Inspiring creators

Empowering innovation.

We’re on a relentless mission to empower creative people by providing the experience, education and opportunities needed to pursue a life in the creative industries.

For 25 years we’ve been focused on providing an exceptional educational experience that equips you with the technical skills, theoretical knowledge, and entrepreneurial mindset needed to succeed in a constantly evolving industry. Our goal is to empower you to think critically, approach your work with curiosity, experiment, and take risks to push the boundaries of creative technology.

We're big believers that innovation flourishes in a community that's diverse and collaborative. That's why we're dedicated to creating an environment that celebrates and supports a wide range of voices and perspectives. We encourage creativity and the sharing of ideas; a space where everyone is valued and treated with respect, where every member of our community has the opportunity to contribute their unique talents and ideas.

At dBs Institute, we’re nurturing a new generation of creative professionals who will use their skills and passion to make a positive impact on the world.

History of dBs Institute


Childhood friends and long-time band-mates, Nige Burt and Dave Puttick develop the idea of a music tech school that is also a commercial music production company for local independent artists. The concept of dBs is born!

Inside shot dBs's first studio

Work begins on our very first building. Founders Nige, Dave and Nige’s stepdad (somehow) do all of the construction without killing themselves or anyone else.


Our first studio is complete! Deep Blue Sound launched, focusing on providing exceptional music production projects and commercial sessions, we took our first steps toward establishing ourselves as a renowned institution.


Alongside commercial projects, Nige and Dave bring their production tutoring work in-house and we accept our very first cohort of 7 students!


We welcome a student group of 50 to accredited courses in partnership with Estover College in Plymouth. Nige records a tune from a local band that goes on to be used for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.


150 students start courses at dBs Plymouth! Unfortunately, that means Nige and Dave’s commercial work has to take a back seat as things ramp up, but we’re really gathering speed now.


The dBs team starts to grow with 12 employees joining the dBs community. Many of them still work with us to this day!

Outside shot of deep blue sound (dBs Institute) circa 2009

The first Neve console arrives in Plymouth and has to be winched through the window because we didn’t measure the door frames…. Whoops!


Joss Stone records a session in the commercial studio at dBs. Publicity from the session inspires a lot of local interest in Deep Blue Sound from students and the public…


dBs Plymouth expands, we take on The Hub, a 450-capacity venue in the city centre that welcomes the likes of Chase and Status, Turin Breaks, Cage The Elephant and more. The venue is used as a commercial venue as well as a space for our Live Sound students to sharpen their skills.


11 years in and things really start to take off. For the 4th year in a row we are over-subscribed!

Wide shot of the Neve series 51

Nige and Dave decide to divide their roles to speed up developments. Nige takes on expansion in the UK, while Dave decides that he’d like to open a centre in Europe. The idea for dBs Berlin - now Catalyst - was born and opened in 2014!


14 years of experience has taught us how to provide excellent service to our students. Our staff team, student population and facilities have all grown exponentially from our humble beginnings.

Inside shot of former dBs Bristol Centre in temple studios

dBs comes to Bristol, the cultural epicentre of the South West and we open our first campus just outside the iconic Temple Meads Station. We also partner with Marjon University to run a full undergraduate and postgraduate programme for the next year.


We open our second Bristol campus at St Thomas Street and enrol 88 students in the very first year. The modern era of dBs in Bristol is born…


In Plymouth, we replaced our Neve V51 with a shiny new Neve Genesys console.


We partner with ‘Screenology’, a specialist film school. The partnership gives the dBs community great collaboration opportunities with film students, which remains to this day.

A wide shot of the Neve Genesis desk in dBs Plymouths former commercial studio

A new industry-standard SSL console is installed at dBs Plymouth!


We established dBs Pro in Bristol to cover all dBs centres. As our commercial recording and production arm of the company, it gives our students real-world experience working for paying clients. Jay Auborn leads up the project and is still at the helm.

A wide shot of the Pro Suite at dBs Plymouth featuring the Neve Genesys mixing desk

We open a third building in Bristol at Mitchell Lane and also move to Location House on Dove Lane in St Pauls. This year we also launch new degrees in Sound & Music for Film and TV and Live Sound.


We install the Neve Genesys studio in Plymouth, with added lecture seating so our students can get close to the action.


Covid hits. Our campuses close and all courses are immediately restarted online. It was a tough time, but we’re immensely proud that we continued to provide excellent teaching for our students throughout.


A thrilling new chapter began for us as Access Creative College acquired our company. We were overjoyed at the prospect of working alongside such a well-respected organisation and were excited to explore the new opportunities this partnership would bring. With access to end-to-end post-16 education in the creative industries, we knew that we were embarking on a journey that would allow us to continue making a real difference in the lives of our students.

Access Creative College

We expand to Manchester at New Century! Our third campus is our most ambitious yet. The £3m build houses four studios, a pro suite with Dolby surround and four production suites amongst other specialist spaces.


We have our highest-ever HE intake

a group of dBs students throwing there graduation caps in the air

We launched dBs Online, offering two of our exciting Master's courses to students globally! We also launched Game Development: Programming and Game Art degree courses and officially became the dBs Institute of Sound & Digital Technologies.


dBs turns 25! We now teach 500+ students every year and have welcomed thousands through our doors. Many of them have gone on to work at world-famous studios, tour the globe, score films and sign with independent and major record labels.

2024 and beyond

Who knows? Join the dBs community and help us shape the next chapter in our story.

A montage showing students creating sound and audio works at dBs Institute