sound courses

Hughesie

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Aug 26, 2005
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Melbourne, Australia
i was speaking today to some of the sound tech's that come from a company that assists during productions with sound, and as i am close to leaving school i thought i would pose the question of sound courses. they both said don't do a sound course and instead just go work for a company and get hands on experiance rather than a qualification.

what are your thoughts on this,
should i be going for a course
or should i leave and get practical experiance


also if anyone is from australia and can recommend good sound courses that would be helpful
 
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mbenonis

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Well, personally I would recommend attending some sort of university - the best choice being a four-year program. I'm majoring in Electrical Engineering because I want to get a more thorough understanding of sound and radio equipment, but you may consider theatre as well. Many schools will let you concentrate in technical theatre or even sound specifically.
 

Too_Tall

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I would also recommend going to a university. That is what i am doing, although while i am here i am working for two different theater companies where i can put what i learn to use before i forget it
 

Footer

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sound is pretty hit or miss when it comes to schools. Sound design as a form as changed a huge amount in the last 15 years. Academia is just now coming around and starting programs in sound design. Most of the old timers out there that are doing sound came to theatre via the music scene. You are now just starting to see people come in to sound that learned completely in a theatre. If you want to do the rock and roll thing, go joining a company, become a roadie type, and go for it. If you want to do theatre reinforcement/design, go get a degree. Most people in theatre that hire have a degree, they like to hire people with degrees. There are exceptions to the rule, but all in all, go get a degree. This, like any other job, is rapidly changing. 20 years ago jobs that people just walked into now require degrees.
 

Hughesie

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Melbourne, Australia
i am looking to work at a company, to learn on the job. though i do already have a fair amount of knowledge, enough for me to say that i could operate most analogue sound desks. i can also operate a program called soundweb. these are the skills that i have learnt doing the job in a small capacity. so the question is, in your opinions do i leave school and undertake a sound course for two years, or go and work for two years with a company. also universities around me don't offer very good sound courses, the bridge into multimedia (animation, filming and the such) and my grades aren't exactly university material
 

Chris15

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OK, here's my true blue Australian opinion. If you want a practical degree you have 2 options. Box Hill TAFE or come up to Sydney and go to Juliusmedia. Box Hill will be significantly cheaper. If you want a Cert III - basic level qualification, then it's a 2 week course at JM - who are just literally right across the street from our office. From memory they do the course every once in a while at Showtech in Melbourne. Showtech is also the ONLY place I would consider getting a rigging licence from in Australia. I don't want to be taught construction rigging at TAFE, so it would be a case of me coming to Melbourne to do it. And you do need a licence to do rigging here in Australia.

Want to do design? VCA, NIDA, WAAPA and I'm sure there are others. Want to do engineering? UTS is clearly the only acceptable option :p No theatre program though. But if you must take second class, my guess would be somewhere like RMIT would be a good place.

Happy to discuss all this off board if you'd like.
 

mattf

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A really smart guy (or SIM guy) told me once that you have to have both a formal education (BA, BS or anything beyond a 4 year degree) as well as real world touring experience. But that was after i explained to him what i wanted to do with my career. You really need to ask yourself what you want to do. Do you want to mix clubs the rest of your life? If so then by all means drop out of school and do it. More power to ya. If you want to mix live TV or the grammy's then you should probably get an internship at a TV studio or live sound company. If you want your own company you should probably get a business degree (because techs are only good with other people's money) as well as experience from people who are doing it themselves already. Personally i do alot of freelance work doing one-off shows and events, i work at a church, a large theme park and i am a full time student working towards a BS. I don't sleep much and i will tell you right now that i won't have by BS in the next 4 years... but this is what i want to do and is what i think will be the best for me. So basically figure out what your dream job would be. See if there is a degree for it or something remotely close... then find a company with people who do what you want to do (and do it well) and learn as much as you can from them. Two more quotes..thats it i promise. haha.

"50% of all decisions you make will be the wrong choice....its about how you go about life after the decisions."

Its not the end of the world if you don't go to college, and is often times unnecessary and extremely over priced.

"Our job as techs is 30% technical knowledge and 70% customer service."

You can be the smartest fastest at what you do, but if your an ass, no one will want to hire you. Learn how to deal with people.

Hope this all helps.

-Matt

In terms of short classes like seminars... Meyer Sound (meyersound.com) offers alot of free classes in system design and mixing etc, SIA Software (EAW.com) has smaart school, Syn-aud-con has classes...but are WAY expensive for two days. um... look at some manufacturers of equipment you like and see if they offer any training. I know yamaha does for their digital consoles.
 

Eboy87

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Like most of the answers, it depends. On the one hand, if you just want to run the board for shows, then yes, you could just go find a company and hire on. THe problem is that only locks you into one career, assuming that you skip college and go straight to the job. I have friends who've done that, and they've wound up working in Branson (redneck vegas as we call it).

I'm at a four year college majoring in audio arts. True, some may frown upon it, but I'm basically going to school for sound. Really, I'm trying to get the "why" as opposed to the "how". I'm also getting ready to start a minor in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management. Since I want to start my own company, AEMM will give me the buisness background tailored to the entertainment industry. I'm also working this summer at a few places to gain more hands on experience.
 

Hughesie

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Melbourne, Australia
OK, here's my true blue Australian opinion. If you want a practical degree you have 2 options. Box Hill TAFE or come up to Sydney and go to Juliusmedia. Box Hill will be significantly cheaper. If you want a Cert III - basic level qualification, then it's a 2 week course at JM - who are just literally right across the street from our office. From memory they do the course every once in a while at Showtech in Melbourne. Showtech is also the ONLY place I would consider getting a rigging licence from in Australia. I don't want to be taught construction rigging at TAFE, so it would be a case of me coming to Melbourne to do it. And you do need a licence to do rigging here in Australia.
Want to do design? VCA, NIDA, WAAPA and I'm sure there are others. Want to do engineering? UTS is clearly the only acceptable option :p No theatre program though. But if you must take second class, my guess would be somewhere like RMIT would be a good place.
Happy to discuss all this off board if you'd like.

yeah i would be happy to do that, i like the juliusmedia option, might look at applying for a filler course (one where your tested on what you know and then educated on missing bits)
what do we all think of a certificate 3? for audio
 

Chris15

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In terms of short classes like seminars... Meyer Sound (meyersound.com) offers alot of free classes in system design and mixing etc, SIA Software (EAW.com) has smaart school, Syn-aud-con has classes...but are WAY expensive for two days. um... look at some manufacturers of equipment you like and see if they offer any training. I know yamaha does for their digital consoles.
Sadly, a fair whack of these don't run down here in Aus... Some of these sorts of things do, but many don't.

yeah i would be happy to do that, i like the juliusmedia option, might look at applying for a filler course (one where your tested on what you know and then educated on missing bits)
what do we all think of a certificate 3? for audio
I hate to break it to you, but the majority of people in the states won't have the foggiest notion what a Cert III means. Off the top of my head, if you want audio and only audio, then you are looking at the OH&S first day, then Sound basics, and then advanced mixing or something like that. Tony Moffat used to teach but these days his health isn't what it used to be. But alas, the teachers know their stuff. I know someone who has a Cert III from JM, so if I see them, I'll get their opinion on it. In all honesty, you may be better off just doing the whole thing. The RCC costs money and I think that you might find that you learn something anyway.
 

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