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Loan Money for Gear?
Old 2nd May 2015
  #1
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Gameboi Advance's Avatar
Loan Money for Gear?

Hey guys I am an aspiring engineer, I will be attending school in the fall to obtain a certificate in audio engineering. The school I am going to is relatively cheap compared to alot of audio schools that cost an arm and a leg. Right now I have been in "DIY" mode and learning as much as I can before I go to school. I know education isnt required for this career, but I honestly am going to not only learn from some people already in the biz but also to network and be around like minded people. Idk if this would be a wise move but I am certainly considering taking out a loan of 7000k and using it to get some audio equipment such as a mixing board, speakers, desk etc.. Right now my setup consist of a casio keyboard and my mac with LPX.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
Are you asking for money or asking if you should take out a loan from a bank? 7k won't go very far anyway. I'd wait until you actually know what you're doing to start buying things.

If you did want to use 7k, you might consider approaching a studio and asking for an internship for 7k, allow you to assist on sessions, learn a bit about signal flow, placement, and let you use them as a reference. Actual experience goes way farther.
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Old 2nd May 2015
  #3
No no no no! The odds are that you won't get much income after school to pay off the loan. And you might even find that audio engineering is not your thing. So what a terrible place to be in in a few years: a big loan to pay off and no related revenue!
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Old 2nd May 2015
  #4
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameboi Advance View Post
Hey guys I am an aspiring engineer, I will be attending school in the fall to obtain a certificate in audio engineering. The school I am going to is relatively cheap compared to alot of audio schools that cost an arm and a leg. Right now I have been in "DIY" mode and learning as much as I can before I go to school. I know education isnt required for this career, but I honestly am going to not only learn from some people already in the biz but also to network and be around like minded people. Idk if this would be a wise move but I am certainly considering taking out a loan of 7000k and using it to get some audio equipment such as a mixing board, speakers, desk etc.. Right now my setup consist of a casio keyboard and my mac with LPX.
No No No man seriously do not do it.

You should not take out any loan for anything not a necessity.

Just build your setup slowly, you don't need it all in one shot.

You could definitely mix records and learn the basics just with your LPX and casio keyboard.

I would just get speakers and then develop it from there.

Just do not take out a loan for audio equipment.
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Old 2nd May 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
filipv's Avatar
No. Buying things doesn't make one a good engineer. Never ever.
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Old 3rd May 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Loan for gear?
Terrible idea.

Intern in a studio to learn?
This can be good. You get experience micing, setting up the live room, watching a good engineer handle clients, tracking, mixing - that's all good. You take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, and run for coffee. Fine. Can you end up *only* doing the chores and not get any good experience? Yes. If that happens, find another studio, and be sure to leave the first place on good terms. When leaving the pasture, kiss every cow.

Certificate?
I don't think any certificate means anything. That said, some courses do cover a decent overview of the technical side of things, so they can be worth the money as long as you aren't borrowing the money to pay for it.

Networking
Go to local chapter meetings of the Audio Engineering Society, the Recording Academy, and NARIP. If there is a cocktail/social part of the evening, be there for it, and make it a point to introduce yourself to several people at each meeting. You have to take the initiative to introduce yourself, but you will find friendly crowds at all these gatherings.

Why no loans?
Let say that, having taken some course, you are now a competent tracking and mix engineer. (You won't be, but let's fantasize.) How long will it take to build up your clientele to the point where you can meet your monthly expenses, and actually pay yourself something? Four years? Five? More? Certainly not less. So, if you have a loan to repay, how are you going to service that loan prior to that four or five years? The answer is that you can't.

Bottom line(s):
1. The technical stuff is easy. You can learn it on your own or pay some outfit to teach you. Taking a course is faster; learning on your own is cheaper.

2. Financing your studio and its gear is harder, but not impossible. Most people I know who started from scratch had a relative/spouse/bf/gf who was able and willing to support them for the years it takes to get a studio going.

3. Getting paying clients in the door is really hard. How many fully booked days will you need each month to cover your expenses? How will you get that many clients in the door, month after month and year after year? Have you figured out what your monthly expenses will be?

4. Many well-established studios have gone out of business in the last few years. They were studios with loyal clients, Grammys, and multi-platinum records. What do you bring to the table that they didn't?

Good luck. It can be done, but borrowing from a bank to set it up is lunacy.

WW
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Old 22nd July 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
Nothing sounds as good as debt-free feels.

Most businesses [including freelancers] run on some debt. . .and having not exhausted your available, affordable credit on things you really don't require also has value. Poor investments take away your options and freedoms.

That said, great investments give you more options and freedoms. So, at some level - for a businessman or craftsman - it is less about whether or not debt is evil. Credit is a part of our economy. . .that we can choose to use to reach our goals, assuming we don't abuse the opportunity.

Considerations of ROI, NPV, and opportunity costs should likely be playing in your mind. If you've been fairly wise, when you get older, you can more easily say no to credit and debt. When you are young credit and debt are very valuable - but extremely dangerous - tools.

Look into your own heart, of course, for the answer to your query of what to buy and how much [if any] debt for gear you are willing to incur. If your heart says 'no', listen to it.


Good luck in your ventures,

Ray H.

Aside: I personally want nothing more to do with debt - but I'm an old-timer. If I were young, today - assuming I already had the musical instrument I wanted - I would likely use credit to get a strong laptop, a MixPre II, good headphones and a pair of Schoeps microphones - assuming I had sufficient income to pay it off quickly. But that is me. I would defer the physical mixer and speakers, etc. until I paid off the initial investment. And I would work my you-know-what off hard to aggressively pay off that debt way ahead of schedule. Not sure this is a great plan for anyone else, though?
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Old 22nd July 2020
  #8
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Owen L T's Avatar
Necro FTW!
Old 23rd July 2020
  #9
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameboi Advance View Post
Hey guys I am an aspiring engineer, I will be attending school in the fall to obtain a certificate in audio engineering. The school I am going to is relatively cheap compared to alot of audio schools that cost an arm and a leg. Right now I have been in "DIY" mode and learning as much as I can before I go to school. I know education isnt required for this career, but I honestly am going to not only learn from some people already in the biz but also to network and be around like minded people. Idk if this would be a wise move but I am certainly considering taking out a loan of 7000k and using it to get some audio equipment such as a mixing board, speakers, desk etc.. Right now my setup consist of a casio keyboard and my mac with LPX.
It’s weird that nobody’s suggested not going to school and instead using that money to put together just enough stuff to get yourself a tiny rig to get started

I can’t imagine how going to a bargain rate Audio school is going to help you get work... so, the only thing you can hope for is the knowledge and you can get a good start on that by just doing it...

Hell... even getting a degree from a great, expensive school isn’t likely to get you a job right now for that matter
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Old 23rd July 2020
  #10
Hey o.p. from 2015, how'd it all pan out?
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Old 26th July 2020
  #11
Quote:
Hey guys I am an aspiring engineer, I will be attending school in the fall to obtain a certificate in audio engineering.
Just answer this question. Would someone who is going to college next fall for a DR, buy a Doctors office and hire a medical staff before he even attends medical school?

Also, a certificate in audio engineers means nothing in the music industry.
The only thing that matters is what you have produced, mixed and/or masters.

There are millions of people with these certificates and 99.999999999% of them work in another filed, like plumbing, electrician, cooks, waiters, waitresses, DR's, attorneys, etc etc etc etc.
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Old 27th July 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
And whoever it was that suggested PAYING 7K to do an UNPAID internship needs to put the crack pipe down
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Old 27th July 2020
  #13
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Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
And whoever it was that suggested PAYING 7K to do an UNPAID internship needs to put the crack pipe down
That crack pipe might be the least of that persons problems, just saying!!
Old 28th July 2020
  #14
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
Hey o.p. from 2015, how'd it all pan out?
He graduated from Audio School, opened up his studio and paid off the $7k in less than a year with all the studio business he got.
Old 28th July 2020
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
He graduated from Audio School, opened up his studio and paid off the $7k in less than a year with all the studio business he got.
Well it's about damn time we got some good news!
Old 28th July 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Then he woke up
Old 6th August 2020
  #17
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joannetom7 View Post
Yeah, there are many people working in other field while they owning certificates in audio engineering but nowadays you can't work without any certificate that you have attended some courses or something else. So you need to work hard and you need something to approve you knowledge like certificate.
I don't know of anyone who got hired for an audio job because of a "certificate". I don't of anyone who got asked for his certificate when applying for a job.

There have been many posts from studio owners on this forum who said completion of formal training was not something that they cared about - and more than a few who said "Audio School" was actually a negative for them in entry-level hiring decisions.

I think a conscientious student can learn a lot from those courses. You get out what you put in. But the idea of going into debt in the hopes that the "certificate" will land you a salaried job is an extremely bad idea.

Even back when salaried jobs existed in this industry, it was a bad idea.
Old 6th August 2020
  #18
Quote:
but nowadays you can't work without any certificate that you have attended some courses or something else.
I never seen anyone ask for a certificate and 99.99999% of the people working in the music industry do not have a certificate.

They may ask for your credits and your last 10 pieces of work. A certificate means nothing in audio engineering. your work means everything. Anyone can can a certificate. Not anyone ca produce quality music.
Old 16th August 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Nothing sounds as good as debt-free feels
A-men.
I need to put that on a T-Shirt.
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