Hi & welcome back to the AAA Blog, hope you all had a nice Easter Break

I’d like to use this post to talk about the idea of education in the field of Sound Engineering / Sound Design. Is it necessary to gain a qualification in the field before embarking on a career or is it all down to experience. Is it more one than the other or are both important?

Its a bit of a catch 22 one this. I read ads all the time that specify the position is only suitable for someone who has a degree or equivalent in the field. I have also worked in countless studios where the Producer / Head Engineer would much rather take on someone who hasn’t been moulded by an institution, someone who can learn the correct way to engineer from doing rather than lectures and guest speakers

The courses around music production have never been more popular. Music institutions have sprung up all over the country (UK) and indeed the world but to what extent are these courses arming the producers / designers of tomorrow or  instead taking money from individuals keen to follow their dreams with little interest as to whether the course will actually benefit them in the long run

From experience I have sat around at endless workstations waiting for others to finish their projects so we could move on to the next stage. In one class there was a guy who could barely open Logic let alone deal with complex synthesis ideas and yet everyone on the course had ‘Undergone a strict induction process” ; ) (this is not a dig at that individual btw, I feel for him that he was paying to be put in that situation)

I believe there has to be some education involved, perhaps in the past it was all about getting in the studio, making the tea, working on sessions and working your way up. This still happens to an extent but knowledge of software and synthesis, advanced production techniques now need to be learnt also to keep up with the ever evolving marketplace. The main problem with institutional learning is the lack of one to one training and the lengthy drawn out process and indeed expense of a degree.

In the end there is no substitute for experience so the only way to become a Producer / Sound Designer is to produce and sound design, there are other ways of learning without necessarily going down the degree route but is this the route that Sound Designers of tomorrow must persue?

Neil

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