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Thread: A question for the pros - Getting into sound engineering.

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    A question for the pros - Getting into sound engineering.

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    I'm 31, and I work in healthcare in a skilled area with a lot of responsibility. I like my job but it's not my passion.

    I am seriously thinking about doing a 3 year university course in Music Production, I've filled the application out but not sent it yet. The course looks great and it's something that I spend a lot of my personal time doing and would love to get paid to do it and learn more about it. I have learned a lot just from this forum and people tell me that my mixes are sounding decent, so I feel that it's something that I can do very well at if I put my mind to it.

    My question is; Am I too old? In regards to doing the course, I can go basically freelance in my current role and earn nearly what I currently earn while doing this course and go back to it if it's not successful, and use the knowledge and skills/connections that I've learned/made to maybe build a business on the side. But I worry that the opportunities will be few and far between for someone of my age, as I'll be 35 when I finish and might be considered a bit 'past it' when I go to apply for jobs in recording studios and stuff.

    Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks, Phil.

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    Thanks. Just for clarity, Mixsit sent me a link where someone else was asking a similar question but they were already in college, asking if they had made a big mistake due to the current state of studios and the industry.

    I'm not sure that it applies in the same way to me. I am aware that the industry is smaller than it ever was, I also know that people can do it all in their bedrooms, I have a great studio in my home myself. I wouldn't be necessarily be looking to get work in a top studio as I'd be willing to build my own project up and do work when I get it while I work full time in my current job. This course could give me the tools I need to branch out a bit and learn more about something I love doing. And I can work and support myself pretty well while I do it.

    My concern is whether my age will prevent me from getting the same chances as someone who is younger if and when those chances arise. In regards to doing volunteer work, internships and possibly paid work.

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    Is it possible to learn about "Live" sound and do that as a part time job and hopefully transition from part time to full time between live work, and possibly once you know all of those people, having clients that could support a studio?

    You are in probably the best in the world for music. Setting up and live sound production system and know how to use it has value to working musicians. Work your day gig, learn live sound, acquire equipment to support performing artists, start going out and gain clients. At some point, these people could come to you to record. People still record, they pay and with enough clients you could pay the bills.

    I think this path you would keep you from giving up your current career, get you more involved in music and then could possibly lead to a full time career. Worse case scenario with the above plan is, you work your ass off and end up in the poor house with lots of debt. But you will be able to work your way out of it eventually. Verses, ending up in the poor house, have nothing to fall back on and then end up a poor old man with lots of stories (like Keith Richards without the money).

    You should go for your dreams, just be reasonable about it.
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    I wouldn't end up in the poor house. I'd have a student loan, yea, but that is paid off monthly from my wages when I earn a certain amount.

    I can earn enough to support myself and go back into my original profession which has an abundance of jobs and opportunities. (Nursing) I can literally find a job any time I want, and work freelance if I can't, which is more money. I will be comfortable financially during and after the degree, it's the time which I will be sacrificing.

    I guess the course would include live sound, so it's something that I would naturally learn about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilLondon View Post
    I will be comfortable financially during and after the degree, it's the time which I will be sacrificing.
    At the end of all, our time is the only thing we have.
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    What does this 'Music Production' program teach you? Does it offer career placement when you're done?
    Look at the folk here who had (or still have) recording studios - very few are doing it for a full-time living, and fewer of those have anyone working for them.
    The days of going to work at a big studio, making band/artist contacts, then branching out on your own are over.
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    Have you visited the facilities? Have you talked to faculty and students in the program? That is different from talking to the recruitment people.

    That fact that you don't need to sacrifice your current career to do this weighs heavily with me. Apart from any job prospects at the end, what intrinsic value would you place on the enjoyment of doing the program, and the knowledge you will gain? What will you have to give up to do it? How would you value those opportunity costs?

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    This is the course.

    BA (Hons) Music Production | BIMM

    Mjb - I'm aware of that. I'd be happy to find some kind of volunteer work on my own and try and promote myself.

    Robus - I would be sacrificing my career while I'm on the course. I would have to quit my job and go freelance. It's a full time course, but I would work shifts on the weekend and the days when the course isn't on where and when I can. Lots of nurses do this as a full time job, no main job just working shift from shift. It's more money and freedom, but no security or career progression.

    I could pretty much jump right back in after the course is over and continue my current career where I left off.

    I want to do it because it's my passion, that's the main thing. I want to learn more about it and I'm prepared to work at building something that could become something that I can supplement my main income with. I have a friend who started in September and we were discussing the course and it sounds exactly what I'd want to do. I am going to visit an open day in Feburary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilLondon View Post
    My concern is whether my age will prevent me from getting the same chances as someone who is younger if and when those chances arise.
    That is a very real concern. But since there in nothing you can do, follow your heart.

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