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#967871 - 04/16/01 04:21 PM Expectations of New Students
Tiny G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 406
Loc: Nashville, TN
This is a question for new students as well as instructors. . .

What are the expectations of someone looking for an education in "professional audio"? How do these expectations change during the time it takes to get an "education" and what are they a few months after graduation?

Having taught a few students in a "study at home" type of course I find that the expectations at the beginning are usually almost totally unrealistic and that the "realities" of the business are only learned after some time "out in the world".

Of course, I also see this as a problem with lots of kids coming out of high school without clear goals. . so what makes a larger percentage of this kind of kid choose audio as a potential career?

------------------
Tiny G
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Tiny G

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#967872 - 04/16/01 06:20 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
MarkMartin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Some students seem to have very high expectations when they start classes, others have been involved with it to some extent and know what they want when they start school. At SAE, we lay the realities of the business out from the very beginning. Long hours, hard work, etc....So our students expectations are defined...or redefined 8> )... early on in our program. I think that there are alot of students (new HS grads, especially) who look for the rock and roll lifestyle when looking at the industry as a career. We heavily concentrate on the realities of this industry...we're here to make sure they get a good leg-up..not a kick down when they get out and see it's different than they thought...

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#967873 - 04/16/01 07:26 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Tiny G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 406
Loc: Nashville, TN
Mark,

Would you suggest that potential students work in some kind of internship program before they make the time and financial commitment to a school like SAE? I would think that for the "right out of High School" kid this would be a good eye opener. Like anything, the more a person puts into it,the more they're going to get out of it. Thanks for your previous honest and straight forward answer.



------------------
Tiny G
_________________________
Tiny G

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#967874 - 04/16/01 09:00 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
MarkMartin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Interning has been around the Music Biz for ever. The number of people who want to (or think they want to) work in a studio allows studios to have people work for them for free (Very prominent in Nashville studios). The problem with someone interning before they have the neccessary base audio knowledge is that they will base their decision on being somewhere without a clue about equipment and usages. I see where you're going with this and it would seem that a person could decide if the career is for them before they spend the time and money on recording school. Not too many careers have a try before learn option..not many large format studios will allow someone without structured training to intern...It would be nice though...

Thanks for the questions

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#967875 - 04/16/01 10:41 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
robdarling@mail.com Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/30/00
Posts: 477
Loc: New York,NY,UNITED STATES
I don't actually know any engineers making a living who went to school. They all started as interns or low-paid ga's.

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#967876 - 04/17/01 02:18 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
Valkyrie Sound Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1891
Loc: LA, CA, UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by robdarling@mail.com:
I don't actually know any engineers making a living who went to school. They all started as interns or low-paid ga's.


Well... now you know one!

By the way... as I've stated in other
threads about audio education...
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BECOME A RECORDING,
MIXING, OR MASTERING ENGINEER WHEN YOU
GRADUATE!
There are SO many more things to do in this
industry...your view is much too narrow.
Sound system installation companies desperately
need people, manufacturers need people,
rep firms need people... etc.. etc...
A good school will open a student's mind
to the infinite possibilities within the industry.

Please folks! Don't have such a narrow view of what
audio education is all about...you can't just broadly
dismiss it based on the limited needs of the recording industry!

Valky
http://www.vsoundinc.com
_________________________
Valkyrie Sound:
http://www.vsoundinc.com
Now at TSUTAYA USA:
http://www.tsutayausa.com

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#967877 - 04/17/01 02:43 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
MarkMartin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Good Point Valky...The music industry does have a much larger scope than just mixing... And I know a great number of working engineers that went to school...Some who didn't...All of whom I respect. All of the recording programs have started careers of very successful engineers...You'd be suprised who went where....School may not be for everyone, but it has proven to work for many.

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#967878 - 04/18/01 02:20 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
Brenton Trott Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/09/00
Posts: 111
Loc: AUSTRALIA
I too went to school, I felt that I had what it takes but I didn't know how to talk the language. I didn't finish school expecting to get a job as a recording/mixing engineer. I studied so I could hang in a studio and know what was going on and when they asked me for an XLR cable, I wouldn't give them a microphone.

I finished school mixed live bands for 2 yrs, then worked as an assistant/contract engineer for a couple of more years and landed a job as a fulltime engineer which I am still doing 12 years later. I have had a lot of people come through here that have been excellent and hopeless from school and no school backgrounds but generally the ones that went to school at least knew the basics.

I also know over a dozen other engineers, some went to school, some got internships and some got nothing. The best ones are the best ones, regardless of how they started.

It's all what works for the individual, I would never have had the confidence to start hanging/working at a place without the school I went to and I would do it again tomorrow.

Brenton
_________________________
Cheers
Brenton

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#967879 - 04/18/01 05:07 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
Fletcher Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1411
Loc: Foxboro,MA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by MarkMartin:
At SAE, we lay the realities of the business out from the very beginning. Long hours, hard work, etc....So our students expectations are defined...or redefined 8> )... early on in our program.


Why don't you try teaching them to make a decent pot of coffee, and to keep their fucking mouths shut. That might be a start.

------------------
Fletcher
Mercenary Audio
http://www.mercenary.com
_________________________
Fletcher
Mercenary Audio

Roscoe Ambel once said:
Pro-Tools is to audio what fluorescent is to light

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#967880 - 04/18/01 06:35 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
Valkyrie Sound Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1891
Loc: LA, CA, UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher@mercenary.com:
Why don't you try teaching them to make a decent pot of coffee, and to keep their fucking mouths shut. That might be a start.


I'm sure every school mentions something to that effect...

But as I've said a hundred times...

You don't have to work in a studio to be a
part of the industry... or to use an education
at a good school.

I don't ever remember anyone asking me to make
coffee at a rep firm, manufacturer, or sound
contractor...

When will people stop being so narrow-minded
about careers in the audio industry???!!

Again, the audio industry is NOT ONLY RECORDING
ENGINEERS! There are hundreds of hard working people
in audio who will never make a cover of EQ but who
have a greater influence on shaping this industry
than most recording engineers.

Don't dismiss audio education when
you don't understand (or even know about) all
the other careers in the industry that all have
DIFFERENT needs than the recording industry but
who still need new people with a good grasp
of audio fundamentals.

Oh.. and I'm not talking about R&D people
who need an EE degree either. There are plenty of
jobs which require audio knowledge but are
not EE related!

Sales people..
Manufacturers reps and liaisons..
Product managers
Product specialists
Marketing
Customer support
New products/concepts managers
Project managers
Product line managers

VPs and Presidents... ya know? The people
who make the big decisions about what products
you see, when you see them, how you see them...
They don't need an EE degree.. they hire people
for that... They only need to know the industry
and what their customers need.

Even though most of my work right now
is as a recording engineer, I know that
if I ever have need of more work that is still
related to audio (my passion) that I'll
know where to look.


Valky
http://www.vsoundinc.com
http://www.recording.org
_________________________
Valkyrie Sound:
http://www.vsoundinc.com
Now at TSUTAYA USA:
http://www.tsutayausa.com

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#967881 - 04/18/01 12:06 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Fletcher Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1411
Loc: Foxboro,MA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by valkyriesound:
I don't ever remember anyone asking me to make
coffee at a rep firm, manufacturer, or sound
contractor...


Interesting. Everyone who has ever worked at Mercenary Audio has started there as "coffee bitch". From sales, to accounting, to shop workers, to techs, shipping...all have been "coffee bitch", until a new "coffee bitch" came along. Right now, the #2 guy at the firm is still "coffee bitch" as he's the newest there (though sometimes he delegates the gig as is proper protocol for his position...he still has holds the "C-B" title).

As for keeping their mouth shut...that's just common sense, but these schools are turning out kids that think they know their ass from a hole in the ground and that Daddy's $30k+ gave them the right to speak. When I was managing a studio I didn't even bother to learn the new kids names for 3 months...generally, they wouldn't be around that long, so why bother.

Quote:
Again, the audio industry is NOT ONLY RECORDING
ENGINEERS! There are hundreds of hard working people
in audio who will never make a cover of EQ but who
have a greater influence on shaping this industry
than most recording engineers.


Yes there are...and in many ways it's damned unfortunate.

Quote:
Don't dismiss audio education when
you don't understand (or even know about) all
the other careers in the industry that all have
DIFFERENT needs than the recording industry but
who still need new people with a good grasp
of audio fundamentals.

Oh.. and I'm not talking about R&D people
who need an EE degree either. There are plenty of
jobs which require audio knowledge but are
not EE related!

Sales people..
Manufacturers reps and liaisons..
Product managers
Product specialists
Marketing
Customer support
New products/concepts managers
Project managers
Product line managers

VPs and Presidents... ya know? The people
who make the big decisions about what products
you see, when you see them, how you see them...


In a nutshell you have described 90% of what's wrong with our industry. The jobs you've listed above should all be covered by people who have, at least for a while, "sat in the chair". There is a product on the market by a large corporation that has a major design flaw. I brought it to the attention of the designer (who also has never sat in the chair) and he designed a solution to the problem. I ran into the "Head of US Operations" for that company a few weeks ago at a party and asked why a recall wasn't issued and the product made right...his reaction (paraphrased): "We don't sell enough of that unit to warrant the expense, we never though it would be a huge product, so we're not all that concerned about that minor flaw" No shit!! Perhaps, if they made the fucking thing useable they'd sell more of them...but this was this moron's view of the product.

"New Products"? How do you know the needs of the user if you're not in the game? By asking Eddie Kramer? C'mon...if you haven't actually engineered, you have no idea what the real needs/requirements are. "Marketing"? How can you relate to an engineer if you've never been one. I can't relate to most of the people that live in my neighborhood...they're foreign creatures to me...why? I've never lived in their world, I have no idea what they do, or why. I sure as shit don't want any of those fucking jackoffs involved with the tools I have to use as an engineer, whether they've taken the 'Readers Digest Engineering School Program' or not...they haven't lived it, stay the fuck away please.

I've worked with a ton of kids from the various schools, they almost all have one thing in common, they can't make a decent pot of coffee, and they won't shut the fuck up. This whole school thing without any practical experience is like watching 20 porno videos and thinking you know how to fuck. It's ridiculous. These schools make a fortune for their owners, and bless them for it...but the fact of the matter is that 99% of the people that come out of there won't even learn the phrase "want fries with that?".
Sure, they'll know how to run an SSL/Pro-Tools, own a coupla bitchin' cool Behringer outboard toys...but unless I'm entirely out of touch with reality, nobody's asking these kids to run this shit when they graduate...they're asking them to run to the deli for a Pastrami on light rye with mustard. Can these schools possibly teach them that skill...one more fucked up sandwich and I may start bringing my chain saw to sessions along with my nearfield monitors.


Quote:
They don't need an EE degree.. they hire people
for that... They only need to know the industry
and what their customers need.


By what? Asking Eddie Kramer? Big hint, most customers don't know what they need!! They're very easily swayed by the big glossy ads in the magazines and the recording school graduate that works at the "guitar mart" long enough to get his extra 10% discount on his Cubase system and TLM-103...then he's out of there to start his own studio...so he can become one of the many that don't know what they need...and the cycle continues as the world goes round...but everyday there is a recording school graduate working in the telecommunications industry asking the magical question: "Hi, I'm calling from _____ and want to talk to you about your long distance service...you know ____ can save you lots of money on your long dis....hello?....hello?"

How can you suggest someone purchase a product if you haven't used it in "combat conditions"? In my not so humble opinion, a sales weasel that doesn't spend at least 4 weeks a year in the room (every year) and not "pimping" is a tool of the manufactuers/marketing mooks. They're not there to help their clients, they're there to do as they're told by the marketing mooks with zero pratctical knowledge.

There was one "respected" guy that runs a company building "high end" gear that came to our joint with a 'production prototype' of an equalizer. The nomenclature for "Q" (bandwidth for those of you in rekordin skewl) was backwards!!! Now, I could no more tell you the formula for calculating "Q" than I could tell you the gross national product for Paraguay in 1985, but I do know that ".5" is a fuck load larger bandwith than "5"...seems bassackwards I admit, but the fact of the matter is an actual recording engineer needs to know this shit, and without the practical/on field experience...you're going to see more and more dumbass shit like that...oh, and you're going to see more tubes glowing behind plexiglass...no headroom pieces of shit for sure...but they'll be more of 'um.

This is how bullshit industry myths occur like "tubes sound warm". For those that have been to recording school...tubes get warm, only a well designed circuit sounds warm...oh, you can do it in solid state too. Now I ain't no "double E", but I've sat in the chair and heard the difference while making records in a real studio. If you haven't been in the chair, in a real studio, you have no fucking clue of what it takes to make a record.

That's a big part of what I perceive with the equipment manufacture/distribution business, people that don't know what the fuck goes on in a real studio on a day to day basis are making decisions for the people that do work in real studios on a day to day basis. Look at AKG, they've got a ton of people with "Double E's" that wouldn't know a real microphone if it walked up to them and slapped them in the face.

Then you have the marketing morons that proselytize it as the greatest thing in the world because it has a tube in it!!! They don't know that the thing is a complete piece of shit because they've never recorded anything more extensive than the outgoing message on their 'voice jail'.

Manufacturers reps and liasons...granted they only need a cursory knowledge and a corporate credit card. If they know how the product works, they can at least explain the controls and take the department head at the "guitar mart" out to lunch/dinner/nudie bar and pick up the tab. From their the department head goes back and instructs his minions to push the new ______ from _____ because they took him golfing. You think I'm kidding, but sadly, I'm not.

Quote:
Even though most of my work right now
is as a recording engineer, I know that
if I ever have need of more work that is still
related to audio (my passion) that I'll
know where to look.


And you will be a great asset to whatever company you work for after you've moved on from your engineering career...why? Because you've sat in the chair. You know the difference between tools that help, and tools that hinder. You understand what goes on in the room on a practical level and can lend pragmatic advice. I deal with marketing and PR people on a regular basis that couldn't figure out how to plug in a mic cable in three tries...why? They never sat in the chair that's why.

Here's one other scary thought, then I promise I'll leave this alone for a while. While there are some instructors that have actually been "in the chair" and wanted a 'lifestyle change' (similar to the reason I got into 'pimping' from engineering), the great majority of instructors couldn't get a gig in the real world...so they found a way into teaching. Now...the people teaching these kids didn't have their shit together enough to actually gig...but they're the educators of the engineers of tomorrow.

If these kids maintain a "B" average, that means they picked up like 80-85% of what this incompetent maroon is spewing...which gives them a tad less than a snowball's chance in hell of landing a real gig...which puts them directly into one of the positions you listed above without any real combat experience. Not a circular from Sweetwater comes through our door without a really big section devoted to trying to get people to move to Fort Wayne, Indiana to pimp gear...

That's what really scares me.

------------------
Fletcher
Mercenary Audio
http://www.mercenary.com
_________________________
Fletcher
Mercenary Audio

Roscoe Ambel once said:
Pro-Tools is to audio what fluorescent is to light

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#967882 - 04/18/01 03:51 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
MarkMartin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
I'm just really glad that people like Chuck Ainley were given a chance and not judged for going to recording school....

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#967883 - 04/18/01 05:41 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
VoodooBoy Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/01
Posts: 1
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
First of all Mr.Fletcher, i can see that you are a bitter, bitter individual. I have read some of your posts in other forums in the past and have always appreciated your input. This time, however someone seems to have struck a sour chord with you.
I am proud to say that i am a graduate of a recording school. I am also very willing to admit that I don't know it all. spent my time working with great people and learning from them. Had I not gotten the education that I did, I would have never had those opportnities.
I'm fighting the urge to post retribution for your comments about those of us who are audio school graduates from around the world. I will agree with you on some fronts. I agree that there are some useless people who have come through audio schools. I know some personally. Some are arrogant, some are just plain stupid. That said, there are also those of us who have learned what was available to us and taken that out into the industry and are trying to make it with the understanding that we are not professionals.
I'd love to write more, but some of us don't have the time to write 6 page long posts because we are busy working in this industry.
Have a nice day Mr.Fletcher and may you somehow gain some piece of mind through your flagrant, foul, and narrow-minded posts to this and many other forums

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#967884 - 04/18/01 07:16 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Valkyrie Sound Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1891
Loc: LA, CA, UNITED STATES
Quote:
Interesting. Everyone who has ever worked at Mercenary Audio has started there as "coffee bitch". From sales, to accounting, to shop workers, to techs, shipping...all have been "coffee bitch", until a new "coffee bitch" came along. Right now, the #2 guy at the firm is still "coffee bitch" as he's the newest there (though sometimes he delegates the gig as is proper protocol for his position...he still has holds the "C-B" title).[/B]


Well... since you seem to be such a "traditionalist" when it comes
to new people... I'm not surprised that this happens at Mercenary Audio.
Not every place is like that... Yes, recording industry related places are
definitely going to ask you to make coffee. I don't think anyone at the other types of places would ask me to do that... they expect everyone to get their own coffee. Hell I had a co-worker at one sound contractor job ask me to get his coffee the very first day in front of our boss. My boss made a really BIG point that he expected everyone to get their own coffee and that no one at the company was the "coffee bitch".
Yes, I agree with you... if you are at a recording studio you'll need to make coffee. If you are at one of the other types of jobs I mentioned I think the atmosphere is VERY different. In the "shirt and tie" world (that I know you seem to hate) there is a different atmosphere.

As for new guys "not shutting up"... Well...that is not entirely due to
daddy's money. It is also a personality thing and an eagerness to participate. Do they need to learn to keep quiet? Yes...
Just TRY to remember that some students actually KNOW to keep quiet...
try not to stereotype all students.

Quote:
In a nutshell you have described 90% of what's wrong with our industry. The jobs you've listed above should all be covered by people who have, at least for a while, "sat in the chair".[/B]


Sat in which "chair"? Sound contractors don't need to be recording engineers... they need to be acoustics experts with a knowledge of audio.
I still think you're being too narrow in assuming everyone needs to know recording engineering only.

Quote:
C'mon...if you haven't actually engineered, you
have no idea what the real needs/requirements are.[/B]


I think you are grossly underestimating the manufacturers here. Most
of the people I know who work in manufacturing HAVE been engineers
before. Even some of the folks in marketing. They're not all as ignorant
as you seem to think they are.

Quote:
These schools make a fortune for their owners, and bless them for
it...but the fact of the matter is that 99% of the people that come out of there won't even learn the phrase "want fries with that?". [/B]


This is one of the stereotypes I hate the most. Not all schools
are FOR PROFIT! I personally HATE schools that make money off of their
students. I also hate the stereotype that professionals like yourself give
to all students... that ALL students know nothing. There ARE good schools
out there... maybe you have not dealt with them yet. I don't like Full Pail anymore than you do. I think schools like that just give a bad name to
the other GOOD schools around.

Quote:
If you haven't been in the chair, in a real studio, you have no
fucking clue of what it takes to make a record.[/B]


You're still too focused on the recording industry. What about
the people who design and install all those sound systems
at your local sports stadiums? They have needs too...
What about theme park installations? Not everyone needs to be
a recording engineer!

Quote:
And you will be a great asset to whatever company you work for after you've moved on from your engineering career...why? Because you've sat in the chair. You know the difference between tools that help, and tools that hinder. You understand what goes on in the room on a practical level and can lend pragmatic advice. I deal with marketing and PR people on a regular basis that couldn't figure out how to plug in a mic cable in three tries...why? They never sat in the chair that's why.[/B]


Um... thanks. I still think you're not giving the manufacturers
enough credit though. There are plenty of people who engineer and
also work as a rep or consultant at the same time to make ends
meet. They're not all as ignorant as you think.

Quote:
While there are some instructors that have actually been "in the chair" and wanted a 'lifestyle change' (similar to the reason I got into 'pimping' from engineering), the great majority of instructors couldn't get a gig in the real world...so they found a way into teaching. Now...the people teaching these kids didn't have their shit together enough to actually gig...but they're the educators of the engineers of tomorrow.[/B]


Yes, I'll agree sometimes that possibility is quite scary.
On the other hand, there are plenty of teachers who just
wanted a "lifestyle" change. You just need to look into
the audio program and figure out what type of teachers they have.
You seem to have been dealing with plenty of poor audio schools.
I'd say do some more research into the program before you
hire a student of the program. I'd also take the time to
call the teachers and ask if the student has the personality
to "shut up" if that's what you need.
I went to USC. As I've stated before, I think it was
the right choice for me. At USC all the teachers are
expected to be working professionals. Chris Stone
is teaching there next semester... do you think he can't
get another gig? How about the VP of Warner Brothers records?
Can he get another gig? Or maybe the VP of JBL? How
about the senior vice president of ASCAP?
They all teach at USC. http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/depts/musicindustry.htm
I'd say do more research into the
program before you stereotype all programs.

Valky
http://www.vsoundinc.com
http://www.recording.org
_________________________
Valkyrie Sound:
http://www.vsoundinc.com
Now at TSUTAYA USA:
http://www.tsutayausa.com

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#967885 - 04/19/01 04:28 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
cerebralborealis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 130
What are the expectations of someone looking for an education in "professional audio"?

Expectations are usally wildly optimistic, combined with being seriously misinformed about the realities of the biz. This is because the media, audio specialty schools, and general public opinion tend to over-glamorize "professional audio" beyond belief.

My advice:
Go to a mid-level studio and volunteer to clean toilets, make coffee, take out the trash, sweep the floors etc. for at LEAST two weeks for ABSOLUTELY FREE, and be honest about your intentions. Now when/if they say NO, Offer to PAY THEM $25/$30 CASH PER DAY for the privelege (its MUCH cheaper than any tuition). Start as early as they open and be the last one to leave EVERY day. DO NOT take a day off for 14 days in a row. Make the toilets sparkle! Make the coffee amazing! Don't expect to be in the control room EVER except to serve coffee, empty trash cans, etc. SHUT UP and observe the day-to-day operation of the audio biz for a few weeks. Not as glamorous as you thought? Tired of hearing the same song all day long? 16 hour days seem too long? Don't like the band or their music that much? Seems too boring and tedious with little or no excitement? NOW you can GIVE UP that silly idealistic dream and get on with a more realistic approach to your life instead of wasting countless months/years and untold $ only to find out about this when it's too late. However if you STILL feel like this is REALLY your thing, go for it with your eyes (and ears) now wide open.

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#967886 - 04/19/01 10:28 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
davemc Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 80
Loc: Northcote,,AUSTRALIA
From a small project studio point of view here in Australia.
I get at least one resume or phone call a week from people after a job.
I run the studio as a one man business and where I am we are overloaded by people with a mackie and 2 adats for $15-$20 an hour. Most go in 3-6 months although another lot will spring up. I still have a day job 2-3 days a week to support the studio, and will puch it more latter this year.

There are just a couple of large studios in the state, but probably 300+ kids come out each year wanting thoose assistant jobs.(there are 3 shcools and 5-6 tafe/college courses)
I try to be nice and tell them that there are other jobs in the field, like TV/film.

The local SAE AD says that only there students are hired at one of the biggest studios in the country. Hey this might be true, I just do not think they will be hiring 20-30 kids each year, unless the fire the old ones quick.

I just hate to tell them "hey there really is not any jobs out there, sorry" My studio starts with the Letter "I" so I am not normally the first to have told them this.

I would like an assistant.
I have tried a couple from various schools.
One had already picked up bad habits,
Like I was told always to eq every drum track
and you should gate the toms etc.
I say you are worth shit to me unless you can do something, or bring some work to me. I like my own coffee made how I like it.

On the otherhand I know people who did 1 year course and said they learned enough so they can understand what I am doing. They did the course for knowledge not an actual job.

It is a business for SAE, telling the kids there are basicallu no jobs in the state for rock engineers would do them harm. Why should they delude peoples dreams.
Hey most cover bands think they will be rich and famous as an orginal artist when they start.

------------------
Bye Dave
http://www.indentmusic.com.au
_________________________
Bye Dave
http://www.indentmusic.com.au

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#967887 - 04/19/01 11:22 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
Fletcher Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1411
Loc: Foxboro,MA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by valkyriesound:
Yes, I'll agree sometimes that possibility is quite scary.
On the other hand, there are plenty of teachers who just
wanted a "lifestyle" change. You just need to look into
the audio program and figure out what type of teachers they have.


It also depends on the kid...if they came in with brains and talent, they'll leave with brains, talent, and a little bit of theory. If they come in a moron, they're going to leave a moron...and somehow it's mostly the morons that find their way to my sessions.

There are guys, like Chuck Ainley, who are the notable exceptions to the rule. I suppose I was wrong speaking in such broad strokes, the problem I have is that places like SAE and Full Pail spit these kids out by the hundreds, and the vast majority couldn't find their ass with a road map and a funnel.


Quote:
You seem to have been dealing with plenty of poor audio schools.
I'd say do some more research into the program before you
hire a student of the program.


I generally don't hire them, I generally get stuck with them at studio's I use. I was talking with Rob Jasko and Carl Beatty from Berklee last night (Rob is the 'Acting Grand-poopah' over there) about including "real world" training in the curriculum...they seemed to think it was a good idea...we'll see if it happens.

Quote:
I'd also take the time to
call the teachers and ask if the student has the personality
to "shut up" if that's what you need.
I went to USC. As I've stated before, I think it was
the right choice for me. At USC all the teachers are
expected to be working professionals. Chris Stone
is teaching there next semester... do you think he can't
get another gig? How about the VP of Warner Brothers records?
Can he get another gig? Or maybe the VP of JBL? How
about the senior vice president of ASCAP?
They all teach at USC. http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/depts/musicindustry.htm
I'd say do more research into the
program before you stereotype all programs.


Chris Stone more than likely doesn't need the gig...the VP of Warner Brothers, with the year they just had, questionable on the 'another gig' thing...Senior VP of ASCAP...maybe, maybe not...that hack Bruce Swedien used to do a course there too...I don't think he works much anymore [before you pull out the chain saw...that was sarcasm...].

Yeah, USC does a good program. For that matter the 'Recording Workshop' in Ohio seems to do a decent program. Berklee, U. Miami, and a couple other big ones are hit or miss, but U-Mass/Lowell has a tremendous sucess rate of turning out decent kids, as does MTSU. It was the Full Pail's and SAE's of this world to which I was referring. Seeing as SAE owns this forum, I thought it would be fun to point out that they're selling a fantasy, while delivering mainly manure.

As for things like "sound contracting"...doing the 'sound system' in a hotel lobby isn't brain surgery, in fact, it's usually performed by the staff "electrician" and designed by the local shop that sold them the equipment. Sound contracting for stadiums is a whole other ball of wax. That's "acoustics/acoustic archictecture". My wife used to do stuff like that, she had zero back ground in recording, zero back ground in sound reinforcement (except hanging out with me at shows)...but she did have a degree in Acoustic Architecture from a little trade school near Boston called "MIT". If you're telling me that any graduate of SAE has ever designed a stadium sound system...I'm glad I watch most games on TV.

Quote:
Um... thanks. I still think you're not giving the manufacturers enough credit though. There are plenty of people who engineer and also work as a rep or consultant at the same time to make ends meet. They're not all as ignorant as you think.


There, you're part right, and mostly wrong. There are some, a handful, of designers that are also engineers. The great majority aren't. As for 'reps'...I've never met one that has a clue. If they're out there, they've never called me. I've seen some unbelievable idiots doing the "rep" game...they do a great job of 'shmoozing and lunching' while trying to describe how wonderful the new product line they just picked up is...and how it's going to be the hottest thing since sliced bread...and if we don't jump on the bandwagon right now, we're going to miss out. But hey, being an 'audio rep' is a lot more fun than being a used car jockey...

As for consultants...consulting on what? I've met some great ones, I've met some terrible ones. Whether or not they came from one of the schools is unknown to me...but something tells me that (mostly from their age) they aren't SAE/Full Pail gradiates (misspelling intentional), though most seem to have 20+ years of practical experience in addition to whatever schooling they may have had.

Coupla side notes...VoodooBoy; I'm not bitter, just bored. I've spent more of my time teaching kids more in a week of sessions than they got from a year of school. It's annoying, it's frustrating. I mean simple shit like how to make a mic list and have the mics up and in the ballpark in a half an hour. They can run the SSL computer, but perish the thought that they should have to do something as mundane as put a mic on a stand. I'm speaking in generalities yes...the good one's I've been more than happy to get on the phone and "vouch" for the kid and get him a gig in a good joint...but those kids are few and far between. The fact that you went to one of these schools and have something that resembles a career is more a testament to you than the institution you attended.

While we're at it...don't fight the urge to let some 'retribution' fly. Go for it bro...you have something on your mind, let it out...who knows, you might teach me the error of my ways. I may be old and fat, but I can learn, let 'er rip!!

Final note to Valkie and I'll shut up..."Coffee Bitch" is the one who makes the first pot of coffee in the morning...we don't have 'waitress service', sorry, I should have clarified that.

------------------
Fletcher
Mercenary Audio
http://www.mercenary.com
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Fletcher
Mercenary Audio

Roscoe Ambel once said:
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#967888 - 04/19/01 01:41 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Anderton Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/28/00
Posts: 7377
>>but the fact of the matter is that 99% of the people that come out of there won't even learn the phrase "want fries with that?". <<

And 99% of those who graduated as English majors will never write a hit novel, 99% of the people with football scholarships will never play with a major league football team, 99% of the people who run for politics will never be a senator...you get my point. Schools cannot magically turn dummies into top-drawer engineers, no matter how hard they try. Give schools a student body where 99% are motivated, intelligent, humble people, and the schools will look great.
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#967889 - 04/19/01 11:22 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Brenton Trott Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/09/00
Posts: 111
Loc: AUSTRALIA
I studied for a year of night school at the SAE (downunder) while working fulltime in a factory in 1985. I only went there to learn, I had no intention of working in the industry. At the very beginning of the course they told us that only 2-3 (out of about 20) of us would work in the industry, after a few months the manager told me that they would recommend me if anyone rang them looking for someone.

One of the reasons they would recommend me was not just because I did well in their course but because I was the right type of personality (their words)

It sounds to me that there is a lot of bad feelings about schools in the USA. We also have a few other places running short courses and and we have had a couple of shonks over the years, but the big one is the SAE. Here it has a good reputation, like I said companies ring them looking for people to work for them and the SAE only recommend students that they believe in (they protect that reputation) I know because I have used a lot of them over the past 12 years. All their staff (except the manager) also do recording/live mixing etc on an ongoing basis.

Another thing I think people are missing is that these courses actually weed out a lot of people that are wrong for the job. A lot of the kids straight out of school just want to start recording (insert big band name here) today, they don't want to learn all this shit about diaphragms, phasing and electrons and a lot drop out along the way because it's too hard. So the ones that make it through at least have some proven stickability, if they have a big mouth then ring your local school and ask them to recommend one who doesn't.

Just my 4 cents (2 cents US)

Cheers
Brenton
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#967890 - 05/16/01 05:03 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
ustah Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 413
Loc: woodhaven,NY,UNITED STATES
I think we [you]are missing one thing...
Now days it's easy to build your studio[project-home call it whatever you want],so you don't look a lot for 'major'studios to hire you.I'm graduated at SAE NY.i did really ,really good at school but I didn't wait from them to find me a job[once I asked them they offered me something part time it was a good paid job and not makin'g coffe..doesn't mater]What I want to say is .that now days is very important to now more and more particulary in this business,learn from people who have a experience from big projects[and belive me in SAE they don't hesitate do do that],so you can start a small business at home or in a small studio and you got a lot of experience and who now's one day....if you are motivated etc.....[also if you are les than 30] also nobody would leave[belive] the pilot who finished today the school to flight a jumbo with 300 hundred people until he got some hrs.in plane,if they don't take him in big company,and if this gay had the money for the school he's got a money also to open his bussines than it doesn't mater is he good or not at least he nows how to run this small business and run the small planes[behringer's in our case]at least he has a decent job and he doesn't making a coffe all day long,THE COFFE IS FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T SLEEP ALL NIGHT TRYING TO REALIZE WHAT THE HELL ARE DOING THIS CREAZY KIDS IN THE SCHOOLS[HOW THE HELL THEY NOW EVERYTHING FOR THAT SHORT TIME] if you think we now shit!! then you have a problem with yourself people.......Good luck too everybody and hope we make some money tomorrow and who cares about who now's what,and who did wrong and who did wright!!!!!

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#967891 - 05/16/01 11:09 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
neonjohn Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 70
Loc: New Haven, CT USA
I think the biggest problem with students expectations is that so many of them expect to be "stars." The truth is, becoming a star in sound engineering is almost as tough to attain as becoming a famous musician, pro-sports star, etc. For the vast majority, it's an unrealistic expectation. There are a lot of ways to make a successful career (and a damn good living) in sound engineering without being a star. I do a lot of work with video production companies (doing location sound as well as audio-post), software/game companies, corporate clients, etc. These are ways to make a good living in audio right in your own community, and these opportunities are expanding rapidly with the proliferation of new media. I've done some teaching at UMASS Lowell, and I've tried to open my students eyes to these non-glamorous, but potentially highly lucrative opportunities.
_________________________
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Mixville Productions, LLC
Creative Music and Sound Design

"I guess all songs is folk songs. Never heard no horse sing 'em."
Big Bill Broonzy

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#967892 - 05/17/01 01:07 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
MarkMartin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Excellent point NeonJohn...

Like with alot of careers, you can't become the CEO overnight or a judge right out of law school. Paying dues, it seems, is something that must be paid no matter what career you pursue....

Thanks for the input!!

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#967893 - 07/14/01 11:49 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
sammyblaze Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 2
Loc: pittsburgh,PA,UNITED STATES
Being Inside the studio is What its aLLLLl about, if u were into installations u could have gone into the vending machine career, busineess career , advertising - (visual non audio ) career, truth of the matter is It would be a sad truth, to admit that school got me at a sideline of where I wanted to Be so I can watch and not touch. Fuck that
I want A teacher or to be an intern, NOt serve peoples basic needs, but "higher" needs. :0) and im not even experienced yet

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#967894 - 08/22/01 06:10 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
ABECK Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/22/01
Posts: 2490
Loc: Framingham,MA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher@mercenary.com:
I've worked with a ton of kids from the various schools, they almost all have one thing in common, they can't make a decent pot of coffee, and they won't shut the fuck up.



I learned the importance of coffee on day 1 at the studio.
Years ago, M.T. up at Blue Jay taught me "no, the Maxwell House is for the clients. Go grind me some beans and make a cup of coffee I can drink."
Since then, it's been paramount to have good coffee in whatever studio I'm at. My personal favorite:
1. Must be fresh ground beans
2. Must consist of 1/2 coffee beans and 1/2 espresso beans
3. Must always be some in the pot. - an empty pot is no good, no matter what time of day.

Andrew

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#967895 - 09/11/01 05:23 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Gilles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1
Loc: ,,UNITED KINGDOM
Hello all!
As a former SAE diploma student (graduated in Cologne in 1999) & courrent Degree student I read all your posts with great interest!
Somehow I found it a little bit frustrating what people said, but I also have to say that I agree with a lot of the comments.
In Cologne we started 66 people in my year & from those 66 people, 10 got their diploma. Out of those 10 people, there are only 3 left still pursuing a career as an audio engineer (not as "big stars", only trying to be good engineers!!!).
I took a break between the diploma & the degree in order to work for a while in studios, just to see what the real thing is about. I have done numerous live gigs & studio sessions (either as assistant or main engineer, obviously only for minor bands) to find out what I like most & what I am best in. I found out that I prefer studio work by far.
I have no problems sitting in the back of the room, making coffee for the artists, setting up microphones, emptying the trash & do all those "not that interesting" stuff, as long as I have the opportunity to watch the engineer & the producer doing their work (and no, I do not do stupid suggestions or comments unless I am asked to!).
Colleges like SAE teach you the basics in equipment, engineering etc, but it does NOT make you a good engineer! I agree that many people who finish school actually think they could go to any studio now & engineer the biggest bands or whatever (I know far too many people who are like that & never achieved!), but there are also people (like myself) who know that in order to become good engineers, you have to work in real studios, making coffee etc. I just think that if all the engineers had the mentality that school trained engineers (or should I call them assistents?!?) are not good, how will the ones who are willing to work hard, keep their mouth shut etc will ever get the chance to show that they might be good assistants & maybe a few years later good engineers???
I hope that my hopes of becoming a decent engineer in a few years are becoming true. I do not want to become a star, I just want to have a somewhat decent life & earn enough money to make my family happy! From what I experienced, it is even interesting working with bands who only sell about 500 records: it is the music & the creative aspects of the job I love & as long as I can make a living out of it, I am happy!
In the hope of getting a job as an assistent or teaboy somewhere, I will stop now.
I would be interested in any thoughts of experienced engineers about this (especially from Fletcher from Mercenary Audio)!
Thanks,
Gilles Ruppert
gilles@latower.com

------------------

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#967896 - 10/27/01 11:34 AM Re: Expectations of New Students
artnoiser Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 333
Loc: Asuncion, PARAGUAY
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher@mercenary.com:

Now, I could no more tell you the formula for calculating "Q" than I could tell you the gross national product for Paraguay in 1985


I don't know the GNP for Paraguay for 1985, and hell, I LIVE in Paraguay.

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#967897 - 10/28/01 09:35 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Twolightcrew Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3
Loc: Rochester ,IL,UNITED STATES
I am currently a Sophmore at Middle Tennessee State University just south of Nashville. I am working my ass off to get a triple degree (Music Composition, Recording Industry, and Computer science) So that I will be more marketable in the real world. I am spending at least 1 all-nighter in the studio a week to learn the tricks of the trade. And doing all of this while putting myself through school...My Parents are not paying.

When I get out I realize I will be a "coffee Bitch" for a while, but the industry we are in is very performance based, you have to prove that you have what it takes. As for new graduates not knowing their asses from a hole in the ground, It appears that you have had very bad experiences. You need to find someone who knows all of the technical crap, but also knows and loves the music.

my .02

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#967898 - 10/29/01 06:43 PM Re: Expectations of New Students
Henchman Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 3433
Loc: Vancouver,,CANADA
Quote:
Originally posted by Twolightcrew:


When I get out I realize I will be a "coffee Bitch" for a while, but the industry we are in is very performance based, you have to prove that you have what it takes. As for new graduates not knowing their asses from a hole in the ground, It appears that you have had very bad experiences. You need to find someone who knows all of the technical crap, but also knows and loves the music.

my .02


Well, what you really need is to take a course in politics. That's where you'll really learn when to say the right things and whento keep your mouth shut. Very important things for a good assistant to know. Oh yeah, a couple of months pre-training at the local Starbucks won't hurt too much either.

Mark
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