Melbourne Graduate: How to Make Gold from your SAE Education


1 Nov 2017




Melbourne Graduate: How to Make Gold from your SAE Education

1 Nov 2017

For musicians with ambition and vision, one excellent way to forge a bright path in the industry is to learn how to record and produce. Heavy metal musician Lewis Noke Edwards is a very recent graduate of SAE Melbourne’s  Bachelor of Audio and is now a musician and songwriter who can do it all as a recording engineer, mix engineer and producer-in-training.

Even before graduating, Lewis started working out of Goatsound Studios with Jason Fuller — a legend in the world of metal, as the bass player for the Melbourne band Blood Duster. The pair, along with Lincoln Byass (another SAE graduate at Goatsound), recently recorded a massive 28 bands in a single day, for a mixing project reinterpreting the iconic 1987 album, 'Scum' by Napalm Death. (For those in the metal world, this is a dream project!)

We caught up with Lewis recently, after he shared his insight on how to make the most of the SAE experience on his blog Raven’s Hall Recordings. The blog post caught lots of attention with wise advice like:

  • “It’s best to learn the rules before you break them, and SAE provides that opportunity.”
  • “Make the most of the people you’re introduced to, the lecturers are lecturers but they’re also engineers and producers and musicians.”
  • “Take what you learn at SAE in your stride, and treat it like part of your overall education.”

We encourage you to take a read of the blog post, which is beautifully realistic, balanced and encouraging. And below, Lewis took time out from all his playing and mixing to share his story.


Tell us briefly about your “audio story” — what’s your inspiration, when did you start being interested or involved?

I got into recording and mixing initially as a means to show my bandmates my ideas, riffs and songs rather than trying to explain them in a noisy band rehearsal room. Once this started, I wanted to make the recordings sound better and better and began to focus on mixing.

Before SAE, I played and toured for about a year in a band called Colossvs and came to a crossroads where I wasn’t making enough money from touring to sustain myself, so I decided to focus on engineering. Now, through music I’ve been all around Australia, Poland, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand and rubbed shoulders with some of my biggest influences and inspirations. I’m a qualified ProTools user (after completing the 110 certificate at SAE) and Yamaha NS10 devotee.

Your blog post is full of great advice for SAE students. What do you think students and graduates most need to know?

I think it’s important to accept that while SAE or any education is a massive investment, it’s the most beneficial when your time there is a part of your overall education, rather than expecting it to be the be-all-and-end-all that will invariably lead to success.

The music industry can be really fickle and takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Not everyone succeeding in the industry have qualifications, but this just means students at SAE are being offered a massive head-start. You’re being offered an opportunity, not being handed success, so it’s still up to students to make the most of the opportunities and knowledge at SAE as well as putting in work outside of study.

What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?

I fondly remember being overwhelmed at the signal flow of the Small Audient desks at SAE South Melbourne; by the end of my course, I was confident using the bigger Audient ASP 8024. I remember hounding my lecturers with questions about their own techniques, freelance work and careers (sorry Trinski and Rezz!) and being treated like a contemporary rather than a student, and this was really inspiring and motivating. I got into Goatsound through SAE, so that’s also an ongoing fond memory of SAE.


What's your best advice for success for aspiring creatives?

Ask questions and make mistakes, the more the better. You have to learn fast in high pressure situations, especially when you’ve dropped the ball. If you make a mistake once you definitely won’t make it again. SAE affords students the chance to get hands on and make mistakes so you’re seamless by the the time you’re working with real clients. You’re at SAE to learn, so make the most of it. You’ve got nothing to lose!

What have been your career highlights?

My first album credit was assistant editing engineer on King Parrot’s new album, Ugly Produce. I knew the guys after supporting them on a tour, so it was a pleasure to work with them again, hang out and laugh a lot. Many albums that have inspired my playing and mixing have come out of Studio Hertz in Białystok, Poland and I recently spent a few weeks there with Wojtek and Slawek Wiesławski as part of a recording and mixing course. My time there was awesome — Daray Brzozowski from Dimmu Borgir came to talk drums with us and I’m a massive fan.

Also, I recently recorded and mixed a three-track EP for a friend’s daughter’s first birthday which was pressed onto vinyl for her. It was really nice to be involved in such an important gift.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I never feel like I have enough happening — but listing these makes me feel busy! I’m mixing a few songs for a band called A Greed Science. I’ve got a few recording sessions coming up in November that I’ll mix and master, and I’ve just joined a band. We’re writing new songs that I’ll record and mix. Besides that, I’ve been contacted to write music for some people which is cool, and I’m constantly writing, demoing and recording my own stuff. As often as I can I’m helping at Goatsound helping with any editing, mixing or jobs Jason needs me to do.

Can you share an artist or two that inspires you?

As far as metal goes, bands who incorporate symphonic and orchestral elements like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Septicflesh are really inspiring because of how seamlessly they make the extra elements work in their music.

I also listen to a lot of pop, so artists like Sia, or producer Greg Wells are really inspiring in their songwriting. I’m a massive Tom Petty (R.I.P.) fan for his songwriting too.



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