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Thread: What do recording students need to know?

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  1. #1
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    Default What do recording students need to know?

    I've been contacted by the Tenn. State Dept. of Education to assist them in reviewing and rewriting their curriculum for their audio engineering courses that are offered at the high school level. I believe there are currently five schools in the state of TN that offer these classes but more are expected.

    So, here's the question.

    A high school age student, what does he need to know to go into recording?

    I asked if this course was being designed as career development or as a college prep course. They would like it to be both. So I suggested the Dean of a local college with a recording program (Belmont U., my alma mater) to also be on the panel. To the best of my knowledge, we will be the only two professionals assisting in designing the curriculum so I expect that our opinions will count for something. (Am I naive?)

    So what should a recording program for high school students include? Understand that this will be one hour per day and will be given no more weight or significance than any other elective.

    Your thoughts?
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    A high school age student, what does he need to know to go into recording?
    I could spend literally 40 hours defining what's needed for a recording course, and I bet others here would need that much time too.

    --Ethan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    I could spend literally 40 hours defining what's needed for a recording course, and I bet others here would need that much time too.
    And I'll bet you'd be lucky if 50% of the people successfully earning a living in the field would be up to speed on what you'd specify as must-have knowledge.
    Lee Blaske
    Excelsior, MN
    http://www.reverbnation.com/leeblaske

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    I could spend at least 1 hour explaining why recording isn't a very secure career path. This might save the schools some serious cash if they are planning on purchasing equipment for these classes . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by abtech View Post
    I could spend at least 1 hour explaining why recording isn't a very secure career path. This might save the schools some serious cash if they are planning on purchasing equipment for these classes . . .
    You no longer need serious cash to go into recording. It's the 21st century. About $399 will do.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  6. #6
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    Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12
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    what do they need to know? A lot more, or something a lot different, than what they're currently being taught!

    I found the interns sent to us were woefully under-informed about basics of signal flow, basic things like connections/connectors, wiring, grounding, micing (what, where, why), basic trouble shooting, etc. They also tended not to know what a process was, nor why or when to use it; and they seem to have memorized whatever a teacher did to a certain channel, and they built their setups in a similar cookie-cutter fashion.

    They also tend to stand around like cows rather than jumping in. If I've got to herd them, I don't need them.

    Oh, and teach them to listen first, make decisions, then LISTEN AGAIN, and not to spend so much time staring at the video monitors.
    Bill Park
    Welcome Home Studios

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios View Post
    what do they need to know? A lot more, or something a lot different, than what they're currently being taught!
    I think Bill nailed it. There are people who are (perhaps) very good at tracking and mixing and even some of the other basics but ask a random person who bought PTLE at GC two years ago and is cranking out nice rock songs what "impedance" is (or similar) and to explain it and how it relates to audio engineering in a practical manner ... 8 out of 10 probably won't have any idea.

    Not a knock at all, they just not happen to need to know that for what they do. Or understand electronic theory or electrical signal flow or similar like some people here do as a requirement of what they do. But if the thing is being taught in a formal academic setting like the OP describes, they should at least be taught a basic understanding/overview of some of that stuff.

    Will an "engineer" need it to track and mix his buddies and make good tracks? No. Should it be taught in a formal program (at least in a cursory way)... I think so.

    Look, we live in a fast-food era. Everyone with a DAW wants to record and mix and make a hit right now... they don't have time for the other nonsense.

    So... is it a "Recording Class" or an "Engineering Class". Kinda two different things. There are painting classes at community college (out of curriculum, anyone can attend) and then there are art programs in curriculum. Two different things.
    Last edited by Lawrence; 09-30-2009 at 10:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
    Not a knock at all, they just to not happen to need to know that for what they do. Or understand electronic theory or electrical signal flow or similar like some people here do as a requirement of what they do.
    Actually, for the new batch of folks coming up, would it be more important to know electronic theory, or to delve into the basics of learning to write code for DSP algorithms?

    OTOH, did Horowitz need to know how to tune a piano?
    Lee Blaske
    Excelsior, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
    I think Bill nailed it. There are people who are (perhaps) very good at tracking and mixing and even some of the other basics but ask a random person who bought PTLE at GC two years ago and is cranking out nice rock songs what "impedance" is (or similar) and to explain it and how it relates to audio engineering in a practical manner ... 8 out of 10 probably won't have any idea.

    Not a knock at all, they just not happen to need to know that for what they do. Or understand electronic theory or electrical signal flow or similar like some people here do as a requirement of what they do. But if the thing is being taught in a formal academic setting like the OP describes, they should at least be taught a basic understanding/overview of some of that stuff.

    Will an "engineer" need it to track and mix his buddies and make good tracks? No. Should it be taught in a formal program (at least in a cursory way)... I think so.

    Look, we live in a fast-food era. Everyone with a DAW wants to record and mix and make a hit right now... they don't have time for the other nonsense.

    So... is it a "Recording Class" or an "Engineering Class". Kinda two different things. There are painting classes at community college (out of curriculum, anyone can attend) and then there are art programs in curriculum. Two different things.
    We live in a fast-food era, so should the chefs of tomorrow be taking culinary classes at Wendy's?
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
    Not a knock at all, they just not happen to need to know that for what they do. Or understand electronic theory or electrical signal flow or similar like some people here do as a requirement of what they do. But if the thing is being taught in a formal academic setting like the OP describes, they should at least be taught a basic understanding/overview of some of that stuff.

    So... is it a "Recording Class" or an "Engineering Class". Kinda two different things. There are painting classes at community college (out of curriculum, anyone can attend) and then there are art programs in curriculum. Two different things.
    So should it include basic electronics? V, A, R, C, L?

    What about basic acoustics?

    Or just "Plug the mic in here and push this button?" (Which you know is all they want.)

    "Dad, I don't need to know how a carburetor works, just give me the keys to the car!!!" Remember we're talking teenagers here.

    How about an Engineering Class to teach Recording? That's all semantics. I don't want to go there.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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