The New Face of Education

Nov 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By George Petersen Executive Editor


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

In that “once upon a time” three decades ago, when Mix began, someone who was a motivated self-starter could visit a local studio, sign on as a janitor/go-fer and learn the ropes from the inside, eventually becoming an assistant engineer and later a staff engineer/producer. As gear became too complex to simply learn on the fly, such apprenticeships faded and the number of audio education programs rose significantly.

Today, the world is an entirely different place. The recording studio industry is hardly what it was even 10 years ago, and the post-graduation activities of the class of 2007 is far more likely to involve new media than getting that entry-level gig at some big music studio. And many of these new grads were in their teens when the Internet first became a major force. This new generation of “digital natives” may have never experienced the dubious pleasures of analog recorder alignment. Nor should they be expected to.

For many, their concept of a studio centers on the computer — and with good reason. There are few tasks that the well-equipped laptop can't handle. In a world dominated by entertainment media in all its forms — interactive games, point-of-purchase audio, digital signage, new media, audio books, Web animation, podcasts, v-logs and, yes, even music downloads — the need for audio production is perhaps greater than ever. Even YouTube — everybody's favorite Web free-for-all for silly videos — has emerged as a major source of disseminating marketing messages of every sort: commercial, religious, political or otherwise.

However — aside from a few large game publishers — most growth is in these developing areas, where much of the available work comes from independent contractors and small companies. Sure, there are still jobs in traditional recording/brodcast/production, but these hardly represent the majority. Here is where that grad with some good business savvy and an entrepreneurial spirit can build a small company to feed these markets. Sometimes the best job you'll ever have is the one you create for yourself, and the successful candidate in these cases is the individual with just the right blend of creative and cognitive/technical energies.

Mindful of the situation, some schools have developed courses or entire programs in entertainment media. This month in his “AudioNext” column, our own Alexander Brandon discovered a rising trend in schools offering training in game production. Certainly in games, the audio doesn't live in a vacuum: Tracks are constantly changing in terms of amplitude, ambience and pitch to match the screen action, and learning this discipline, along with file management and understanding how the audio dovetails with each game's programming is essential — certainly far more complex than miking a kick drum on a rock session.

Audio education has evolved into a big business, and media education — in its many forms — is an increasingly important part of the curriculum. Students need to leave the school as a Jack or Jill of all trades and be prepared for the brave new production world of the present and the future.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.