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Lack of respect in our industry for formal music or technical traininng.... Dynamics Plugins
Old 22nd September 2007
Gear Addict

In terms of engineering, and I don't consider myself one, a good education is something I wish i had. I record people, I build and troubleshoot my own Daws I'm looking into accoustic design as I slowly rebuild my rooms, I can do some maintenance on gear and i used to be able to align a tape machine , but it's been so long i wouldn't want to sit down in front of a client and attempt it today ;-), so I have acquired some skills as I've wander through the audio world.

However I don't have the grounding a basic education, in electrical enginneering, would have provided and it is often missed and the cause of wrong paths taken. I feel it would enhance my skills to know what is happening when i turn the knob as well as the effect on the the sound. Knowing basic laws when jury rigging PAs together is important and helps not to blow stuff up.

So I have the utmost respect for those who get the formal education and strive to make it work in the audio world, if i wasn't such an old ****** i'd take that route if I was starting out again. That said book learning by itself it's useless and I'm a firm believer in apprentise/mentor relationships that allow the book learning to be realised in hands on realworld situations. I fear very few of those relationships exist today however. Take care Logan
Old 15th October 2007
Lives for gear

Bruce I do not mean to sound like a jerk . . .

But aren't there 4 tracks on Thriller (2 being #1 singles) written by Michael Jackson who has no formal music training?

I can see both sides of the coin here. It all depends on how you use your education or lack of it.

Old 15th October 2007
Gear Addict
EliasGwinn's Avatar

Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Those of us who can apply the abstract concepts that we read in books to our experiences in the real world are potentially at an advantage. It helps us to get there faster. But there are many of us who have to learn hands-on, and for those, it pays to have a good teacher who does understand the technical concepts so as to point out for the first time, what controls can cause distortion. Then you try it yourself and listen and say, "oh I see, this control can cause distortion". Since my assistant did not understand well the concepts of fast and slow release time, I demonstrated them to him by playing material through the compressor. There are many ways of learning.

I would add that, for these types of people, going to the abstract reference (books, graphs, etc.) can be MUCH more effective AFTER the 'hands-on' learning has taken place.

In my case, I got great grades in my E.E. classes, but there was a lot of information of which I couldn't grasp the true meaning. I hadn't experimented with electronics growing up...I went into college with little-to-no electrical experience. But, as soon as I was 'in the field', I often found myself thinking, "oh yeah, I remember hearing about that in school", and having much more of an understanding of purpose and appreciation for the information. Now, when I pick up a text book or other technical reference, the information has much more significance. In fact, I'll find myself reading long after I found the information I was looking for.....just because I find it really interesting!!
Old 15th October 2007
Gear Addict
EliasGwinn's Avatar

Another thought on the 'Formally Educated' vs. 'Raw' musician/engineer argument:

I think people see 'Raw' as they do tubes (or any other source of distortion). They think, "Yeah, I know its distorting, but just listen how good it sounds."

On the other hand, 'Formally Educated' is like super-clean solid state (or some other minimally distorted signal path). People think, "Well, my favorite records weren't made clean, so I don't want my record to sound clean."

My feeling is, true artistry is achieving the intended results by exploiting the properties of each tool at his/her disposal (sorry for calling us musicians/engineers tools ). Sometimes distortion is the secret in the sauce. But, sometimes, you want something that is money-on accurate. If you want a good example of each type of musician, just listen to any Frank Zappa album (although, be careful doing so around children ).
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