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Palindrome's avatar

Is recording technology/audio production a good major to pursue?

Asked by Palindrome (1084points) September 5th, 2010

Background info:
I am currently a senior trying to start on my applications. I’ve been in a 4-year communications magnet during high school & have learned how to film/edit video. I haven’t really worked with audio, but I did learn how to operate iDJ2 while playing music at tailgates and hopefully will learn how to do stuff on logic this year. I’m creative, I love music & I’m very interested on how things work. I don’t know how to play any instruments although I know having this skill could get me farther in this major.
As far as a career after college, I would like to be a sound engineer one day.
One issue I’m having now is with college applications. My first choice was UT because they had a program for this, & recently when I checked, they weren’t offering it anymore. So now I’m trying to find 4-year universities with recording/sound production programs. Preferably in Texas.Thing is that I can’t find any, & the ones that I do find are all 2-year institutions or online schools.
My next issue is that everyone who I’ve talked to (people in my family & family friends) they keep telling me that this isn’t a good major to pursue. They keep asking me why I’m not choosing a solid major such as something in the medical field. Hah. Thing is I don’t what to be a doctor or anything of that nature, but I have to say they are getting to me. I know that almost anything in the media/communications field is competitive and only the good come out on top. It’s just I know that I have the ability to become that person. Now I’m retracting back to just RTF (radio, tv, film), even though I did not want to specialize in this.
I just don’t know anymore. I was sure at first and now I’m unsure and in need of advice/help.

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8 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I think that being a sound engineer is a great career. It can take you all kinds of places—music, television, movies, and more. If you have a good ear and a good knowledge of the technology and you are creative, it could be a great career for you.

I am only familiar with a couple of programs—Ithaca College and NYU both have reputable programs. I believe places like Oberlin and Temple University do also. I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana had a good program. So, obviously, if you would be willing to leave Texas, you wouldn’t have a problem finding a prgram. There are probably programs in Texas, too.

Your parents and other advisors want you to be able to support yourself. They probably think that being a sound engineer is not a promising career. It’s your life, however. It’s your happiness. You might grow up to be a Doctor and make a lot of money and be miserable. The dream of having a child become a doctor or lawyer or accountant is very common in immigrant or working class families. The parents want to see their kids “do well.”

I’ve come to understand that if you do what you love, you will make your way in the world. You may even make a lot of money, but that won’t matter because you are doing what you love. Doing what you love is far more important than making money, in my opinion. Others, of course, think differently.

Zyx's avatar

I’m considering it myself, since it basically teaches you how to get your fuck off attitude into the world. I was going to study game design or music theory but I think I might benifit a lot more from just getting to the production.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Middle Tennessee State has an awesome sound engineering program—and lots of job opportunities in Nashville. Which records more than country music these days, btw. A lot of music jobs left both coasts for Nashville because the cost of living is so much less.

nebule's avatar

always always do what you are passionate about…and stuff everyone else and their opinions!! :-)

ArimasuKa's avatar

Whichever college you get into, I strongly recommend getting involved with the campus radio station. I volunteer/work at CJSW-FM in Calgary, and it has helped me to indulge all of my passions—even visual arts.
In my case, I get to make ads and promos, which involves editing audio, using expensive recording equipment, and letting weird ideas fly. It’s awesome.
Good luck!

I know many musicians/media types who go on tour regularly across Canada, the United States and Europe, and they still have day jobs. You don’t have to make a living off of it to make it your life’s work.

Silence04's avatar

Not to discourage you, but it’s a very competitive industry. So competitive that if you haven’t produced/mixed anything yet and relying on college to teach you, you’re already way behind and will have to hold a couple jobs just to make rent.

If you are interested, start NOW! Don’t wait for college.

praisegate's avatar

I’m presently a student of KINGDOM AUDIO COLLEGE, a professional audio engineering college in Lagos Nigeria. (To get more details about the school, Google KINGDOM AUDIO COLLEGE Lagos). Its the 454th institute of the audio engineering society (AES) USA. Its been a gr8 experience for me. Audio engineering is not what I do…It is who I am.
I graduated from Medical school in 2005 but still had to pursue my passion in sound engineering. Pursue your dream, that is all I can tell you. Whenever I am on the field as a Live sound audio engineer for House of Worship (HOW), I light up. Note that I still work with the Center for Health and Development @ the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital as a Medical Statistician ( and also for Environmental and Human Health Research Association (ENVHRA) as a Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E) Officer to express my medical side, but there is nothing that gives me greater joy than working as a Live Sound audio engineer. Pursue your dream! God bless YOU

GeorgeGee's avatar

For the most part there is a narrow range of salaries, low-medium range. You don’t hear about many recording superstars, unless they’re actually record producers but that’s really a different career path.

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