Attending a music school is a great experience and a suitable opportunity for individuals who have the means and talent to attend any one of the most prestigious universities and conservatoriums on the planet, such as Berklee College of Music, Juilliard School, or even San Francisco Conservatorium.
Of course, depending on a student’s talents and goals, certain music schools may be better suited than others.
Different Music Schools for Different Music
For example, if you’re looking to become a music producer and work across a variety of different genres, then you’re probably better off taking courses at Dubspot.
Which is a premier music production school in New York City that features an elite team of highly talented instructors that have cut their teeth as DJs, producers, instrumentalists, sound designers, and composers with real-world experience.
Also, San Francisco’s equally world-renowned and cutting-edge Pyramind Studios, which doubles as both a full-time production studio where students get hands-on access and exposure to real-world scenarios and sessions involving actual clients.
Learn From Experience
These are the people who know what’s like to stay awake during the odd hours of the night for days and nights on end slaving away on a production and tweaking knobs and faders (virtual or otherwise) in hopes of perfecting the most seemingly abstract and irrelevant minutiae, which would certainly come off as such to inexperienced observers.
Amidst all the blazing fast computers and technology that have come about, the things that have always been key to success in the music and remain so to this day are consistent effort, an innate desire and passion for creating music, and a willingness to try different things and continue to improve one’s industry knowledge and craft.
The Digital Revolution
Of course, technology has steadily progressed over the years thanks in no small part to the Digital Revolution, and, for most, gone are the DAT tape machines, Betamax cassettes, and earlier tape machines from the ’60s and ’70s (i.e., when the words ‘copy’, ‘cut’, and ‘paste’ could actually mean the difference between getting hired and fired on the same day).
As a result, today’s music producer can churn out great music much more efficiently than yesterday’s old-school production team. But as standards have changed and advanced so rapidly over the years, so have expectations regarding the level of quality that can be achieved in a contemporary recording studio.
Music Software Is Key
For example, software plug-ins such as EQ’s, compressors, and limiters (there are far more types of plug-ins, of course, but we’ll focus on these three for now) have become much more powerful and effective at delivering consistent quality results when applied correctly as opposed to relying solely on traditional hardware equivalents, which, even in the hands of a seasoned pro, can become cumbersome and affect overall workflow when such devices go awry and need to be serviced.
That being said, there are many professionals who integrate both software and hardware seamlessly in their studio set-ups, as certain hardware processors, such as the Fairchild 670 or 1167 LN, have always been well-renowned for the “glue” or “warmth” (which is harmonic distortion that occurs as a result of third and fifth-order harmonics that occur whenever an input signal is overdriven) that they imbue into recordings or mixes, though it should also be noted that outstanding digital equivalent.
Which are considered to be virtually indistinguishable by many well-respected industry veterans, are available courtesy of Universal Audio via their custom DSP card and plug-in packages!
Music School Isn’t Easy, But It Is Worth It
No matter what music school students may attend, what they must understand is that no one will hold their hands or do the work for them when it comes to understanding complex subjects such as signal flow, learning how to use a DAW, synthesis, sound design, how to run a recording session, how to produce a track from start to finish, or how to take all that knowledge and make a decent living with it.
Students must also realize that there is no such thing as an overnight success and that anyone that they see who has “made it” has worked very hard to achieve their goals.
Regardless of what manufacturers may claim or what some obscure “know-it-all” may say on YouTube or any forum, there’s no shortcut to the top.
You have to be willing to spend a lot of time (and money) on your craft day in and day out to develop the skill set and earn the respect that you want to have as a music producer or audio engineer, and if you put the time and effort into it, what seems like a daunting struggle today will become instinctive as you continue to practice and hone your talents and skills.