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Amp/Preamp or Microphone Building electrical audio engineering school
Old 31st August 2011
Gear Head

Amp/Preamp or Microphone Building electrical audio engineering school

Does anyone know of any west coast type of schools or college where there is a big emphasis on building preamps, microphones, or other audio devices (the electrical engineering side of things rather than recording)?
Old 31st August 2011
Lives for gear
frans's Avatar
No coast:
Group DIY - Index

This is the school where you want to be.
Old 31st August 2011

Don't waste money on school. Get a few books on beginner electronics, a nice soldering iron, and some tools!

Start small with easy projects like guitar pedals and work your way up to mics and pre's.
Old 31st August 2011
an electrical engineering degree however wouldn't be a bad idea. that's applicable outside the realm of music for decent pay as well.
Old 31st August 2011
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
an electrical engineering degree however wouldn't be a bad idea. that's applicable outside the realm of music for decent pay as well.

Yeah, I can see skipping school for being an audio engineer, but for this?

Go to school man.

Get an internship / apprenticeship at a gear manufacturer in the same area you wish to enter into. Learn from those that came before you that did great things.

I wouldn't skip the school route here.

Sadly, I don't really know where to begin to suggest that you apply.

Audio engineering is largely artistic, and designing gear can be too, at the prototype stage when listening to your designs.

That said, you need far more technical chops to design gear IMHO than needed to record and mix a song. There are those that have done it, but they are few, and were / are extremely gifted.

Even if you are this gifted, knowing what was done prior to you coming along, why it works, and why it was done, is crucial.

You also need heavy math and trouble shooting skills...these should be second nature to you.

The suggestion of going on the DIY forums is a good one, but remember that there they are largely doing clones, or versions of existing designs.
Tweaks here and there.

Little done there is a groundbreaking, or new design.

If you are looking to do that, go to school, get the chops.

Best of luck to you,
Old 31st August 2011
download your favorite devices schematics, and start to learn to read them. get some books on electricity and electronics. learn the symbols that go with schematics.

then build some kits. buy up kits to build and sell, make a little scratch. then buy up existing designs and try and improve them somehow. learn to diagnose circuits and op-amps. after all that becomes second nature, start to design your own circuits. start small, and expect things to burn on your pathway all the way to this point.

and for the love of god start an electronics store chain that sells good parts and burys ****ing radioslack in the ground. PLEASE. I'll pay your tuition.
Old 31st August 2011
Here for the gear

having a BSEE and being a gear designer, let me tell you that I can see both sides of this coin.

I haven't recently researched it, but if you're interested in building analog audio equipment, I think you'll be pretty disappointed with today's curriculum. If you're interested in electrical engineering as a discipline, then school is not a bad option. If you want to build gear for a living eventually, I'd take everyone's advice above and just start building projects NOW.

If you're going to engineering college anyways and just trying to look at options, I think most schools are on equal footing in this regard. You won't find much audio emphasis anywhere unless you're talking DSP. I'd just look for a school with a strong analog curriculum, with heavy lab work/requirements. Also as a general rule: UC schools tend to be very theory based. which means less lab work, and not even any senior projects. The Cal-poly's tend to have much more hands on experience. Keep this in mind if you're looking at California schools. Also, note that AES has student groups at various colleges. Maybe check to see how strong the AES presence is at different schools.

Also, if you're interested in a career designing analog audio equipment, I think you'll also be pretty disappointed with the current options out there right now. Most design jobs a big companies have gone to China and Korea (which was previously the entry level for recent grads). If it's a smaller company, there is one senior designer at the company who does everything. If you want a job as a spec designer, there's plenty of options.

Don't mean to sound like a debbie downer, but the most brilliant analog audio electronics designers I've worked with never went to college. The only thing you might miss is the math, but honestly most of the time I'm using V=IR or VI=P. Unless you want to do some brainy AES type research, don't worry about going to school for it.
Old 31st August 2011
You can definitely learn the basics from the internet, but if you want to actually "DESIGN" a circuit, you should go to school.
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