Great Scott! Music wizard visits Edinburgh College

Posted on 10/05/2014 by

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A top music engineer who worked with David Bowie, The Beatles and Pink Floyd to create some of the most iconic albums of all time visited Edinburgh College on Thursday to share his sound desk secrets with students.

Ken Scott, who produced Bowie albums including The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and engineered The Beatles’ The White Album, visited the college to pass on some of his skills to HND Sound Production students.

Ken gave a talk about his incredible 50-year career and answered questions from students before conducting a stdio workshop to demonstrate how he mixed some of his classic tracks, using the college’s state-of-the-art equipment in the CRE:8 studio.

Ken was one of only five engineers to record The Beatles over their entire career, initially working with them as part of his first engineering job on the Liverpudlian beat wizards’ A Hard Day’s Night album. Since then, he has worked with Pink Floyd, Elton John, Duran Duran, Supertramp, Jeff Beck, Devo, Lou Reed and many more, and is still recording music.

In 2012, he released a memoir, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Off  The Record with The Beatles, Elton & So Much More, which was crammed full of stories about his time working with some of the most legendary figures in music.

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Jon Buglass, head of the Centre for Creative Industries at Edinburgh College, said: “Ken has been an integral part in creating some of the most groundbreaking and revered music of the last 50 years and it’s a privilege to have him here. Our students were delighted to get the chance to hear his trade secrets and learn from someone who really has seen and done it all.

“Sound engineers are crucial in allowing artists to achieve their vision in the studio and the likes of Bowie, Pink Floyd and all these other massive stars Ken’s worked with couldn’t have expressed themselves so fully if he hadn’t been in charge of the mixing desk.

“It’s a tricky job as you have to juggle the artists’ ambitions for their music, which can be pretty demanding, with the practicalities of actually getting it all to sound coherent. Ken is obviously a master of the technical side as well as the art of working with musicians so he’s a genuinely inspirational figure and the students learned a massive amount from him. It’s no exaggeration to call him a legend in the field.”

Ken said: “I was lucky enough to be a part of what I consider to be the best training ever, thanks to what is now known as Abbey Road Studios. If I can pass along one iota of what I learned then and subsequently throughout my career, I must try to do it. I cannot explain the feeling I get when a student approaches me after one of my talks to thank me for showing the passion and understanding for all they are going through and will continue to go through during their entire career.”

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