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Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

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Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:28 am

Reading Mike Watkinsons Apple Notes in the March issue of SoS I was puzzled to read his assertion that '...professional certification is fast becoming a prerequisite for any audio professional’s CV.' Article here.

My initial reaction was along the lines of 'this is bollocks - what's the guy trying to sell?' but after a bit of thought accepted that whilst I earn my living through working with audio and composing, I don't really fall into any of the easily defined 'audio professional' pigeon holes, so why would I know what the rest of the industry wants and expects?

I'm just interested to hear from other folks who also earn their cash from audio - do you agree with the belief that in order to progress / be taken seriously/ find new clients / keep existing ones / whatever in the audio industry, you have to be seen to be racking up the certificates in the software you use? Because like I said, I honestly believe for the majority of freelancers out there it's far from the truth.

However, I think Mike's point that freelancers should be constantly aware of the need to top up their skills and acquaint themselves with advances in the technology they use, is bang on.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Persuazion » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:43 pm

I think you put it very well saying' clients only care about results, not bits of paper' I get work based on past clients and recordings. That's it. However, this is producing bands/artists. When it comes to securing clients for TV or Film work, I can imagine certificates may be more of a necessity to prove you're up to the job?
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:13 pm

Don't think TV / Media is any different - I don't know a single composer who's been asked about their diploma / degree let alone Logic Certificate. And the guys working in post aren't being vetted on their suitability by clients, that I know for a fact. Perhaps within the structure of a larger organisation there's a desire for 'streamlined' employees, but again I've not actually encountered this within places like the BBC or large post facilities like Envy.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby tomafd » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:42 pm

One client, about 15 yrs ago, asked - "and where did you get your degree?"

I told him ...

"Jolly good ! You've got the job."

(Well, he didn't ask what the degree was in...

... philosophy, as it happens)

I wouldn't wing it like that these days, but I really, really, needed that job.

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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:10 pm

I have this picture of a room full of cubicles, each containing an operator doing grunt-work, 9 'till 5, on a Mac running Logic :-)

Surely this is just Apple marketing their 3-day training courses?
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:47 pm

You think Mike Watkinson works for Apple?
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Steve Hill » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:06 pm

I've never been asked the question. I'd be mildly amazed if any of my clients had ever heard of certification, still less gave a stuff about it.

Educationalists (for want of a term) have grabbed the 21st century by the throat and successfully sold the dummy that lines on the CV matter.

Results matter.

You might as well do the first cut of X Factor auditions by saying anyone who is not Grade 8 can take one step back... it's garbage.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby jayzed » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:12 pm

mostly makework.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby JamesSimpson » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:48 pm

Sometimes doing certification type thing you discover things that you didn't realise the DAW you already use could do.

The only question i've been asked was "you can use pro tools right?"

I answered with just about, I could hit record, save, open sessions, make new tracks. Enough to get by and the rest you can learn on the job, or here, or youtube and the like.

MacProVideo, do some interesting tutorials, no need to be certified though I don't think. I've sometimes wondered about becoming Pro Tools certified, I just can't see the point. If it wasn't too expensive maybe it would be worth it for one little extra note on the CV but i doubt it would swing a job.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:02 pm

Steve Hill wrote:
Educationalists (for want of a term) have grabbed the 21st century by the throat and successfully sold the dummy that lines on the CV matter.

Which is where we come full circle with the thrust of the SoS article and its author....

Need a Logic trainer?
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby desmond » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:03 pm

JamesSimpson wrote:Sometimes doing certification type thing you discover things that you didn't realise the DAW you already use could do.

That's also true of reading the manual, but I bet even that's too much effort for most people...
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Tui » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:37 pm

desmond wrote:
JamesSimpson wrote:Sometimes doing certification type thing you discover things that you didn't realise the DAW you already use could do.

That's also true of reading the manual, but I bet even that's too much effort for most people...

Why should we read the forking manual? We've got you!

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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby desmond » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:43 pm

It's the new publishing and distribution system - instead of printing thousands of hard copy manuals, instead only a few get given to a small handful of people, who continuously and repeatedly re-type it onto internet forums...
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby JamesSimpson » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:30 pm

desmond wrote:
JamesSimpson wrote:Sometimes doing certification type thing you discover things that you didn't realise the DAW you already use could do.

That's also true of reading the manual, but I bet even that's too much effort for most people...

Children of the 21st century have grown up having "interactive learning" in schools, colleges. Learning has to be fun! involve direct input from the learner and such.

This can translate as spoonfed, however you like.

People don't look at a book and think "I could learn from that" they look at a book and think, maybe that has a sentence I can steal for my dissertation.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby chris... » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:49 pm

JamesSimpson wrote:
People don't look at a book and think "I could learn from that"

Depends whether they're lazy or not.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:01 am

I don't want to derail the thread, but I find the psychology of people's attitude toward manuals fascinating...

But learning, having an open mind and striving to get better is a good attitude, regardless of how an individual prefers to learn.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby JamesSimpson » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:47 am

Chris Edwards wrote:
JamesSimpson wrote:
People don't look at a book and think "I could learn from that"

Depends whether they're lazy or not.

I would say that most "students" are lazy, I feel I'm quite within my rights to say that being a student myself.

I guess due to the democratization of music technology etc etc that now everybody wants to be a self recording/artist/engineer. Doing music for a degree/a level/course, can indeed be an easy way of putting off the real world.


That being said, there are some fantastic students who spend ages learning and perfecting their craft. Just as there always would have been.

Not sure I'm one of them but reading the manual is a good place to start.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:17 am

If it's the thing you really WANT to do, application is rarely a problem. Let's hope the student has been guided into effecient ways of working, but he'll need dragging away from his workstation if he's really in to it.

And if he isn't, shouldn't he be studying something sensible, something with at least a hope of some employment prospects?
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Juju Money » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:48 pm

I've never seen or heard certification status being inquired after - in my experience, certifiable status is probably more relevant - but I do think Mike Watkinson raises an interesting point. Piece of paper at the end or not, using down time to further learning in one area or another is oft overlooked and A Good Thing in my book.

Doing a course is one option, but I'd humbly suggest that the step before that would be, for many, simply following Desmond's advice and absorbing the learning materials already at hand. A course can be - and this forum unquestionably is - a valuable addition to that process, but should not be a substitute for it.

Disclosure: The only letters after my name are 'RTFM' (or occasionally 'WTF?')
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:11 pm

What I tend to do from time to time, is just pick a chapter, say, the event list, and read that chapter, and understand all the features discussed.

It's not a massive commitment - half an hour or an hour or so max. It's often amazing how many little "Oh?" or "I didn't know that" or "Nice!" features you can stumble across that can improve workflow, or fix gaps of knowledge you'd always wondered about it the past but never got around to sorting out..

Even if you know your application, often little small workflow things get added into areas you didn't expect or weren't immediately visible - they get "sneaked" in. Just the other day I was having a go through a part of Logic's manual and noticed the "Low latency safe" feature on mixer channels, which was something I didn't know was there.

I don't seriously expect someone to pick up the manual like a book and read it in one go from start to finish. But I *do* expect, when a user doesn't understand something, or doesn't know something, to at least consider looking through the manual.

Support forums are so clogged up with new user questions like "Does Logic support Reiwre?" when then could load the PDF, type "rewire" in the search field, and confirm it themselves far quicker than it would take to log into a discussion forum and post the question.

I appreciate that things aren't always that simple, but it seems that many people's first course of action to to ask someone else to help them, rather then get into the mindset of being able to help themselves - which is such a useful attitude in general.
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby The Korff » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:13 pm

desmond wrote:I find the psychology of people's attitude toward manuals fascinating...

Reading the manual is a sign of weakness dude.

But learning, having an open mind and striving to get better is a good attitude, regardless of how an individual prefers to learn.

Now that I agree with!

Cheers,

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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:19 pm

Korff wrote:
desmond wrote:I find the psychology of people's attitude toward manuals fascinating...


Reading the manual is a sign of weakness dude.


Hehe - yes, that is *exactly* the psychology that some people have!

It's like having to turn to the manual is an admission of failure, that the individual must be "stupid" because they don't automatically know everything there is to know about a complex tool implicitly.

They'd rather publicise their "ignorance" by professing it to thousands of people on the internet, rather than admitting it to themselves and looking up something in the manual in private!

Bizarre, like I say, it fascinates me... the Human Animal, and all...
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby The Korff » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:20 pm

desmond wrote:It's like having to turn to the manual is an admission of failure, that the individual must be "stupid" because they don't automatically know everything there is to know about a complex tool implicitly.

Precisely Desmond. Precisely.

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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Bossman » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:41 pm

well, you wouldn't want to get the manual out in front of the client, cos they might ask to see your certificate!!
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Re: Certification for your DAW - a 'prerequisite' for work?

Postby Jez Corbett » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:14 am

I recall chatting to a Digidesign rep once when I worked in a shop about these PT 'qualifications' you can get. They all seemed to be about memorising keyboard shortcuts. Woo.
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