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Help with Audio Engineering school (Not a beginner)

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by TheHybridSoundz, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. TheHybridSoundz

    TheHybridSoundz Active Member

    Hi, I am Ricky Di Giacomo. I am 17 years old and currently a Junior in High School. Like many of you, music is my life, my passion, and my love. I strive everyday to become better at what I do.
    I produce as well as DJ. I started DJing when I was about 13 and really getting into Producing when I was about 15. Since i'm a Junior there has been a lot of talk about College . . . I always have planned to go to MI (Musicians Institute) in Los Angeles, California. Although it is pretty spendy, I've heard really good reviews from it. They also have 24/7 access to their recording studio (Which I am most looking forward to). I am NOT a beginner so I do not plan to go to the college and have people try and "teach" me how to be a Audio Engineer. There are things that I would love to LEARN but I do NOT want to be babied. For how young I am I think my skills are pretty great in the fields of music with both Producing and DJing. I just wanted some input on what you guys think about Colleges. I am open to any college in the U.S.
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    And you say this at 17 years old, why? Because you've spent a few hours on PT or Sonar? Or because you've spent the last 10 years on a Neve or SSL?

    If you're not willing to be taught to be an audio engineer, and you think you already have all the answers, then don't waste your money on school.
     
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I don't really find any clear question in your post. Maybe you want us to tell you since you're so good, you don't need any teaching. Is that it ?
    Share some stuff, we'll listen and may be agree... Who knows ? Mozzart was a genius at the age of 8yo...

    Doing DJ work and audio engineering work are VERY different activities. Everyone can use Virtual DJ or do loopings with reason or fruity loops... using samples somebody else recorded is not what recording is about. Crafting your own samples, recording acoustic instruments or a full band is more like it.

    I've been working audio for the past 30years (live and studio) and I'm still learning. I wish I had the money to learn from a pro.. or the guts to work for free as an intern for a couple of years...

    But hey ! You can't fill a cup which is already full. ;)
     
  4. TheHybridSoundz

    TheHybridSoundz Active Member

    *Sigh* I figured you would go about it this way. I never said I wasn't open to be taught at all. I just do not want to spend all my momey starting from scratch. I am asking what school would be a good choice to enhance my producing skills.
    I am completely open to learning new things. And yes, I know about the constant learning new things because I also am learning every day.
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Sorry if I got you wrong. Usually, somebody that needs to state not being a beginner is often just that, a beginner.

    I actually would consider being happy to start from scratch. There's so many missconceptions out there and we can easily learn wrong.
    If you think by reading an article online about phase corrolation and think you mastered the idea, it could cost you a job in a big studio if you got it wrong and the owner ask you about it... (I include myself in this)

    It's always good to go back to basics, don't fear it. I don't! :wink:
     
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    With three years of DJing and "producing" experience you are a beginner. I am moderately experienced and I've been doing this longer than you've been alive. I had a decade in other fields before that, giving me broad knowledge I could apply to my new avocation.

    In my experience school trained sound engineers often have more attitude than applicable skills. If you want a practical degree that will be respected in pro sound get one in electrical engineering. Even then if you work for me you'll be wrapping cables and fetching coffee for months before you touch a mixer.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    hey man i been in it since i was a couple years younger than you and it wasn't until last month someone showed me how to properly wrap a cable. Scratch is good. The programs are set up the way they are so that you don't miss obvious things, or stuff you overlooked self teaching. Your taught to be well rounded. too many people get one way of doing things that has good results in their own home studio, and suddenly are 'pro'.

    once you get out of school, your gonna start again from scratch at watever studio your lucky enough to volunteer at, until they've trained you how you see fit.
    don't forget your sharing that space w/ thousands of other students on a first come first serve basis. they'll allure w/ those beautiful pics, and then you'll find yourself having to show up @3am on a wednesday, and be at class in a few hours. if your truly dedicated you'll do it, but it is not glamorous. This comes from personal friend who went to audio production school.

    Maybe you'd be better off in a program like The Recording Connection | Audio Engineering and Music Producing School which my boss teaches over here in new england. you start learning in the real world right away. The Most prestigious school you can get in america is Berkley College of Music. It will cost you as much as an average house, But it's highly regarded worldwide. You get a general education, general music education, and your last two years is your major, which i guess would be audio production.

    Your first quiz: a 'moving coil' mic is commonly referred to as a__________ mic. a ___________ is something that turns one form of energy into another form of energy.
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Ricky

    MI is a good school. I worked for a producer for a few years and he was phenomenal musician and he gave all the credit to the years he spent at MI.

    I don't want to sound harsh but you really need to drop the attitude. You say you don't want to waste money but there is no way more sure to waste it as to start with that kind of mind set.

    When i was in my mid 30's i went to audio school to formalize what i already knew. i had already been working in studios for some time and i had a good knowledge base and aptitude for doing audio. still, i decided to start with a blank slate and to not think i already "knew it all" and that was the best thing i could have ever done. i learned things i never knew and was surprised at how much i really didn't know. it's a new start for you and you should take advantage of everything being offered to you.

    You sure have stirred up a lot of response with your post. almost everyone who hangs here has tossed in their 2 cents and all of us are saying the same thing. go to school, soak up eveything you can, no one knows everything and if you get one crumb of extra knowledge because you are receptive it will be worth it.

    rock on! thumb
     
  9. TheHybridSoundz

    TheHybridSoundz Active Member

    I guess I just didn't explain my question or what I actually do well enough. I also am having no attitude. Really, I'm not. But thank you to Kurt for answering my question. Sorry to get you all heated. Do any of you Produce? Not mastering, but actually produce songs? (No attitude intended. Serious question. Honest.)
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Man, I would be in heaven if I could go to an audio engineering school. I don't even care if it was the worst. I'm starving for knowledge. If I ever have the chance, I'm in! I wish I could sit and watch people record and mix for a year solid.
     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i'm not heated at all .... lol (hey Chris; if this kid only knew ... eh?:eek: ).

    yes i have produced. i write, play and have owned my commercial studio in the past. i ram rodded a professional working band for over a decade. i have international record credits with real record companies both in the US and in Europe and Japan. yes i have produced. and the guy i was speaking about who went to MI is also a producer. Donny Air is a producer ... i mean what do you mean "producer"? all it takes to be a "producer" is to call yourself one. have you ever sold a project to a record company? pounding out "beats" in mama's basement could be called "producing".

    you really need to get off this high horse you are on. you ain't all that and a bag of chocolate chip cookies too ... 3 years lol. go to school, be open minded ... get all you can from the experience. you haven't even considered the idea there may be things you don't know about ... what makes you so "special"? being stuck on yourself doesn't make you a "producer". there's more to it than being on an ego trip.
     
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Why don't you post some stuff? lets hear it man, it's sound. any experience/education you could get is a step. up to you to decide.

    if by produce you mean sat behind board and said 'hey that was flat', or 'maybe we should harmonize the chorus, or put a solo there', then yeah i've produced. to me it's just engineering, and i don't have any notible 'producer' credits.

    I'll breifly state that i know of million-are 'producer' who's credits are worth crap, cuz nobody cares about the hit(s), and his 'my way' attitude left him w/ no clients after the hey day.

    what's your resume? what is showing the school of choice that your better? (not being negative). But your competing w/ the establishment. Is your goal to just do freelance, is it re-mixing. tracking engineer. this is the stuff that's going to promote your skills in an even more professional way. youtube hits?
    I'm encouraging you to do what you love and are good at, so is everyone else, just make sure you know what your up against. schools require book knowledge too. it's just part of it. i took advantage of my high school theory classes and got a's, even though i still barely understand theory as a whole. took 5 yrs of guitar lessons after playing for 4yrs. it's amazing what pros do, usually it's simple little things that make the big diff. Gotta keep your mind open. like in session- some musician says ' hey maybe it'll sound awsome if i slam this plate against the ground'. ok. get the 421. Tool threw a piano off a cliff w/ sylvia massey and mic'd it. and it made the record. not exactly what they show tech wise, personality is a huge part of it, as i am learning.
     
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Ain't that the the truth...LOL facepalm

    I dunno, Kurt... based on personal experience, I think this is precisely what makes a " producer". LOL

    anyhooo...

    This statement leads one to believe that you really don't know what you are talking about. Because that statement could be translated to "do any of you eat eggs? Not just drive a car but actually eat eggs??"
    Because one has very little to do with the other. Now... if you what you meant to say was "do any of you produce as well as engineer?" Then the answer is yes. My guess would be that probably better than half of the engineering roster here has also produced in some capacity or another, from full scale albums to videos to single releases... and yes, we have our fair share of great mastering cats, too - although at this point I'm seriously dubious as to if you really know what that means as well...

    Know this: The best producers were/are also great engineers as well. They know how to talk to the engineers in their own language because they've been in that position themselves. They know miking arrays, they know EQ and GR principles, they know the ins and the outs of a working studio.

    For example....If a producer tells me, as an engineer, to insert GR on the 2-bus at 2:1 / -8, or, if I'm told to HP the vocal with a corner @ 125 and slope it -6, then you can bet I know what He/She wants.
    But... I didn't always know. It took time, years of experience, and learning a lot through the instruction of others, every chance I could get, to get to the point where I could call myself an actual "engineer".

    I'm not gonna give you my resume, even though I've been an engineer for over 30 years, owned 2 of my own studios, worked at countless others....I've worked on major label projects, have several national and international credits, and have worked with more than just a few Grammy winning producers and artists... but I can tell you that being an engineer takes much more than just throwing together a few beats, loops or samples on PT or Reaper, it takes far more than simply knowing what a fader is and does.

    I can put gas in my car, I can even change the oil and put coolant in the radiator... but that doesn't make me a mechanic.


    My advice to you would be to drop your "I don't need to be taught how to be an engineer" attitude and do exactly opposite of what you think you should do.

    This means: be quiet, learn a lot from people who know far more than you do with far more experience, learn how to record everything, from oboes to amps, from B3's to bagpipes, drums to didgeridoos....work on every possible musical style you get the opportunity to work on, and if you don't get the opportunity, make the opportunity; not just hip hop, not just house, but country, blues, rock, jazz, classical, zydeco, big band, dixieland, orchestral, world.... do everything you can to broaden your scope. Get on the gear as much as you can, that your lab time will allow - even if your time slot is 4 am - learn as much about how the gear works as possible from a technical standpoint, and plan on starting out at square one when you get out of school, where, if you are lucky, you'll be fortunate enough to intern at a good studio where your education can continue, as long as you know that this will also include sweeping floors, making coffee, arriving early and staying late, wrapping cables, etc. In between all of those things, if you continue to pay attention, then you will, at some point, be able to sit at the console and do what your education has trained you for.

    Or, you can do it your way, and end up saying "y'all want fries with that?" in the next few years....
     
  14. mberry593

    mberry593 Active Member

    You asked about engineering but somehow we diverted to producing.

    I started back in the 1960s by studying basic electronics. The basic equations of reactance, etc are actually fairly easy to learn. Much can be learned with only high school algebra but to really get it you will need at least an introductory class in calculus. I'm thinking that you might start at a relatively inexpensive state college to learn the basics for 2 years and then transfer to something like Berklee to complete your degree.
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    D, your always on point, but may i respectfully (humbly) name 2 that weren't. George Martin, and Rick Rubin. Rubin admits his own feeling of being a mediocre engineer in his book, (interesting read btw), and the 'Sir' wasn't really a knob twiddler. Both come across as modest tho.

    I say this is the exception, not the rule. And like you said, they certainly knew what they were talking about in engineers language.
     
  16. Gette

    Gette Active Member

    An education is worthless no matter how much you pay for it or were you got it, if you do not have the right mindset going in. It all is a waste of time. The key deciding factor that will make or break you in this industry has absolutely nothing to do with your skill set. You literally could be the best engineer this planet has ever seen, but if your mind is in the wrong place. You will go no where. Your attitude, will decide what level of success or failure you will achieve. Really it is that simple.

    Joel
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i dunno man, it's certainly a combination of both people skills, and engineering prowess/equipment room stacks. i've worked with cats you can't stand, but get tolerated for the sake of the record. it's tricky, i think most people want a tolerable engineer/producer, but there is still a class of people wanting the best result regardless of anything else. i've seen and heard it in both cases.

    OP- nobody is gonna accept attitude w/ out proof.
     

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