#1
Hi!

I am wanting to pursue music for a living. I am wanting to work with music and have an overall impact on other peoples music and help them make better music, I play guitar but I am not the greatest, I am studying music theory now as well. I have some questions for any one that pursued this career path or tried. I wouldn't mind working in other fields of sound, such as t.v/radio/movie, live events ect.. here is a college program that seems the best for me http://www.fanshawec.ca/programs-courses/full-time-programs/mia2-intro all the other schools around here are private colleges and they are insanely priced like way over 10k a YEAR.. here are some questions I have:

- What do you look for in a school for audio engineering/producing?
- How hard is it to find work?
- How hard is it to make a living doing this, is it realistic? ( If I do go to school for this I would move to Toronto, Ontario where there is a lot of studios)

any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
#2
I'm in Vancouver and I interned at fadermountain..one of the cities most recognizable studios. I would highly suggest you try to land an intern position first before jumping right into school. I know many people who went through school, got a shitload of debt, only to never fully pursue what they trained for or be in positions they werent expecting. I went to a cheaper school and only for a few months which was more than enough to get my feet wet and to understand how to research and practice more on my own. That field was not for me as I am much more interested in the musical field of music.
#3
Quote by tyle12
I'm in Vancouver and I interned at fadermountain..one of the cities most recognizable studios. I would highly suggest you try to land an intern position first before jumping right into school. I know many people who went through school, got a shitload of debt, only to never fully pursue what they trained for or be in positions they werent expecting. I went to a cheaper school and only for a few months which was more than enough to get my feet wet and to understand how to research and practice more on my own. That field was not for me as I am much more interested in the musical field of music.


^^ This exactly. An internship in a working studio will teach you more about the recording business than any college course. You also generate valuable relationships and it costs you nothing. If you are useful and dependable enough you may even get paid to be there after a while.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
http://blog.456recordings.com/how-i-turned-bedroom-studio-into-6-figure-business/

You might find this link helpful and inspiring.

It will take a lot of hard work, you don't need to do an audio course (although it may be beneficial)

I know three audio engineers who operate full-time out of their own home studios, none of them went to school for it. Just hard work, dedication and learning.

EDIT: Sorry, I'm now getting the impression that you want to work AT a studio and not start your own business?
Last edited by Kämpfer at Jan 4, 2015,
#5
Quote by Kämpfer

I know three audio engineers who operate full-time out of their own home studios, none of them went to school for it. Just hard work, dedication and learning.


I agree. I just worked with an excellent mixing engineer who expressed that going to audio college is a waste of time and money. He learned how to mix music in bars and interned with one of the best engineers in the country until he got so good that the person he interned staring asking him how to do stuff. Some people who have gone to audio school said that they learned more from talking with this bloke for a few minutes than they did spending 3 years at school. He also said that going to school for something like a degree in composition/performance/film-scoring or whatnot is a far better place to be.
He's just one example of how hard work, dedication, (and a dash of talent), can take you to the top.
#6
FWIW, you should head over to the Recordings forum here on UG. There's a load of regulars over there who work full or part time in this sort of thing and will provide some good advice about how they got started
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#7
Gary Billington's right.

Allow me to redirect you.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#8
Here's my opinion on the subject of schooling for audio engineering:

It's not for everyone. But (like anything else) you get what you put in. If you just show up to class and do homework, you won't get much out of it. If you do a lot while you're at school and really make the most of it, it's invaluable. I went to a music school for Music Production. A lot of the school was performance intensive, and not just 'This is how you turn knobs and push buttons." I learned performance, theory, electronics, studio, live sound, copyright, and so much more. But the most important thing to me was the opportunities and people that I was exposed to.

Same thing with an internship. I interned at one of the biggest studios in America, and a lot of interns there didn't learn anything or get anything out of it, which is mind-blowing. If you just show up, you won't get anywhere in this field. It's all about being gung-ho and proactive.

Yes, it is very hard to find work in this field. Well, work that actually pays bills, anyways. With the growing home studio side of the industry, tons of people can and do record. You have a lot of competition.

It's difficult to make a living, but can definitely be done. One thing I would suggest is to not limit yourself to only studio work. Run sound at bars, tv, radio, join a band and gig. Even if none of those are what you really want to do. They help you learn and progress, as well as gather contacts and networking opportunities. This industry is all about networking.

I hope that doesn't scare you away. It is very difficult, but very rewarding.
#9
Good advice above. I interned at a studio a few days a week for about two years. It was a very good commercial studio doing everything from bands to voice overs for commercials to film dubbing. I did everything from running mics and cables and doing board setups before a session to cleaning up coffee cups afterward and aligning tape machines (the analog days of reel to reel). I learned enough about the actual business to know that it requires more capital (money) to open and maintain a studio than I had or could hope to have and I watched other competing studios go under. I did end up with a nice job as an engineer at a successful advertising firm that had its own in-house studio for radio and TV commercial production (audio and video). I got that job through networking at the large studio where that agency came for bigger jobs. I got to know the people from the ad agency who liked my work and hired me for their studio full time. I was there about four years till the agency was sold to a bigger agency that closed that location.
My point is that interning at that first studio got me my next job and lots of good experience even if I was collecting coffee cups, vacuuming the floors and putting away mics and cables to start.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jan 6, 2015,
#10
Audio engineering for the most part is a dying field. I worked for few years in studios and they all went under or stopped paying decently so it became time to move on.

You'd also have to suffer quite a few awful musicians, I got stuck on a project that lasted about a year and wasn't pleasant to work on after a while. You'd need to be prepared to record all kinds of morons, not every band that works in has talent, they just have money.

It seems that the paying jobs nowadays are the ones where you can attach yourself to an artist and ride the waves of success that way. If you read about Aerosmith, Ozzy, etc. you'd see that they now they record at home for the most part with some guys running the boards and software for them.

There is some money in live work if you can run your own live audio business. To give you an example otherwise - the owners of our studio where I was house engineer were hiring interns from the local college to run sound at local clubs and they were paying about $80 for a day of work. That meant you have to get a production van, load it with equipment, take it on location, do sound check, and then run the system for about 5 bands. At 4am you'd get to go home after you have locked the van back in storage.

If you want to do it - go ahead, but don't expect to be successful. I can say that at this point I know more ex-audio engineers than ones that are employed. Local project studios seem to run through interns for the cheap labor and move on to the new interns