Education Education Education?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Paul Nolan
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Education Education Education?

Post by Paul Nolan » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:04 am

right, got a bit of a decision to make guys hopefully you can help me and make an interesting topic as well

basically, ive been thinking over going to SAE to study audio engineering, a course which starts next month. although i've learnt a lot i feel as if i need to legitimise my knowledge and learn, not so much properly, but maybe formally?

i dunno if i'm even using the right language. i feel as if ive learnt a lot on my own, but i've never really finished anything to my liking, but i dunno if its just a creative thing, a workflow thing, or a technical thing. plus i'd love to be able to engineer bands, and learn other skills that would stand me in good stead looking for jobs in the indsutry which as we all know can be very thin on the ground


the facilities are wicked as youd expect and the course is very interesting. but its a lot of money to go there and i dunno if i need all of this knowledge and its maybe only me holding myself back for some reason?

your thoughts and views on engineering courses are very welcome, as i need to make a decision over the weekend. i'm well up for learning anything new, but obviously i also get the feeling that the money i'd spend going to uni could also be used in other areas (a new set of monitors for a kickoff and maybe some new gear including a mac), plus i get the feeling that they ight not be able to teach me what i want to learn, i.e. how to bring all of my knowledge together to create the results i want in the proper way

sorry to bore you! rant over, look forward to hearing what you think

this is paul emptying his head on the internet because he has no idea how to say this any other way!!!

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:28 am

ive heard loads of negative comments about SAE, but i have a dj mate who's doing one of their degrees in singapore and he's absolutely benefiting from it.

here in sydney, the most well known and biggest recording studios only recruit from SAE as well.

i think education can never be a bad thing. ... personally i would love to do some of the berklee courses, but i dont have the spre funds, maybe once im famous i can get a scholarship?

have you gone to the SAE open day and checked out the facilities and the breakdown of courses?

markaugust
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Post by markaugust » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:58 am

I did sae engineering course.
and allthough I found out engineering for bands wasn't for me, it helped me lots to understand the concept of sound and studio;and have not regretted it.
I must say the standard of the college is not that high, and surely only enough to get you started at the bottom in a studio, and pretty pricy too.but if you got the cash and the time, it is always good to get some education.

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:11 am

SAE sounds good in theory, buuuuut...



I think you'd really be a lot better off finding a local engineer who is willing to teach you. For the amount of money you're going to spend at SAE, you can surely hook up that sort of arrangement.



Of course, i've only had contact with the SAE's in the US (and i'm a very bitter ex-employee), it might be a different story on the other side of the pond. But i doubt it.


The only thing SAE is interested in is taking your money, the quality of their educational program is number 2 on their list after maintaining appearances.



.lm.
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LOFA
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Post by LOFA » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:32 am

leisuremuffin wrote: the quality of their educational program is number 2 on their list after maintaining appearances.



.lm.
I believe you just defined academia.

SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:14 am

markaugust wrote:
I did sae engineering course.
and allthough I found out engineering for bands wasn't for me, it helped me lots to understand the concept of sound and studio;and have not regretted it.


it's well worth to learn the trade of audio engineering propperly, then you can adapt your knowledge later to any kind of music.

leisuremuffin wrote:

I think you'd really be a lot better off finding a local engineer who is willing to teach you. For the amount of money you're going to spend at SAE, you can surely hook up that sort of arrangement.
it's defenitely better and by far more efficient and indeepst to do an internship at a local commercial studio, but a little harder to get. still i would try my absolut hardest to go down that route.

SAE does not teach you the *real* "bits 'n' bobs", developed from people who do their daily living with it. and the ones no book has ever written down.

cheers.

Paul Nolan
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Post by Paul Nolan » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:07 am

guys this is brilliant. real food for thought. i really appreciate the feedback.

i've heard so many contradicting stories from SAE, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous and outright scary. I've been to the open day, and the college is well kitted out as you'd expect, neve VR legend desk, pro tools'd up to the balls, loads of workstations, great live rooms etc etc.

and the course is well set out to you and the guy who did it was very cool, said he understood what i'm going through as he went through it himself. He told me that the Liverpool SAE is a bit different as its quite small compared to the others, and had only been open 2 years so you get more benefit from smaller numbers and a fairly new college, getting to know the other students and the tutors better, which means more one to one advice etc. and that if anything didnt sink in during the course, they'd just keep hammering at it with you until you get it.

as for the course itself, you do EVERYTHING.

Accoustics
Microphones & Monitoring (the science / electronics behind them & how to build them, place them, the works)
Electronics
Biology of the human ear (including psycho-accoustics)
Signal Flow Audio
Synthesis (all types, very mathmatical apparently)
Live Recording
Sampling & Sequencing (very Live / Logic heavy...dont really need the live bit like!)
Post Production for video
Broadcast Theory
Mixing & Mastering

and thats what i can think of off the top fo my head.

obviously after that i'm thinking 'great, sounds good' as the guy did seem genuine and understand why i was considering the course, but without sounding nasty you always have to keep the sales pitch element present in the back of your head. yes it is pricey for the course (£4800) and i could only do it part time over 18 months as i have a good job as well and thats the only way i could afford it.

so there's cases both sides as obviously they are going to come accross as the caring educational establishment (as if they didnt they'd all be on the dole eating beans on toast for tea everyday) so i really have to make a decision...any more feedback would be great....however what i'm going o try and do is speak to some people who have actually done this course at the liverpool SAE, to see exactly what they got from it etc etc

thanks for reading / listening to my woes!

The Evil Dr B
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Audio Educaton...

Post by The Evil Dr B » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:12 am

Hi there, relevant but vague post, after writing & producing music over the last 15 years, I thought I'd 'formalise' my music edu and did a MA in 'Creative Music Technology' part-time over two years, all it did was drain my funds and I knew more about music production/sequencing/sampling/synthesis than most of my tutors! The end result? Formal education totally killed all my creativity over a 3 year period! I'm only just getting it back at the moment! My advice is to keep pushing yourself forward with your own projects, I considered SAE and I'm glad I chose not too in the end.

sin(xy)
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Post by sin(xy) » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:38 am

try alchemea college of audio engineering. they teach you more, and you get about 40-40 hours of studio time given to you a week. you don't have to book it yourself.

going to alchemea was the best education i ever had.

www.alchemea.com
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rikhyray
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Post by rikhyray » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:55 am

leisuremuffin wrote:SAE sounds good in theory, buuuuut...



I think you'd really be a lot better off finding a local engineer who is willing to teach you. For the amount of money you're going to spend at SAE, you can surely hook up that sort of arrangement.



Of course, i've only had contact with the SAE's in the US (and i'm a very bitter ex-employee), it might be a different story on the other side of the pond. But i doubt it.


The only thing SAE is interested in is taking your money, the quality of their educational program is number 2 on their list after maintaining appearances.



.lm.
I liked the place- the looks (and what they propaganda material say)- and that is all. They are after your money, fail to impress as professionals though I guess it may differ from place to place.
Why dont you look for some real educational institution, probably anything else is better then them.

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:56 pm

Paul Nolan wrote:
Accoustics
Microphones & Monitoring (the science / electronics behind them & how to build them, place them, the works)
Electronics
Biology of the human ear (including psycho-accoustics)
Signal Flow Audio
Synthesis (all types, very mathmatical apparently)
Live Recording
Sampling & Sequencing (very Live / Logic heavy...dont really need the live bit like!)
Post Production for video
Broadcast Theory
Mixing & Mastering


yes, and each of those topics will be covered in about a week or two (that means that most of those subjects will be covered in 4 3 hour classes). By folks who *are* audio prefessionals, but not nessecarily great teachers.



also, be aware the the facillities are there to look good. Good example: At SAE NY, the NEVE and SSL rooms obvioulsy both have very impressive consoles. What kind of protools rig can you track to in there? How about a 002 rack. hmmm. ok. so i have a cheapo 8 in/out firewire interface to feed my large format analog console. Of course, they do have fantastic 24 track tape machines, but the students have to use short reels of tape that have been recorded on by every student that has come before them!!! And the reels are full of splices.
Very funny. When i worked there i would bring my own audio interface and my own reel of tape to work with.



.lm.
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LOFA
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Post by LOFA » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:12 pm

leisuremuffin wrote:Very funny. When i worked there i would bring my own audio interface and my own reel of tape to work with.

Unbelievable, yet I completely believe it.

atmofunk
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Post by atmofunk » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:45 pm

From what i've witnessed in the past, these "pro" schools charge you $20000 a year merely for the purpose of buying lots of new gear that you never really get to use to it's full capacity..

You walk out being familiar with lots of industry specific methods, but no real skills to be proud of... plus, you don't have any of that cool gear to practice with anymore!

I'd spend that money on my own gear and teach myself and/or find another dude to help me with it.. Not putting down school, but IMHO if you want to learn the REAL shit, go to university to learn sound theory.

the gear becomes secondary after that.


i just can't justify that amount of money for an introductory course..
http://mixlogistics.com | http://www.myspace.com/mixlogistics | Live 6.0.3 | Oxygen8v2 | Trigger Finger

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:10 pm

I do not recommend just buying gear!

At least one good thing about a going to a schools is that you get time on the equipment and get an understanding of what you actually need/want before buying it.


A big mistake a lot of people make is buying a whole bunch of gear, only to realize a year later that they need or want something else. that is a shitty situation.


Really, the best thing to do is to find a local engineer who will teach you in exchange for money. Trust me, this should not be hard at all.




.lm.
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Scube
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Post by Scube » Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:42 am

I cannot recommend SAE cause my experience was very bad. For example, before my subscription, they didn't tell me that my teachers would have been ex-students. Yes, my audio tests (mixing,, mastering..) were "correct" by ex-students and not by theory teachers. I think this is a stupid, stupid, stupid method...those guys (my former course) had not sufficient experience to tell "it's wrong cause....". I completed the course 5 years ago (Italy) and I don't know if the situation is the same, today and in other Countries. If not, I think you should frequent professional forums, buy a dozen of books, A LOT of machines and do it yourself.

Antonio

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