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Have you attended a recording school/academy?

jcmark611

Member
Messages
7,131
I am considering attending a local recording school and wanted to see what other people's experiences were with these schools. I'm mostly attending for fun but, if a job offer comes along I certainly will consider it. (Not likely with my location)

So what was it like? Do you feel it was worth the money? Did it get you a job? Did the instructors take it too seriously? Anything else you want to add is great with me. TIA.
 
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Thinsocks

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,442
I went to the Los Angeles Recording Workshop back in '99. I think it's called the Los Angeles Recording School or something now. It was a little over 10k for a 6 month course. First off, you get what you put into it. I met a lot of people and learned a lot, but in hindsight I probably could have just tried to intern at a studio and saved myself 10k. Plenty of people go that route and make it work. The job placement at my school was a joke. The school ended up setting me up with a job working for Andy Dick as his assistant (No clue what that has to do with recording). My classmates who did get studio jobs ended up being runners and getting coffee, etc. Eventually some of them made it into the rooms on sessions, and a few of them even worked there way up the ladder after a couple of years. Once again, I could have easily gotten my foot in the door and been a runner at a studio without paying 10k. NOBODY I went to school with got into a studio as a engineer right away. It doesn't work that way and don't let the school tell you otherwise (They will). Get ready to work for 6-12 months at the very bottom of the ladder and pay scale. Also, one of the issues I had about the recordings school I went to (and the ones I looked at) was the amount of fresh out of high school kids in the classes who had zero motivation. They tended to hold things up. As far as the teachers at my school, a few were VERY knowledgeable and great teachers... some where simply at the school because they were not that employable to say the least.
 

marcher5877

Member
Messages
704
I have worked with a wide variety of engineers and studio muscians and they all say the same thing...

"It doesnt matter where you go to school or what you have done. Its all about who you know and getting along with people, the music industry is a very small world and you will see these people again..."

Actually, that pretty much goes in any business, but the music industry tends to attract more than its share of eccentric and bizzare behaviors. The people that get the gigs are the ones that 1)show up! 2)do a decent job 3)can laugh when they they screw up, or when someone around them screws up.


Honestly it doesnt take that much talent to set up a mic stand and set out some headphones. The good engineers are the ones that learn to coax the best performance out of the musicians and are able to have the tape (or protools...) running.

There is a HUGE difference between saying "that was ****, do it again" and saying "thats was good, but I know you have one more in you that will really shine..."
Especially at 8:00 am when the next band is ready to load in the studio and you have been up all night trying to figure out why the mic wasnt recieving signal when it turns out that the intern (that left 9 hours ago) used all mic cords from the pile of cords with the "Do Not Use-not working!" sign on it. (true story!)

Same thing being said, but the good engineers know how to get what they need out of the muscian.
 

mdog114

Member
Messages
3,837
I went to the Institute of Audio Research back in the early 80's. It was a great program, and the school was right in the village. I got to work with some great talent and at some great rooms!

I still use all the hard stuff (math, electrical engineering stuff) all the time at my studio.
 

marcher5877

Member
Messages
704
I know that I overslimplified, but I wanted to stress that you can learn how to set up mics and record, but its just as important to learn how to deal with the amazing variety of people and personalities you meet in the music industry.
 

soli528

Look, my first gold medal.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,966
Went to Full Sail (For Sale) (09/02, RA). I felt like I learned twice as much in 14 months as I had in the last fourteen years of school. I actually went there after graduating from college, working in the "real world" and deciding I just wanted to be a part of making records. Believe it or not, that was before the bottom fell out of the recording industry and people were actually still excited about the prospects. I was near the top of my class at graduation, thought I knew it pretty well. Moved to ATL and started interning and doing some second engineer work. Learned a lot more still. Part of what I learned was that you have to be the guy that doesn't mind working all night just on the vocal track of just the hook of just one song on an album. When I say all night, I mean 10 at night to 7am. Also, you've got to be willing to make$8-15/hr. for a while; like, a few years. Also you have to be willing to accept diminishing hours available from month to month.
So is it worth the money? I was able to parlay most of what I learned at Full Sail into other jobs outside the recording industry, such as video work and higher education. I would not have landed those jobs had I not attended there, so yes, it worked out in the end, though not as I imagined it would. Seven years later, I'm still paying for it (but I'm almost done).
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,741
I am considering attending a local recording school and wanted to see what other people's experiences were with these schools. I'm mostly attending for fun but, if a job offer comes along I certainly will consider it. (Not likely with my location)

So what was it like? Do you feel it was worth the money? Did it get you a job? Did the instructors take it too seriously? Anything else you want to add is great with me. TIA.
I teach a recording program at a university. Ours is a Music Business/Production degree (BS in IDS).

I see students who go through the program and are successful, and others who go through it and become Dog Groomers.

I think it is very highly a "you get what you put into it" kind of scenario. And of course it's also a "you get what you can take away form the experience" deal.

And I'll echo the sentiments of it's a "who you know" world. You certainly have to know *things* too, but you still need to work with people.

I can tell immediately when a student is going to succeed. When they show up.

The biggest thing you can do to destroy yourself is to be unreliable. Musician, engineer, whatever. You don't show, or you're constantly late, or unprepared - people won't want to work with you. Maybe if you're the greatest singer *ever*, or get a recorded sound on drums like no one ever before you, but even then, at some point, people's tolerance goes out the window.

I think places like Full Sail are conscious of their reputation and they're going to want to place their graduates in high profile positions - that is, their "stellar" graduates.

When someone comes to me and says, "I need someone to record me", the first person I recommend is 1. Not the guy who makes awesome beats but never shows up on time or returns his calls, and 2. Not the guy who already works at a studio but misses every other class and can't complete a project because he thinks "I've already got a job doing voice-overs, what do I need this education for", but 3. I'll give the gig to the guy who is reliable, has a good ear, and works well with people. They rave about him. Even though he's green (they always ask for someone "cheap" - a student), they love him, because he does what they need him to do in a timely fashion, and does it to their liking.

So even though we don't have the reputation of a Full Sail, I'm still going to recommend my really good students, and not my crappy ones (for whatever reason makes them crappy) because I don't want to do anyone wrong. So I would think places like that would want to provide people who show how worthwhile their education was (especially since they're generally for-profit business TMK).

What I would look for, is that they teach *concept* in addition to software and hardware. Experience with hardware and software is certainly worthwhile, but you need to be able to *apply* it. Make sure there's a good amount of theory, and practical application blended in with the "these are the keyboard shortcuts in Pro Tools. Memorize them."

HTH,
Steve
 




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