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Any advice for an aspiring audio engineer?


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I am new to the board and am researching my eventual career change (from finance/accounting to possibly music technology, audio engineering, editing etc.). Being new to this industry, I am not sure the best way to break into this industry (whether it be scouring ny city for a gopher job at a sound or production studio w/o any formal education or actually going to a school like SAE institute, Sonic Arts Ctr. @ city college or even NYU if I could be so lucky to be admitted). I was wondering if any of you guys would be able to lend some advice:

First: How useful will a school like SAE institute or NYU or Sonic @ C.College be for advancing a career. It seems that a lot of "music technologists don't have formal education geared toward music production/engineering. I went to one of their open houses (SAE) and it seems like I would learn a bunch altough it is relitively unknown to me and I don't want to be spending $20k for the music version of "Apex Technical School" or "Devry."

So what about NYU Steinhardt for Music Tech. Being NYU I'm sure its a strong program with great credintials but on the flip side, what are my chances of getting in given I work in finance and my music education/professional experience essentially stopped in highschool with completion of marching band, piano lessons and a weekly DJ gig. So what are the requirements of getting in other than the obvious like college transcripts, an essay, recommendations etc. Do I need to have experience in the industry, be a musician, be involved on the business side of the industry? I'm looking for the requirements they don't mention on the NYU website.

Second: Can I conceivably and practically get a job at a small or large sound or production studio as a gopher, personal assistant or some bottom of the totem pole role? maybe even intern or something.

Any other suggestions or resources (books, news websites etc.) for ways for me to learn this industry and see where opportunities lie would be greatly appreciated.

Best of luck to you all in your creative endeavors.


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  • 1 month later...

I went to Berklee before I changed majors. They have all the state of the art equipment, and faculty who know it inside and out...not to mention networking to internships in LA and NYC. If you want to be an audio engineer it is the place to be. Most everyone I know who went to school for this went to BERKLEE or SUNY PURCHASE.

Pitfalls: It's expensive.

In regards to your last question. It would be unfathomable to think anyone would pursue any kind of work in audio engineering without having a musical ear; which means being, at the very least, an average musician. I'd question the validity of any program that doesn't state that as a prerequisite. Having quite a few friends who work in the field I can say that I am not necessarily sure a degree buys you much more than access to the best technology for a few years. I have friends who didn't go to school for this obtain work that is of a much higher tier than those who have. It's a matter of knowing the technology the best. Frankly, no one is going to care if you went to a school or not- if your results are great.

My take as a former music student surrounded by this stuff.

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