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A word on recording school, interning and learning.

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A word on recording school, interning and learning.

Postby Jellium on Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:51 am

:P Hello there,

This is actually my first post considering most of the time the information I'm wondering about has already been talked about somewhere on the forum in 2003.

I've recently "graduated" (these are finger quotes) from a for-profit recording school in Chicago, IL and finished up an internship at Electrical Audio.

Recording school is very much just like the rest of your life. You get out of it, what you put into it. If you spend your free time reading about techniques and practicing recording and mixing, you'll most likely get more out of your schooling than the kid who mixes a song for class on earbuds, on the train on the way to school. Yes that happens...a lot.
The saddest part about that is they will "graduate" with you. They will go on to work at target or costco and most likely go to EDM shows and get stds. And 10 years later STILL be paying for that audio school. What I'm trying to say is that for-profit audio schools are EXPENSIVE. That's not to say that you shouldn't go, I'm just saying if your gonna spend the money, make it count. Read books, ask questions and experiment. You have the rest of your life to go to EDM shows and catch stds, but while you're in school focus and remember your paying for this shit.
I was lucky enough to not have to pay a dime cause I served uncle sam and to be honest thats the only reason I went. The classic "Fuck it, I'm not paying for it." That's not to say I didn't take it seriously, I served 4 years of my life to get that GI Bill money and I made every cent count. I knew going into school that there's no dream job at the end of the line and I'm okay with that. I love recording and thats all that matters. As a self proclaimed "DIY punk" I'm used to things not working out, taking 3 times as long and being insanely hard. I'll keep plugging along, recording my friends, learning techniques and saying yes to any audio work that comes my way.

All that said, before going to audio school I was trying to learn everything myself. I'd watch youtube videos read books I bought off amazon and rented from the library. For some reason nothing would click. Everyone on youtube was talking about daws and compression and I didn't even know how a condenser microphone worked. It was frustrating trying to wade through all the bullshit information and snake oil. SO...
Below are all the books I'd recommend for someone trying to learn about audio. These are sort of in order of how I read/referenced them, novice to expert for lack of a better term. (and no I am not saying I'm an expert, far from)

1. The Recording Engineers Handbook by Bobby Owsinski
2. Audio in Media by Stanley R. Alten
3. Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Gary Davis and Ralph Jones
4. Mastering Audio by Bob Katz
5. Master Handbook of Acoustics by Everest and Pohlmann
6. Handbook for Sound Engineers by Glen Ballou
7. The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz

For fun:
I really really enjoy reading The Great British Recording Studios by Howard Massey and I'd recommend subscribing to TapeOp (IT'S FREE!)

So before you dish out thousands of dollars on school, try reading one or some of those books. If those bore you to death than I'm sorry to say that recording school most likely isn't for you.

As for interning, I highly recommend it. If you do get an internship give it 110% and try not to fuck anything up or get in the way.

If anyone else has books they'd like to add that helped them learn about audio I'd love to check them out.

I hope this helps someone!
-Chris Witt :P
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Re: A word on recording school, interning and learning.

Postby tmoneygetpaid on Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:56 pm

Good insights, thanks, C. I hope some future interns and would-be audio students read and take note(s). Maybe we'll make it required reading.
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Re: A word on recording school, interning and learning.

Postby JohnnySomersett on Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:54 pm

Thanks man, I'll look up those books. Also, didn't know TapeOp was free - Shame I can't get real copies in the UK but I obviously understand why.
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Re: A word on recording school, interning and learning.

Postby Mickey242 on Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:22 pm

Douglas Self's book and articles are great and worth checking out.
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