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Audio Engineering schools (is it a rip off?) where is the passion?
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Dot.'s Avatar
Audio Engineering schools (is it a rip off?) where is the passion?

Ok i got inspired by reading one of the posts here. I'll start it straight from my perspective no BSing. I'm 24 now. Luckily im able to make a living out of music production and engineering. Im still building my base obviously anyway, I wanna make my story short. I came from Poland to Toronto almost 5 years ago, I had nothing here. completely 0. My dream was to go to Audio engineering school since I was a kid but hey not everybody was born rich, (15 grand for a year of education). for first 8 months I had to go through whole bunch of BS here, then I was working construction for 1.5 year and spend all the money on equipment. so really 2 years just doing music part time (not really) but I was reading a lot about engineering, mixing and so on. Meanwhile obviously I tried to get loan for the school and what not, I didn't get it anyway since I was a fresh in new country. FRUSTRATION, DISAPPOINTMENT, ANGER and all that i just could think of. then lost my construction job (which was a blessing) I had gear, i had time so I started doing music 24/7 everyday a week. I don't know how it happened but with time I started making money of what I really love. so overall I'd say it took me around 3 years to develop a decent sound (I'm still working on it as everybody who want to grow). Now i know people who finished all the "engineering" and blah blah schools, and what they do?? McDonalds, warehouse or some other non-music related stuff. some have to pay off osap another had a privilege of having "rich parents" who paid for their school, and after school for their equipment and they barely understand what they really do. tutt

Now the big question is, does schools really care who they really accept or it's just about waving a stack of $$ in front of them and you're in?

not to say there's no good engineers/mixers afters schools because I know there are.


we all complain about how the music sounds, (yes and no at the same time) but who is there to blame? Studios don't really welcome people with passion for internships, they are straight up with it, you wanna learn you have to pay. 1 Studio told me 1s If I pay them they will give me internship and give me certificate. I was like WTF? I work for you (free) and I have to pay (3 grand) to have an internship? I understand there's more people than spots tho.

I think no matter what you do in life you need to have passion for it because it's gonna help you go through the hardest times. I think it just tastes better for me because I put my heart, blood (literally), mind, soul and whatever else to it.

It's just my opinion and question at the same time. Feel free to share your opinions and stories.

wow that was long post
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Recording schools are a business, supply and demand, that's it.

Of course they don't care about how you fare in the future, only that you can pay the bills now. No more than a mortgage broker cares if you lose your job in the future, only that you fulfil the criteria at the present moment.
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
I got a very good education at OU where I got my degree. The degree has stood the test of time and I am still using everything I learned today almost 50 years later. The two things my college taught me, which I am always grateful for, was to be able to think on my feet and to know how to find information and then use it effectively.

College or audio school is what you make it. If you sit passively in class and do only the minimum amount of work then yes it is a waste of money. If you however do all you can to learn in the classroom and do a lot of extra work outside the classroom then you will get a very good education.

I worked in the local college radio station, in the college's TV station and was the station manager of the first intradorm radio station which I helped to build, staff and program.

Just like life college can be fun, it can be exciting, it can be adventurous and it can be dreadfully dull...it is all on how you approach it.

Best of luck and follow your inner voice!!!
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
suedesound's Avatar
 

i think the op might be reffering to a post i made in another thread. as far as schools caring about who gets in this pretty much sums it up:

Quote:
Recording schools are a business, supply and demand, that's it.

Of course they don't care about how you fare in the future, only that you can pay the bills now. No more than a mortgage broker cares if you lose your job in the future, only that you fulfil the criteria at the present moment.
i don't think they're total crap like a lot of people do though. it moved me much further into what i wanted to be doing, i got a lot out of it and made a lot of connections through it. i also went to an accredited school that offered a bachelors so i have more to show for it than a "certificate". yeah it sucks making those loan payments but there's a small group of us that graduated around the same time that are going strong in different parts of the industry and i've made friends with several other alumni that are doing the same.

i think in any career/major there's people who believe that just going to school and getting that peice of paper automatically guarantees them a job, school is just the first step down a long road you have to be willing to trudge.
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dot. View Post

Now the big question is, does schools really care who they really accept or it's just about waving a stack of $$ in front of them and you're in?
?

if you are already good, you hardly need to go to school, now do you?


there's a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown's sister is going to her first day of school. She complains "why am I being sent to school? I don't know how to read or write or anything!"


I don't get your rant. Who should they be accepting? If they have more applicants than spaces, I suppose they can turn the lowest-qualified people down. But how many schools are in that position?

When you get out of school and open up your own studio, do you turn away clients who can pay, but whose music is not up to your lofty standards?
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
skyshooter's Avatar
I attended and graduated from "The Recording Workshop" in Chillicothe, OH. I attended solely based on catalogs and mailings they sent, 1987 - pre internet. I got a ton out of it, many attending with me did not. I believe it was more due to the motivation factor. The school was about 14 weeks long, no it never got me a job, but it sure helped by teaching me skills I didn't have before. The cost was about $7K USD. Hands on using real gear, in real studios, nice teachers, had a really bad lab partner (he was there to get away from cocaine and other bad influences back home, and his uncle was also attending - had lots of money, too keep an eye on the nephew), plus side I got a ton of solo hands on time with gear, downside it made our partner project almost impossible to complete as good as I wanted it to be (the kid was a total space cadet, cared about nothing and could barely comprehend why he was there). But I made the best, learned a ton, had a great roommate, met some cool friends from all over.

Before that I tried a new local school of recording that was opening up - (I knew nothing back then, a total NOOB), I owned more gear than they had in the lab, and as we talked they asked me if I might have an interest in teaching instead of becoming a student, I ran away quickly. (Art Institute). I did do some work in local pro studios and interned for a few months with a local home studio. Eventually I got into sound programming and sample library work with a few good companies made a living until I switched to photography (Atlantic artist had me contracted for half a decade). Now days recording is a hobby for me, not a living, but school in Ohio was worth every penny spent to me.

Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app so please forgive any bad auto-correct. I'll try to fix it in the mix later!
Old 4th September 2011
  #7
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dot. View Post

we all complain about how the music sounds, (yes and no at the same time) but who is there to blame? Studios don't really welcome people with passion for internships, they are straight up with it, you wanna learn you have to pay. 1 Studio told me 1s If I pay them they will give me internship and give me certificate. I was like WTF? I work for you (free) and I have to pay (3 grand) to have an internship? I understand there's more people than spots tho.t
Studios that make people pay for internships are not trading businesses. they THINK they are, they SELL themselves as, and they may even have been in the past, but they are no longer currently trading properly. Stay away from them until they learn how to operate successfully as a business because:

a) they have no relevant clients
b) they are out of touch

It may not be their fault - but as noted so often, that is the way the biz is.

Secondly - the number of people wanting internships waaaay outstrips demand. Even then - most people who want internships are doing it from some misguided thrill seeking. This is not a glamourous job.

Third - I have interns. I pay them. Two of them.
Old 4th September 2011
  #8
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Recording schools are a business, supply and demand, that's it.

Of course they don't care about how you fare in the future, only that you can pay the bills now. No more than a mortgage broker cares if you lose your job in the future, only that you fulfil the criteria at the present moment.
.

Exactly.

.
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
41517
Guest
Audio Schools = snake oil salesmen.
And don't get me started on "internships", or as it's known in the 3rd world... Slave labor.
Old 6th September 2011
  #10
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfalk View Post
Audio Schools = snake oil salesmen.
And don't get me started on "internships", or as it's known in the 3rd world... Slave labor.
mine are on £24k.... about $38k..... I suppose they're a bit more than interns!! heh
Old 6th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
If a studio wants to charge someone to intern there they are breaking the law. Labor laws on internships, look 'em up. Unless we're not talking about the United States here...in that case I'm ignorant on other countries' laws.
Old 6th September 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Studios that make people pay for internships are not trading businesses. they THINK they are, they SELL themselves as, and they may even have been in the past, but they are no longer currently trading properly. Stay away from them until they learn how to operate successfully as a business because:

a) they have no relevant clients
b) they are out of touch

It may not be their fault - but as noted so often, that is the way the biz is.

Secondly - the number of people wanting internships waaaay outstrips demand. Even then - most people who want internships are doing it from some misguided thrill seeking. This is not a glamourous job.

Third - I have interns. I pay them. Two of them.
Same here we have always paid our interns.
Old 10th September 2011
  #13
restpause
Guest
Sound Engineering school was not worth it for me. It was tons of fun and yes I did learn a lot. But unfortunately I learned that I didn't want to be a sound engineer. Also they taught me some stuff that was quickly being obsoleted by the computer revolution. I went there for the wrong reasons and by the time I was nearing graduation I wanted to change my major. But after so much time and energy and money spent I just graduated instead of changing my major and continuing school.

I learned more about becoming a prosumer than anything else.

Luckily I spent a lot of my free time teaching myself other music and music tech things and being taught by my friends as well. I'm not saying my teachers were bad... really they were great. It's just that some of that could've been learned other ways and in a more hands-on approach with books and real world experience. But some of it is my fault too. I was too afriad to intern.

I'm really more of a musician than sound engineer but I engineer my own stuff because I don't feel like having someone else do it when i'm supposed to be trained to do it myself. Also I keep hoping to improve my skills to the point that I don't mind doing it. Gradually it seems to be working out over the decades. But only for my music. Sound Engineering is not a career for me.

But I might go back to school for computer science or something. Ironically, I'd like to program for audio or maybe image processing. Something in DSP. But I'm way behind the curve. I've been out of school for just over a decade now.

WTF? I just don't know...
Old 10th September 2011
  #14
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elambo's Avatar
I've hired several people who attended an audio school and several who have not. I've discovered that, in the long run, there's no real advantage to an institution which focuses on audio. It's handy having an employee who can step in and immediately understand the basics of the recording chain, compression, eq, etc., but what's far and away more important is their ambition to improve themselves, and the company they work for, with a close 2nd place being their ability to problem solve on their feet.

These days, it's almost purely character and ambition that I look for, and I don't know that audio schools are teaching that, nor are they teaching big-picture problem solving. I'm not sensing it in the applicants that have graduated for these schools and applied at my company.

So do employers look for this on a resume? Some do. Many people I've talked to don't care, for the reasons I've mentioned above. Engineering is much easier today than it was 20 years ago, and an engineer's task has changed, so we (employers) look for different things.
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
If a studio wants to charge someone to intern there they are breaking the law. Labor laws on internships, look 'em up. Unless we're not talking about the United States here...in that case I'm ignorant on other countries' laws.
Yes, I was just about to point this out. If you are paying the studio, then it is by definition not an internship. Uncle Same LOVES to fine the **** out of people and businesses, I wonder what the fines are for violating this law?

Makes me want to call a bunch of places that put out nothing but crap work and ask for internships while recording the conversation.....too bad I don't think I really would go through with it...
Old 14th September 2011
  #16
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Audio school is what you make it. I at one time acceptted students but no longer. When I did it was collage students only that were enrolled and required to have an internship. I had MANY interns tell me they learned more in one month with me than two semesters at school. Me being a nice guy would buy lunch/dinner for those looong sessions. And they would get other 'perks' too. One has to find a good school and a GREAT place to do internships with.
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