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My Future in Music Production
View Poll Results: How many people with a career in music production attened school
yes, I went to college
46 Votes - 50.55%
no, I did not
45 Votes - 49.45%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

Old 20th March 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
My Future in Music Production

I was wondering how many people that have a career in music production went to college or had some type of education. I'm 17 and I plan to peruse a career in music production and I’ve been looking into a few colleges such as Full Sail and SAE but I’m curious to know if college is truly necessary, because if its not $40k would build a nice studio ( I doubt my mom would go for that)
Old 20th March 2006
  #2
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aevan's Avatar
 

I voted no. but I should point out that when I started (late 80's) there were still big studios around that hired full time assistants. I got to work on a daily basis with very good senior house engineers and also assist international engineers and producers when they were working out here. If I were starting out today I guess I'd be looking for working engineers that would let me come and assist them for nothing so I could learn in a real world setting rather than a theoretical one. I think you can learn some good theory in a school, but there is no substitiute for watching a master craftsman do what he does.
Old 20th March 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 

I went to college but I did not study audio. In the 90's I got a masters in Educational Technology- so my audio helped me with the degree, not the other way around.
Old 20th March 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Shandy's Avatar
 

Ditto... went to college but was an art major (How do you get an art major off your porch? Pay him for the pizza) and somehow fell into a dream gig as a studio director and (sometimes) engineer. The pay isn't spectacular, but it's ten minutes from home and I can't wait to go to work every morning.
Old 20th March 2006
  #5
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TornadoTed's Avatar
I voted no because I've never had the opportunity. I've always had the small family farm to run since my father passed away when I was a teenager. I've learned everything off my own back and by experimenting. I do feel I missed out to a degree because I'm not that technical, you're more likely to hear me say 'the bass sounds s**t' than 'there's a presence peak around 80 Hz' for example! I wish I was a tad more technically minded but I'm happy and I've never had a complaint from a client yet.
Old 20th March 2006
  #6
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

i've never been in a recording studio that hired someone because they went to college. i've worked as a staff engineer in more than a handful of rooms and i never took a single class and never got a single certificate.

the best way to learn recording is to record. the best way to get a job in a studio is to work at a studio. sweep the floors and clean connectors for **** money or no money, then start getting in as second assistant patching and setting up, then assistant hanging mics and getting sounds, then start bringing in your own clients and do your own work. get your name on music that is recorded. use it as references. then when you have a year or two under your belt and you've been involved with 30 records, a "big full time studio" is much more likely to take you in. not so much with a situation like "i got a piece of paper because i watched some guy talk about dead patches and compressors for 3 months and never did a single record."

keep in mind that if you want to be an engineer...that's pretty much all that you can think about doing, especially in the beginning. it's hands down the most stressful, time consuming job i've ever had. you have to think about recording and audio 365 days a year. if you don't, you'll get buried.

i'd vote no on full sail.
Old 20th March 2006
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyton
I was wondering how many people that have a career in music production went to college or had some type of education.

Let me check my counter:

Old 20th March 2006
  #8
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quoted from thread title: "View Poll Results: How many people with a career in music production attened school"

What's wrong with this question?

Ummm...besides the fact that "attend" is spelt incorrectly?

Don't laugh -- people judge you by your ability to pay attention to details. You'll probably notice that the vast majority of people on this board spell correctly -- so much so that those who don't do so stick out in a conspicuous way. Maybe engineers & engineer/producer/writer/player/businesspeople are a detail-oriented bunch.

O.K., enough of that. Ask yourself what drives you in the direction of, say, engineering. Are you a musician/player? If so, do you consider yourself an artist or bandmember or potential session player/programmer? Are you a melody/harmony writer or arranger? If McCarthy asked the question, I suppose it would be: "Are you, or have you ever been, creative?"

This is a serious question, and the answer doesn't >have< to be 'yes,' but it sure helps. If it's 'no,' then why are you attracted to engineering? Sure, it beats the heck out of studying physics for a lot of folks, but what do you do after that attraction to cool knobs & faders & sounds fades just a little and then more and more until you realize that the gear really is just a tool for your (or somebody else's) creative output? Mixing can be a LOT of fun, but if it's not your calling, it can be the most frustrating experience on the planet -- trust me, I've seen the metaphorical square peg >trying< to fit into a round hole. It sucks.

I really should wrap this one up. Search recording schools on this board and you'll see more long-winded debates by the GS family -- we've been over and over this one.

My opinion -- go to JMU or UVA or VA Tech or NOVA...does VA have "in-state" reciprocity with NC? Then go to NC School of the Arts (part of the 14-school UNC system) and learn MUSIC. You said you wanna do music production, right? Study piano performance for 4 years and run your studio out of your dorm room or frat house & record everyone you can. Get on the student union booking bands & artists and you may be able to quickly install yourself as a 'hot item' to major league & top indie booking agents & labels -- as the one who holds the keys to putting their bands in front of a highly desirable audience, you'll get to meet all of these artists and see what makes 'em tick...heck, you could bring along your iPod and ask for a critique on your productions/tunes. By 22, you'll know what the difference is between a winning package and a losing package AND how to create it. And you may be able to get the great state of VA to pick up much of the tab. Or go to Belmont (Nashville) or UCLA or NYU and get into a music mecca as quickly as possible while taking classes.

Maybe this isn't 'you,' but I beg you to consider the option of pursuing music FIRST and engineering SECOND. Just being a button-pusher doesn't get you as far as it used to. Just ask the vets on this board -- "are you better off today then you were five years ago?" Which ones are saying 'yes?' 1) The (really) lucky ones (read: WRITING/PUBLISHING), and 2) the ones who stayed ahead of the curve and kept themselves marketable -- in music (as opposed to post), this almost always means diversifying these days. Pure engineering is a shrinking market in which HUGELY talented and credited people are forced to deal with wages they wouldn't have sneezed at five years ago. Where do you think it's going in another five?

Or start a label/lifestyle revolution. That's really where it's at, especially since you wanna produce. The devil's in the details, but the real b&*tch is getting the project funded. I'd aim directly for the top of the food chain. And don't think you're too young. Trust me, everyone who's older is scared of you right now.
Old 20th March 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I went to music school to learn more about music, and the experience was one of the best times in my life. Sure, I also made lots of contacts and learned about the business, etc., but ultimately, I went to music school to learn more about music.

My 2 cents: A fancy looking diploma is no guarantee you'll land a job. Going to college is about immersing yourself 100% in a learning environment. If audio engineering is where your heart is, AND you are fortunate enough to have parents willing to help out, then you have a wonderful opportunity here.

JP

PS. Sting told one of my arranging teachers it took him years to learn techniques that were taught in his class in a single day. I've always thought this a great example of the type of accelerated learning college can provide.
Old 20th March 2006
  #10
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nathanvacha's Avatar
 

I am currently a student, and i'm almost done with an A.S. degree in music production. There are a lot of people who say it's not necesary... and it's probably not. But i planned to go to college, so i wanted a degree. Also, It is very inexpensive for me to go to school because i have a scholarship that pays 75% of tuition and as long as i am a full time student, i am still covered by my parents' health insurance 'till i'm 25. My tuition is probably cheaper than health insruance, and i have a degree to fall back on.

I go to a small school where we work on tdm systems, have four studios, and a student run record label and take gen-ed classes as well as courses in music busness, system design & maintenance, a.v., music theory, midi, recording, and post-production, etc.... so my degree is not just your run of the mill recording training.

Now, these may not be reasons enough for you to go, but this is why I chose to go, and not for training to run my own home studio. (don't get me wrong, i'd love to just own my own place (and all my own gear))


I also plan to continue school in the fall, however, and i'd prefer to come out with a bachelor's as long as someone else is paying most of it.
Also, for what it's worth, i live 15 minutes from full sail and chose to go to school somewhere else.

(edit)
Oh, also... i definetely wish i did not have to work during the time i'm going to school. The more you can devote yourself to what you're studying, the better. As many hours as you can put in in the studio when you're in school and can afford to make mistakes, the better. There's usually a system available to work on at my school and i hear that also at full sail,(which has waaay more students), a lot of the available lab time is usually open and not taken advantage of. That's just stupid.
Old 20th March 2006
  #11
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flail19's Avatar
 

dfegad My college degree in audio engineering and music business
Old 20th March 2006
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano
Quoted from thread title: "View Poll Results: How many people with a career in music production attened school"

What's wrong with this question?

Ummm...besides the fact that "attend" is spelt incorrectly?

Don't laugh -- people judge you by your ability to pay attention to details.
Nothing personal... it's funny to see "spelt" instead of "spelled" there.
Old 20th March 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by disco2k3
Nothing personal... it's funny to see "spelt" instead of "spelled" there.
From m-w.com (Merriam-Webster online)

Pronunciation: 'spelt
chiefly British past and past participle of SPELL

You missed out -- I had an incorrect spelling which I caught when I was initially reading it over.
Old 21st March 2006
  #14
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

i checked 'no' because i mistakenly thought you wanted to know who went to school specifically for recording and production.

ironically, one of the things i studied at school was how to design a survey that accurately elicited the info you were after.



gregoire
del ubik
Old 21st March 2006
  #15
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Unfortunately, I went to dfegad fool-sale (although my mom sure was proud when I graduated), so my answer is yes. While I usually regret the decision, I am glad that I got signal flow pounded into my brain, so much so that I can't even imagine not knowing where the insert point is in the chain.

I do wish I would have paid more attention in the studio maintenance course, but the guy teaching it was just so insane, I had a real hard time following him.

At no time during the course did anyone ever talk about actually "getting sounds". I sure wish one of the teachers would have said "hey, if you want the guitar brighter, put the mic more in the middle of the cone".

No schooling can teach you how to be a good engineer/mixer/producer, unless of course you're teacher is Michael Wagner and you happen to be Adam Mitchell.

Oh how I wish I could've used that $20,000 to support myself for a year while actually learning the ropes from someone that's made a real impact on the industry.....probably would've costed a lot less actually.
Old 21st March 2006
  #16
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nathanvacha's Avatar
 

benmrx, if you got in when it was 20k, i think you're lucky. As i hear, it's now around 45,000. Also, now that you mentioned insert points... i was looking for insert cables at GC a couple weeks ago, (i hate making insert cables) and the guy working there (who had his little full sail id lanyard on) had no clue what an insert cable was. I tried to no avail to explain it to him...

But to o.p., Peyton, where you from, man? There may be something close to where you live, too...
Old 7th July 2006
  #17
Gear Addict
 
confooshus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano
And don't think you're too young. Trust me, everyone who's older is scared of you right now.
That is an incredible statement... I actually got chills when I read it. For now, I love that about this industry. In 15 years I'll hate it.
Old 14th July 2006
  #18
Here for the gear
 

yes, i wents to college, but sometimes i think it was a waist of tyme
Old 14th July 2006
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
Seems a school wouldn't hurt for the meantime, but the great engineers and producers I've worked with started as tea-boy ...all of them. I'm talkin' guys that recorded Beatles, Queen, Led Zep, CSN&Y, Fleetwood, and so on.
Old 15th July 2006
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
AdamLazlo's Avatar
 

Who says you can't go but then drop out? I started by buying my own gear and and recording friends at practice spaces, garages, etc.

About a year later I went to a recording college... for about 3 months before dropping out. I went to the college after pounding the dirt and feeling like I wasn't learning enough just on my own. I wanted to pick the brains of the teachers and play around with some really expensive gear. It helped me out a lot and I'm glad I did it even if I didn't stay for the full program. It's been over 10 years since then I'm recording full-time, on my own.

A majority of the other students that stayed all the way thru to the end are not doing anything related to their degree, unfortunately. My peers were of all walks of life, from straight out of high school to people in their late 30's. The only reason I'd finish a whole A.S. or B.S. at that recording college is if I wanted to teach recording at a college.

The benefits of a recording college (or any college for that matter) is to see if your chosen field is the thing for you. Interning can do that for you as well but it's less direct and not as possibly disappointing (money-wise).

Considering you're still green (young, inexperienced, starry-eyed, and motivated), try for an internship. I'm guessing if your mom is cool with helping/supporting you with school, so tell her you'd like to take a year interning before considering college. You'll also find out if it's something you really want to do for the long run.

I did the same thing but concerning my band where we tried to "make it big". My parents were very supportive (even if they weren't thrilled) but I'm glad I gave it a shot, in my own way, even though it didn't work out, it was a stepping stone to where I am today.

-- Adam Lazlo
Old 15th July 2006
  #21
Gear Head
 
Tantrum's Avatar
 

I did go to school..... I wanted to learn but it also helped me get out of my little town! I sometimes do wish I would have just started in studios because that is where the real lessons are at! That being said when I think back I'm sure my decision was the right one for me and here's why:

1. Many people complained they weren't learning enough at this school, but I believe that you only get out what you put in. My course wasn't long so they had to cover things fast or as I like to call it "wet our appetite" so I would take notes and pick my instructors brain after class then find books that went more in depth until I was happy, you really can't expect them to teach you everything. You just have to be driven to learn (and this will be a huge asset for the rest of your career because nothing will ever be just handed to you in the real world).

2. People didn't use there studio time (this still amazes me)! Why do people feel they have to be told to record a band or a singer/songwriter or how to use the time after there labs are done! So I went in everyday I wasn't working to see if the studios were available..... and half the time they were, the other half I would go chat with my teacher, or other engineers in the building and try to assist. By the end of my school I was working with new students, and I had a job with a new studio down the hall from my school, because I made friends with the owner in the lunch room.

Now my course was short (1 year) and loads less than 40k (maybe 5k) but from it I learned the basics of recording, how to go about making contacts with other people, and gave me the chance to know for sure that this was the career that I wanted. I agree with Lazlo, make sure it's really what you want to do because it can be fun but it's a hard career!
Old 15th July 2006
  #22
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s_sibs's Avatar
 

Back when I was a youngin' I was a guitar player. That's all I wanted to do. College...blah! Nor did I want to go to a school like Berkley in Boston and have to take "regular" classes like science and history...blah! So I went to Rock-Head-University...I mean Musician Institute in Hollywood, CA for the 1 year course. This was before the Recording Institute wing of the school was open.

I had zero interest in recording at the time. But the thing that I took away from that school was HOW TO LEARN. It has served my well since then.

About 7 years ago while living in Boston and working in a band, I had the opportunity to help mix the cd my band had recorded. I hadn't paid an ounce of attention to the tracking of the whole record but was asked to help push faders and twist knobs as we mixed analoge on a Neotech board and Sony 24-track. After about 10 minutes I was HOOKED! I CAN DO THIS! I was making suggestions to the mix engineer/producer and he was saying, "yeah, your right."

After that weekend of hands-on recording training (the only official training/interning I've ever had) I set about learning everything I could about recording. Bought books on recording. Slowly built a small studio of equipment that I felt was slightly out of my league so I could grow into the gear. Recorded everything I could get my hands on...my high school choir, crappy garage bands, jazz bands at the local pub, simple ads for local mayoral campaigns. Nothing was out of the question.

My point of all this drivel is that, yes, for some people, school is the way to go. They may not be self motivating and need the guidance/push to succeed. Some people, like myself, can learn just as much by reading and studing/practicing ourselves.

BTW, I voted - no
Old 15th July 2006
  #23
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six_wax's Avatar
 

If you're a smart cookie, you can get a sh*tload out of that education. If you're a really smart cookie, you won't need it. I merely fell into the first category, apparently...

If school suits you more than getting coffee for people, you might be better suited to go that route. I fell into that category as well. thumbsup

The question is, how are you best going to learn? This is a question that you probably know the answer to already... stike
Old 15th July 2006
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
AdamLazlo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum
I did go to school..... I wanted to learn but it also helped me get out of my little town! I sometimes do wish I would have just started in studios because that is where the real lessons are at! That being said when I think back I'm sure my decision was the right one for me and here's why:

1. Many people complained they weren't learning enough at this school, but I believe that you only get out what you put in. My course wasn't long so they had to cover things fast or as I like to call it "wet our appetite" so I would take notes and pick my instructors brain after class then find books that went more in depth until I was happy, you really can't expect them to teach you everything. You just have to be driven to learn (and this will be a huge asset for the rest of your career because nothing will ever be just handed to you in the real world).

2. People didn't use there studio time (this still amazes me)! Why do people feel they have to be told to record a band or a singer/songwriter or how to use the time after there labs are done! So I went in everyday I wasn't working to see if the studios were available..... and half the time they were, the other half I would go chat with my teacher, or other engineers in the building and try to assist. By the end of my school I was working with new students, and I had a job with a new studio down the hall from my school, because I made friends with the owner in the lunch room.

Now my course was short (1 year) and loads less than 40k (maybe 5k) but from it I learned the basics of recording, how to go about making contacts with other people, and gave me the chance to know for sure that this was the career that I wanted. I agree with Lazlo, make sure it's really what you want to do because it can be fun but it's a hard career!
Excellent post... everything you said is spot on. The people I knew during the short time I was at a recording college that are actually working in our field were those that followed the philosophy of of what you stated. Show a lot of initiative, bury yourself in study, ask a lot of questions, and by the time of job placement the instructors will have your back (speaking to Peyton).

-- Adam Lazlo
Old 15th July 2006
  #25
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edvdr76's Avatar
I never went to school for audio. I started as a musician then my dad bought some cheap studio gear and from there on I started learning by trial and error. That was 13 years ago. I've recorded a few known names in the Regional Mexican music genre. Many songs on the radio and many albums sold with my credit on it. I learned a lot from a good friend of mine who owned a studio in Long Beach named Pacific Coast Recording. Now I have a ton of gear and mic's and instruments. Most of this is being payed by my music career which is going pretty good thank God.
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