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In this article, I’m going to explain to you the reasons why one should or should not go to a sound engineering course or an Audio Engineering program. What you need to clarify before you go looking for a course is what you expect to learn from this course, are you looking to become a better musician? OR Are you looking at a course to understand the concepts of production so you can help a musician put his ideas from his head into a DAW?
The reasons could be many, but the first thing that the student should analyze is this most important question “What do I want from this course?”
Let me give you examples of some questions that lead to students having wrong expectations from an institute and failing to develop anything after an audio engineering degree.
b. I want to become a better musician
c. I want to learn how to produce beats to become a better rapper.
Though these are valid questions, the outcome you expect from these goals will not be achieved through an Audio Engineering School.
The first step that I encourage students to take is to understand the Job Role of a Sound Engineer, just because you love music and love making songs does not necessarily mean that you would enjoy sitting in a closed room listening to a song 100 hundred times and tweaking it to perfection.
Start by aligning your expectations with what the course can really offer like the questions asked earlier; an audio engineering school cannot make you a better musician. If your end goal is to be a performing musician, learn that skill set first.
I hear many people make the argument that if I learn Sound Engineering then I won’t need an engineer to make music, I can record, mix and Master my own music.
Well, though it’s true the fact is that you will be so caught up on the engineering side of things that you would never be able to focus on the one most important thing that a musician has to focus on – making and performing good music. The approach of engineering your own music may not be the best approach for the outcome of your music. As they say, do what you do best, outsource the rest.
Although it’s true that the modern music producer requires to be able to produce music easily, the expectation that an Audio Engineering School will make you a better musician is wrong!
So then what are Audio Engineering Schools good for?
A good Audio Engineering Course will give you the direction and the concepts required or you to be able to Produce and Engineer music. You will interact with numerous engineers, musicians, and other fellow budding Audio Engineers and Producers.
In a facility like ours, you would be learning how music is conceptualized, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered in the industry.
Although the course will only give you the direction that you need to go ahead in, the heavy lifting will still have to be done by you. Always remember the 10,000-hour rule.
There used to be a system to how Audio Engineers were made, you worked as an intern and made your way up the ladder to eventually work on a big project after years of learning on the job and learning from mistakes. Today’s education fails to do that by teaching students in a protected and false “Classroom” Environment. There’s only so much you can learn from a book or a video. To gain that real practical knowledge in a field like this requires the student to spend a major chunk of time practically learning on the job in studios which these so-called courses fail to teach students.
Most Audio Engineering Schools are for profit and will run targeted ads to a certain naive section of students that are unaware of what Audio Engineering really is all about. I believe that it lies upon these audio engineering schools to ensure that the students that come in, have a place to go after the course is over.
So, Should one go to an Audio Engineering School or Not?
I can’t answer this for you, but I hope I have given you the RIGHT kind of questions to ask yourself. Align your goals with what the course offers and ensure that you are stepping in a course where you can get to learn practically on the job and interact and work in a real Audio Engineering environment.