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I'm a musician, turned producer, turned global music tech education innovator and founder of Girls Twiddling Knobs, and for the last 5+ years I've dedicated my life to helping 1000s of women take up space in music through harnessing the magical superpowers of self-recording and production.

Hi, I'm Isobel

My own self-released, self-produced music has amassed over 25 million Spotify streams, been broadcast on stations like BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 6 Music and I've got a PhD in Sonic Arts - Dr Anderson never gets old ;)

 

And yes, there's a path of mistakes, set backs and challenges that lead me to where I am today.

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Let me tell you how I got here

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2008

Working full time in London, commuting 2 hours a day, playing endless gigs with no momentum.

Suffering from chronic insomnia, my hopes of getting signed by a label seemed dashed and I knew something had to change. 

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Belfast, here I come!

2009

Left everything behind to take up a scholarship to study for an MA in Sonic Arts in Belfast.

2010

Graduate with a First, am awarded an AHRC scholarship to study for a PhD and release my debut album, Cold Water Songs.

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My diy journey begins

2011

Release my 2nd album, Dark Path, this time with funding for merch and recording costs and an endorsement from Jamie Cullum on Radio 2.

Was also told I was, "like a piece of meat that just hadn't been cooked yet" by a London A&R guy. Nice! :-/

2012

Start playing bigger and better gigs, including Glastonbury's acoustic stage.

Also developed tinnitus after an ear infection, which turned my world upside down.

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Glasto' 2012

2014

Moved back to Belfast and restarted my academic studies. Also released In My Garden with huge love from Lauren Laverne on her BBC 6 Music show. Still with pain but much improved.

2013

Made the difficult decision to put my music and PhD on hold after developing debilitating pelvic pain. 

Recording my 3rd album, In My Garden, which gave me a purpose in an otherwise immensely challenging time.

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Dr of Sonic Arts

2015

Graduate with a PhD in Sonic Arts from Queen's University Belfast. 

My music starts racking up millions of streams on Spotify and I start making a full time income as an artist.

2017

Am supported by PRSF's Women Make Music Fund to release my 4th and most ambitious album to date, CHALK / FLINT. 

But after straining my voice and battling with chronic pain for many years, I once again step back from my music career. 

My favourite music video

2018

Not wanting to waste the skills and experience I've gained as a DIY artist, and eager to see positive change in the industry, I launch The Female DIY Musician - an online resource offering support and community for women in music.

2020

Lockdown hits, but this gives me the space to finally launch my first ever online course Home Recording Academy after noticing a dire need for women-focussed music tech training.

I also launch the Girls Twiddling Knobs podcast in November that year.

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I start teaching online

2021

I go full time with The Female DIY Musician, providing online music tech training to thousands of women all over the world and seeing my students release music they've proudly recorded and produced themselves.

 

I'm also shortlisted for a 'Best Podcast Host' Lovie award.  

2022

Continued to develop more programmes in music tech mindset, home recording, music production and field recording, cementing my position as a global music tech education innovator. 

Shortlisted for a We Are Tech Women Award and elected for the Musicians' Union EDI Committee.

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GTK for the win!

2023

Girls Twiddling Knobs hits over 85K downloads, 90+ episodes and 50+ guests.

 

Over 500 women have gone through Home Recording Academy and 30K+ have taken one or more of my online trainings. 

2024

The Female DIY Musician is rebranded as Girls Twiddling Knobs. Let the journey continue!

I now have the honour of helping other women, like you, sidestep years of imposter syndrome and failed attempts and actually record and release amazing music.

How?

By making the recording process feel creative and personal.

I teach the 'why' and not just the 'what' of music tech

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Not knowing everything is totally, 100% normal and OK.

Don't get me wrong - I love teaching the technical process of recording and producing music and sound, and having a foundational knowledge can give you an enormous sense of confidence in your craft.

 

But what makes the best recordings? being led by a sense of creativity and self expression at every stage of the process.

I help my students embrace their intuition, imperfections and experimentation so they can create music that truly stands out.  And my non judgemental, easy-to-understand, step-by-step teaching style has helped *literally*  thousands of

women from all over the world start recording and producing, when other music tech courses and

communities felt overwhelming, unwelcoming and judgmental. 

Many of my students had music buzzing around in their heads, keeping them up at night for months or even years, unable to find an affordable, effective or rewarding way to record and share it with the world. 
Now, they're recording and producing their music to their unique vision, fully in control of the process and releasing it on their terms. 

Did it take a little work? Sure. Was there a learning curve? Yep. Was it the best thing they ever did for their music? 100%!
 
But don't take it from me. There's dozens of student success stories that say it best.
SO, THERE'S JUST ONE QUESTION I HAVE FOR YOU
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Are You Ready?

If you're tired of waiting months or years for free time in other people's studios or ££££s to finally book one yourself... 

 

Or your done feeling disrespected and undervalued in these spaces...

 

And the music you've recorded before just never felt like yours...

 

And if reading about my and my students stories of creative empowerment through self-recording and production has got thinking, "Maybe, just maybe, there's a better way..."

It's time to start your recording & production journey

LISTEN

Binge the 90+ episodes waiting for you over at the Girls Twiddling Knobs podcast on everything from mastering to imposter syndrome.

LEARN

Whether it's one of our starter resources, a self-guided course or one of our live group programmes, you'll find a safe space for you to develop your skills.

Stay In The Loop!

Join the exclusive Girls Twiddling Knobs email list to receive Isobel's weekly newsletters delivered straight to your inbox.

 

Expect a heady of mix of music production tips and tricks, #realtalk on all things being a woman in music and first dibs on our new trainings, opportunities and insider news :)

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© 2024 ISOBEL ANDERSON | DESIGNED BY ISOBEL ANDERSON

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GEORGINA PIPER

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