Why You Should Skip Audio Engineering School
You are about to learn how to skip audio engineering school and jumpstart your recording career. I know how to do this from experience. I skipped audio engineering school. I’ve been working professionally as a music producer for 11 years. I own several recording studios. I’ve been hired by platinum selling artists, indie labels, national television brands, and no one has ever asked to see my recording degree. But, I’m not the only one who took this route. In-fact, 5 out of the last 5 producers that won the Producer of the Year Grammy DO NOT have an audio degree! In this article, I’m going to explain why going to one of the many audio engineering schools is not just a tremendous mistake, but possibly the worst life decision you could ever make.
Why you should skip audio school:
- The numbers don’t add up. These sound recording programs carry insane price tags. Getting a bachelors degree in Sound Recording can cost over $80,000! You shouldn’t have to start your audio career in debt. At the beginning of your career, you will not command high prices. You need to build your reputation. Building reputation means working for little or no money just to get your name attached to great sounding records. Taking on the debt of recording school can destroy your career before it even starts.
- Most of the professors haven’t worked full-time as an engineer or producer for years. Recording technology is constantly changing. You need to keep up-to-date on new trends and techniques. As much as we all love to hear stories about how recording used to be, we’d be better off spending our time learning what to do in today’s production environment.
- The information is available outside of these programs. Music producers are artists. If you ask them how they created their art, they’re likely to tell you. I keep no audio secrets. I post all of favorite techniques and my workflow online for free. There are other fantastic producers doing the same thing. You can learn some really interesting techniques from some of the best producers in the world by searching for it on Google or YouTube.
- Audio schools will teach you a little bit about a lot of things. But, what you really need to learn is the essentials. Then you’ll hone your skills by with hands-on practice. Audio engineering schools will spend a lot of time teaching you about the inner workings of different types of compressors, and tell you that FET compressors have a very fast attack. But, will they show you how to properly edit your drums in Pro Tools or how to use your ears to determine the correct type of compression to use? I’ve had interns who went to recording college for 4 years but and still didn’t know how to paste a chorus vocal to the right spot. It’s like having an accountant who knows the components of a calculator, but was never taught how to do someone’s taxes.
I’ve heard people say “You get out what you put into it” while talking about audio school. The same can be said about skipping audio school and educating yourself. Except, audio school charges tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of “getting out what you put into it.” In my next article, I’m going to explain how you can skip audio school and give yourself the audio education you need.
In my next article, I will outline how to skip audio engineering school.