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September 2014 l 27


industry have not only up-to- date knowledge of technological developments in our own sector, but also knowledge of other sectors…”

Huant also emphasises the value of ‘going above and beyond’ in an industry he says is “at its most competitive now”. Pointing to the ever- changing nature of technology in the studio and broadcast environments, he states that employers no longer have time to teach employees “everything they need from the ground up” and that “a certain amount of

basic knowledge is expected”. “That basic knowledge is actually not [that] basic,” he explains. “It is not simply about knowing what button to press on the software in order to record or rename something. An applicant [for a studio/broadcast role] would be expected to have an understanding of not just how things are done, but why. “Good workflows, avoiding basic errors, a good work ethic, making regular backups and, above all, proficiency that leads to speed are the skills that are really required – and these


The Academy of Contemporary Music is continuing its educational partnership with the Metropolis Group, owner of the studio of the same name, with two new Music Industry Qualification (IQ) courses which will run from the west London studios from January 2015.

The two confirmed IQ courses – in contemporary songwriting and artist development; and music production – will run over a 26-week period, during which time music production students will have access to ACM@Metropolis’s facilities, including the Metropolis recording studios and networking opportunities at ACM’s Guildford campus.


Alchemea, one of the world’s leading audio colleges, offers both full-time courses for beginners and short courses aimed at established industry professionals wanting to keep up-to-date with evolving technologies. “Our short courses department is Avid’s premier European Pro Tools training centre,” explains principal Christian Huant. “We also offer Apple Logic, Ableton Live and FMOD training; recording, mixing and mastering weekend masterclasses; courses in music composition, music business and practical audio electronics; and an advanced short course about mixing in 5.1 surround.”

The 5.1 course includes up-to-date information and workflows regarding recent broadcast loudness legislation and is currently eligible for a number of Skillset bursaries – meaning audio professionals can attend at highly subsidised rates. “Enough to cater to most people’s needs,” says Haunt, “although if we’ve missed something, we also offer bespoke training – so do give us a ring!” CEDAR Audio

British audio restoration company CEDAR unveiled a brand-new training facility at its Cambridge headquarters in May. Up to four students at a time are able to take advantage of hands-on product training that the company says will equip them to tackle audio restoration for remastering, archives and libraries; problem solving in post and broadcast; and forensic casework. Courses are currently being offered on an irregular, ad hoc basis.

Nathan Lively

American sound designer and engineer Lively’s first coaching programme for sound engineers, From Surviving to Thriving, launched with “six highly- motivated professionals” in August.

Lively says he’s “expecting great things from this group” on the 12-week course, which aims to combine the “best training content on career advice, job search, technical training, creative expression, self promotion, health and nutrition with valuable industry knowledge […] in a business coaching programme designed to help sound engineers, sound designers and AV technicians reach new levels of fun and cashflow in their careers”. Portuguese From Surviving to Thriving participant Martim Cunha Rego says Lively’s coaching programme is “having a very positive outcome on my career and personal life”.


In addition to private group or one-to-one training sessions and regular webinars, studio equipment specialist Prism Sound is known for its Mic to Monitor roadshows. Now in their sixth year, Mic to Monitor events consist of technical talks from various pro-audio manufacturers followed by a talk from a prominent mixing or mastering engineer on their experiences, tips and advice.

On the test and measurement side, Prism Sound also offers Design Workshop LIVE sessions, which follow a similar structure but “are more focused on the underlying technology and design process”.

SAE Institute

The erstwhile School of Audio Engineering, with some 54 facilities in 26 countries, is the daddy of post-secondary audio colleges. In addition to its flagship BA/BSc (Hons) audio production degree, SAE offers a six-month electronic music production course and degree-level qualification in music business, as well as other degrees covering film- and games-making and web development.

Waves Audio

Although, in the words of co-founder Mick Olesh, not everyone needs Waves’ training (or indeed any at all), for those who do, the plug-in company’s educational offerings comprise two editions of its Waves Certification Program (WPC): Waves Certification Program A and the upgraded Waves Gold Certification Program.

“In broad strokes, [WCP A] contains a Waves-branded USB drive preloaded with the PDF textbook, plug-in installer [RenEQ, RenComp, RenVerb, compression plug-in C1 and delay plug-in SuperTap 2-Tap are the included licences], demo material and a certification test opportunity,” explains Olesh.

WCP A – available as a package for each student with a discount for the university – can either be integrated into an existing class using the included demo sessions or used as a standalone offering. Upon completion of the instructor-led course, the students, who now own the five plug-ins, are offered the certification test through the Waves website.

can’t necessarily be picked up in a book, but [have to be learned] through training with professionals who know the bigger picture and can teach techniques by putting them in context.”

Huant believes ‘upskilling’ – that is, an established professional learning new skills – is also essential: “Professionals who understand their tools fully can also adapt when the inevitable changes come. Some changes are profound, but, usually, it’s just a different skin with an improved algorithm… The tasks remain fundamentally the same.”

Obviously, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but in David Ward’s opinion, individuals and organisations “have to start to see training as an investment and not a cost”. “Many of our trade organisations have made a brave effort to structure continuing professional development (CPD),” he comments, “but the time has now come when all [these] organisations have to come together, put aside their political differences and work towards creating cohesive industry-wide training. Our industry has to do this for itself, but relying on government funding and the various bodies is too convoluted to meet urgent needs.” 

“Professionals who understand their tools fully can adapt when the inevitable changes come. Some changes are profound, but usually it’s just a different skin with an improved algorithm” Christian Huant, Alchemea

Alchemea’s SSL Duality console

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