Recording/Mastering Schools In Southern California

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by coldwaternights, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. coldwaternights

    coldwaternights Member

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    Hey guys,


    I'm considering going to school to get a degree or certification in recording/mastering/mixing........all that stuff.

    I figured it may be the best way to make a career out of it.

    I'm looking at my options in southern California.
    Anyone have any experience in this?

    Does anyone have any schools to recommend?
    I do home recording on my own using Logic X but i would love to do it for a living and work with other artists and learn to produce and master albums.

    One place i was looking at is this one: http://www.ocrecordingschool.com

    There are a LOT of options in this area.......i just wanted to know what are some of the better programs, what kind of advice any experts here could give me, etc.


    Thanks!
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    The Recording Workshop in Ohio is a very good one.

    Short, good program, and it won't bankrupt you.

    I know several people who've gone there, they all speak highly of it, and are good engineers.

    Going into debt to learn recording is folly, IMHO.
     
  3. coldwaternights

    coldwaternights Member

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    Ok............you do understand i said Southern California, right?
    Going to Ohio to learn recording would be folly.

    Anyway, i don't plan on getting in debt.
    I just want to get into Mastering/Mixing programs....i think it would help to get a job in a nice studio and work with other musicians.


    Does anyone have any advice?
    Is this the wrong forum?
     
  4. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I mentioned that particular one because it may possibly be able to teach you the skills you need to work in the field.

    What's your skill level?

    If you're already making what your friends would consider "great" recordings on your home setup, and you're better than everyone you know, you may be at the place where paying to learn some of the more advanced technical stuff would be of benefit.

    If you're starting from ground zero, it's very easy to get buried in debt, and still not be prepared to do the job, when you get out. "Recording schools" are pumping out graduates by the thousands, who will never get a job in the field.

    If you want to stay local, look into taking some recording courses at a community college - the basics they teach are the same ones you'll learn at an expensive "Certificate" place.

    Then, get a rig and start recording people.

    When your home stuff sounds as good as what's coming out of a studio, check out some nicer mid-level studios and cut a deal with one to bring in clients.

    Voila, you're a recording engineer!

    As a rule, there are no "jobs" recording music - you'll be a freelance contractor. You'll work mainly evenings and weekends. If you don't work, you don't get paid, so you'll have to take every project that presents itself.

    If you're looking for full-time employment, consider gaming or TV/film companies, but it's a very different skillset than music recording.
     
  5. xXMeebleXx

    xXMeebleXx Member

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    There is a SAE in LA. I went to one in 2011... you learn a hell of a lot, get everything you need, and get set up with a great network of contacts. It was like $32000 for the 9 month program when I went.
     
  6. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Side note: For years, my dad owned a trailer park right next door. He wouldn't rent to the students though. lol, I'm sure the phrase long-haired hippie went through his mind on more than one occasion.
     
  7. Thinsocks

    Thinsocks Supporting Member

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    I went to The Los Angeles Recording School. Honestly, I'd advise against going to school for recording engineering. Even the engineers I know that have amazing resumes and worked with huge acts have told me they are starting to rethink their careers. A lot of them have already moved on to doing other things. With the rise in home recording, so many of the commercial studios have closed or downsized. There are just a lot less jobs then before and way to many people competing for those jobs. If you want to work in a studio, be prepared to do it for free as a "runner" once you get out of school. In hindsight I wish I would have taken the video editing program. My friends that did that are making a great living and they had a lot more varied options as far as jobs once they left school. OR get into a program that does sound for movies and television. That's another hard one to get a foot in the door, but if you can make it into the union it's a really amazing gig.
     
  8. Unnecessary

    Unnecessary Member

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    A lot of the "seasoned" engineers I've talked to really just need to understand their skills are not worth $50 an hour anymore. If I wanted to make a reasonable living doing recording I would need to be mobile, super flexible, and I would only be able to charge $15-$20 an hour for set-up/tracking, and around the same for mixing/mastering.
     
  9. Thinsocks

    Thinsocks Supporting Member

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    Having lived in Los Angeles for 13 years, I can tell you that you are not going to make it on a job that pays $15 bucks a hour. OR be able to afford a mobile recording set-up. My last apartment in Korea Town was $1250 a month and was 300 Sq feet.
     
  10. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    I went to the Los Angeles Recording Workshop, and it was good, but I kind of agree with Thinsocks. I enjoyed the experience a lot. How cool is it to get up and go to "mic placement" class? However, after my internship at a pretty well-known studio in L.A., I took a break from it and never went back. I like having the knowledge, but I couldn't see it as a career path for myself.
     
  11. Unnecessary

    Unnecessary Member

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    True, I don't live in LA and I'm basing my value on the local market. Still, studios are stupidly expensive for how little they are needed anymore....so you have three million dollars in gear, big whoop, I hear records recorded on potatoes with laptops that sound just as good and they didn't cost $600 a day to record. If the average band took the 5-6 grand they would need to make an "ok" studio record with an engineer and invested it in a computer, some gear, some mics, and a few online classes, they could probably get similar results in the same amount of time, and still have some dough left over for merch, plus equipment to do it again and again.

    Just buy some online lessons from somewhere, practice it, and start doing it while working regular job. If you're good, you'll get more work, and eventually maybe you won't need the real job anymore.
     
  12. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    If your goal is to "get a job in a nice studio", no amount of education will do that any more. You might as well go knock on studio doors and ask to work as an intern for free. If they will take you, you will learn what they want you to know, teach you what they want you to learn and maybe actually give you a paying job some day.

    None of the recording programs, even the ones with internship programs, offer job placement. If you work as an intern somewhere and they like you, you might get a foot in the door.

    Jobs as recording engineers in "nice studios" (or even crappy studios) are few and far between. Mid level studios are owend buy guys who operate them. They can barely afford to operate the business and pay themselves a living wage. "Nice studios" use independent engineers who are hired by the artist.

    It's best to learn audio from the ground up as an art and a science, which means a lot of technical stuff (math, physics, acoustics, electronics etc) so you actually understand the fundamentals of audio, not just learn how to operate a bunch of gear.
     
  13. coldwaternights

    coldwaternights Member

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    Do you work in the recording industry today?

    Can you elaborate more on your experience?
    What's SAE?




    Anyway, thanks to all the replies.
    I record at home but it's really amateur............a Macbook Pro, an Apogee Duet, and a couple inexpensive mic's.
    I think i'm a good musician but i've never been thrilled with my recordings.
    They are fine but i want to learn about mastering and making my music sound louder, bigger, etc.

    So, i was thinking about going to school for it.......either a private one, or at a community college or local college.
    I figured if i learn and get really good, it would be great to work in that field for a living.
    I've been playing guitar for 17 years or so, have a good ear and am really passionate about making music.
     
  14. Unnecessary

    Unnecessary Member

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    I spent about $15000 going to Madison Media Institute to find out from an instructor that I would have just as likely a chance of engineering a major album by going out to LA and offering my services as an intern "go-fer" at a a studio and taking any opportunities they would give me as I would spending another $10000 to finish the program and having a certification. Also, they straight-up lied about "job" placement because they count unpaid internship as jobs.
     
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Mastering is a completely different thing than recording.

    If you're interested in learning about mastering, your best bet would be to hook with a mastering guy, as an intern.

    To reiterate, to get the most out of paying someone to teach you this stuff, you need to have a pretty good working knowledge of recording.

    How old are you? If you're planning on working in one of the big music centers (NY, LA, Nashville) the rule of thumb is that you'll work basically for free for at least the first 5 years.

    This all depends, of course, on how good you are - the absolute best in any endeavor will always be able to find work.
     
  16. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    Allow me to boil it down just a little:

    It's a bad idea.

    Don't do it.
     
  17. coldwaternights

    coldwaternights Member

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    Geez, well this thread has been just a parade of encouragement.



    Surely the people that do mixing/mastering for a living didn't have this kind of attitude.


    Why so much negativity here?
     
  18. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    It's not negativity.

    It's adult wisdom.

    These "recording schools" are a scam and a waste of money.
     
  19. speedemon

    speedemon Member

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    If you are bent on going to "recording school" in SoCal, look into Citrus College in Azusa, CA. I hear good things about it from people who have attended (I know someone in it right now, I will ask him when I get a chance). It is still relatively cheap, and rents are not bad in that area. Some other Community Colleges may offer audio engineering.

    Our classifieds are stacked with ads from larger studios unloading their gear. There is a lot of DIY, and many up and comers in this industry in Los Angeles.

    A friend is doing some freelance at a larger studio, but most of his income comes from using his own studio for "projects".

    If you are looking for a serious work environment, you would probably do better in another city. Austin and Nashville come to mind, but I know very little about finding work in those cities. This place attracts wannabes by the bushel.

    Also, if you are bent on doing this, concentrate on your "producing" skills. There are 3 guys on every block that can use all the software at guitar center and make hip hop beats like the newest offereing from Kanye or Justin Bieber. Folks with; some creative abilities, listening skills, and patience to use software to do what everyone else is NOT, are still uncommon.

    My $.02 Good luck!
     
  20. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Member

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    Please tell me that the 32,000 for nine months was a typo?
    bob
     

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