#1
Hey just wondering about some advice. I'm deciding on whether I should spend my money on gear or recording school. Here's a little backround.

I must decide this because the semester starts at the beginning of april. Before then I will have around $1300 to play with before school starts. Before I go further, I have attended this school for 3 months before learning the basics of recording set up so I can set up to a DAW and record.

I plan on writing songs for the summer in which I plan to do shows and hopefully have a tape or cd or something to sell at those shows. My dilemma is financial mostly. I can either spend $1000 on a multi track class once a week in which we go over...multitracking with an instructor (I already have a general idea of how to do this). It is about 2.5 hrs every monday and there would only be one other guy in my class which mean I could ask a lot of questions. I could also use the studio at said school when i sign up and no one else is using it. Lets say I can get in there roughly for an extra 8-12 hours a week..mostly alone. They do have some nice rack gear to use (which I could learn I'm sure). A recording room with a drum kit (not the greatest one) and also have access to about 12-15 different mics and a couple DI boxes.

Or I could Save a bit of money and try to do things on my own. My gear currently exists of my guitar (LTD EC-200QM). Amp (Fender blues deluxe + Marshall VS265). Pedals (various). Drum kit (Pearl). Computer with Cubase. I am trying to sell my VS265 for $340 right now (would accept a reasonable offer....probably no lower than 280) and trying to trade/sell my LTD for a strat-style guitar. I would also like to add some pedals...what I want could cost roughly $350.

Recording space.My garage would hopefully be a good place to record. It's a pretty decent size (2 car) which would help with a nice drum sound. Don't know how my amp would respond in it but I could most likely find a suitable room to record guitar (any suggestions would be great help as well). Vocals I could find a nice room to record most likely. I am thinking the garage would suffice for everything except vocals in which case I'll just have to find a nice isolated room somewhere. Who knows the garage could work if I use a dynamic mic. (Any and all advice is welcome).

Renting/buying equipment if I don't go to school. Let's say I have all 1300 to spend (in which case there is not as much of a rush as there is no deadline to sign up for school). I could easily afford all the pedals I want, I could sell my amp and guitar cheaper and buy a good fender style guitar with the combined amount I made on the products I sold. I could rent mics for my drums for a couple months for let's say about $250 for 2 months to be generous. ( I was thinking 2 SM57's on the snare, SM7B for the kick, 2 AT4050's for overhead and whatever else if anyone has suggestions). I would have to buy cubase 7.5 which would be about $350. Perhaps a pre-amp if someone can convince me it is worth while (assuming about $300). I think that is it, let me know if you would add something here.

I might have to upgrade my computer which could happen as I can balance all the equipment I need out thruogh financial planning and putting stuff on monthly payments. Lets say another $100 a month for computer and I could have it right away. So lets assume all the gear is bought by the end of april with a computer on monthly payments which would bring my down to pretty much nothing left over by the end of april (which is fine..more paycheques will come). Pedals, Cubase, rented mic's, pre-amp and computer. Time to record demo's/tracks.

So now I have all I need I hope. Would I need to buy plug-ins of any kind to add to my tracks or is that something I would pay a mixer to do? I could most likely get some pretty good students from the school since I know some of them to mix my stuff for a lot cheaper than a pro. Could I just record my tracks with the ingredients listed and add/have someone add reverb/compression afterwards or should I try and do some of that as I record?

Overall I do like the idea of having my own set up so I could record for years to come. But The benefit of using a studio with some instuctors there with lots of experience is a cool idea too. Let me know what you guys think.

All input/advice is welcome. Thank you for reading this post and taking the time to help me. It is greatly appreciated.
#2
IMO, at this point in time your education is more important than kit than kit you may outgrow or underutilise. Do the course.

You can buy kit at any time of life, you only get one real chance at a great education.

Also, as you're interested in Recording, go to the Recordings forum & read the stickies. There's lots of good information there, and there's also a chat thread which is mostly populated by a mix of pro / semi pro / experienced hobbyist sound engineers.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Mar 12, 2014,
#3
Edit: I missed a lot of info you provided, my bad. I would do the school since you would have access to the studio there.
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Last edited by bluestratplayer at Mar 12, 2014,
#4
If you value your time get the course.
If you value your money get gear.

They'll not really teach you anything you can't learn or do better from internet and experience, though that's a course, and internet and experience take a lot more time to get that kinda knowledge you could get in some months from a qualified school.

Also, I don't trust audio engineers for shit so I'd check if the people there really know what they're doing or they are, no offense at you, just good at showing guitarists how to set up daw's and the basics of multitracking.
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#5
Neither. Save your money and volunteer to sweep floors, empty trash cans and clean up after sessions at a nearby successful recording studio. Generate relationships with the musicians and engineers. Eventually if you earn their trust they will teach you mic placement and recording techniques. Learn the trade through the back door.
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#6
Quote by Cajundaddy
Neither. Save your money and volunteer to sweep floors, empty trash cans and clean up after sessions at a nearby successful recording studio. Generate relationships with the musicians and engineers. Eventually if you earn their trust they will teach you mic placement and recording techniques. Learn the trade through the back door.


This is actually a pretty good idea if you have someplace where you can make it work. Eventually someone won't show or they will need an extra hand and BOOM, there you are!
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#7
Quote by Spambot_2
If you value your time get the course.
If you value your money get gear.

They'll not really teach you anything you can't learn or do better from internet and experience, though that's a course, and internet and experience take a lot more time to get that kinda knowledge you could get in some months from a qualified school.

Also, I don't trust audio engineers for shit so I'd check if the people there really know what they're doing or they are, no offense at you, just good at showing guitarists how to set up daw's and the basics of multitracking.


I hear that people call these circumstances "college".

But seriously, this paragraph speaks volumes about modern education.
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#8
I agree that you can learn lots of stuff on the interenet. I know I did.

I'm into recording too, and I would never pay school for recording because I think I wouldn't learn a lot from it (but that's just my case, doesn't have to be yours), I like spending money on equipment that I need and be free to use it whenever I want.
#9
Neither.

Spend that money and put it towards a degree that will actually hold its own weight. The recording industry is a VERY tough place to break into and having a certificate that says you completed some program isn't going to help you get a job, your experience and credits will. Spend that money and put it towards a degree program that will help you be more versatile (ie: business or electrical engineering), while still being an asset to a studio, if you decide to still go into that field afterward. Spend your free time learning and recording yourself and any local bands you can.
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#10
What is the recoding class? For example, there are two local accredited programs teach engineering skills and are somewhat accepted (Houston Community College and San Jacinto College). Still, for the most part you won't be able to get a job with these but at least they count as education.

Your class sounds more like a seminar, not something that can be used as real education towards a diploma.

If that is the case, I'll look for another program or even hire a studio for that money, you'll learn more that way, 1:1 with an engineer. At $40-$60 per hour you can get quite a few studio hrs. for your money.
#11
Quote by MatrixClaw
Neither.

Spend that money and put it towards a degree that will actually hold its own weight. The recording industry is a VERY tough place to break into and having a certificate that says you completed some program isn't going to help you get a job, your experience and credits will. Spend that money and put it towards a degree program that will help you be more versatile (ie: business or electrical engineering), while still being an asset to a studio, if you decide to still go into that field afterward. Spend your free time learning and recording yourself and any local bands you can.

Listen to this. We all love music and playing music, but you always need to be versatile. You may like to work in recording, but you should always have a backup plan.
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#12
Hey thanks for the replys so far. The reason I wanted to attend the school was only to better educate myself on getting the best recording quality I could possibly get. I'm not looking for a job in a studio. It's only 3 months long once a week. I know how to mic equipment and get the daw going to record. The only benefit I can see from being in the studio is being in an real studio with analog equipment I couldnt afford otherwise and having instructors there to answer some questions. Other than that, if my garage is a good enough room to record drums and guitar in thats great ( I heard foo fighters recorded their whole album in Dave's garage) and if I can get some cracks to replace some equipment then why go? Especially since I can ask and search for any advice I need on here.
#13
The Foo Fighters albums was a completely overhyped ordeal, just so it sounds like they recorded it in a garage. If you see the list of equipment used, it was more like they did it in Ocean Way Studios I read the article.

What course are you thinking of taking?
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 12, 2014,
#16
Quote by dspellman
Take the course. Gear is always out there. Knowledge is far more valuable.


While I agree in principle, the course sounds pretty weak.
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#17
I guess the biggest question is...Can I obtain a high quality sound with what I listed above instead of using the studio. The recording room isn't anything too special. There isn't crazy materials over the walls or anything it's got hard walls, wood floor and a couple foam pieces hanging around. My garage is similar it has hard walls, cement flooring but no foam pieces (with a bit of research I'm sure I could put some in the right places). Theres a big mixer and 2 racks with with some gear which I assume to be compression, pre-amps, etc. I don't plan on mixing my own tracks I would get someone else to do it so I would just record to the point where it doesn't clip anymore. Get the song structure in place with all my instruments and send the track off to a mixer.
#18
Quote by Arby911
While I agree in principle, the course sounds pretty weak.

Have to admit, despite my earlier comment about focusing on education now & kit later, describing it as "just a multitrack course" fills me with dread that it's the Marshall MG of the education world.
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#19
That something is "official" or looks "professional" says nothing.

Don't get me wrong I did 2 years on different "official" music colleges, and I'd say the connections is worth it, but the course itself was not worth tuition of 1600 bucks a year.

Inform about people who have done it and what it's like. Especially art/music courses/schools/teachers have great disparity in what you'd think be the "norm".

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#20
I've decided to take the course because I'll have access to some nice quality gear to record and I'll be able to use it on a regular basis. I not only get an instructor I can bombard with questions (he knows his stuff I've been with him before) but the studio time I can well worth the price I'm paying alone. It would cost $1500 to use another studio for 2-3 days while I'm only paying $1000 for 3 months of being an active student. Also $1000 is definately not enough to get everything I need to get my own recordings going so this is the best option for me right now. Thanks for the input.