Where you get
the training and experience to be a professional producer is a
highly personal decision and there is no one way or even just
one right way for you. If you're really a professional
producer you will be learning a lot from every project you do
and learning & training will be a continuous endeavor
throughout your career. I am in the business of teaching
(as well as doing) production and I learn something new from
every student that I train. Once you stop learning and
get the idea that you "know it all," its time to retire - if
you choose not to, you will soon cease to be an effective
producer and working with continuously fading skills can be
you need to answer is "where should I train initially" and
again the answer is highly personal. I've worked long
and hard to make the Recording Institute Of Detroit the "best
school" for learning recording and production. I could
never say that it is the "best" school for you, only that you
will learn a lot and most-likely love it. I can say you
will get more effective training for each dollar than you
would at any school, but costs are only part of the picture.
If you talk to me about starting training at RID, I will
recommend another school if I think that school is better for
you without hesitation. At RID, we maintain a 95%
"highly satisfied" result with students - try surveying the
students of the most expensive recording arts school and
prepare to get shocked on how low the "satisfied" rating
If you want
to become a professional producer quickly, it is essential
that you have both "hands-on" practice and theory study.
The best training is going back and forth between the theory
and the hands-on, taking small bites of each.
most-respected producer took you "under the wing" and fully
mentored you, you still would need more. In this
situation you should be observing and helping the producer
work, but after the sessions of the day you need to burn a
candle over textbooks to absorb the theory behind the actions
that you saw and participated in. I hope you don't need a lot
of sleep or a lot of recreation, because you won't have much
time for these endeavors while you effectively train.
"trial and error" your way into any field. Trying things
out until you have something that works for you takes a lot of
time and probably results in a somewhat narrow view of the
field. You can usually develop one way to do
things, where a professional could use a variety of
approaches. People in this situation will sometimes seek
advice from friends who are not usually any more knowledgeable
then them; I call it the "blind leading the blind" approach,
but even unqualified help can help a little but. If you
use the "do it until you do it right" approach plan on it
taking you longer to become professional. Additionally, do yourself a favor and study theory continuously while you practice
recording arts schools have different amounts of theory and
hands-on emphasis and use different methods of teaching the
theory and the "hands-on." Different students will have
different amounts of hobby experience before enrolling in a
school as well as having different or even non-existent home
recording setups that can be used during training. Thus, the
right school is the school that gives you the best balance of
"hands-on" and "theory" training, and is affordable,
considering your personal situation.
campus program is designed to teach
the student, without any prior knowledge or experience, how to
record and produce music. For that student, it has the
proper balance of theory study and hands-on experience
designed into the program if a student does all of the lab
time available. Students learn theory through lectures
and between-class study. Students get hands-on through
class demonstrations and projects. They "top-off" their
hands-on experience with extensive individual project
lab-time. Additional hands-on can be obtained with
on-premises internships and assistant instructor programs.
But at the
RID campus almost all of the lab time is not required.
This is because we have many students with extensive home
recording setups and a lot of hobbling experience under their
belt. We even have professional engineers take our
programs because of our excellent theory training.
Students needing us only for the theory training are not made to do
a bunch of lab-time to get a certificate.
At RID we
have had 30 years of experience teaching theory to students.
We have had over 1000 students that have learned theory
through self-paced study programs on-campus, prior to 1995.
We know our stuff in this area more than any other recording
arts school, I'm sure. We I "got into" the web in the
mid-90's, I saw a way that this self-paced theory learning
could be exported from the campus to the globe. The results were
so good that now RID students use our interactive disc/web
study as the primary method of between-class study.
will not (or cannot) attend classes at RID can still study the
theory portions of most of our programs by simply purchasing an
inexpensive online subscription ($119 for 12 months).
They can obtain the "hands-on" experience though home
recording set-up, even though this may take longer without the
instructor supervision one would get in a class. Another use
of the online theory study would be study by students who are
attending other schools who want a more complete theory
knowledge base. An age-old training technique is: "If
you really want to know a subject, study several texts on that
subject." To make the training even more valuable, we have
www.recordingwebsite.com that allow you to ask questions
of a RID instructor.
started designing the online training program for production,
i realized that the necessary "overview" training can be done much like the
the online recording theory, so we developed the "RID
Production School" study module that online subscribers can
study. We wanted, however to teach more than just theory. We
have found two areas that we could teach "hands-on" over the
web that are critical to production training, "Production
Quality Evaluation" and "Mastering." These subject areas
are often unknown to home producers that haven't had formal
schooling in the subject.
The RID Campus "Basic Production School Course" includes
scheduled assignments on the web where the instructor will
grade and correct your work. Also included is the
"overview study" that is done through the online Production
School study module. This is the first RID course that
is entirely online. It makes sure that our Music Producer
Program graduates can 1) have the overview knowledge base, 2)
Understand an can use production evaluation techniques and
3) Can use web resources for music production.
Online paid subscribers are invited to join with the campus
students in this learning process but, until now, could not get
a campus course completion certificate (only a theory
completion certificate for the overview study module).
subject of mastering is being added to the campus Production
School course. Students will study the theory behind
mastering with special attention to setting parameters for
signal processing used in mastering. The complete theory
and hands-on assignments will be complete for the January,
2005 semester. I have begun posting theory lessons in
mastering and will be beta-testing hands-on assignments for
the fall 2004 semester, beginning September 13, 2004.
The course lessons will be designed using Sony's Sound Forge™
program but students will be able to use any stereo
editing/mastering/DAW program that allows waveform editing and
signal processing of equalization & compression. There are
many such programs out that start at about $100. Students
also need broadband internet access (although it would be
possible to use a dial up connection).
The Online Course:
beta-test this fall will get credit towards a full campus
course certificate, if they are officially enrolled for the
course. These students will be able to complete added
assignments after January so that they won't miss using the
fully-developed lessons. For right now, we will accept
beta students who upgrade or who have an 3 year (or higher) online
subscription, have a Audio Specialist theory certificate (or
higher) and who register with RID by mail. We have a
limit of 12 campus students and have 7 registered for the
September start date as of this posting date. All of what you will need to
participate as a campus student is:
REQUIREMENTS & REGISTRATION
RID CAMPUS BASIC PRODUCTION COURSE
Previous campus enrollment or theory
certificate in one of the following online study
modules: a) Audio Specialist, b) Pro Audio Specialist,
c) RID Production School.
2. At least 18 years of age
or between 16-17 with parental consent.
Computer of 500 MHz or more, Win 98
or better, 256 MB Memory or better, 10 MB or more hard
2. Internet connection - Broadband
(DSL/Cable) highly recommended.
Stereo editing/mastering/DAW program capable of waveform
editing and signal processing of equalization &
4. A program or other method of
converting PCM.wav files to .mp3 files.
Purchase ($199) or upgrade ($99) to a
3 year Alexander Magazine online study subscription.
Please note that this is non-refundable and does not
guarantee you acceptance in the class,
any prerequisite study for a theory certificate.
3. Complete a
campus registration form and mail it to RID along with a
$59 enrollment fee (refundable if there are no seats
left in the class - not refundable after attending any
of the online class sessions). Please note that the
campus registration form requires all of the following
data per State Of Michigan regulations: Full Name,
address, age, sex, social security number (USA
Students), race/ethnic information. It also contains the
signature line for parental permission. Contact the
school office by phone (800-683-1743) or through the
"ask bob" customer service link to receive a
4. Wait for
campus acceptance (the registration form will be
returned to you with a confirmation signature).