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.

"I personally think that the quality of training the students are receiving at SSR is exceptional. My company has taken on a number of SSR students and I have to say they have been brilliant. I think their Live Sound course is producing students who are ready to work in the industry and now I wouldn’t look anywhere else for my future employees.

SSR has performed a great service to the Live Sound industry in the North West. We have employed 2 SSR students from the live sound course in the last nine months. They are both of the right character for this industry and, with the fantastic SSR training they received, were well prepared for working with us at STS from day one.

Our continued working relationship with SSR is very important to the Directors at STS and we are looking forward to seeing more students from SSR working here in the future.

Paul Collis
Director, STS Touring


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 set me up in a couple of ways. The course made me aware of studio technology and techniques and gave me a solid grounding in the subject. I think these kinds of skills are built up over long periods of time, longer than in a music course, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do any of the things I do now, or know the things I know without it!

SSR also helped me understand how a good college should be run, and how good lessons should be taught, and I always harped back to SSR when I was running and teaching in the music college. I also used SSR as a benchmark template for when I was trying to help develop the music academy’s product - especially when we started delivering music tech degrees. I still keep my SSR folder in the studio and refer to it when I need to! You’d be surprised how often it’s come into use."

Dave Phillips
Music Production & Sound Engineering

Manchester's Spirit Studios Discography

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