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Why do most engineering students wait until college to begin thinking about an engineering career? How are they able to compete in a highly competitive globa…
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Question by Dave: What type of education do you need for sound engineering?
I want to be a sound engineer and work my way up to a recording engineer or a producer but I don’t know what type of education I need at 15 years old as I go through high school. What education do I need in general. I’ve read electrical engineering comes in handy, but I’m not sure.

Best answer:

Answer by Everyday
there isn’t really any education that you NEED in the industry. the music industry is more about who you know than schooling.

that being said there are a lot of things you can learn that will help you along the way. knowing electronics is good because gear breaks, and being able to fix it, or at least understand it works. this also gives you the option to create your own stuff. i’ve known people that have created their own pre-amps, and microphones because they know what they’re doing. communications classes are good because being an engineer you have to be able to communicate with people. you will have artists and producers that will tell you that they want the guitar to be more “crunchy” or the hat needs more “shine”. you have to be able to know what they mean when they say that. a lot of stuff like that just comes down to being familiar with a lot of different types of music, and how its recorded. business is always good especially now in recording. many engineers are losing jobs because of how easy it is to record at home. knowing the business side you may help keep a studio alive, or start your own indpendent freelance studio.

like i said, education really doesn’t matter. you can pay thousands of dollars going to school and learning how to do the stuff, or you can research and do it yourself.

the most important things i would study as far as the actual engineering is the processing type sides of it. by this i mean learn how EQ, reverb, compression, delay, etc are and how it works. understanding how things like that work and the theory behind it will help you understand how to apply it on a session.

one thing that would be good to get used to (especially at your age) is to study the sounds of music. by this i basically mean, listen to a lot of music. but don’t just listen to it. you have to hear it and understand it. listen to the overall mix of the music. where is the guitar? is it panned to the left? right? if so, why? listen to music like it’s a picture. listen to all genres to understand how the snare sounds in a metal song compared to a pop or country song. listen to bands you don’t like and study the music. it sucks listening to crap, but it will help you learn more. this is highly important when it comes to mixing a record. some people think it’s just about turning up and down each instrument until it all sounds right. but there is soooooooo much more to it.

as a final note, i want to stress that it is very tough to make it in the music industry. engineering is the same situation. if you do study and get a degree, get something that will give you options of the music industry doesn’t work out. i would start recording stuff as soon as possible. if you can record a lot of stuff and get good at it by the time you graduate, you may be able to go get an internship at a studio without spending a lot of money for school.

good luck

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