Sound production students take part in out-of-this-world collaboration

Sound production students take part in out-of-this-world collaboration

Students from the Advanced Diploma of Sound Production recently worked with international group The Cambodian Space Project, helping to record and mix songs for their upcoming album The Golden Phoenix.

Drawing inspiration from the legends of Cambodia’s bygone era of rock n’ roll, The Cambodian Space Project has enjoyed sustained success since forming in 2009 – particularly in Australia, having played at the WOMADelaide Festival in 2013 and even releasing a duet with Aussie music royalty Paul Kelly.

The band is known for its unique sound – fusing together rock and soul to create fresh takes on beloved genres – and a love of '60s psychedelic motifs, employed in their album covers, costumes and staging.

For Advanced Diploma of Sound Production student Matthieu Rabot, whose music taste spans RnB, soul and hip-hop, The Cambodian Space Project’s cross-genre style was very intriguing.

“I didn't know of the group before I started working with them, but they sound great, and they have a very unique style that I have never heard before,” said Rabot. 

Ahwin in the recording studio, wearing headphones and singing into a microphone. Ahwin, main singer from The Cambodian Space Project, performing in RMIT studio.

As part of his studies, Rabot and a few other lucky College of Vocational Education students stepped into the studio and took on the role of audio engineers, recording and mixing songs for the band.

Rabot, who has been passionate about writing, producing and performing music since high school, said that working with an internationally successful band was an incredibly valuable experience.

“It was fun and practical... It was my first time working with people from overseas, which taught me a lot about how to work and communicate with artists who don’t speak English fluently,” he said.

Working with a New York icon 

The students were joined by veteran engineer Dave Anderson from Saxon Recording in New York, who guided them through the session.

Rabot was thrilled to team up with someone as seasoned as Anderson, learning lots of new skills that he hopes to apply in a future career as an audio engineer.

“I am very lucky to have worked with Dave,” said Rabot. 

“He took the time to get the artists pumped up and ready to perform. He gave them honest feedback and helped them write a better part for the song, which taught me that I shouldn’t rush things when doing a production.”

“He also taught me microphone techniques, mixing techniques and how to properly organise files and sessions."

Students and Dave Anderson gathered around controls looking into recording booth Matthieu Rabot (centre, black beanie) in the studio with fellow students and American sound engineer Dave Anderson (right).

Ongoing industry collaboration

The Advanced Diploma of Sound Production has seen students collaborate with many artists throughout the semester. 

This includes George Telek, an ARIA Award winner from Papua New Guinea, who recorded alongside drummer Ben Hakalitz from National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame inductee Yothu Yindi.

John Phillips, Sound Production and Live Production teacher, was especially excited for his students to join forces with Australian ‘80s pop band Models last week.

“In the years I’ve been at RMIT, this is by far and away the highest profile act we’ve had in our recording studio sessions,” said Phillips.

Three members of band Models recording in studio, one on drums, the other two on guitar Australian ‘80s pop band Models recording in RMIT studio.

“Collaborating with such a diverse range of talent allows our students to get exposure to all sides of the industry,” continued Phillips. 

“I’m very proud of the industry-focused learning experiences we deliver, as they allow our students to put their knowledge and passion into practice.” 

This is something that Rabot agrees with, having gained confidence and connections through the course that will stay with him after he graduates. 

“I have been taught by incredible teachers and I have had the opportunity to use great gear and equipment.” 

“The course is preparing me well for life after study since a lot of the classes are practical and we are being taught by people who are involved in the industry.” 

More information about the Advanced Diploma of Sound Production can be found here


Story: Keely Tzoukos


  • Industry
  • Arts and culture
  • Student experience

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