Friday, 28 January 2011

My life in Middlesbrough

I'm going to be doing something a little different from time to time on here, I'm going to be talking about my life at uni, what we're covering, what I think about it, and generally just including a bit more about myself in these posts. Apart from anything else, it gives me something to post when I'm unable to do tutorials and demos and stuff.

I may have mentioned I'm currently studying at Teesside University towards my B.Sc in Music Technology. The course is based at Middlesbrough College, so it's not exactly campus life, but we have a good little community there of musicians, DJs, sound engineers and general boffins who all bring something different to the course.

We use Pro Tools HD on mac pro systems in the studios, and we have two PC music labs and a mac music lab, each running Pro Tools LE 8. We usually have 3-6 hours of Pro Tools a week, with the option to use the labs when there aren't classes being taught. I used to be a Cubase user, but I bought myself a copy of PT9 just before Christmas and I've made the switch – simply because it's a stable, easy to use system that I can do pretty much anything I want to on (and plus I've had enough practice with it now to get good results).

Middlesbrough isn't such a bad place to live, but it feels a little isolated from the rest of the North East. It's about 90 minutes from Newcastle and an hour from Durham, so it takes a while to get anywhere. It's a very post-industrial sort of town, lots of wasteland and joblessness, but it has some nicer parts, like the park near where I live. The Uni brings money to the town, and there has been some investment to try to build the place up to be more than just another Northern town that had its heart ripped out by the loss of its industries. I don't see much of the town at the moment – mainly because I'm swamped with work – but when I first got here I did some exploring, and I found a few places to eat and hang out.

Down by the riverside, next to my college
It's only January, but I already feel like this winter has gone on long enough. We had deep snow as early as November, and since then it's been dropping down below freezing most nights. I've been going back to Durham as often as I can, because when you're stuck in a student hall on your own it can get pretty bleak. I live with very messy people, four of which are Chinese and don't speak much English, so I try to spend as much time as I can away from here, either with friends or back home with my grandparents in Durham. The one saving grace about this house is that I can fit in my piano, which I'll come to in another blog.

Parts of this blog might seem a little melancholy, but I'm happy at uni and I'm happy with the work I do outside uni, I want that made clear. Sure, it's been hard being away from my family, and breaking my foot in November certainly didn't help things, but on the whole I'm positive about living and studying here. Besides, spring will soon be here…god I hope it's not late.


Happy new year everyone, I hope you have a great 2011. Stay safe and keep listening to music.


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