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Top Audio Engineering School??

Member for

21 years
hello, my name is Ben Christy and I am 16. I am currently very interested in attending a school with a very successful audio engineering program. I'm sure this topic could be controvercial, but I was just wondering what schools are the top for audio engineering. For example like the "Harvard" of audio engineering?



Member for

10 years 3 months

aaronwaudio Fri, 05/27/2011 - 12:55
I went to UW Oshkosh in Oshkosh, WI. Great school. Got a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry and Recording Technology. The recording program instructor there will be the first to tell you that real world experience in a studio will be way more useful than the stuff that you learn in school, but you will get a great foundation there. He has had experience in running a studio, owning a publishing company, and being an engineer and started the recording program after his last studio endeavor went south. The man is an encyclopedia. Incredibly knowledgeable. It was also great being a music major honing my instrumental craft as well. I couldn't count the amount of times I have talked to professional musicians about their recording experiences and they were mad about some engineer or another "ruining" their sound. I feel like I have the musical background to see where musicians are coming from and working with them to get an honest recording of their craft. Awesome school, great job placement with an internship being a required part of the program, and very affordable tuition.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Thu, 11/07/2013 - 17:41
grim .

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would even consider this business anymore. Yet schools are pushing them out to go where? What a twisted and confusing industry. Something has to snap.

I interested in the automatic mix option but should I even ask what it does. What a stunning console.

We all need to go back to farming.
More and more people, all need food and a purpose to our existence but we keep building things that put people out of work. What a gong show.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 04/02/2007 - 11:10
2 years ago I graduated from A.R.T.I in Orlando, which by the way is a great school. There's roughly 5-6 instructors, to the 5-6 classmates you will have the entire time. Somebody mentioned they were intrested in post production. ARTI has the first certified THX studio, equipped with an SSL Axiom, Pro Tools and the whole 9. I am in no way gaining anything from giving you this information, including what I say next. I have yet to hear anything remotely positive about the program at Full Sail. The price is outrageous, and keeps rising faster than any other school that I know of, you don't get on equipment for about 3 months (we were on small consoles within the first week at ARTI), and the average class holds a wapping 30+ from what i've heard. You keep crazy hours the whole way through the course. I've had aquaintances tell me that they've had labs at 3 in the AM! I heard a story about a full sail graduate applying at a studio in Nashville. During the interview, the owner asked the applicant what school he went too. The applicant replied, "Full Sail," then was immediately asked to leave. Could be a nasty rumor, but I wouldn't want to find out the hard way. Just because a school advertises in the front and back of every Vibe, King, or Source magazine doesn't mean you should waste your 37,000 dollars on it.

Member for

9 years 8 months

bart_R Thu, 06/14/2012 - 06:38
RemyRAD, post: 390544 wrote: Yes but if you had just paid $40,000 for a degree from Full Sale and your only job opportunity was a stocking clerk at Wal-Mart, you might get an employee discount which may better help you to feed your family. But somehow I might think you might feel slightly embittered by the lack of available professional studio jobs. No matter, you could always run a Barringer at the local bar for the simply awful rock bands coming through. Then you could make them sound their mediocre best. Then maybe you'd feel better as you pay off your student loan for the next 20 years?

I think college bound folks are some of the stupidest folks in the world. Why? Because they have in their head something they want to do but they haven't researched what employment opportunities actually exist for the degree they want. Sure, with some, it may just be the law of averages such as becoming a medical doctor. But a recording engineer when the technology changes yearly. If you don't use it, you lose it. It doesn't matter if you know how to use a large frame SSL. They'll be gone tomorrow. And everyone will want you up to speed on the latest and greatest stuff. And you won't be. If you want to go for a double degree in electrical engineering and audio engineering, so you could design new types of equipment, that might make a little more sense. If you want to get a double degree in business management and audio engineering that too makes you more viable for other opportunities. But some people just have one track minds while thinking they need at least 128 tracks for a four piece rock band demo. Even acoustic engineers can solve the acoustic problems I've solved. That's because I wasn't dumb enough to go to school for it. They take out their little test gizmos and put nasty sounds through the speakers and then tell you it's all fixed. And it still sounds like crap. Because they've done everything right as taught which is wrong. It's theory versus practice. The only thing you really have to know about learning audio engineering is just by doing it. Reading everything you can about it. Get subscriptions to the trade publications. And utilize cheap equipment until you can get a great sound from it. Then when presented with good equipment, you'll have no problems. If you like to blame your problems on the equipment, you're not meant to be in this business.

Flush the toilet put down the lid.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Do not think you are far from the truth.

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Mon, 08/21/2006 - 19:06
Ben, I'm not terribly impressed by most of the recording schools. It might be better if you were to receive a bachelor of science degree from a major university in the recording arts and sciences/music? I have numerous friends that followed that route and I find them far more competent than most of the quickie recording school folks, although neither is a guarantee of employment. If I was hiring, I wouldn't be impressed with one quickie school over another, I'd much rather get to know you by speaking to you? If you were swift, I'd know it. If you were stupid, I'd know it. I know a fellow who received a Ph.D. in recording engineering from the University of Maryland! I told him that I did not know of any University that offered a Ph.D. in recording engineering? He told me that at the University of Maryland you could design your own Ph.D. program. LOL!! I was asked by a friend he was recording, to go to University of Maryland Baltimore County to mix her a TV mix of her latest CD without the vocal so she could sing live on a TV show I was doing in New York City. The control room was the biggest joke I'd ever seen from a major educational institution. He had equipped the control room with a Crest PA board. I asked why he did not have a recording console and he gave me some kind of blather about this lousy PA board having better specifications than any recording console but it was completely inappropriate for a recording situation. He also wanted me to mix through an early Valley People Digital limiter on my stereo mix bus. I told him I don't mix through limiter's and he didn't understand how I could possibly get a good mix without one?? He was quite amazed at what I came up with without that crappy Digital limiter! He was incompetent! Today, he finally realized he was a lousy engineer and is now a lawyer. And that was for a major educational institution!

A few years later, I was coproducing a jazz album at Maryland's largest independent studio, Omega Recordings where their chief engineer had gone to Full Sale in Florida. When I requested a ribbon microphone for the trumpet solo and female vocal solo he had the audacity to say to me "We don't have any ribbon microphones. Ribbon microphones are noisy." First off, ribbon microphones are not noisy! Microphone preamplifiers are noisy and the good ones may happen to induce a slight bit of noise but not much when you have a trumpeter or singer just a few inches away from it. And you never say that to a producer if you have a shred of brains. That, from a "Full Sale" graduate. So I was just as unimpressed by that moron as I was the Dr.!

Of course at the Independent recording schools, they will teach you how to play with ProTools and twiddle the dials on a big console. That does not make you a recording engineer but it does give you some working knowledge of the tools you will be using later in your career, if you can make a living at your career? I have been more impressed by some of the students from the community college than I have been from either the large universities or independent recording schools, with very few exceptions.

Very few people make a legitimately good income from recording popular music. It would be more practical to learn something about radio and television broadcasting. That's how I have supported my recording habit most of my life. Although I do have GRAMMY, EMMY and Soul Train music award nominations, that and $5 will get you a cup of coffee from Starbucks. So, talent and passion along with intelligence and a good personality I think we'll take you further?

The bitter old woman at Voice Of America television
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 01/06/2008 - 19:52
It seems most people don't feel that these recording schools are worth the money. To these people, do you recommend some type of music major at a four year university, or would a degree in some other subject be equally applicable? I am just beginning my college search, and I don't want to limit myself with such a specific degree in such an unstable market

Thanks for all replies

Member for

9 years 8 months

Al_Weeks Mon, 05/21/2012 - 23:18
Thomas W. Bethel, post: 389648 wrote: Everyone might want to read this New York Times article

Talk about depressing and troublesome.

Absolutely f#cking terrifying.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Mon, 05/21/2012 - 23:35
Dr_Willie_OBGYN, post: 389602 wrote: Someone did a study and found out that a plumber can make more than a doctor in the long term.
[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Forget Harvard and a 4-Year Degree, You Can Make More as a Plumber in the Long Run, Says Prof. Kotlikoff | Fin - Daily Ticker - US - Yahoo! Finance[/]="…"]Forget Harvard and a 4-Year Degree, You Can Make More as a Plumber in the Long Run, Says Prof. Kotlikoff | Fin - Daily Ticker - US - Yahoo! Finance[/]

I'm a good painter ( no, I'm an awesome painter) and I wouldn't trade my life because it gives me the freedom I need to make music without starving, shilling, settling for digital crap or BS our community just to keep my foot in the door and selling ads here.
I won't tell you what I make but its a hell of a lot more than most professionals wearing suits.

Times have changed. 20 years ago I started noticing how fat people were getting. And how lazy and un healthy people are. Rich people with really nice houses tend to be fat, out of shape or lucky enough not to have to do things they don't need or want to do so they hire me and if I like the job, I might do it. NO BS.
Regardless, I realized years ago how valuable the jobs were that fat people couldn't do. Painting is one of them. Its a very physical job and if you can do it well, the sky is the limit, especially for high end painters.

Physically fit people are in demand , trades demand fit people that are clear headed so the way I see it , Trades are where its at. The jobs that the fat people can't do are the jobs of the future. Once you are in the loop, the key is to do those jobs really well and build your own business. I'm living proof.

Music used to be my sole income and my life. I was a full time musician that toured 46 weeks a year, for 18 years on the road. Then video came in and it "killed the radio" and eventually took out live music as we know it. It created a false perception of what real music is and started a trend towards accepting sampling, MIDI, sequencing, etc etc etc in the pop culture, music that could never be performed live without computers. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing, but it is what happened and why we are where we are today. I was part of that generation and took advantage of it just like I am today in the Trades..

After being what I call a Hybrid Musician, I saw a clear picture of our future most likely better than most. So, I got the heck out of live music in 1998. After using Pro Tools for 10 years and hating the sound of it, I'm now building up an analog studio and painting again, but this time for a new client that wants quality.

Now music is a very serious, profitable hobby. If people start demanding better sound I will be there. But I don't really care if it ever earns me a living like before because I don't do it to survive anymore. I do it because I want MY music to sound better than plug-in music. I am going back to where it was when it sounded different.
I love Electronically composed music, but I don't like it to all sound boring like digital sounds and thats where analog comes in.

The recording business is meaningless to the population and going this way because there is a DAW in every OS package of some level. So, right from childhood, just like painting, someone can learn to record and this leads to one thing only, no money and a bad paint job.

Painting and recording share a similar mindset now. Painting has always been a tough business to make a lot of money at because everyone thinks they can paint right from kindergarten on. However, not until you get to your middle ages, do you really appreciate a home that is painted well. I think the recording industry is in the same light now. All my clients are 45 years old an up. All my projects are high end. I do not work for anyone other than those who demand excellence and appreciate art done well.

So, my music business is following the pursuit of sonic excellence. Thus, why I am leaving the plug-in era for good reason and going full steam ahead on high end analog/ hybrid sound. I make a great living as a high end painter and I know my sound now is better with less plug-ins and more analog ;). There is more to this business than any school will ever teach you.

Member for

14 years 8 months

Gib Mon, 01/28/2008 - 15:49
FullSail and SAE are both great schools, and both offer bachelors now too. Im positive FS does, and almost positive that SAE does too. They are alot of money, not gonna say they are not. And pro audio is an unsatable market. Id almost go as far as to say the whole media industry is as well. With exceptions such as gaming and broadcast? N E ways, make sure you really know what your getting into b4 you get into a recording oriented degree. I attended FS 5 yrs ago b4 the prices got astronomical, and dont know if I would pay what they're asking for now. I learned a hell of a lot there, but there are other ways to go about learning stuff too if you're determined. They have all the best gear there to train on, but who gets to really use most of that stuff in the commercial world except for the best of the best and the rich, right?? lol

On a side note, the Chillicothe Recording Workshop in Ohio is only a 4-6 week program i believe. Ive had multiple people intern under me at a commercial studio, and at my private one, and I'd have to say that im far less than impressed with the knowledge they leave that school with. Not that there aren't some people that learn a lot there, but I've had bad experiences with the grads i've worked with from there :( This could be a cool place to go if you just want a general crash course in audio?

Hope this helps..

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Tue, 05/22/2012 - 03:53
I was getting my car repaired yesterday. The owner of the shop was lamenting that in ten years there would be no mechanics. He said most young people today don't have any work ethic and they don't want to get their hands dirty working on cars. I have heard the same from people who run machine shops - 15 years ago they had waiting lists of people wanting to work there but today the jobs go begging and no young people seem to want to start into the trade. Some top machinist make over 80K per year but the young people want to work on computers and not get dirty working on machinery. I think eventually all the trades will be hurting. I have a good friend, who is a master carpenter, and he said that the carpenter's union is seriously concerned that a lot of young people no longer want to start on the road to being journeyman carpenters because they don't want to work outside or get dirty working. If the US of A would ban all illegal aliens and send home all the ones that are here the crops would not get picked and the menial jobs at hotels. resorts and casinos would not be filled as there is no one who wants to pick produce or work for minimum wage doing housekeeping or other menial jobs. It is a real mess/ Getting people to see what is really happening and what the world will be like if we don't wake up to the facts is frightening. Please read this from the BBC [[url=http://[/URL]="…"]BBC News - ILO warns of youth unemployment 'crisis'[/]="…"]BBC News - ILO warns of youth unemployment 'crisis'[/].

Member for

16 years 2 months

RockmanXPR Sun, 09/24/2006 - 02:44
RemyRAD wrote: Dear RockmanXPR, it sounds like you already have a solid knowledge and concept of most things electronic? Ain't on-the-job training great?? We don't need no stinkin' English! ".....when I'm done with the coarse?" LOL! Let's hope that course isn't that "coarse"?

In your region of Silicon Valley this particular school seems to offer some fairly comprehensive entertainment oriented production offerings? With a reasonable introduction to audio/video production facilities this educational institution provides, that, coupled with your already working knowledge will get you up to speed quickly I believe? Of course nothing can replace actual experience but you already know that.

Can you make a living in the audio business in Silicon Valley? I would imagine you have a better chance there than in Altoona Pennsylvania? A lot of your success will depend upon your sense of business, marketing, self-promotion, who you know or get to know and never turning down a job related to the business of audio.

I would love to record more quality rock and roll along with operas and musical theater but most of what I record these days are foreign language news programs for the Voice Of America television (formerly USIA). But hey, I'm still sitting behind a substantial audio console just so I can present to people of other nations around the world some really terrible sounding audio, for which I am not at fault for nor can do anything about. Most people know it as "garbage in equals garbage out" and so there is no quality-control amongst field shooters and video editors. But it's a job in the audio business that won't get you wealthy, will keep you from being poor, won't get you any major words, royalties but it can provide you with a sense of well-being, accomplishment, professionalism, doing a job you love. I still try to go after the kind of creative recording opportunities that make me proud enough to want to play it for everybody. Unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day and so I'll just have to be happy getting paid quite well for delivering really bad sound. This had started just as a part-time freelance fill-in position back in November and now has expanded into full-time with from 6 to 14 day weeks. I'm lovin'it! What I'm not lovin' is one of the few places across the street to get something to eat, home of the "Golden Arches" and their newest advertising slogan "I'm lovin'it!", quite frankly, it's giving me gas.

To pooped to pop a microphone
Ms. Remy Ann David

Yea yea, I keep getting Course and Coarse wrong! At least I know the the difference between Then and Than, good old Texas high school education :P

On a serious note, yes the Bay Area has some good studios here, the one I'm looking at even for just Intership is Skywalker Ranch and Praire Sun Recording. Well I'm no complete expert on things electronic that's for sure.

Glad you gave some positive feedback on Foothill College's audio curriculum, makes me feel a bit more assured to apply there.

Thanks Remy!

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Thu, 06/14/2012 - 18:25
Getting a degree in the recording arts & sciences is no different than getting a degree in music. People want to know how to do things better and to know more about doing them. That's certainly understandable. But the outrageous costs of the rising tuition fees it's almost turning into a academic sanctioned gun in the ribs. It would actually be more beneficial for those who really want to learn something about the recording arts and the recording sciences to seek out competent studio owners and inquire on private lessons. Just like a virtuoso musical student who would work with a single teacher. This is what my mother has done all of her life after giving up her career to have me and my younger brother. It's hard to beat one-on-one education. Learning extraneous information just to get a piece of paper to tell people you know how to move volume controls seems almost insane. And today, much can be learned for free on the Internet. If you can't make a good recording with a couple of crappy microphones and a crappy mixer, it's not the equipment's fault. Better equipment does not make better recordings. Better engineering makes better recordings. Of course prime pieces of equipment are like comparing a McDonald's hamburger to a steamed lobster. Both will keep you alive. Even though one may be oh so much better. Today that decision is more based upon budget and economy than decadence and opulence. Everybody today has to be so much more careful of their purchasing decisions. If, for example, you want to teach at a university you must have a university degree. If you want to record some rock 'n roll bands, you need lots of pizza and beer.

I had Mexican food for lunch
MX Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 05/15/2007 - 08:25
Slavebell wrote: hey what u al think bout S.A.E. institut?

I graduated from SAE Singapore a few years back. Didn't get a lot out of it except basic theories (which I guess applies to most kind of schools etc). Anyway the SAE I attended were just so-so, though back then they had a Neve VR, which was supposed to be the WOW console, before they replaced it with 2 x Yamaha O2R...Duh....

I don't think they are professionally managed but not sure of the SAE overseas.

But end of the day, like most would agree or have stated, going to places like SAE will only get you some basic theory and that piece of paper. And those papers, in my personal experience, do nothing. I tried getting applying jobs at studios and the first question is what experience do you have and not what kind of papers do you have. Infact none even bothers asking if I have attended any kind of school.

Sad, but I guess its a fact :)