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The 1073SPX Revolutionises Scottish Music Education


The next generation of Scottish music stars are getting a huge boost, after the addition of the first professional preamp at the University of the Highlands and Islands Perth.

In the heart of Scotland, the next generation of musical talent are receiving a significant boost, thanks to the addition of the Neve 1073SPX at the University of the Highlands and Islands Perth. The 1073SPX has revolutionised the university’s recording studio, making it the most modern and state-of-the-art in all of Scotland.

As the first professional preamp installed at a Scottish university, the Neve 1073SPX is playing a vital role in introducing music students to industry-standard operations and sound. Dr. Seán McLaughlin, UHI Perth Programme Leader in Popular Music, is thrilled about the impact the preamp will have on his students’ creative workflows and careers.

He said: “With lots of students working in this individual creative practice for tracking for vocals and instruments, we felt like the 1073SPX brought a different flavour for this.”

The BA (Hons) Popular Music Degree is Scotland’s first four-year course starting as a Higher National Certificate to support students between school, college and university, with the degree starting in the second year. For students on the degree, the 1073SPX has become the gold standard for high-quality recordings.

Sean explained:

“There isn’t a better preamp than the 1073. The conversation ends at ‘is there a better one than the 1073?’ No one can really make that claim.”

With the Neve 1073SPX, students can produce sound to industry standards, no matter where they are in the world. The preamp’s use at UHI Perth helps harness international partnerships, including one with Pop Akademie in Germany. Students can attend the international songwriting, band, and business camp as part of this partnership, where they are put into bands, write music, and perform at the end.

He added: “There isn’t going to be any question over the tonality of the recordings. It can be done with cheaper equipment but it’s not being done to the same standard.”

Thanks to the 1073SPX, students can continue to work with band members remotely and send music across the globe at excellent quality.

Sean said: “If you’re recording through the 1073SPX with us, there is no distinction between a studio that maybe costs £1500 per day. Nobody is going to question the quality of that audio recording; that is why it was important for us to put that in there.”

Already, students are seeing success with their records played on BBC Radio 1 and broadcasted across major radio stations in Scotland. The university wants to introduce more Neve 1073 units to the studio, so students can learn more about stereo tracking and other key skills.

He explained: “I’m a Neve guy at home. I have a 1073 and I know the students are going through the same process that I did.

“Once you have a 1073 it changes the way you hear a preamp, and you can’t ever un-hear that. You just can’t go back.”

The new course at the University of the Highlands and Islands Perth is centred on creative practice with support from companies such as Neve and feedback from students.

Sean added: “We accept the fact that studying music is about making music, not replicating other people’s music forever. If that was the way we treated music, and it was just about replication, there would be no new music, and that would be really damaging culturally. We’ve overhauled our programme, and it is really centred on creative practice.”

The Neve 1073SPX has brought the music industry to Scotland’s doorstep, providing students with an exceptional recording experience that will shape the course of their careers for years to come.


For more information about the 1073SPX, please get in touch with the Neve team at