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Tue Mar 6, 2012, 06:44 AM

Son needs help with recording engineer career please, thanks

Last edited Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:43 AM - Edit history (1)

Back in 2010, a number of you so generously gave advice to me about my 14 year son here. I thank you so much for that.

Now, two years later, my son appears to be leaning to a career as a recording engineer. Again, I need help from the DU member "database". Does he need a degree from a school to do this ? How does he get an entry level job in this field ? Is Los Angeles the place to go for young people to get started ?

Once again, thank you soooooooooooooooo much for your generosity of spirit and time. My son and I appreciate it deeply.

Steve

16 replies, 2409 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Son needs help with recording engineer career please, thanks (Original post)
steve2470 Mar 2012 OP
HopeHoops Mar 2012 #1
steve2470 Mar 2012 #2
TuxedoKat Mar 2012 #3
steve2470 Mar 2012 #5
TuxedoKat Mar 2012 #10
steve2470 Mar 2012 #12
OriginalGeek Mar 2012 #15
steve2470 Mar 2012 #16
OxQQme Mar 2012 #4
steve2470 Mar 2012 #6
OxQQme Mar 2012 #7
steve2470 Mar 2012 #8
WhoIsNumberNone Mar 2012 #9
steve2470 Mar 2012 #11
dana_b Mar 2012 #14
MrsBrady Mar 2012 #13

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:38 AM

1. Sorry, no clue. But I do have advice.

 

Our high school has an 11th grade requirement for "shadowing" a professional for a day. My eldest shadowed a newspaper columnist, my middle one a classic rock DJ (she got to do the midnight sign off alone), and my youngest shadowed my dad, a tech writer.

If there is a recording studio anywhere near you (and there probably is), call the school and ask about the possibility of a day off to shadow someone working in the studio. They'll almost certainly consider that an excused absence. The main advantage of doing so is for him to see it in action, not in videos, and gain a personal perspective on what's involved and if that's what he really wants to do or not.

It can't hurt.

Tom

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:45 AM

2. great idea, thanks ! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:55 AM

3. FYI

I don't know if this is the same thing, but one of the SUNY state schools offers a degree in music production I think. A friend of mine's child (very musical) has probably graduated by now with this degree. I can ask her about it, if you like. Actually, I wanted to ask her about it for my own child who is interested in music too. FWIW, I think our state schools are pretty good.

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Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:04 AM

5. yes, please do, thank you very much

We're here in Florida, so I hope our schools have something similar.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 01:05 PM

10. OK

I will check into it and get back to you, as soon as I can, specifically I will ask her son's major, and what he is doing with it right now, if he is working in the field, etc.

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Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 07:52 PM

12. thank you again ! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 01:50 AM

15. Have you looked into Full Sail?

I've heard more good things than bad things and I take all that with a grain of salt as I haven't been there myself.

But they have a music school with degrees in recording engineering, music business, Entertainment business etc...

it's here in Orlando. http://www.fullsail.edu/music-school

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 07:40 AM

16. this is what I've heard, so grain of salt.....

It's expensive and one graduate of Full Sail told me it was not worth it. I have no idea of his exact circumstances, etc. It is a very well-regarded school otherwise, from what I know.

ETA: Associate's Degree in Recording Engineering: $38,270

http://www.fullsail.edu/admissions/tuition

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 10:57 AM

4. Formal education wastes money

My son, who has 2 gold records on his wall and has been in some major studios with Lucinda Williams and Eels, recommended these sites:
(when he was your son's age he had the same aspirations. He's now 45 and looking back, he's glad he didn't go into debt at one of the many trade schools offering 'placement' at some studio in the hinterlands)


http://forum.recordingreview.com/content/

http://www.recordingreview.com/killerhomerecording/ (somewhere at this site is a free .pdf that's full of info)

http://www.tapeop.com/ (free magazine subscription that focuses on recording engineering and gear)

http://www.pensadosplace.tv/

http://tweakheadz.com/guide.htm

Google "home recording"

The $$$ spent in one of those 'trade' schools could be utilized in purchasing the needed gear to set up a classy 'studio' at home.

Some high schools, and most community colleges, have music programs that focus on recording, that you might want to check out.

Many local radio stations have intern programs.

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Response to OxQQme (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:08 AM

6. thanks so much for all that information, that looks great ! nt

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Response to OxQQme (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:34 AM

8. thanks !! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 12:20 PM

9. There are a number of routes he can take

I went to a community college that offered a certificate in recording technology which you could complete in about 3 semesters. When I was about to finish I started asking around at the bigger recording studios in the area, and found that they also offer classes. Again, about 3 semesters, much more expensive, but they told me they mostly hired out of their own training program. Finally there are universities that offer 4 year degrees (If I remember correctly, Tennessee is supposed to have a good program)

If he wants to have any chance of working for someone else (major recording studio, TV network, film studio) he should do the university route. If he ends up working for himself like most people in the field, it can be a little hand to mouth. Especially at first. If he does end up working for himself the training he has doesn't matter so much as what kind of finished product he turns out. It's pretty competitive and you have to find all of your own clients. Modern technology has made it much easier and cheaper to set up a studio these days (Say $50,000 for a decent studio versus the half million a comparable studio might have cost in 1985) but it also means a lot more people are getting into the racket.

Another career he might end up in would be live sound. There are companies that might hire him to do that, but they may require him to have his own equipment (in which case we're talking at least $8-10,000 worth of gear) and he'll be working nights and getting in around 4AM.

To sum up, he'll be able to make a living doing this (if he's good), but it is work, and it's very unlikely he'll get rich (or even upper middle class) doing it, so he's going to have to be sure it's what he loves or he's not going to make it.

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Response to WhoIsNumberNone (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 01:30 PM

11. thanks so much for that info ! nt

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Response to WhoIsNumberNone (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 01:06 AM

14. very good advice

my nephew went to a Cal State college and got his degree. He has worked with a few folks including Wyclef Jean but it's tough going now. He has set up his own home recording studio and web site but I know it is day-to-day whether or not he will make $$.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 08:30 PM

13. if he does decide to go

with the educational route...
there are major universities with RTVF (radio/television/film) majors...
not just trade schools.

I'm sure you could look around at universities. I know of the University of North Texas which has a respected department.
But I'm sure there are others.

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