R/E/P > j. hall

audio schools.....a commentary of observation

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so, i recently hired an assistant.  fresh out of a 4-year bachelor's degree in audio engineering from a local nashville college.  smart kid, keeps his mouth shut, knows that he "knows nothing", and works pretty hard when i need him.  the thing is, this very expensive school didn't seem to put much value in teaching pro tools.  when he told me he "didn't really know it that well", i was kind of expecting him to be telling me new key commands i didn't already know....... i was soon picking my jaw up off the floor in realizing he wasn't being modest, he was being honest......

this is, in my mind, no fault of his own.  he's a quick learner and we're doing fine on our end.  however, i can't begin to understand how this could be possible.  i've begged him to ask for a portion of his tuition back......

i realize that PT isn't the only game out there, but let's all be honest, it is the most widely used in the "professional" audio world.

my only comment when he asks me what key command i just hit to do something is, "UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!"

is this an isolated occurrence?  i certainly hope other schools are teaching something useful....

oh, he can align a tape machine......i mean boat anchor......i mean.....

In all my years I've had one good grad.

The rest have been self important, know it all, late showing up, big mouthed jack asses.

All of 'em knew PT better than me.

More importantly none of them (except one) could prove worthwhile in a studio.

Everyone here is now self taught or coming out from under my wing.

I go back and do some teaching at my old Uni sometimes.

Pro Tools is the default system. When I designed and delivered a module last year to 2nd year students I tried to spend as little time teaching PT as possible.
I wanted the little class time (3hrs pw) we had to be used for discussing aesthetics, production methodology, microphone technique and so on.
I did however insist that they were able to achieve certain tasks within PT and they had to learn that in their own time. I setup an online group forum so that they could contact me with questions and I provided plenty of supporting material for them.

I see PT as the equivalent of a journalists word processor package.
It doesn't make the content good but it makes life a lot easier if you can work it brilliantly.

If he was taught good analogue basics, he can relate to Protools, and learn it rather quickly, as that's what it was designed to replicate (in the beginning at least).

If he learned ONLY Protools, he might not know why he is doing some things. If he didn't learn good analogue basics, he may be in a bit of trouble...

Adam Miller:
To be honest, I'm not sure there's a huge amount of value in just teaching students key commands. Maybe workflows and file management discipline, but I'd say the onus is really on the individual students to learn the operational details of a program in their own time.

However, it is the responsibility of a course to accurately reflect the equipment that's out there in the real world- so maybe they didn't impress upon him the importance of PT as being head and shoulders above any other format in the recording world.


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