What are Recording Schools?

Carol Francois

Recording schools are post-secondary institutions that are focused on providing training programs for the recording and sound design industry. There are two primary career options in the recording and sound design industry: audio engineer and post-production audio. Both career options require specialized training from accredited recording schools.

Recording schools teach their students about the many different types of microphones.
Recording schools teach their students about the many different types of microphones.

There are four things to consider when looking at recording schools: reputation, equipment, industry connections, and cost. All these items are central to selecting the appropriate recording schools. This is a very specialized field, and it is important to receive the appropriate training so that you can build a good reputation.

The reputation of the different recording schools has an impact on job prospects and promotional opportunities. Do your research to find out which school has the best reputation in the area you want to study. Talk to studio managers, post production staff, and read industry publications to learn about the reputation of a particular school.

All successful recording schools must have current technology available for students to train on. Out of date or obsolete software will harm your employment chances and will be a waste of time and money to learn. Ask about the software and equipment the school is currently using and compare it to the industry standards.

Connections to the recording and movie production industry are critical for all recording schools. Talk with the career counselors from the different schools about their placement rates and their alumni employment rates. This information will let you know the level of success their students achieve. Look for information about job fairs, industry seminars, and networking opportunities.

The cost of recording school varies widely. These programs are typically ten months to one year in length and cost between $15,000 and $25,000 US Dollars (USD). Look for accredited schools that are able to offer government student aid programs. Invest the time necessary to explore the scholarships and grants available to assist with tuition costs.

During your program, you will take courses in technology, sound, physics and more. To qualify for admission, you must be at least 19 years old and have graduated from high school. Most schools require an aptitude test and a personal interview. An English writing and grammar test is required and must be passes with a minimum grade of 60%.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to obtain positions as a sound designer, recording mixer or sound effects editor. The programs offered by recording school are very intense and require ability, dedication, and effort to complete successfully. After two weeks, an evaluation is completed by the instructors. If they feel you do not have the aptitude for this program, you will be offered a chance to leave the school.

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