Should I go to recording school?

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Meg K
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Post by Meg K » Sun May 06, 2007 6:46 pm

This seems like a good thread for de-lurking.

I am currently in audio school, and I will be completing the program this summer. Here are the pros and cons of school, in my experience:

Cons:

I don't have prospective employers begging to hire me, unfortunately. I had these grand dreams of leaving my current day job immediately upon graduation, but it just doesn't seem like that's going to happen. The job market is competitive, and a diploma from my school is not neccessarily going to impress anyone.

It costs a significant amount of money.


Pros:

I have had wonderful teachers. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to work with some of them, someday.

My interests in physics and technology have been rekindled through my classes in electronics and acoustics.

I am now an intern in a recording studio, an opportunity I don't think I would've been offered at this point in my life if I hadn't gone to school.

I am confident that I want this to be my career, and confidence makes me willing to make sacrifices, and work harder than I would for something I wasn't sure about.




I am really glad that I decided to go to audio school. Maybe I'll feel differently a few years from now, but I have learned a lot that I don't think I would've learned on my own.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun May 06, 2007 7:40 pm

You "sound" like the type of person that gets hired, NOT, the normal person one gets to interview when the audio school calls to send you a recent grad.
Most grads have no concept of work ethic or starting from the bottom and ascending from the starting point by showing intelligence, know how, gear and patchbay knowledge, consistent quality work, ability to follow directions and ask questions when needed and have common sense too.
It's rare I tell you.
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trask
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Post by trask » Wed May 09, 2007 2:00 pm

I didn't go to school, but damn, I wish I could get a student loan just to use to pay my rent so I could leave my full time job and get in the studio more, or just record more at home.

The classic catch-22 that is my life. I gotta work to pay the bills, and that chops into most of my avail. opportunities to get into the studio. But as it stands, I usually end up getting home from my day job and working my "night job/home schooling" of recording, and I'll listen to music, read anything/everything, record, sing, play guitar, drum, whatever, for anywhere from 1-6 hours. Go to bed at 2am and get up and do it all over.

As for now, I'm still trying to make it to 25 (only a few months away at this point), when my monthly costs will be down (my car insurance will drop, and my car will be paid off), then I'll have more money to dish into recording gear, and be able to take some days off of work so I CAN actually get into the studio more.

that's the plan at least.. until then, I'm just doing my homework...
off somewhere listening.

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jonnymo
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Post by jonnymo » Wed May 09, 2007 2:30 pm

It's already been mentioned but I wanted to second a huge pro:

CONTACTS!!

I went to film school (concentrated in sound design), jerked around for about a year after, ended up in an office for two years, until someone I hadn't talked to since school shot me an email asking what I was doing and if I was interested in engineering for a studio...

So basically, I did *nothing* to further my career in media after leaving school, but because of people I knew from school (along with the fact that I busted my ass and achieved a fair amount in that school's microcosm during my time there) I have a job in media today.

So yeah. Those aren't just friends you're making sitting around in class and critiquing each other's weird projects. They will give you work (if you're good)!

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Wed May 09, 2007 3:37 pm

That man posts a great deal there, look for friends, seen that happen plenty, nuttin wrong with it. Just seems more satisfying to me to bust ass and have a good placement department. I mean, what the heck good is a school for something that most people don't have a clue about if they can't place you in a job and internship?
Center for the Media Arts in NYC had a great one, Anita Parker. Joel might remember it. It's gone now.
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McPorkChoppy
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Post by McPorkChoppy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:09 pm

inflatable wrote:No

showbizoperawalrus
audio school
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school

Post by showbizoperawalrus » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:58 pm

ask the guy who spent thirty grand in tuition and works at the guitar center.
then again, ask the guy who made 3 of my favorite records ever.
they both went to the same art school.

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silvertonejones
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NO!!!

Post by silvertonejones » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:16 am

Absolutely NOT!..But that's my humble opinion....Thank heavens for this place is all i can say..Jump in, roll your sleeves up and get dirty is all i can say..Listen, with phones, get familiar with SOUND and the way it strikes you....I got into this at the age of 28 after being an artist for a long while..I recorded at a shitload of studios with tin eared engineers..I finally bought me some DA88's and some cheap ass gear and went to work on my first album..It was the best thing for me,and i finally heard ME in the recordings..Since then i had people ask me to make their records and little by little my Asmall NYC apartment became a big loft in Chester CT...I still feel like they're gonna find me out,since i have no degree and i have no idea what the fuck people are talking about half the time..FEEL.....

www.myspace.com/dirtfloorstudio
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japmn
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Post by japmn » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:21 am

I learned a lot while at CRAS but have learned 10X as much by actually working with people who know what they are doing. The most two valuable things I ever did was buy a 31 band Graphic Eq and sit down with it and learn frequencies and how they affect neighboring frequencies and how much is too much and buy a compressor and sit down with it and learn to really hear how ratio, attach, and release actually affect the way a compressor works and how much is too much.

magnetglue
audio school
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Post by magnetglue » Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:56 am

If you want to skip recording school, get a copy of "Assistant Engineers Handbook" by Tim Crich.

It not only discusses the various technical aspects of a recording session, but it tells you about how sessions FLOW. I'm not talking about a simple signal flow, the book does mention that, but also session priorities, setting up the studio, takesheets, equipment setup, assembling master reels, how to get a job, how to deal with clients, produers, engineers, artists, and studio managers -- and you can't forget how to wrap a cable. Not to mention what you're expected to be doing after you get hired, whether you're a runner, assistant, or engineer.

If I owned a commercial studio, it'd be a required reading for everyone there.

And it comes with a blank track sheet, session sheet, mic input sheet, tape label, spine label, maintenance report form, delay chart, inventory sheet, cross-patching sheet, and sends/inserts/bussing sheet.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:42 pm

magnetglue wrote:If you want to skip recording school, get a copy of "Assistant Engineers Handbook" by Tim Crich.

It not only discusses the various technical aspects of a recording session, but it tells you about how sessions FLOW. I'm not talking about a simple signal flow, the book does mention that, but also session priorities, setting up the studio, takesheets, equipment setup, assembling master reels, how to get a job, how to deal with clients, produers, engineers, artists, and studio managers -- and you can't forget how to wrap a cable. Not to mention what you're expected to be doing after you get hired, whether you're a runner, assistant, or engineer.

If I owned a commercial studio, it'd be a required reading for everyone there.

And it comes with a blank track sheet, session sheet, mic input sheet, tape label, spine label, maintenance report form, delay chart, inventory sheet, cross-patching sheet, and sends/inserts/bussing sheet.
best post yet!
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Sean Shannon
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Post by Sean Shannon » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:09 am

If you don't go to an organized recording school, where else are you going to learn the tricks of the trade? At home by yourself with a book? Knocking on the doors of a recording studio, trying to get in on the good sessions? Might take awhile.

Obviously experimenting on your own is good, but a mentor can make a big difference in your experience level.

There are good schools that don't cost $40,000. Unfortunately, they don't have the same advertising muscle the the big tuitions pay for, so you have to dig deeper. Research the program before you commit.
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Jess P
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Re: Should I go to recording school?

Post by Jess P » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:14 pm

I went to a school and I'm glad I did. It's not for everyone, but school is what I needed. I learned a lot.

I got a good internship at a major studio in NYC. I was there 6 months, no pay along with about 6 other guys. The studio was struggling and not planning on hiring any assistants anytime soon. Especially when every few weeks a new wave of interns wash in. They have an unlimited supply of free labor. I had to move on.

I have a day job to support my recording, and I think that's how it is with a lot of people (according to some of these posts). I wish I was in it full time, and hopefully I will be. I have a home studio and I'm consistantly busy working on paying (read: low paying) projects. It could be worse. :)

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:20 pm

I worked the lunch shift at a restaurant, went to intern when my shift was over, went to do the dinner shift, came back to the studio till 3 or 5 am, then went home to snooze for 3-5 hours and started all over again, days I didn't have a shift i was in the studio, for free, for a while, till there was nothing else to teach me and my gigs started paying. Then I just started working and the gigs got better and better and bigger and bigger.
Oh well.
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Carl Hungus
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Post by Carl Hungus » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:51 pm

I would caution anyone against spending so much on educating themselves towards a profession that guarantees so little stability. Its like going to school for acting. I'm one of those rare (and fortunate) people who makes a living doing what he set out to in the audio world, and I would still caution people against entering this field. And I certainly advise against entering it with thousands in school loans.

Recording school is an easy out, people with true passion for audio will educate themselves and take it upon themselves to make the introductions they need. With such a high supply of people who desire to enter the world of professional audio, you have to distinguish yourself somehow, and schools are cookiecutters with little real world value.

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