Established for over 30 years, we have seen the industry grow and technologies evolve, and we are committed to adapting to these changes.

Our purpose built facilities, expert insight, professionally active tutors and creative partnerships enable us to offer the most up to date and relevant training, and provide you with real career opportunities.

We are proud to have helped hundreds of our graduates achieve their dream job – don’t take our word for it, take a look at our success stories.

"We recently recorded a live press conference for the European Super League with Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs. We used 2 SSR students to work on the sound. Without any prompting, it was commented that the sound for the conference was much better than usual. In addition I would like to add that the 3 SSR graduates who are now employed by us are all doing extremely well. If SSR can continue to send us people of this calibre we will always be interested."

Tony Baldwin-Lewis
Head of Operations, MUTV


SSR was founded by current CEO John Breakell and began life as Spirit Studios in 1980. Located on Tariff Street, Manchester, Spirit was a small complex comprising of 4 small rehearsal rooms and a single 4-track recording studio.

The Smiths were the first band through Spirit’s doors, and other rising bands of the time followed, including The Stone Roses, Simply Red, Happy Mondays, 808 State and New Order. Bill Wyman paid a visit, as did the legendary Tony Wilson and many other famous faces. The Stone Roses recorded in Spirit Studios the demo tape that secured their first record deal.

In 1984, recognising an increasing demand for professionally trained sound engineers within the music industry, Spirit Studios became the School of Sound Recording, the first audio engineering and music production school in the UK, and one of the first in the world.

The School of Sound Recording quickly gained a healthy reputation within the music industry for producing well trained, professional graduates and the business thrived and continued to grow through the 80’s and into the 90’s, offering new courses and moving into a wider range of subject areas. (We even made it into popular literature: The Stone Roses and the Resurrection of British Pop by John Robb, and The Stone Roses, War and Peace by Simon Spence.)

In 2004, we outgrew the Tariff St site and relocated to our current premises in Ardwick, on the edge of the city centre, and shortly after the relocation began offering degree courses with our university partners. By this time, the company was known simply as ‘SSR’ to reflect the changing breadth of our courses and delivery.

In 2009, SSR was recognised with a Manchester Evening News ‘Business of The Year’ award, and embarked on the first steps to expanding the company into new countries and territories.

SSR Manchester now serves as SSR’s global HQ, with SSR London and SSR Jakarta both opening in 2011. Further SSR centres are also in development.
Industry partners

What our students say -

"SSR was a great help to me in getting into the industry, the facilities and classrooms were more often than not more than I ever dreamed of learning my trade on. For me though SSR’s strong point lies within its industry active tutors. Not only does this mean that training received is up to date, it also means it is totally relevant. Having been exposed to various situations from huge main stage festivals all over the world to 1 on 1 recording sessions the knowledge passed onto me by SSR’s staff have helped in almost every new situation I find myself in."

Joe Greenhalgh
Sound Engineering & Design BSc (Hons) / FdSc

Manchester's Spirit Studios Discography

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