Want to be a recording engineer? Looking for a top recording school?
Confused about which recording schools would give you the best start?
Need to get a handle on your options for a recording engineer education?
Considering recording engineering as a profession or serious hobby?
This articles series will help save you time to find the best recording engineer options for you.
Don’t make the mistake I just made… I thought to myself:
“I’ll do a quick internet search on becoming a recording engineer, and easily find good advice on options for getting into the audio recording profession.”
I tried this just a couple of days ago. Yes it was easy to find course info. Too easy – I was swamped with details.
I tried searching on phrases like “recording engineer courses“, then changed torecording engineer training, recording engineer education, recording engineer schools. Then tried “sound engineer“, and finally “audio engineer“, again with all the variations. I used the main search engines – Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
Wondering About a Sound Recording School? Considering a Sound Recording Career?
When considering any career decision, it’s a good idea to review what’s going on in your industry. What long term opportunities could it offer you? Is there more opportunity than last year, or is the recording industry declining? Or changing significantly?
Where can I get advice I can trust about finding a sound recording school?
The answer to this question is now critical for you because of the huge changes surging through the music recording sector, including sound recording school.
The audio industry has undergone huge changes in recent years…
Back in the early days of music recording, the studio equipment necessary was so costly that few artists and performers could afford their own recording studio facilities. So shared recording studios grew up around the major centers of the music business – in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, and London. With the expansion of radio, and arrival of TV, there was a sustained growth surge in the entertainment business, and the large recording studios thrived along with their corporate parents’ familiar names such as Colombia, Capitol, Decca, MGM, and RCA Victor, EMI Records, etc.
The typical steps to becoming a professional recording engineer became:
some formal sound engineering education at a sound recording school
(unpaid) apprenticeship or internship with master mentor
assistant engineer position
In this process the quality (skills, reputation, and contacts) of your sound recording school mentor was critical in launching your career effectively.
But by the late ’90s, computer hardware and software technologies had advanced in capability and dropped so much in price, that many of the artists who had depended on the large studios and production companies could now operate independently, and with excellent results, from recording studios at home or in much smaller, local studios.
And with Internet access available widely, not only has recording and production technology changed dramatically, but so has distribution, now that internet downloads are so fast and easy. Alongside this, computer animation in the film industry and the growth of video games (which a few years back overtook the film industry in revenue) provides a whole set of new opportunities for audio engineers that just didn’t exist previously. Of course the economics of the industry are undergoing a major shift at the same time.
Today the main industry “drivers” are:
Music – growing and fragmenting into niche sectors
Films – declining; some even forecast the death of the “blockbuster” movie
Broadcasting – becoming more localized through increasing community broadcasting, and at the same time more global via internet pod-casting, radio and TV
Video and online games – rapidly expanding
These all share a common trend in favor of smaller, independent producers, a trend enabled by advances in computer, communications and recording software technologies.
So what does this mean for selecting a sound recording school, or other business opportunities in this sector?
Sound Recording School – In summary:
Fewer jobs with the major players, who are downsizing
Widening range of roles – thanks to new technologies in animation and gaming
Greater need for commercial skills – to market your own recording services to other artists
Fewer apprenticeships and internships available – more difficult to make the “right” connections and benefit from expert coaching
This means it’s now much harder to get into a traditional recording engineer role with a studio. If this is what you’ve set your heart on, I’d suggest you contact all recording studios in your locality, and make sure they know of your interest and availability.
You may find it easier to get into one of the newer roles in games, video or on-line, or computer animation.
What ever your goals, in the next section we’ll look at the question:
“What Skills must a Audio Recording Engineer have?”
This should lead on naturally to grasp the critical elements of the education and training programs, or the sound recording school you’ll need to consider investing in.
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