound student

“The facilities at dBs are amazing. They’re world-class. I couldn’t really believe it when I came here for the first time.” Ed Gilpin, BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production student

Gaming Suites

The gaming industry is a fast-moving beast with constantly shifting best practices, software updates and new techniques to keep abreast of. To stay ahead of the curve, our BA (Hons) Game Art and BA (Hons) Game Development: Programming students require PC facilities that are high-spec, powerful and can handle huge amounts of data quickly. 

Game Dev Student

Our game suites in Bristol and Manchester are decked out with custom-built gaming PCs, all equipped with top-shelf graphics cards and CPU and enough RAM to work on projects that wouldn’t feel out of place at a professional game studio. It’s here where our first-year BA (Hons) Game Art students produced a stunning collaborative environment art project where they designed and delivered a deserted airport for a horror game.

Alongside high-end gaming Acer gaming PCs and laptops, our gaming spaces also include:

  • Motion capture suits
  • VR and AR headsets
  • Consoles to practice on
  • A dedicated art space for drawing
  • Graphics drawing tablets for each computer
  • Maya, Blender, Photoshop, Unreal Engine, Unity, ZBrush and all other relevant game-creation software pre-installed

“The facilities offered here are great, with high-end PCs and drawing tablets for anyone who needs them, as well as access to all the required software.” Kayleigh Perry, BA (Hons) Game Art student

Bristol Tour - 9

“The facilities are great. We have really high-quality equipment and a separate room specifically for live drawing. We can use the facilities outside our lectures too which is great for people who don't have the equipment at home.” Clara Uhlendorf, BA (Hons) Game Art student

Specialist Spaces

At dBs, we believe in the power of innovation and empowering our students to be as creative as possible. That’s why we have invested in facilities that break with tradition and allow our students to defy convention.

We have specialist spaces across all of our campuses, which include purpose-built venues for our BSc (Hons) Live Sound students, including the use of high-spec Manchester venue New Century, and a spatial audio room with an 8.1 speaker array that facilitates the creation of innovative sound art projects and audio-visual work, including MA Innovation in Sound graduate Theo Porter-Passingham’s immersive club experience and many of the projects that are exhibited at our annual Innovation in Sound showcase.

New Century Hall

The latest additions to our specialist spaces are our Dolby Atmos production and mixing suites, present at all three of our campuses. The sound in these suites has to be heard to be believed and they allow our students to work on post-production projects for films, immersive Atmos mixes of albums, singles and EPs and sound art exhibitions.

“I still can’t get my head around some of the stuff we have here, like the Dolby Atmos suite, which is really ahead of its time.” Lulu Thompson, BA (Hons) Music & Sound for Film & TV graduate

“dBs have really good, industry-standard facilities and equipment. It’s been really, really helpful to be able to use them to learn what the industry is actually going to be like.” Skye Walters, BSc (Hons) Live Sound graduate

Dolby Manchester copy

Lecture Theatres

Home to our famous guest lecture programme and annual Industry Week, our lecture theatres are where most of our students will engage with the theoretical side of their degrees. It’s also a presentation space, where MA Innovation in Sound students pitch their ideas for innovative projects, and where we invite music and game industry figures, like Gordon Raphael, Andrew Scheps, d3t and Nuclear Candy, to help our students. 

Students watching a lecture-3

“The guest lectures programme is great, especially during Industry & Enhancement week, which I thoroughly enjoyed.” Lulu Thompson, BA (Hons) Music & Sound for Film & TV graduate

“I think [Industry Week] it’s great. It’s from all facets of the industry; DJing, production, sound design and mixing. Anything that I’m interested in. Even stuff that I have an auxiliary interest in, like synth-building, I can explore that. There is everything for everyone.” Mark Muszynski, MA Electronic Music Production student

Gordon Raphael - Create a sound thumb

You could be learning in all of these spaces and more this September! Apply through Clearing today and choose dBs Institute.