A debate has been going around for quite some time now. And the question that provokes it is “do you really need to study to be a sound engineer?” The two schools of thought involved never seem to find a common place.
School of thought 1: Don’t sit in classroom. Go out and work your way up.
These people say sound production is not something you read to learn but it is something that you just have to dive into and do. Only the actually process of the recording, mixing and editing will teach you how to do this. They believe that the only way to learn is to get into studio as an unpaid intern even if it means begging your way in. Spend hours in the recording room watching the pros and learning the different techniques and practical applications of them. And then working your way up by convincing them to allow you to assisting on a project. From here that your journey truly begins and you learn even more and get even better. Ask anyone who advocates this school of thought and they will scoff the very mention of sound engineering courses.
School of thought 2: Education in any field of work is nothing but a boost to get you started.
These people say that before you apply anything you need some theory to back it up. There are many functionalities that every software in sound engineering has and with each, you can do many different things. Learning on the go gives you no structure or connection in your process of learning and in most cases, this method is more destructive than constructive. Being a classroom gives you structure, starting you off from the basic things, and leading into the bigger and more complicated functions. Education aids in ensuring that with practice, you will find the application a lot easier. Ask anyone who advocates this school of thought and they will most certainly recommend to you a whole bunch of sound engineering courses.
What do we think?
Many aspects go into sound engineering. There are many roles that a sound engineer plays in the production process. It is true that only sitting in a recording room with the equipment can actually teach you how to effectively execute whatever the project demands from you. But it is also true that learning the theory of the different software’s in a structured manner is a plus point in every aspect. It is for this reason that we also advocate under taking a good sound engineering course. The key word here being GOOD. A good sound engineering course is not just one that gives you a lot of theory. It accompanies the theory with equal portions of practical application. It actually teaches you to put together a sound track. The advantage of a course that is formulated in such fashion is that it gives a fighting chance in an extremely competitive industry. You still have to start as an intern, but if fortune favours you then a few projects that have created in school will be valued and you may just have a pay however meagre. And there is a good chance that you will put on projects to assist immediately only adding to your professional. In all, a course from a good school will make you more ready for the industry and maybe even open a few doors for you out there.
That is what we stand for as a school. We believe in applicable information that gives our students a chance of making a respectable living doing what they love! Making music!