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Is it worth getting a degree in Music Technology to do Audio Engineering?(r/audioengineering)
I’m going to disagree with a few people here. Getting an education to get a job in audio engineering is most definitely a bad idea in my opinion. Is this education worthless? No…but it’s usually not worth what they’re asking.
Audio engineering is a hard career to be successful in. I should know, as I’ve been doing it for quite some time. I’ve finally gotten to the point where as a free-lancer I can afford a car and house note, which is good. But there were plenty of sacrifices along the way. None of which I regret, of course. But I wouldn’t have wanted to tack on extra debt going to school to get a job in a field that does not require a degree.
In all my time doing this, probably around 15 years professionally, nobody has ever asked me how to prove I know how to do this stuff. My resume speaks for itself. I’ve worked in studios in LA, Hawaii, Az, and now I’m a production sound mixer in Louisiana. I run sound for bands in venues around my city when I’m not on a movie. I own a recording studio for music and for foley and ADR for films. Currently, I’m on a shoot in Florida where I’ve been for 3 weeks. I got to shoot foley with one of the worlds greatest foley artists (Ellen Heuer). it’s a great life!
My advise is do what most of my peers did. Get an internship at a studio. Or if your interested in movie work, assist a sound editor or a production sound mixer. Offer to be a sound utility for free. Or approach a local sound venue and offer to assist the live sound guy, wrapping cables and plugging in mics. Or call a local sound company that does festivals and other events, and offer to clean the snake at the end of the night.
Even if you do decide to get an education, the school will always be there, waiting for you if that’s the route you decide to go. But a healthy amount of time in this field not paying for that education will both help you do better in school if you decide to go, and help guide you into a program that’s right for both you and the specific set of skills you want to garnish. Or, you might find you don’t need it.
The point is that yeah, just “looking things up on the internet” is not a good way to educate yourself. It’s a good supplemental thing to do, to be curious and read. But hands on experience is much more valuable than any education I’ve ever come across in this field, and worlds ahead of just reading a book.
Now, not going to school isn’t an excuse to not work. You simply have to take responsibility for your own education. Read books, talk to people who are doing the things you want to do. Learn from them. Help them, and make yourself invaluable to them. Make them wonder how they every got along without you there.
There are far too many opportunities to learn from within the industry than on the outside of it in a classroom or technical college. My career has been quite all over the map, ranging from music production to movie work. Here is a list of books that are about those various fields that I recommend.
The Daily Adventures of Mixerman – A great look at a recording session, and honestly one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
Zen and the Art of Mixing – mixerman
Zen and the art of Producing – Mixerman
Behind the Glass vol 1 and 2 – Howard Massey – Great interviews with producers and engineers. DEF check this one out. one of the best books i’ve ever read about recording.
The Recording Engineer’s Handbook – Bobby Owniski – General information about gear, mic placement techniques, fundmentals of sound, etc…
The Sound Reinforcment Handbook – Live sound techniques
The Location Sound Bible – Ric Viers – Great entry into sound for TV, Film, ENG, and EPP. Pretty much covers the bases of recording on location
That should get you started. Whatever route you choose, good luck!