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Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby OneWorld » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:32 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
James Perrett wrote:The big problem with many music technology courses is that the lecturers have learned most of the subject by reading about it.

It's worse than that! Many courses seem to run with lecturers who came from the previous year's graduates! :-)

H

I think that goes for many other courses too. I too, for my sins was once a uni lecturer (easy money!) My subject was coding, but at least can claim to having some considerable industry knowledge before going into education (because I was asked to) and on some courses I really felt sorry for the students, because they were being taught by some lecturers that were literally one week ahead of the students in the course book.

It was sometimes the case that Arts&Humanities people, in fear of losing their jobs because of the glut of A&H lecturers cross-trained to get into a shortage area, and goodness me some of them were woeful, and the more astute students knew it, because when they asked any 'off piste' questions - "But what if" the stock in trade response was of course "Google it"

By the way, this is not a dig at A&H people, I have known some A&H people who made excellent programmers, but, they did some serious study and practice to become adequately skilled.

A friend of mine went to one of the music 'Institutes' and found many of the lecturers spent most the time dissing one software in favour of another, seemed quite ossified in their approach and unable to adapt to other platforms, whereas I would have thought the proper way to pass on knowledge and skills is to be non-partisan, and then allow the students make their choices. To a great extent, music is abstract knowledge anyway, if you know the whys and wherefores, you map that knowledge across to whatever software is your chosen platform.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:53 pm

OneWorld wrote:I would have thought the proper way to pass on knowledge and skills is to be non-partisan, and then allow the students make their choices. To a great extent, music is abstract knowledge anyway, if you know the whys and wherefores, you map that knowledge across to whatever software is your chosen platform.

Exactly - well said OneWorld! :clap:


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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby petev3.1 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:29 pm

CS70 wrote:"Will get a better salary" is simply no motivation enough: the effort and intensity required to be damn good (and reach the exit, which is more relevant than the entrance) is possible only if you really enjoy the stuff - whatever the stuff...

..In my very humble opinion, a far better advice is to find out what one has passion for, find out what pays enough (which doesn't have to be the most in the world) and look at the intersection of two sets. There is where the magic is.

Yes, yes, yes. Well, I agree anyway.

The idea of making a university education accessible to anybody who can pay was thoughtless. Even Baroness Blackstone later recanted her views and regretted her part in it.

I used to run a busy community studio that also did commercial work and it was constantly argued that we should make our services and courses more accessible by lowering entrance requirements, at least wherever they were aimed at youth, the unemployed etc.. Nobody ever won that argument. It would have been the death of us and wasted the time of countless young people.

As for technical skills, social skills, ears and passion came first. When receiving CVs I'd always go straight to 'hobbies' and it could be make or break right there.

These days if I wanted to take music production in a DAW more seriously I'd need some considerable technology training, but there are excellent home tutors around here who would be happy to charge me less than £9000 a year.

I wonder how much time in a good studio with a good engineer just learning the ropes £9000 would buy these days. I've lost track.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Kiopo » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:32 pm

I'm sorry but there's a lot of ill-informed information in this thread. There is often an assumption that these courses are just aiming to get you jobs in recording studios, and because this is SOS this is what everyone wants to be thinking about. If you look through a lot of these degree courses, this is not the case at all.

SAE may have begun life as a technical training college, but the BA / BSc (Hons) Audio Production is not focused on that. It gives you the broad knowledge of audio and focuses on areas where there is gainful employment. Of course, studio recording is in there, and students still get jobs through that route. But it is hugely competitive, and any decent course is aware of this and should be focusing on other areas of the industry where there are massive opportunities.

Most importantly, these courses give you a hell of a lot of transferable skills to other industries / postgrad study / general employment, and should give you a varied and strong portfolio.

In general you often hear "just spend the 9k on equipment and that's as good". What the hell does 9k even get you these days? A very basic setup. The amount of studio time alone that you get during these courses is worth a pretty sum of that. If you're paying for any decent engineer / studio that's only going to get you around 20 days in a studio in total anyway.

"You can learn it all from Youtube videos". Really? Who designs themselves a study plan to learn a subject in an iterative sense, and develop that knowledge through to understanding and application, alongside skills development? The very nature of running vocational courses that involve production-based scenarios means that you can get some of that apprenticeship style training that is difficult to find these days, especially to any level of quality.

Well designed university courses are a good option for some people who would benefit from being in a supportive learning environment and who aim to develop the professional skills and qualities of that industry, in an environment where you have the resources you need. For example, I'm a lecturer and have seen students with very poor soft skills develop into excellent practitioners, and go on to be successful quite rapidly. They're also good if you have an interest in the subject and want to keep your options relatively open by getting a degree.

Of course, courses like that are not for everyone and some people will find more opportunities through other routes. But you have to investigate it for yourself: research the courses, go to open days, speak to staff and students, as well as any industry contacts you have. It's a bit useless asking for opinions from people who won't have studied it!
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:19 pm

You make a lot of valid and fair points which help to balance the more negative views expressed here, and your positivity is understandable and expected given your position.

Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between these two extremes! ;-)

In my experience the most important variable in all this is the student, and especially their attitude to learning, and their expectations. The phrase, you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink comes to mind... Regardless of the course structure, the qualification status, and the transferable skills on offer, not all students are willing or able to make best use of them. Conversely, some are able to teach themselves from reading, watching videos, trying things for themselves, and sucking information out of experts at public events!

All these routes have their pros and cons, and the value of each must be weighed by the individual looking at the full picture and future implications.

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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:58 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Image

I don't know if there was an element of irony there but the person who produced that graph certainly should not have graduated from an form of higher education...... :headbang:
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby RoadieChauffeur » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:08 am

Kiopo wrote:It gives you the broad knowledge of audio and focuses on areas where there is gainful employment. Of course, studio recording is in there, and students still get jobs through that route. But it is hugely competitive, and any decent course is aware of this and should be focusing on other areas of the industry where there are massive opportunities.

I agree that an ideal university course provides a variety of transferrable or more general skills, although I would argue that a clearly practical based course is less aimed at this. I've been know to hire people with Classics degrees, and I can assure you that was not because I needed their deep knowledge of ancient Greek literature...

Your comment quoted above would be a good argument, but you have not provided any examples. Can you be specific about what and where are these massive opportunities for gainful employment?

The more pessimistic posters in these sorts of threads are basically making the argument that these jobs simply don't exist except in tiny numbers (and only the tiny number of really good people on the best courses then fill them, rendering all other courses useless).
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:26 pm

RoadieChauffeur wrote:The more pessimistic posters in these sorts of threads are basically making the argument that these jobs simply don't exist except in tiny numbers (and only the tiny number of really good people on the best courses then fill them, rendering all other courses useless).

That seems to be the consensus, if you're thinking of the traditional studio jobs.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby petev3.1 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:04 pm

Folderol wrote:I never realised things had got that bad. How do they get away with it?

They sell the lowering of standards as a political project to overcome privilege. It's very easy to make the argument. When involved in the funded arts sector I was assailed by this argument all the time. It is naive, but to counter it means being called 'elitist' at regular intervals by ideologically-driven dunderheads.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Hail1984 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:22 am

One of the best decisions I ever made was not to do sound engineering at university.

I wasn't capable of getting into Surrey and besides LIPA, everywhere else looked really poor. I had a friend who went to the latter and he suggested it was worth it simply due to all the female dancers etc :headbang: Whilst that's a rather tempting motivation at 18, it's a little short-sighted!

It was a vastly contracting industry when I was looking at university 15 years ago as computers became more powerful. I can only imagine what it's like now. That was obviously prior to the even larger debt levels students must acquire now.

Someone once told me the people whom have the best kit are never pros. I expect this still holds true.

I'm fortunate enough to still make the use of my interest in video / sound with what I do now. I imagine 99% of people who graduate never have the chance to use their skills.

You've got to think, what's going to give you the edge? To be blunt, you don't have the edge to get on the best course (who wouldn't go on the best if they were capable?), so what is amongst the potentially 1000s of other people competing against you?

I know what it's like to have an idea and passion quenched (I was near-obsessed with the subject matter at that age), but sometimes the right decisions are the hardest.

Look at me giving 'Dad lessons' at 33 :boring: I guess we all need to at some point.

As a side note nearly all the kit I bought on the back of these forums / SoS years ago still runs well.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Fabiola » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:17 am

Hi everyone,
I'm a woman, i'm 35... already graduated in PR and Advertising. Currently living in Lisbon.
i'm considering SAE Liverpool to start another course in Audio.
Considering these factors (age, gender), What do you think?
Thanks
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:54 pm

Fabiola wrote:i'm considering SAE Liverpool to start another course in Audio.
Considering these factors (age, gender), What do you think?
Thanks

What area of audio do you want to work in? The answer will be different depending on your aspirations.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby johnny h » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:41 am

Kiopo wrote:I often hear "just spend the 9k on equipment and that's as good". What the hell does 9k even get you these days? A very basic setup.
And all you need is a very basic setup. Kids today are making hits in their bedrooms with a laptop and a pair of headphones. I say "kids" but this has been going on for decades. It just gets easier and cheaper all the time.
The amount of studio time alone that you get during these courses is worth a pretty sum of that. If you're paying for any decent engineer / studio that's only going to get you around 20 days in a studio in total anyway.
Which is why almost all studios have shut down!
"You can learn it all from Youtube videos". Really? Who designs themselves a study plan to learn a subject in an iterative sense, and develop that knowledge through to understanding and application, alongside skills development?
Skream made a (huge) career off the back of a tune he made on a Playstation when he was 15. All you need is masses of talent, hard work and a large slice of luck.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby ReedySteadyGo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:31 am

I think you need to separate making your own music (or other creative media) and producing music that other people are making. I think most of the comments above apply to producing other people's work as this job market appears very over-served.

The former benefits from a lot of talent, hard work, luck, marketing and the right contacts, but of course ultimately relies on your own talent. Whilst competition is tough, I think the scope for being successful in this category is still as wide open and the market is bigger than ever.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:52 am

Fabiola wrote:Hi everyone,
I'm a woman, i'm 35... already graduated in PR and Advertising. Currently living in Lisbon.
i'm considering SAE Liverpool to start another course in Audio.
Considering these factors (age, gender), What do you think?
Thanks

Why do you want to do this? What area(s) of sound capture/mixing do you want to focus on? Is there anything about your current career/situation which is prompting such a relatively dramatic change of direction?

As James says, we do need a bit more of your story and aspirations to be able to offer you specific advice rather than generalisations.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Zukan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:48 am

Kiopo wrote:
Most importantly, these courses give you a hell of a lot of transferable skills to other industries / postgrad study / general employment, and should give you a varied and strong portfolio.


Like what?
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Zukan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 am

Fabiola wrote:Hi everyone,
I'm a woman, i'm 35... already graduated in PR and Advertising. Currently living in Lisbon.
i'm considering SAE Liverpool to start another course in Audio.
Considering these factors (age, gender), What do you think?
Thanks

Lipa and Tonnmeister.

SAE would be my last choice.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby willwont » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:03 pm

LIPA's technical degree courses are accredited by the Electrical Engineering Department of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)
Who themselves also run a decent audio course that goes much deeper in to technical aspects of audio, video and broadcast.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Kiopo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:39 am

Zukan wrote:
Kiopo wrote:
Most importantly, these courses give you a hell of a lot of transferable skills to other industries / postgrad study / general employment, and should give you a varied and strong portfolio.


Like what?

Written, analytical, reflective and research skills up to level 6. Routes into other creative industries and basic training in them. Work placements. Clear paths into related and unrelated postgraduate courses. A varied portfolio. Work related skills as expected from any undergrad degree. Etc.

Soft skills, broad knowledge, skills in other creative media areas and the like are what employers in the sector very clearly say they are looking for, more than the specialist skills, nowadays.
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Re: Studying in SAE Institute (Liverpool) it's worth?

Postby Kiopo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:52 am

willwont wrote:LIPA's technical degree courses are accredited by the Electrical Engineering Department of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)
Who themselves also run a decent audio course that goes much deeper in to technical aspects of audio, video and broadcast.

Very true. The NW has a lot of choice for these courses. And for parity, SAE’s course is accredited by Middlesex University for both BA and BSc.
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