1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

lust for engineering knowledge

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Dave McNair, Mar 10, 2001.

  1. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    I recently had a very talented young musician complete a recording appreticeship with me for the last 4 or 5 months. I see a lot of posts from people wanting to learn and trying to decide the best way in, school or the street. I learned from reading and doing. Maybe things were different back then, I don't know. I just thought I'd comment about the possibilities for an apprenticeship with an experienced engineer. If you have the bucks for Full Sail, or something comperable, I'd suggest instead, seek out an experienced reputable engineer, and approach them about a learning situation. The guy that I worked with followed me around from gig to gig, some far away from home, and got to observe sessions and situations that I hope were very instuctive. We also had a 30 hour lecture series, and capped it off with me co-writing, helping him to engineer, and producing 2 songs. I loved seein that 18 yr old kid cut 2" tape for the first time. Just some observations. Cheers.
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    You've got a good point there. Most kids don't even know this is an option until after they get out of school and they've already been scrubbing toilets a few days. Most aren't willing to admit that they could have been scrubbing toilets without going to school for it, especially not right after they paid (tens of) thousands of $'s to do so.

    This is not to dis any of the recording programs out there. There are some great ones (and not so great ones) that give people a good opportunity to learn. But it's not the only way.
     
  3. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Guest

    Quote:
    posted by Ang1970
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    This is not to dis any of the recording programs out there. There are some great ones (and not so great ones) that give people a good opportunity to learn.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    A short time ago I was approached by a graduate in audio engineering who asked if he could engineer at my studio. He seemed like a pretty decent kinda gut to me so I asked him to come over on a day when I was free and record some stuff with me and then mix some bits afterwards. In all honesty I was horrified by how little he had been taught!! I asked him about the course and he had spent the sum total of 5 days in front of a board. The subject of eq had only been touched upon in terms of " if you want to make a kick stand out in a mix boost at 80hz". That was it, no work was done on mic placement, what sort of mics to think about using for different apps, nothing on compression or subtractive eq etc... The list could go on forever but I won't bore you with all the details.. Suffice to say given the fact that the university had told him he was qualified to go out and earn £15.00 / £30.00 an hour I was blitzed.. I really got on with the guy and politely told him that a little practical experience was needed and he has now been training with me for about 6 months and is doing real well.... So much for music college / universities here in the UK!!

    Simon :D
     
  4. RaVeN

    RaVeN Guest

    to my knowledge fullsail is more of a IT/gamedev school, not an audio engineering school. I haven't been there myself, so thats just a reflection of my personal impression built from what I've read on it when I was reading up on different gamedev schools.
    Maybe Nell Johnson (director of audio post at fullsail) is reading this and would like to comment?
     
  5. John Sayers

    John Sayers Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2001
    The problem with Universities is that they demand lecturers with academic qualifications. Unfortunately the good engineers don't have degrees so they get some looney who did a MA in computer synthesis or something equally inappropriate but has never recorded a thing.

    On the other hand a lot of the private schools are just some studio trying to get money for their downtime.
     
  6. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Guest

    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------
    The problem with Universities is that they demand lecturers with academic qualifications. Unfortunately the good engineers don't have degrees so they get some looney who did a MA in computer synthesis or something equally inappropriate but has never recorded a thing.

    On the other hand a lot of the private schools are just some studio trying to get money for their downtime.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Bang on John!!
    In my limited experience you hit the nail right on the head!!

    Simon :eek:
     
  7. cantmix

    cantmix Guest

    it is so strange the a person with out a degree can do some thing that is right and people could look at him strange like he do not know what he is speaking about...and the dude with the degree can talk $*^t and peole could think he is a god...strange world....i have a degree and i talk $*^t and people believe..before that peole though i did not know....so a peice of paper is $*^t to me.....and i got it.....
     
  8. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Simply put........

    I don't have a degree and the studios in my area (Chicago) told me to go pound sand. They pretty much said that they don't want me in their facility to even scrub toilets without that piece of paper in my hand. So I said "F" you, started up my own home facility over the past two years, and now I have bands coming to me instead of those particular studios. One band that I'm now starting to talk with was once a repeat client at the big studio that told me to eat $*^t.......what goes around comes around....that place will fall fast just because the owner treats people like a piece of $*^t.

    If the day comes that I have someone calling me to ask if they can scrub my toilet just for the opportunity to learn.....I would treat them with respect and offer as much as I could. I know that if a studio, big or small, gave me that opportunity....I'd be the best damn scrubber on the planet. Good karma is a good thing!
     
  9. I would like to eventually learn in a studio to get experiance as well as learn all that i dont know but im only 14 yrs old and thats too young (lol) to go apprentice at a recording studio.

    Maybe one day.....Untill then i have the recording.org forums for all of my questions on recording.
     
  10. I would like to eventually learn in a studio to get experiance as well as learn all that i dont know but im only 14 yrs old and thats too young (lol) to go apprentice at a recording studio.

    Maybe one day.....Untill then i have the recording.org forums for all of my questions on recording.
     
  11. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    It's really hard to get anyone to take me seriously.....so "F" em! I'm willing to work 25 hours/day 8 days/week, but that still isn't enough for them. I wouldn't be so hostile on this subject if they would've at least told me no without insult.
     
  12. zerosin

    zerosin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Home Page:
    When the musical gift was given to human beings, it was as if it was of a fixed size and could not be added to. Eventually those who held that gift had to give it to someone else for it to survive. Along the way some gave and some kept, and so the original size of the gift has diminished.

    Many have given to me, and now I can make music; I never decline the opportunity to give back. I hope my son and his children will have music in their lives and enjoy it as much as I have.

    Trading money for a degree doesn't propagate the gift.
     
  13. Well said!

    I have a cousin who went to Full Sail and is working as a stagehand for some "big names" now for a "salary", and now my parents are on my case every frickin day with the "you should really go there that piece of paper will go a long way" talk. It's like they don't get it that we're in a rural area and I still had to pay twice the taxes (even after writeoffs) that both of them did on their full-time jobs on my summer gigs.

    As good as the word "salary" sounds, I never want one. Sure, it says I'm guaranteed to get X amount of dough, but what if this year there are some unexpectedly (is that a word?) large shows? If my salary boils down to only an average of $75 per show (as his does) and I work 16 hours for 3 days straight on these shows, I'd kinda expect a little more. (I had a weekend like that where it was 5 bands per night with various events happening during the day where I was getting paid $125 per hour to work FOH. Oh yeah, I replaced tubes during day 3 waiting for the bands.)

    What I'm saying is, just because that paper is there don't mean $*^t. I've got people ringing my phone off the hook (well, outta my pocket since I only keep a cell phone) wanting to know when I will be able to build a studio. They're still willing to record their demos in the apartment, at least.

    I can't talk to my cousin (or anyone I've met from Full Sail) about audio. They become all cocky and arrogant with the "You've never been to school so how the hell would you know" attitudes. I once had a paper on my wall that said I had a "Bachelor's of Arts in Recording Arts from the School of Hard Knocks" but I decided it was corny.

    I'm not trying to put down Full Sail at all. In fact, if I could go down there (I can get the money, its the fact that I would spend the money on gear first) I would. That paper has its place and can be a help. But in the big scheme of things, it really don't mean $*^t. Its what you know and what you can demonstrate that you know that actually means something.

    Some of the top people in business don't even have degrees. *cough* Bill Gates *cough*
     
  14. zerosin

    zerosin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Home Page:
    I feel lucky that I am able to pick up so much on my own; not by myself of course, I didn't go inventing anything. I can hack my way into any piece of gear if it decide I want to use it. I hacked my way into a computer consulting gig; I never even used a computer until 3 years prior. The same for my A/V repair gig just before that. I took apart my neighbor's riding lawn tractor when I was about 5 years old; all I remember was the lady crying when she got home. We moved not too long after that. :roll:

    The only times I have felt proper schooling was lacking is when someone has wanted to see that degree I didn't buy, or when I can't do the secret handshake. Grammar students love to pull that one. I like to say things like, "This is what I am doing; this is what I have done." rather than "I know how to do this, in theory".

    That doesn't speak for everyone though. Many people benefit from instruction and can't learn without it. Indeed someone gave me my rudimentary skills; they taught me how to fish and my brain has been feeding itself ever since.

    Bottom line is, don't be a hater. People man, sometimes they just shut that brain right off. :cool: All the wonderful people you may never meet.
     
  15. I learned audio through negative reinforcement and experimenting at church. They basically set me at the console and said "don't touch anything" (something about 8 years old, ADHD, and a really traditional Baptist church that has since changed and the pastor attributes the change to the SPL of the service going from 70dB(A) to 90dB(A) RMS.. I feel so (ir)responsible). I guess I just had an ear for knowing what sounded good and had the curiousity to figure out how to get there. That's how I've basically learned everything I know about computers to. That started with "don't type anything but "WIN" when it boots up (Windows 3.11-fwg was my first GUI, DOS was my first OS).

    Some people just need a little time and (negative) reinforcement.
     
  16. fumoffu

    fumoffu Guest

    think of it this way:
    if you're able to achive what you have w/o any degree, imagine how much more u'd achieve if you had one. knowledge and know-how must be balanced.

    i'm sorry if those people who have degree are jackasses (and don't know $*^t), but there also who aren't.
     
  17. You're absolutely right... there. However, a degree won't necessarily help you achieve more than if you had no degree at all. A degree helps to open the doors which you could've opened yourself when the time is right. Most times, degrees open doors before they need to be opened. I really enjoy some of the things they put for "job placement" at places like Full Sail (sorry I pick on Full Sail so much, its just I know people from there and I know how it works). They talk about how one of their grads from a month ago is now working live sound for the Motley Crue "Red, White, and Crue" Tour. Its a typical marketing statement: don't lie, just play it up. "Working live sound" sounds like it means "FOH Engineer" or something of the like; however, it can mean anything having to do with the sound on the tour, even if its the guy who rolls up the snake after the show. (I have a friend who is doing this right after graduating from Full Sail.)

    In the audio world, a degree says you know your laws, theories, equations, methods, techniques, etc., but what really matters is how YOU can apply them. Its easy to learn all the rules that say "this is how you mic for this" or "this is how you should run your signal path" but it reality, that don't mean $*^t. I love how some of these techniques and methods come with names. To me, the names mean nothing. You can figure out what works by experimenting. The names just show who made it popular or who first publicly acclaimed it. For example, I was working with a cocky assistant in a studio (Full Sail grad by the way, and he is 34 and I'm 18 with no education) who asked me "Where'd you learn about Motown vocals?", commenting how I like to process my lead vocals. My only response was "this is how I've been doing it since I found that this worked, I don't know what you're talking about "Motown vocals" but I'm damn sure you're gonna explain it to me now". My point is, you can learn anything you want to that they teach you by just sitting down, opening your mind, and turning a few knobs.

    When I see a degree (especially in music/audio, I call it as I see it: a piece of paper with ink on it in a fancy font.
     
  18. fumoffu

    fumoffu Guest

    exactly.
     
  19. poprocks

    poprocks Guest

    Maybe the best thing about recording schools, or any college for that matter, are the connections you make?
     

Share This Page