Audio Engineering Schools: Are they worth it?

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audio-engineering-schoolsHello there, guys, on this post I am going to share with you my personal opinion about audio engineering schools and if they’re worth it.

Many people send me an e-mail asking me:

1. Are Audio Engineering Schools worth it?

2. Will the school make you a better producer?

3. Is the degree worth in general?

4. Can I make money by mixing other people’s albums?

You Do Not Need A Degree To Do This For A Living

I will answer you directly. You do not need any degree  to record, mix or create full produced albums for artists.

Actually some of the most famous music producers have never gone to an audio engineering school.

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Audio Engineering Schools Are Hyped

Let’s say you’re a customer looking for someone to record your mixes and your albums.

The No1 producer has a perfect production, a fantastic sound that will make you think  “omg that’s a fantastic sound” and the second one’s sound is average.

Who would you trust?

The No1 producer of course. And what does this indicate?

That it does not matter if someone has a “better degree” than another’s, cause his “degree” is his sound.

There is no better degree and better proof that he knows what he’s doing than his own sound that he can produce by himself.

Is this not reasonable? If the result is what you are looking for… Will you trust someone just because he has a piece of paper that says that “he is good, trust him”?

If I, as an artist, want a great sound for my album … then I’ll pay attention that the sound he can produce is great for my album – simple as that – And not that he just owns a piece of paper.

If you can pay for school, go!

Before you think I’m against the audio engineering schools… Let me share my honest opinion with you…

It’s worth it only in some areas. For example …

* Public relations.
* Communication with other producers.
* You share your passion for music and sound.
* You can come in contact with high-tech recording and mixing equipment.

All these concepts differ from school to school though.

Unfortunately several schools, are not updated with the latest equipment and they are only worth for their “paper” (degree).

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Question: “Have you gone to an audio engineering school?”

For some reason, many people ask me if I have attended to one of the audio engineering schools out there.

Reasonably, many people want to know if what I say is worth it – which I find perfectly logical – but I can not reveal many details for obvious reasons.

Some people might think that I am getting paid for an “ad school promotion” and some people might think that going to school really matters…. For these 2 basic reasons I am not gonna say much.

But what I can say though is that I have went to school yeah. Was it worth it? Yes, but only for the things that I’ve mentioned above.

Could you live without it, if the pointers above wouldn’t really matter for you? Absolutely yes.

There are countless tutorials on the web that teach you the same stuff as schools do and allow me to add that… they might be even better than some of the schools out there.

What Really Counts

Whether you go to school or not, if you do not spend some time practicing and exercising your ears, you will not succeed much.

No audio engineering school will take you by the hand and tell you “come on dear why aren’t you trying hard… you’re paying us, you should practice!”.

If you have passion about music production and you love it then trust me… nothing will feel hard to achieve.

You just need to spend hours in your home studio, no matter if you go to school or not.

You will learn from your mistakes and become better day by day.

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Practice… Practice… Practice

Before I even started attending lessons in school I had started my own studio.

Yes it was pretty small and amateur at first, but I focused on things that mattered – things that would really improve my sound.

Do not spend money on fader-controllers with “cool lights”. I’ve actually spent money on things that improved my sound – converters for example.

I am not gonna lie – I prefer using a controller rather than clicking a mouse.

But when I’ve heard the sound that I got after that I had upgraded my converters, then the “Shift+Click” method for an accurate and smooth level balancing didn’t seem bad at all.

The secret is to make good choices in the beginning. Choices that someone will prefer YOU for your sound and not the “lights” on your console. That’s what I did and earned my first money.

Showing off is not a way to make money. But if you insist on showing off something… Show off your sound. That’s what matters.

When I had got my first money, then I got better controllers and amplifiers and slowly I’ve built an entire studio.

And all that happened because I had worked hard, I became better and I spent countless hours in front of amplifiers, microphones, computers and VST plugins.

Nobody Can Stop You

If you think you are “doomed” because you have not enough money to go to an audio engineering school, then there’s really no need to worry.

Having not the opportunity to go to an audio engineering school, does not mean you’re doomed to not learn about things that you love… It will just need a little extra effort, that’s all.

If you’re still worried that your songs won’t reach the commercial sounding level because audio engineering schools are expensive as *insert word here*, then I’ll try to create as many and high-quality tutorials as possible, explaining every single thing I do during mixing and mastering.

And I will be here to help you by answering your questions and offering my free lessons and tutorials.

Back to Mixing 😉

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8 Responses

  1. midiman007

    March 16, 2015 4:13 pm

    Nice article and I agree. Some of the best Musicians did not go to school.
    So I would have to say this can be applied to Audio Schools are they worth it?
    Mixing / Mastering is an art and if you read and study I am sure you can accomplish it with out going to school.

    Reply
  2. beafle

    March 23, 2015 8:38 pm

    That’s an interesting point of view although I feel you missed some of they key reasons for getting a degree. It’s not really about the degree more what you learn on the way, that is the point in a degree. If you go on a good course it forces you to broaden your field and look at stuff you may have never thought of before. While studying Audio and Music Technology not only have I looked at audio engineering and recording but I have done programming, sound for film and TV, looking at physical hardware and designing UI’s. An example of this is after learning how to write an AU plugin it forced me to learn how a compressor works. Once you understand every detail of it your understanding of how to use it also goes up and this is something I would not have done without being on a degree course. Its also an amazing opportunity to pick the brains of the people who have already had years of experience, you should not take what they say as a definitive way of doing something but it sure helps.

    Reply
  3. Lars

    October 29, 2015 1:36 am

    Hi,

    you didn’t mention some of the most important benefits of audio enginnering schools.

    The biggest benefit of audio enginnering schools – trusted ones – are the following:

    – Networking. Your school can be the best place to start your personal network. Some audio schools have great tools to help you starting to build your network. It’s way easier than doing that without such a school.
    – Trusted knowledge. If your audio engineering school is trusted, you can get trusted knowledge. You won’t have to watch different YouTube videos about a topic, getting different views and misleading information. Especially in audio engineering, many of that stuff you read on Wikipedia & Co is just wrong.
    – Your school can teach you more than just audio engineering. The better schools will tell you how the business works, not only how to work in the business. (I’m not speaking of “Pay money, get famous”-schools like Point Blank.)

    You sure can get a decent job without an audio engineering school and yes, the degree doesn’t matter anymore. But if the audio engineering school is good, you’ll get much knowledge in no time (compared to other learning systems) and it can work as a kick start into music business.

    May I ask you which audio school you went too? It seems like those important parts where lacking in your school education.

    Greetings,
    Lars

    Reply

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