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Author Topic: Audio Engineering Programs  (Read 2625 times)

Offline simonlock

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« on: May 13, 2008, 01:33:35 AM »
I'm researching schools and possible careers right now. Tomorrow I am meeting with a school rep at a recording school/studio that has a good rep in Vancouver. It's a working studio that has it's students getting hands on experience in a real work environment as well as classroom time. A friend of mine took the program and recommends it highly.

I realize that employment following in reality is likely to be low paying if at all. But I think I need the experience, exposure and opportunity to connect with other musicians and possibly get to work on student projects. The whole recording thing isn't horribly complicated to do basic tracks and editing but I still feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities. There are just too many things I don't know how to do and it doesn't feel natural. This takes a major tole on my creative flow and I can't get into any kind of music because of my lack of focus. Those of you that have lots of recording experience what do you think about todays recording schools?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
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Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 04:17:46 PM »
I haven't gone to a recording school, but a producer/sound engineering friend of mine (Claudia Engelhart - does FOH for Bill Frisell and other jazz people) did and said she got a better education on the road with another sound engineer than she did from school.

Since recording studios are a dying lot - most bands are using their own studios these days - the money will be in post production for video, rather than music production. Very different world than a few years ago.

I say if you get a lot out of an academic environment, then go for it. If you get more out of real world experience, then go that route. In general, it's a tough thing to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do, rather than just throwing yourself at something and making it work. You've just gotta decide if it's something you really want. When you make that decision, then nothing can stop you. If you can't, then going to school won't make you focus.

Bob

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Offline Bill

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 05:14:42 PM »
In my home town, we have lost 3 recording studios in the last 2 years.

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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 09:10:33 PM »
I doubt there will be much work in the field if any when I'm done. However there may be some and mostly I want to have the real deal skills for recording my own stuff. Bob, your friend may have learned more on the road but possibly wouldn't have even been given a chance without that program. I think I need this. YOu have to remember that I am completely clueless when it comes to mixing, micing, and many other things. I'm too green to feel comfortable in the music business. Like you said Bob there is still a lot going on in the sound for video end of things. Working for movie studios would rock too.

I could use a little nudge to keep focussed too because recording shuts down my creative side so I rarely do it. I think if I can make things more transparent and have a bag of tricks it may not affect me so much.

Thanks for the input. I went and checked out the studio this morning and it's really nice. They have a big studio with a huge analog board and a smaller studio with a digital one. It's quite well put together and for 12months I got a deal at 13,500. Much more reasonable than the regular 18,000 for residents and 24,000 for immigrants.
 
Simon
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« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 09:12:54 PM by simonlock »
 

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Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 04:48:34 PM »
Hey Simon,

You nailed it when you said you have to shut down your creative side to work on recording. Until you get enough under your belt to have both second nature, one will be distracting to the other. See if they have any sound-for-video courses. If you go that route, you'll get everything you need to do any kind of recording as well as the chops for doing the video/broadcast side of things. That's where the money AND the action is now, and into the foreseeable future.

Bob

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« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 04:48:51 PM by uburoibob »
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Offline prjacobs

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 07:06:13 PM »
Simon, the important thing is to get as much hands on experience as you can. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, once you get a bit of the basics and start using your ear. You have an advantage that lots of engineers don't have.  You're a musician. In terms of your own work, don't drive yourself nuts.  It's more about the playing than anything else, in my opinion.  There are certain standard ways of micing instruments, and once you learn them, it's hard to go too wrong. With all of the digital outboard gear, you'll be able to save everything that you do and learn from it. I'm sure that you'll find with some experience, the whole process will be demystified.  Have a great time!

Best,
Paul
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 07:07:09 PM by prjacobs »
 

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Offline cy2989

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 07:08:54 PM »
While real-world education might be more informative than a school, the academic environment will give you the technical background and theory to understand the physics, electronics, etc.  That way when you get to work with someone who is very good and can teach you what you didn't learn in school, you'll have the background to understand what he/she is telling you.  I'm happy for you Simon.  This is exciting!


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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 07:31:04 PM »
I appreciate the support guys. I do feel a little iffy about it since employment afterward isn't necessarily the objective and the amount of time and money involved is substantial. My motivation is to get involved in the music field, meet people and get some experience. I'll learn a lot. I'm in a strange situation in that creatively I'm at a point where covers and pop tunes won't satisfy me but yet I haven't even been onstage in a professional mode. Heck I don't even know which door you're supposed to come in or when and what to do with your gear. I need the exposure whatever the cost I think.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
 

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Offline bno

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008, 09:29:33 PM »
The only thing I will throw into this conversation is that you should do a reasonably serious cost/benefit analysis.  What does the school cost, how are you going to pay for it, and will it put you in a position to recoup the expense.  If you have to to borrow a hefty pile of cash, be wary - I would advise against coming out of recording school carrying a significant loan obligation. If you're able to do it on a pay-as-you-go basis, you're basically paying for studio rental time and classroom instruction - you can probably break it down to what your "hourly" cost will be.

There's volumes of information out there.  Pick up a copy of a couple of the mags (Modern Recording and EQ).

The best way to learn recording is to record other people so that you have creative distance from the music, but stil have a creative interest in making it sound as good as possible.  A good recording engineer captures good sound.  Most of the time you will be working on projects and/or music that is not necessarily your interest, so you need to be comfortable with that aspect of it.  

Audio for video/film is always going to be in demand - if they offer that as a study track, take it.  

I did a brief stint as a second engineer in a second tier NYC studio a long, long time ago.  It was a brutal life style - long sessions, periods of incredible boredom in exchange for being there when something really cool happens.  I couldn't handle it.  I found doing live sound and lighting more interesting and easier on the mind/body.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 09:36:42 PM by bno »
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Offline guitarmanuk

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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 07:06:05 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

I appreciate the support guys. I do feel a little iffy about it since employment afterward isn't necessarily the objective and the amount of time and money involved is substantial. My motivation is to get involved in the music field, meet people and get some experience. I'll learn a lot. I'm in a strange situation in that creatively I'm at a point where covers and pop tunes won't satisfy me but yet I haven't even been onstage in a professional mode. Heck I don't even know which door you're supposed to come in or when and what to do with your gear. I need the exposure whatever the cost I think.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!


Simon. I know this is a little off your original topic, but to pick up on the point you made above, I can fully understand you saying that covers and pop tunes don't do it for you, I wouldn't play them out of choice either, but they are a great way into performing live.  I play in a covers band playing weddings, functions etc and it is the best apprentiship you can get.  The other band members are there as support and 99% of the audience don't know anything about what you are doing, so can't criticize.  Also, other people in the band will have other musical interests and will introduce you around.  I now play in a sax and guitar duo and will be a "hired gun" for a jazz jig later this year.  I would never have got to play this without playing in the wedding/function band first.  In fact I would probably never had played jazz, so it has made me learn new stuff.

There is no question that you have the talent to pull this off with your eyes closed and 1 hand tied behind your back.  Give it a try, you will be amazed at how much fun it is if you get in with the right crowd.  It is a great buzz to see a dance floor packed with people enjoying themselves and to know that you are providing the music to do that, no matter how cheesy you think the tunes are.

David

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« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 07:07:33 AM by guitarmanuk »
David

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Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 08:44:03 AM »
That's cool if that's what you want to do, but that price tag seems pretty high to me, even at your deal of $13.5K...



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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 10:20:29 AM »
Seems like pretty solid advice David. Thank you for the kind words.

Paul consider the price of the same education at schools in the US of 24,000. 13,500 doesn't look too bad. It is kinda high but there aren't any better deals to be had.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
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Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008, 10:40:18 AM »
That still is crazy to me. Sounds like a lot of money. The technical trade school I went to in 1988 cost me $7500 for a 16-month course. I guess with inflation and all, maybe that's about right. But even so, that's a lot of money! [:0]

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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 04:44:21 PM »
Lol you're right it is Paul. But I believe in myself enough to invest it just as you invested in yourself. It'll pay off 10 fold I'm sure. I've gotta get off my duff and get things rolling. I'll have far more than that to invest so I'm not worried. Course I'll be a renter again but that just means I can move wherever whenever :)

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!