Student Case Study: Mike Foyle
Mike Foyle joined us in 2007 after completing an HND at Leicester College. Alongside his ongoing studies he has also made a name for himself as an independent producer, composer and DJ performing worldwide 'from Bournemouth to Newcastle and from Jakarta to Hollywood'. Composing under his own name and various aliases such Andromeda, Statica and Bolt (along with numerous collaborations with the likes of the Signalrunners and Filo & Peri), he has been signed to a variety of labels including Markus Schulz's Electronic Elements and Armin van Burren's Armind Recordings. His work includes everything from smooth progressive trance to banging techno. He has also begun working alongside film production companies in a bid to develop his skills in the audio-visual arena.
Why did you choose De Montfort University and MTI?
The MTI course specifically focuses on innovation and current technology, which, as an electronic music producer and enthusiast, suits me perfectly. I also found that the course had a great choice of modules which meant I ended up studying stuff that really genuinly interests me. The resources available on campus are fantastic as well, especially now that the new PACE building is up and ready! Very impressive studios available and a lot of them, it's clear that the course is very well funded and the money is being spent on the right things.
How does your professional work integrate with your study on the course?
The programming module in particular has opened up so many doors for me with regard to my music performances as well as production. I have just started working on an artist album and the idea behind it is that it's something that could be performed live. I have created several of my own effects patches and synthesisers in Max MSP (programming software which we have been using in the module), which I'm hoping to use as part of it. My aims are to create a live set which combines DJing with live effects, live sequencing and live keyboards using interesting controllers such as the Wii remote and light tracking using a webcam. I had never even considered the possibilities available when getting right down to the bare bones of audio programming, but I can see it playing a huge part in many of my future projects.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I'm currently finishing my second year, so I have one more year after this and I think that's as far as I'll need to go. I'll be really happy when I can add a Degree in Music Tech and Innovation to my CV!
What is your favourite feature of the course?
I've been hugely impressed by the quality of teaching. One to one guidance is always available and the tutors are never more than an email away. The lessons are very interesting and well structured, in particular the programming and audio video modules. The teachers are very knowledgeable and very good at explaining things thoroughly while still progressing at a decent pace. I feel encouraged but not pressured to work hard in my own time and the lessons often leave me feeling intrigued and interested so I will go home and research further into the subject. I've also always got very useful feedback and constructive but not offensive criticism of my work, and the tutors take the time to make sure you understand the points which need improvement.
How do you feel the course is preparing you for your career?
So far, as I have said, it's really given me a big head start with audio programming, and I'm sure that will become a big part of my career. But I also feel like I've began to develop other areas of expertise which will hopefully mean I have a fairly big choice of career paths upon graduation. I am currently writing an essay on brainwave entrainment using audio, and I also plan to study this for my final project next year. I also studied psychoacoustics in a previous course so I feel like this could be a field I could pursue a career in if I decided to take a break from DJing and production.
Lean more about Mike Foyle