Program: Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production

Learn Audio Engineering

Get inside access to the music business, extern under a professional audio engineer inside of their recording studio. Gain insider knowledge and connections during real sessions. Work hard and turn your dreams into reality.

Beyoncé’s Audio Engineer is a Recording Connection mentor

Learn from the Engineer that records Deadmau5

Recording Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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About the
Program

No cubicles for you—your office is way cooler: it’s the recording studio!

The Recording Connection Audio Engineering program prepares aspiring audio professionals for careers in the music industry as audio engineers. In one-on-one, supervised hands-on sessions, an established audio engineer teaches you the basics of acoustics, signal flow, recording techniques, automation, and much more.

As an audio engineer, you are the technical professional in the room who knows everything about the system you are working on and how to make the best possible recordings. Your decisions in microphone selection, microphone placement, EQ and compression drastically shapes a listener’s experience. Your technical choices are backed by your knowledge of music and production- you may even double as the producer!

Our program empowers you to obtain the knowledge, experience, and understanding it takes to be a professional audio engineer. Equipped with these insights, you are enabled to follow your own path toward an intense, rewarding career!

In the
Studio

Recording Connection’s audio engineering certificate program puts you inside a real recording studio and side-by-side with the studio’s audio engineer for private, in-person, practical instructional sessions plus remote tutoring from an Academic Facilitator. Students are expected to put in 10 hours per week.

The structured program curriculum includes 20 lessons and covers the following:

 

Building Relationships

With artists, music producers, studio management, record labels, clients.

 

Audio Software

Pro Tools.

 

Making Music

Recording, tracking, editing, mixing, mastering.

 

Hardware and Equipment

Analog and digital consoles, outboard compressors, preamps and FX processors, microphones.

Get Started

Get Educated,
Get Access,
Get Hired.

With the right experience and connections, you can jumpstart your career in the music industry.

Please fill out the following information, and Admissions will contact you:

*Not all programs are available in every state. Consult an Admissions Representative to learn more.

Recording Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

New! Finance your education with Climb. Get approved in minutes with no impact to your credit score.

We Stand Against Student Debt!
Find Out More
Learn About Your Options

Audio Engineering
Curriculum

In this lesson, we will take a look at the physics of sound. We will understand how sound travels through air, how our ears receive sound, and how our brains interpret the sounds we are receiving. Understanding this will help us build a foundation for how we can manipulate audio and create an experience, balance, and blend with the instruments that we are mixing. The most important thing to remember is not to feel overwhelmed. It is not necessary to understand these concepts on a scientific or mathematical level your first time going through them. Allow yourself to evolve with…

Learn more about Lesson 1

What's Included

  • Audio Engineering online curriculum
  • The lastest version of Pro Tools

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Meet our Mentors

Why learn from teachers when you can learn from industry giants?

Justin Hachat DJ / Producer

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Justin Hachat DJ / Producer

Background

Sweetdrop Digital is a record label founded in 2013 by DJ/Producer Justin Hachat aka Justin David and partners. We are a label built by sound engineers, djs and producers for djs and producers. We have a philosophy of creating something that artists want to be a part of. For our clients we offer a broad array of services including, mixing, mastering, editing, arrangement, sfx placement, foley recording, and background music. For our artists we offer an almost unmatched payout on royalties, worldwide digital distribution, promotional efforts and booking management if chosen. For all others we offer you a selection of music and videos to entertain you. If you are new talent looking for an outlet to get your music heard or a industry professional looking for some of our services please feel free to contact us. Don’t forget to check out our other pages on facebook and soundcloud. Thank you for visiting and enjoy.

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Artists

Mihai Sebastian
Justin David
Above & Beyond
Mimo & Kalam
Helios (software)

Larry Goetz Engineer

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Larry Goetz Engineer

Artists

Katy Perry
Ke$ha
One Direction
Weezer
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
3OH3
All Time Low
Big Time Rush
Mike Posner
Pixie Lott
All Star Weekend
David Archuleta
David Cook
Chord Overstreet
Bowling for Soup
Breathe Carolina
The Pussycat Dolls
Lauren Bennett
Alejandro Escovedo
John Cale
The Maine
Forever The Sickest Kids
A Rocket To The Moon
Emily Osment
Julian Casablancas
Rivers Cuomo
Soulfly
Cavalera Conspiracy
OTEP
HIM
Dommin
The Used
Alexndra Burke
Best Coast
Cady Groves
This Providence
Monty RI
Axis Of Awesome
Edgar Winter
Sarah Evans
Maia Sharp
Edwin McCain
The Ready Set
Buzz Feiten
Albert Lee
Guitar Shorty

Donny Baker Donny Baker of ES Audio in Los Angeles

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Donny Baker Donny Baker of ES Audio in Los Angeles

Background

Donny BakerDonny Baker of ES Audio in Los Angeles, CA has decades of experience in the music industry, both in studio and behind the console. He spent 13 years working as a touring engineer for some of music’s most influential and dynamic artists including: Madonna, Chick Corea, Aerosmith, Herbie Hancock, and more. Donny then moved his talents into the sphere of recording and audio engineering production at ES Audio alongside CEO and studio owner Jo Ann Bush.

As a Recording Connection mentor for more than 16 years, Donny’s passionate about helping tomorrow’s audio engineers, music producers, and music industry professionals discover the very thing that sets them on fire, and use their passion along with the insight Donny’s able to provide to create a solid game plan for building their careers.

As a result of their hard work and the expert training and experience they’ve been able to receive through our mentor-led programs, a great number of Donny’s former Recording Connection students have gone on build amazing careers for themselves:

Taylor Crommie recently recorded and mixed for DJ Paul (of Three 6 Mafia). Other artists include: Kembe X, Jay Rock, Wifi Funeral, YelaWolf, Lance Skiiwalker, Eric Hudson, Rob Vicious, and Reddish Blu.

Uriel Soto Jr. aka “Junior” got hired full-time at ES Audio (DJ Paul, Yelawolf, Yung Gravy). Now, Uriel is also a Recording Connection mentor.

Skyler Felix went on to work with Disney and VH1. Credits also include a top-10 record on the UK dance charts.

Morning Estrada has recently engineered for Aminé, Rosalía, Brandy, Trinidad James, Tech N9NE, Jessie J, and more.

Articles

Video: What to expect with Donny Baker
Helping students find their place
NUGGETS OF TRUTH: Recording Connection mentor Donny Baker on what it takes to make it in recording
JoAnn Bush, owner of ES Audio in Los Angeles

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Artists

Madonna
Chick Corea
Aerosmith
Herbie Hancock

35th Street Studios Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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35th Street Studios Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Everything from the blues to certain genres of electronic house music call Chicago home. And the 35th Street Studios has seen an equally eclectic group of musicians come through their doors. The Who and Crunchy Black, The Rolling Stones and Yolanda Adams, Cheap Trick and Kanye West.

Their ability to work with a wide variety of acts over the years, and housing several studios, a live sound stage, and more. It is the premier rehearsal venue in Chicago because of its size and has all of the gear to record podcasts, film, and video work. And, as one of Recording Connections mentoring studios, it’s grooming the next generation of audio engineers and music producers.

“One of the things I appreciate every day is that I am surrounded by like-minded people,” former extern Robert Avila said. “Those who have the expertise and patience to listen to a mix repetitively, and for as long as it takes, to accomplish what needs to be done. The qualities I see in my peers at the studio are great. Everyone at 35th Street Studios has their unique background, style, and personality type; nevertheless, they work together seamlessly- true teamwork- and I’m more than happy to be involved.”

Work with Professionals

With our ability to place externs inside real-world studios, we feel our programs have a little something more to offer those looking to make it in the music marketplace. Using the latest hardware and software, our mentors will show you how to set up a studio, get the most out of an act’s material, and how to use the most up to date recording software.

But it goes beyond knowing how to operate a digital audio workstation or knowing which mic to use. The Recording Connection gives you something very few universities or trade schools can: connections. Other schools may bring in guest speakers for an hour or two. The Recording Connection will give you the opportunity to work alongside those already in the industry.

With these opportunities, you can start to build your brand from within the business. Many of our externs find work immediately after completion of the program, often at the very recording studios they learned in. How many schools can say that? Not many. After all, they aren’t looking for beat-makers, audio engineers, or music producers.

Many Recording Connection mentors are, however. We have helped hundreds of externs find work after completing their program. Some stay with their mentors, others are referred to other studios, and a few have even opened their own studios. They create music, beats, or samples that are used in video games, television, and film.

The one thing they all had in common when they walked through the 35th Street Studio doors, or any of our more than 250 locations in the United State, was pure passion. Learning how to engineer music isn’t a hobby at Recording Connection, it’s a way of life. Are you ready to Amplify Your Life? Apply today.

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Artists

The Who
Crunchy Black
The Rolling Stones
Yolanda Adams
Cheap Trick
Kanye West. 

Zack Phillips Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Zack Phillips Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Zack Phillips or one of our mentors in the Bay Area.

Discovering his love of music while growing up in New York City in the ‘80s, Zack Phillips’ approach to music is “part science, part mysticism.” Gaining experience as a DJ and live sound engineer, Phillips received a formal education in audio engineering.

From there, Phillips honed his craft working at several studios before finally establishing his own studio: FreqLab Recording. In addition to recording, editing, mixing, and production, Phillips also works on developing the artists he works with, exploring innovative and inventive ways of engineering audio. Phillips has worked with a wide range of artists, including Talib Kweli, The Kooks, and Blue Hawaii.

You’ll be working in a state-of-the-art facility renovated by Phillips himself. While he made sure to design the studio to get the most out of the space, he also wanted to make it as comfortable as possible for engineers and artists alike.

If you study at the San Francisco Recording Connection, you’ll be working with people as passionate about music as you are. Up and comers, established stars, and other entertainment entities such as Comedy Central or Electronic Arts. But you won’t be watching TV or playing video games – you’ll be coming to work hard every day.

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Andy Shoemaker, Rax Trax Recording Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Andy Shoemaker, Rax Trax Recording Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

For Andy Shoemaker, Grammy-nominated audio engineer at Rax Trax Recording and Recording Connection mentor, it takes more than being a superstar with the gear. The best audio engineers and music producers also know how to take care of their clients.

“The way young engineers get early opportunities often comes from a situation where they can fill in at a time of need,” he said. “But before I start saying, ‘Hey man, can you do this session?,’ I need to see, technically, they know enough of what they’re doing to trust them enough not to screw up and also that I don’t fear that they’ll conduct themselves in a negative way with a client.”

A bad demeanor on one side of the glass will lead to very little action on the other side of the glass. At the start of your career, musicians don’t come to you – you have to bring them in. Think of it as being a salesperson. You may have the best product, but if you’re lacking in the personality department, you’re not going to be very successful.

“There are people that I think of very highly, like, ‘Man, this guy is great. He knows what he’s talking about,’” Shoemaker said. “But I just don’t know that I can hand him a session because his people skills are a bit lacking. If someone can’t read the artist and interact with them based on what the artist needs, then it isn’t a good fit between engineer and artist.”

It’s About More Than The Gear

With the Recording Connection Audio Engineering & Music Production Program, you’ll learn what you need to know about digital audio workstations (DAW) like Ableton Live or Logic Pro. As Shoemaker explains, however, it’s just one tool. There’s only so much that can be done with sub-par performances.

“So much of the tone comes from the player,” Shoemaker said. “Artists themselves contribute so much more of the tone than we want to give them credit for a lot of times. I think as engineers, it’s easy for us to idolize equipment. It’s easy for us to idolize microphones and preamps and compressors, and those are all really important parts of the chain, but it comes down to the source.

“All those tools are going to help you capture the source in a more interesting or more pleasing way, but they themselves won’t change the source. If you don’t have that sorted out, then you’re going to be struggling with it regardless.”

Get What You Need From A Pro

At a traditional four-year university or trade school, you may get enough experience on a DAW, learn about music theory, or even work with other students to create music. But we feel it just can’t compare with the immersive experience you get when working one-on-one with an industry insider in a real-world setting.

“I went through a traditional four-year style school,” Shoemaker said. “In my final semester, I started an internship and I found that I was learning a lot of things that I’d never learned about in school. I was three semesters in at my school before I was doing some of the stuff that I might have my students do in their first week of the Recording Connection program.

“There are a lot of different audio programs out there. How effective any program is going to be for you personally really depends on what you put into it. You could really dive into any program and get something out of it, but I think Recording Connection provides an opportunity to do that in a different and more efficient way because it isn’t isolated from reality.”

Are you ready to get what you need to Amplify Your Life? Apply to Recording Connection today.

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Artists

Mac Miller
Chance the Rapper
Sammy Adams
Ice Cube
Jurassic 5
Los Lonely Boys
Smashing Pumpkins

Steve Catizone, Infinite Recording Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Steve Catizone, Infinite Recording Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Steve Catizone or one of our mentors in the greater Boston area.

From Aerosmith to Wyclef Jean, Steve Catizone knows the ABC’s about working with international superstars. Catizone ran Sanctum Sound in Boston for more than a decade before moving across the country to give the West Coast and Los Angeles a try. Now he’s back on the East Coast with Infinite Recording in the Boston Metro area.

No matter where he is, Catizone looks forward to working with the next generation of audio engineers and music producers. He knows what to look for in a Recording Connection extern and doesn’t take long for him to spot those that have what it takes to make a career in the music industry.

And it has nothing to do with their previous musical experience or technical mastery of a digital audio workstation. A previous student, Scott Johnson, impressed Catizone enough to hire him to work at his state-of-the-art second studio, even have him run a tracking session with British pop-dance superstar Charli XCX.

“He just made himself available for things whenever and wherever he needed to be,” Catizone says. “Luck is preparedness meets opportunity, and anytime I’d ask him to come in to shadow or assist, he was there. I told him, ‘It’s like anything else, she’s like anybody else. She wants to come in, she wants to do her thing; just do your thing.’”

For Catizone, the Recording Connection Audio Engineering and Music Production Program offers an advanced way to teach those up-and-comers who want to make a name for themselves in the industry. Although major audio schools may have a “name,” they don’t always graduate students who have the conceptual side of things down, or know their way around a professional recording studio.

“He said he wasn’t really getting much experience with them at all,” Catizone says, speaking of former student Melvin Perdomo. “And it’s funny because I went through some simple concepts with him, and it was obviously stuff that they didn’t hit with him.”

Besides, it isn’t always what you know, but who you are. Like Johnson, Catizone could tell right away that investing in Perdomo would pay instant dividends.

“His temperament is perfect,” Catizone says. “He’s a go-to guy. I kind of knew that he was going to work out from the start, and I was pretty much right. So three sessions in, I was like, you know, ‘We need somebody to help out.’ And he’s very chill and laid back. He’s perfect.”

Making Connections

A third extern, Shardinee Fort, was brought in to help with an audio recording of author/columnist David Savage. She had the right temperament for the job, so Catizone knew she’d be perfect.

“I needed someone who could help out and just be, you know, have a pleasant disposition and be in the studio as well,” Catizone says. “She sat in and made herself available for whatever technical stuff needed to be done.”

All of that is to say: when you apply to Recording Connection, you get more than a one-on-one education from an industry insider, you get the chance to prove your worth to a potential employer or reference. Those opportunities just aren’t available at most universities or trade schools.

Former Catizone extern Jordan Schuh took advantage of the connections he made. Now he runs his own studio. The exposure he received with Catizone and Recording Connection was invaluable.

“I guess the best thing I can say about Recording Connection is that it proves its name,” Schuh says. “In other words, what I valued most about the experience was the connections with real people in the recording industry.”

Are you ready to amplify your life? Apply Today.

Articles

Recording Connection mentor Steve Catizone on creating opportunities for his students
Recording Connection mentor Steve Catizone talks studio etiquette

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Artists

Black Eyed Peas
Charli XCX
U2
Justin Bieber
Wyclef Jean
Disney
M-Audio

Writer’s Room Recording Studio Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Writer’s Room Recording Studio Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

After starting his career in New Jersey and New York, Sheldon Ellerby moved South to hip-hop hub Atlanta. First with The Writer’s Room and now with Private Sound Studios, Ellerby provides externs with a little of the old and a little of the new.

As an audio engineer or music producer, you need to have the right combination of both. Technology is constantly changing how we make music, making it more accessible for everyone instead of a select few. Digital Audio Workstations allow you to make music in the studio, in your home, or on a bus.

But it won’t change the theory of music, how soundwaves travel, and the overall fundamentals of audio engineering.

“My approach is really to give them an understanding of the principles of recording,” Ellerby said. “I like to go back to not just the start, but to even eras where you had The Beatles, James Brown, the Motown era. Everybody has the same principles of recording, and we still use those principles to this day.”

While Ableton Live or Logic Pro has made it easier for the masses to make music, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good music. So many new music makers want to run before they can walk, with no foundation or understanding of the music in place. Digital audio workstations are great – but there’s a lot of work to be done to get the most out of the software.

“I try to get people to understand that it’s more than just running a program,” Ellerby said. “Anyone can push a couple of buttons and say they’re engineers. But if you don’t know how to identify distortion, ‘Am I getting a good signal?’ or ‘What mic should I use?’ ‘Does this mic complement his vocal tone?’ I get into helping them build a real foundation and understand the how’s and why’s of what they’re doing.”

Love What You Do

You’ve come to Recording Connection because you want to make a career in the music business. But it takes more than “want.” There’s a determination that comes with establishing yourself in the industry and even more dedication to stay there.

“What drives me more than anything is passion,” Ellerby said. “The passion to learn, always wanting to know more. One thing I really pass onto a lot of the students is never stop learning. You have to continue to learn because everything is always like a constant evolution with the technology.”

The Recording Connection will give you the tools and the education you need to build a solid base. You will build your brand while expanding your portfolio. Learn how to move around the studio, interact with the talent, and how to market yourself. But what will you do with this opportunity you’ve given yourself? Are you ready to Amplify Your Life? Apply today.

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Artists

Ludacris
Patti Labelle
Anita Baker

Bernard Johnson Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Bernard Johnson Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson or one of our mentors in the greater San Diego area.

Bernard Johnson didn’t follow the usual path to becoming a Recording Connection mentor in El Cajon, Ca. He discovered a love of mass media as a 14-year-old, entering a certification program to find out how it all came together.

After finishing the program, he began co-producing a top-ten music show in Detroit and received an award for exemplary airwave checks from the Michigan Broadcast Association. Then his career took a turn: Johnson entered the military.

After a 20-year career in the military, often leading departments with 90 people, Johnson returned to what he loved as a teenager, earning a masters in audio production. While the military can be quite regimented, Johnson was attracted to the freeform method of instruction that Recording Connection offered students. As he knows better than most, the standard course isn’t always the best course.

“When I saw (Recording Connection) model, I was like, ‘Wow, this is it. I love it.’” Johnson said. “And it allows students to have the opportunity not to feel cemented to something like, ‘This is what you need to do, this is the direction and the route you need to do it.’”

The Recording Connection Program gives you access to a professional engineer, fully-functioning studio, and hands-on education, it could also earn you a career. The Noize Factory is a perfect example of that: Johnson hired one of his former students (Efrain Matias) as a staff engineer.

But you have to work for it. Recording Connection students must be willing to put in the time, effort, and focus to get the most out of it. Johnson expects nothing less.

“I do want to say commitment, passion, perseverance, and finishing until the end,” Johnson said. “They’re not just doing something for money or just doing it ‘just because.’ They’re literally passionate about it.”

Articles

Recording Connection mentor Bernard ‘IQue’ Johnson Shares His Smarts & Hires from Within!
Recording Connection grad Goes to NAMM, Gets Hired, Gets Going in Audio!

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Madison Records/The Oates Music Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Madison Records/The Oates Music Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

For Wyatt Oates, it doesn’t matter if you already know a digital audio workstation inside and out, or if you’ve worked with multiple bands, or even cut a few demo tracks before. As a mentor, the technical side of making music, building a brand, and working on a portfolio will all come in time.

It’s the little things that show Oates everything he needs to know about a new Recording Connection intern. How an extern holds themself in the studio, how they interact with others, just their overall demeanor.

“The very first thing would be being on time,” Oates said. “The next thing I’m going to notice is attitude. And then it’s just walking through what they’re trying to do, try to get a feel for them.”

And when it’s time to get to work, how do the externs act? Even a technical genius on the gear needs more than being a technical genius on the gear. Local, regional, or national acts don’t want to work with a robot, they want to work with someone who makes them sound better. Who can feel the music and make the needed adjustments.

When an artist is in the studio, this is the time for the extern to take a step back and watch the professionals at work. Learn when (and why!) they push, pull, or just sit back when the artist gets in a groove. Although this is a fully immersive, hands-on learning experience, there are times when it’s best to observe.

“A good, safe starting point is being a fly on the wall, and don’t interject your opinions into what the producer is doing, for example,” Oates said. “It’s just bad form. Don’t solicit people right off the bat if you have your own music, your own productions. Treat them like normal people.

“Obviously, introduce yourself,” Oates continued. “And if they seem like a hand-shakable person, shake their hand or whatever the proper greeting is in that culture, and don’t overdo it. You should sit either at the console or back of the room, you know, leaving the sweet spot, so to speak, for the producer, engineer, artists. And just hanging out and paying attention.”

But Oates also believes you need to make yourself useful. Once you’ve learned the DAW and other technical aspects, you’ll begin to sit in on some sessions. Until then, learn to follow the cues your clients give you.

“Trying to be as proactive and predict the needs of the artist, producer, and engineer as much as possible,” Oates said. “So if you hear that somebody is coughing and is obviously thirsty, then offer to run and get them a water, and go do it.”

Take advantage of the opportunities

Stay alert during the process – the entire process. You never know when the chance to sit down and get to work will present itself. Getting the opportunity to put into practice what you’ve been learning is one of the most important parts of any Recording Connection program.

“I’ve seen a few people fall into the trap of putting their headphones on and just rocking out to some music while they’re in session,” Oates said. “You lose a lot of opportunities to be proactive and to really help the session along. I guess how I’d sum it up is, help the session along. During a recording session, do everything within your power to help the session along.”

Hands down, it’s Hands-On For The Win

“I’ve always loved the (mentor) model,” Oates said. “I came up through it myself. That’s how I learned engineering, producing, songwriting, all of that. So anytime I got a chance to help an intern or an assistant engineer up under me along the way, I always did.

“So when I found out about the Recording Connection and one of the guys called me from there to see if I would be interested in mentoring, I jumped on it,” Oates continued. “One of the things that I thought was really cool about the Recording Connection was the fact that they focus on that model. I’m just a fan of it because it works. The real-world experience is always better than classroom experience for these kinds of careers.”

Are you ready to start your real-world experience? Amplify Your Life and Apply Today.

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Artists

Justin Bieber
Blackberry Smoke
Collective Soul

Joey Heier Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Joey Heier Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Joey Heier or one of our mentors in the New Brunswick area.

Audio engineer and studio owner Joey Heier has been in the business of making music for decades. With a client list that includes names like Christina Aguilera, B.o.B., Jill Scott, and Dru Hill, Joey knows what it takes to work in music. Furthermore, he has a zeal for sharing his passion for audio with newcomers.

So much so, that he’s gotten the nickname “Uncle Joey” from our students. He maintains contact with literally dozens of our graduates, many of whom have gone on to build great careers in the music industry.

We recently asked Joey Heier why he loves mentoring for Recording Connection. Here’s what he said:

“It’s a tremendous passion for me. I enjoy doing this so much. I have a style that I believe in. I talk with my students about a textbook answer that they’re probably going to forget immediately, and then give them an ‘Uncle Joe’ definition that’s two or three words that they’re going to remember immediately. Then they’re going to understand what the textbook definition is by hearing it in a simpler fashion.

“I have great kids that come in and really, really want to do this… I have an outstanding job, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do it with a smile. And that doesn’t happen with every kid, naturally—it really depends if they want to do it. But if they want to do it, I am so honored to have the opportunity to teach, and I think that’s why it works well for me.”

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NUGGETS OF TRUTH: Recording Connection mentor Joey (“Uncle Joe”) Heier talks about the importance of hands-on training and his passion for teaching

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Southern Eagle Music Group Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Southern Eagle Music Group Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

RENEGADE EL REY, an audio engineer/producer with Stankonia Studios, the legendary studio started by Outkast, has been a Recording Connection mentor for a few years now. He has hired past externs and regularly keeps in touch with other students who are busy making a name for themselves in the business.

Like many of our mentors, he is more interested in working with externs that have the drive and determination to succeed rather than any particular technical skill. Digital Audio Workstations can be taught – having the right attitude can’t.

Making yourself necessary during the Audio Engineering and Music Production Program is a great way to get in the good graces of your mentor. Yes, you’re there to learn, and your mentors are there to teach. But they’re also there to work.

By taking cues from the mentor, and the artists they work with, you’ll learn more about the industry than you will from almost any book. When RENEGADE EL REY was coming up, he made himself necessary in the studio. Engineers, producers, and studio chiefs remember that.

“As far as the actual, physical work that was done, I made myself valuable,” RENEGADE EL REY SAID. “And that was one thing that my professors always told us was to always make yourselves valuable, make people want to need you for whatever the case may be, and that’s exactly what I did.”

The Recording Connection offers one thing most traditional universities or trade schools just can’t: Opportunity. By making yourself available, your mentor, other staff, and their clients will remember you as the one they can rely on for anything.

“I learned how to do several things, and that was just something that I always did,” RENEGADE EL REY said. “I don’t write my rhymes, my lyrics, but I keep pens and pencils, just different things that people need. So whenever they need something, they think to call you. I just made myself that guy, and it just took off from there.”

Make Your Own Name

That’s how he made his connections and earned his shot at Stankonia. But it’s more than just making sure everybody else has what they need. The Recording Connection program wants to help you get what you need: a job making music in the industry.

We can give you the tools, but you have to put in the work. Both in the studio with your mentor and on your own. If you wait for things to happen for you, you’ll be waiting a long time.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” RENEGADE EL REY said. “I’ve always been the type to look ahead and try to say, ‘Okay, what’s going on next and where do I need to be?’ Because things don’t happen overnight. I’m always trying to reach out to the type of people that I need to reach out to ahead of time. You’ve got to get the ball rolling one way or the other.”

The Recording Connection will place you in a one-on-one situation with music producers like RENEGADE EL REY, but what you do during that time will determine how far you go in the industry. Our most successful graduates go on to find work in the studios where they externed, other studios, and even starting their own studios.

Will you make yourself available, invaluable, and teachable? That’s what our mentors are looking for. If you’re ready to Amplify Your Life, apply today.

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Artists

Big Boi

Aaron R. Reppert Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Aaron R. Reppert Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Aaron R. Reppert or one of our mentors in the greater St. Louis area.

Originally founded in 2000 by Recording Connection mentor Aaron R. Reppert, TravSonic Sound & Media has grown a lot since its early, humble beginnings. TravSonic Mobile, established in 2009, caters to a number of high profile clients in music, technology, the arts, and the corporate world. The thriving company offers a range of remote recording technologies and services for seminar, concerts, festivals, and events.

Today, TravSonic Sound & Media is an award-winning, full-service media production company serving clients from its Nashville and Overland offices.

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Rick Carson Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Rick Carson Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Rick Carson or one of our mentors in the greater Lincoln area.

Recording Connection mentor engineer/producer Rick Carson has a passion for teaching today’s rising talents in the world of audio. Designed by famous recording studio designer, Rod Gervais, his studio features three control rooms, world-class equipment, and has the distinction of having Nebraska’s only large format SSL mixing console.

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A Day in the Life of Our Students
A Day in the Life of Our Students

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XLNT Sound Powerhouse mentors Parker Ament and Danny Ferrare

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XLNT Sound Powerhouse mentors Parker Ament and Danny Ferrare

Background

Danny Ferrare of XLNT SoundPowerhouse mentors Parker Ament and Danny Ferrare of XLNT Studios (Timbaland, Borgore, Brillz, Dan Farber, Kelly Price, Larrance Dopson of 1500 or Nothin) are the ultimate example of agile, entrepreneurial music producers who’ve got their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in electronic music production right now. The XLNT team are host of the popular YouTube web series XLNTSOUND, a must watch for those looking to capture today’s hottest sounds via plugins and specific production techniques.

Despite their easy going vibe they expect students to be receptive to learning and to take on a
“fly on the wall” posture when artists are in session in the studio. Parker says, “The first rule is: you don’t say anything unless somebody asks you. And even when they ask you, you should keep it short and sweet. You can’t kind of go on tangents, because then that might drive the session in a certain way.” In order to absorb the information that’s coming your way, he suggests “Take notes, if that’s your thing, or sit as close as you can to the screen, out of the way of the client and engineer, while really watching. Because, with every little note or trick, you’re going to be learning something new every second. Even if you think that you know everything, there’s going to be something that you didn’t know when you’re watching us or a particular engineer.”

Parker AmentSo what do Parker and Danny look for in the Recording Connection students they train? It usually comes down to one word—passion.

“Right when they walk through the door, we can see who is passionate about what they’re doing. Even if they’re shy, we can sense the passion. And I feel like that is the most important thing. If somebody is socially awkward or they don’t really know what to say during the interview or something like that, we don’t base any of that on what we’re looking for. We’re looking for passion, we’re looking for dedication, and we’re looking for somebody that is going to create their own path. So if somebody has the opportunity to extern with us, we want them to make their own path with the opportunities that we’re showing them.”

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Artists

Timbaland
Borgore
Brillz
Dan Farber
Kelly Price

Jason Phelps Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Jason Phelps Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Recording Connection mentor Jason Phelps is an audio engineer, producer, and musician who’s been involved in music all his life. He’s downright passionate about recording, producing, and teaching the next generation of music industry professionals. He expects the externs he trains to bring their A-game, and to listen and learn in a proactive manner.

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Ross Vanderslice Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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Ross Vanderslice Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

Learn from Recording Connection mentor Ross Vanderslice or one of our mentors in the St. Louis area.

An engineer since 2001, Ross Vanderslice has worked with some of the biggest names in the recording industry. The experience he’s gained works perfectly with what we do at Recording Connection: pairing externs with seasoned professionals for invaluable one-on-one time with a mentor.

With multiple studios and state-of-the-art equipment, Vanderslice has worked with several Recording Connection externs. Doing it right is about so much more than having the right gear, software, or equipment. Because of his experience working with internationally-known acts, Vanderslice knows how to work with artists, how to make them feel comfortable and safe within the studio environment.

Here are some of the clients with whom Vanderslice and/or the professional audio engineers at his studio have worked:

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Artists

Nelly
Black Eyed Peas
Jaden Smith
Sade
Panic! at the Disco
Waka Flocka
Tech N9ne
Ludacris
Travis Barker
Son Volt
Chuck Berry
Rick Ross
Lil Wayne
Fantasia
The Game
Jurassic 5
Ja Rule
David Banner
Jive Records
Universal Records
Interscope
Rocafella Records
RCA Records
Motown
Def Jam
Yelawolf
Hopsin
Rittz
Lil Jon
Murphy Lee
Chingy
Capitol Records
Bad Boy Entertainment
Atlantic Records

Lucas Abend Studio 369 co-founder Lucas Abend in Los Angeles.

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Lucas Abend Studio 369 co-founder Lucas Abend in Los Angeles.

Background

Lucas AbendAs a music producer, studio co-founder, DJ and mentor, Lucas Abend of Studio 369 (Snoop Dogg, Krewella, Sony Music) is the consummate example of the artist producer who’s constantly pushing the boundaries, breaking outdated rules and modalities and bringing the future into the now. That being said, Lucas doesn’t sustain himself on hype. Rather, he believes deeply in the importance and value of art, music making, and creative expression.

As a believer in creative expression, Lucas focuses on putting Recording Connection students’ own music and creativity at the center of the training every chance he gets. Their desire to make their own music unique helps keep them charged up for the challenges they can encounter while they learn the DAW (Pro Tools, Ableton).

“Part of it is having the challenge inspire you to keep working…That’s probably my most direct way that I’m mentoring, is helping the students find a creative workflow that works for them so that they have that motivation to spend 15 hours a week [learning]. That’s not easy. It takes some effort to spend that kind of time but once they’re spending [it], you see them get so much better. They improve so drastically that that’s kind of what makes it all worth it, is to see them improve and start to feel like, ‘Hey, actually at first when we first started I didn’t know what 4/4 meant!’”

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Artists

Snoop Dogg
Krewella
Sony Music

David Hughes, Shine On Studio Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

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David Hughes, Shine On Studio Learn Audio Engineering Mentor

Background

David Hughes, Shine On Studio

Although there are many differences between four-year universities and The Recording Connection – such as cost, length of a program, and availability, it’s the one-on-one relationship between you and your mentor that could be the most important distinction.

Sitting in a traditional school setting, students all tend to learn the same thing, usually by listening to the teacher or professor lecture from the head of the class. With Recording Connection, you’re training with a professional music producer and/or audio engineer, a mentor  who shapes the education around you.

For David Hughes, of Shine On Studio in San Francisco, developing the strengths of his externs and helping them develop in accordance with their interests and talents is what matters most.

Helping audiophiles grow into audio engineers, music producers, beatmakers, and artists isn’t something that can be done with a cookie cutter approach. Furthermore, the music business has something for everyone—many just need to find out what that something really is.

“The students I mentor at the studio are all extremely talented and gifted in many different ways,” Hughes says. “I’m seeing them mature and develop to a point where I help them focus on their strengths. I’m trying to push them in those directions, ‘That’s what you should be doing; that’s your strength.’ It’s never going to be cut and dry what you should do. It’s good to try a few different things to see where your strengths rise up.”

“Some students are good at composing. Some are good at mixing. Others are actually just good at networking. So, not everybody is cut out to sit behind the board and push buttons. A few of the students are really good at socializing and making a personal connection to people. They know how to go out and get people energized and excited about music and concerts. So I try to encourage them to focus on being out at shows and to network as they go to events.”

Understanding your strengths is what makes Hughes and other Recording Connection mentors such an important resource when working towards a career in the music industry. The technical aspects, such as learning digital audio workstations or how to properly set mics, will come in time. It’s your innate talents that can’t be taught—but we can teach you how to use them.

Opportunities in San Francisco

No matter how talented you are, success in the music business is driven as much by who you know as it is with what you know. Hughes keeps in touch regularly with his music connections and past student externs, many who have opened their own studios and launched successful music careers. He can trace much of that success back to the networking events he holds every month.

“We try to promote an audio engineer meeting once a month…That’s a big thing, to have something available for the students that are trying to come up in the industry. You can’t really succeed in this industry on your own. You do need to rely a little bit on other engineers to help you develop in the industry.

“In some situations, they might be your competitors,” Hughes continues, “But I don’t really think of them that way because everybody has their strengths and weaknesses in audio production. I have made it possible for some of the students to come and join us at these meetings and network with other engineers or music professionals in the area. This is a big door that has opened for them and I think that they are definitely taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Opportunity. That’s how Recording Connection Audio Engineering and Music Production program differs greatly from traditional schools. By working in professional, real-world studios, you could be working with an up-and-coming local band one week, international stars the next. How you take advantage of those opportunities can help determine how far you go in the music business.

Are you ready to Amplify Your Life? Apply today.

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Artists

Mars Volta
Rich Eagle


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Interested in Audio Engineering or Music Engineering?

If you’re interested in learning music engineering, also known as audio engineering, sound engineering, and recording engineering, here is some information about the kinds of jobs music engineers do and the various fields available for employment. In the field, music engineers are most typically referred to as audio engineers. As such, these technical specialists are experts in the capture, recording, editing, and mixing technologies involved in the production of audio. While a great many audio engineers work in music, audio engineers can work in the recording and production of nearly any sound medium. This includes producing and or editing sound for video games, new media, radio broadcasts, podcasts, phone apps, live sound venues, conferences, television networks, post production for film and television, and more. Within the realm of music making, music engineering may be understood as the tech-facing side of music production. If a music producer brings a band into the recording studio to record their first full-length album, it’s the music producer’s job to get the best performance for the best possible songs which showcase or position the band in the right light. The audio engineer will work in concert with the music producer to make sure the sounds and desired sonic qualities are achieved quickly, correctly, and efficiently. Many great music producers at the top of their game, from rock to hip hop, all started out as audio or music engineers.

Do you have what it takes to be a music engineer?

If you’re wondering whether you have the skills and natural ability it takes to be a music engineer or sound engineer, listen up.
If you have good ears and/or a tendency to cue in and listen closely to the sound quality, various parts, layers, or samples in the music you listen to, you just might be a natural. People well-suited to audio engineering are oftentimes, but not always, the persons who can pick out a particular baseline or hi-hat, or know where the sample in the latest hit was grabbed from. If they’re watching a movie or television show, less than great sound quality will stick out and probably annoy them.

Besides having the ears and the awareness, individuals who are well suited for pursuing a career in audio should have good if not great communication skills since the day to day work of engineering sound or music often requires making sure all parties involved are on the same page and the words musicians use to describe sounds or tones can vary greatly, as can the terms utilized by various producers, directors and fellow audio and analog “heads.”

An ability to deal with technology, data, and to make active learning an everyday pursuit is also another important quality to possess since there is a whole lot to take in and “geek out on” in the world of audio engineering, music production, sound engineering and more. Many thousands of highly successful audio engineers will tell the novice or upstart that learning and never becoming too haughty or self-important is crucial. Even world-renowned engineers like Chris Lord-Alge, Dave Pensado, and mixing great and Recording Connection mentor Mark Christensen say a love of discovery is an essential character trait for all audio engineers who want to stay relevant and working in the industry.

Music engineers should also have solid analytical and problem solving skills as well as be proficient at learning and operating various computer programs. Digital audio workstations, called DAWS for short, are the primary tool for most audio engineers. Popular DAWS include Pro Tools, Ableton, and Logic as well as FL Studio and Reaper, two free or less-expensive digital audio workstations often known to beatmakers and newbies. Although the technology used in music engineering does change from year to year, the underlying principles do not. The most common maxim among professional engineers is “Good in, good out.” What that means is that the primary objective should be to create the conditions for high quality sound (good acoustics), great performances from the musicians or subjects being recorded, and good capture of that sound via the right technology and correct practices. If all of those bases are covered, the “good in” i.e. the audio recording, should yield a “good out” i.e. a good sounding audio track or recording which will require nominal treatment in the mix.

Classified in O*Net Online (the career resource application and database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration), lists this job as a “Bright Outlook” occupational field. Persons pursuing careers in audio need to possess strong communication skills, technology skills, and specialized knowledge. Knowledge of music and the fine arts, a good command of the English language, as well as electronic equipment, computer hardware and software, including applications and programming is recommended.

When hiring, experience, good hearing and listening ability, manual dexterity, good analytical skills, and a pleasant demeanor are qualities commonly sought by professionals currently working in the field of audio engineering, music production, and music technology. In order to gain the awareness, knowledge, skillset and technical savvy necessary for a career in music engineering or audio engineering, post-secondary education and a post-secondary certificate or certification can be obtained through Recording Connection, a program area of Recording Radio Film Connection & CASA Schools. Many conventional colleges, trade schools and universities also offer education in audio engineering and/or music production but a conventional bachelor’s degree is not necessary for entry into the field.

Want to know what is the best school for audio engineering courses? Consider this.

We believe the best audio engineering course is the one that works for you, enables you to learn and grow relevant, useful skills directly from a working audio engineer, and which fits within your current budget. There are a number of other criteria to consider when choosing the best school or audio engineering course, based on your circumstances.

Here are a number of Frequently Asked Questions, followed by answers to help you in your research of audio engineering courses and programs.

Q: How much hands-on time will I have with the gear and in the studio?
A: With Recording Connection, you spend a minimum of 10 hours per week in your mentor’s studio. This is a real working environment with quality equipment often used to produce award-winning work.

Q: How long is the course?
A: Most Recording Connection programs are 6 months long.

Q: Who’s teaching the course? Are they a working expert in the field?
A: Recording Connection instructors (mentors) are real working professionals, dedicated to their craft.

Q: Who has the teacher or instructor worked with?
A: All of our mentors have worked with professional musicians and are working professionals who earn their living as audio engineers, music producers and/or studio owners. Many of our mentors have won Grammys. Many have worked with world-renowned artists.

Q: What will I learn in the course?
A: Our holistic curriculum written by professional audio engineers and members of our RRFC Team contains lessons in a multitude of aspects, the mastery of which are considered of vital importance. Our audio engineering and music production students receive lessons in the following: Sound and Hearing, Basic Electronics, Digital Audio, Connectivity, Microphones and Mic Placement, Tracking, Pro Tools, Plugins and Processing, Mixing, Equalization (EQ), Dynamic Signal Processing, Time-Based Effects, MIDI, Automation, Acoustics, Monitoring and Mastering.

Q: Where will the audio engineering training take place?
A:Our students receive in-person, one-on-one instruction during lesson times at the recording studio where they extern. Lessons are delivered via our unique blended education model.

Q: How much does the course cost?
A: The Audio Engineering & Music Production program currently costs $12,860, not including the cost of financing our education, should you choose to do so. Tuition amount is subject to change.

Q: Can students tailor the course to meet their objectives?
A: Yes. Our courses can be tailored to suit your needs, interests, and talents along with the fundamental practices, techniques, and procedures contained within our Audio Engineering & Music Production curriculum.

Q: What will my career path be upon graduation?
A: The career path you take depends largely upon you. Recording Connection graduates have landed work as Assistant Audio Engineers, oftentimes at the very same studios where they trained as externs. Others have gone on to land jobs at Audio-Visual companies, got going in careers as freelance engineers and music producers, and quite a number of our graduates have even gone on to open their own recording studios.

Q: Will the course enable me to answer my questions and satisfy my curiosities?
A: We want our students to come in curious and anxious to learn. For those who have some audio engineering and recording experience under their belt, we suggest they begin our course pretending they’re a blank slate.

We believe investing the time to learn and, in some cases, relearn aspects of recording and engineering enables our students the opportunity to develop knowledge that far surpasses a theoretical or book-smart understanding of audio. As to whether we or our mentors can answer all of your questions, well that’s a hard question to answer. We can tell you that because of our one-on-one approach, you have the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with your mentor. With us you get access to a working professional who is committed to helping you master the material and who can explain things in detail. Learning in audio is often an iterative process. Concepts and technical aspects of the work become better understood over time, through application, repetition, and as your ears and brain attune themselves to working with sound.

The decision to attend an audio engineering course should not be taken lightly. It requires a substantial commitment of time (six months to four years) and money ($5,000 to $100,000). Do your research. Find out what you can from the schools’ websites. Check their reviews. Call the school and see if you can sit in on a class; see if you can or talk to their students, teachers, and/or graduates. Get the questions on your criteria list answered so that you will have the information you need to assess what is the right audio engineering course for you. Keep researching until you find the school, program, or courses that best meet your criteria. Then, you can apply to the schools that best suit your needs and move forward from there in your audio education.

How do I become a good audio engineer?

Audio engineers need to master technical know-how, the ability to work with clients, have a good trained ear, and possess knowledge of musical structure in order to thrive in today’s job market. Before you attend your chosen audio engineering school on your path towards becoming an expert audio engineer, well-versed in recording practices, compression, EQ, and the like, it’s important to have certain basic job skills firmly in your wheelhouse. These basic skills should be habit, not something you have to remind yourself to do. They’ll go a long way in ensuring your success, not only as an audio engineer, but in an array of careers, both within and outside of the music industry.

Here’s a list of basic job skills you should possess:

  • The ability to show up on time, every time.
  • The ability to meet deadlines. The maxim “under promise and over deliver” should be your mantra. Do this on every job, project, or gig and you’ll be doing more than many of your competitors.
  • The ability to answer your phone, to return text messages, and answer emails. It may be your next gig or job offer, so respond quickly.
  • The ability to build a rapport with the professionals you meet and interact with. If people like having you around, chances are they will want to work with you.
  • The ability to keep learning. Staying current in music trends and genres is of paramount importance for working audio engineers.

If the idea of learning to become an audio engineer through a structured course curriculum and externship within a local professional recording studio appeals to you, consider the Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production. Designed to last six to nine months you will complete reading, homework, and quizzes on your own time at home or where ever else you deem suitable. The eBook assignments and reading materials are designed to prepare you for the one-on-one lesson time you spend with your mentor. Additionally, all of our Recording Connection students are expected to put in a minimum of ten hours per week inside of the recording studio for immersive study and observation. Our approach has helped literally thousands. What can we do for you? Tell us. We’re here to listen and to help.

Why our alternative to conventional audio engineering school works

There are many career opportunities available to those who are properly trained and connected in audio engineering, such as:

  • Chief Engineer
  • Staff Engineer
  • Assistant Engineer
  • Studio Owner

Additionally, many music producers, mixers, and mastering specialists are also audio engineers. In short, for any career in audio, we believe the best place to start is by learning the ins and outs of a recording studio as an audio engineer. Knowing how a real recording studio works where you meet real clients and work as an extern under real audio engineers and music producers is the kind of knowledge you just can’t get in books alone.
As you do your research, your list of your criteria should include questions like:

Are you interested in learning any of the following?

Many audio engineering students also learn the following:

While a college recording studio might look nice, it’s not the same as a professional recording studio. The Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production program will place you in a real studio from day one. To make it as an audio engineer, you also need to know:

To make it as an audio engineer, you also need to know:

  • Digital audio
  • How microphones are designed and used
  • Correct microphone placement
  • The ins and outs of signal flow and patch bays
  • How analog consoles work
  • In-depth study of analog consoles
  • Audio processing
  • Pro Tools
  • Reason, Logic, or Ableton Live
  • Available audio plugins and how they work
  • Signal processing and compressors
  • How to perform a professional mix-down
  • How various studios are designed and how their monitors work
  • Electronic music and beat matching
  • Sync and automation
  • Recording and mixing ins and outs
  • Surround mixing
  • How to deal with clients

Q: Which is better, to learn audio in a real recording studio, or on a college campus?
A: You can learn audio engineering by attending school on a college campus or at another trade school. If you go the college route, it is likely take you longer to enter into the job market. If you attend a conventional trade school which specializes in audio engineering training, you may complete your studies sooner than at a college or university but training inside of a brick and mortar school simply takes more time and generally the cost of tuition is considerably higher than Recording Connection’s blended education approach. Traditional colleges and trade schools cannot duplicate what you will learn in a real recording studio. They are just not equipped to do it.

With us, you can learn audio engineering from a professional who has been recording music for years. The Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production program provides you with the same topics you would likely learn sitting in a classroom at a traditional recording school, plus the real world knowledge and information your mentor will give you, garnered from years of audio engineering experience.

Take a look at what your “classroom” could look like. »


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