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SAE Institute - Online courses any good?
Old 25th September 2012
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
SAE Institute - Online courses any good?


Anyone (looking at the UK really!) done any of the online 4 week audio courses with SAE? Are they any good/worth it?

Old 26th September 2012
Gear Maniac
josh broome's Avatar
🎧 10 years
As a graduate of SAE I'd say that the benefit of the school was well worth the money, but it's an individual experience, meaning what you get out of it is directly related to the effort you put into it, and the time you spend in the studios. I would advise against the online classes. SAE it's a hands on school. You pay to access gear you couldn't afford, and to learn from people who have worked in the industry. Some of the most important things I learned were after class, talking to the instructors, I'm not sure if online classes offer that. Your money would probably be better spent on actual classes, or used gear, and get a good book such as "Yamaha sound reinforcement handbook" read it until you get it, there are so many free resources on the web now, you can pretty much look up any question.

UNLESS you won't be qualified for an internship without a degree. I would call the places you want to apply to and ask if they consider self taught candidates with experience but no degree. That should answer your question.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
There are lots of courses at universities and colleges which are no where near as expensive. They may not have such fancy gear, but several people who have done SAE say they teach gear rather than technique, but as the last post said, each experience is a personal one.

I'm also not sure I'd want to go to a college where the owners have been convicted of software piracy. No excuse for that, especially given the course fees they charge.

SAE Oxford

If you do want an online course, however, this may be of interest.http://www.audiomasterclass.com/
I was taught by him for 2 years at college and he, in my opinion, is excellent, although more music oriented.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by tom_lowe ➑️

If you do want an online course, however, this may be of interest.Learn Music Production And Sound Engineering In Your Own Home Recording Studio
I was taught by him for 2 years at college and he, in my opinion, is excellent, although more music oriented.
Ha, Snap! He taught me sound engineering at college too! City of Westminster College?

Also.....not sure if i agree with places like SAE. Yeah they have great kit, but you're better off becoming a runner in a studio with only basic knowledge and raw enthusiasm. IMHO anyone worth learning from is actually working professionally in real studios.
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
We have lots of the competitors to that school in my area. If anyone ever asks me about them I usually reply that local community colleges+some extra effort+finding yourself some good internships+working a lot with free or low cost gear of your own will get you about as far without going into debt. I don't see the access to expensive gear as that big a deal, as an entry level person (if you find a staff job) you won't be operating that stuff anyhow, and can learn it on the job. The online version seems like it could be replicated with forums and looking at youtube videos and other free sources of info, you just have to be organized and put in the work.

phil p
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
To offer a differing view, I wouldn't be in this industry without having been to SAE.
I wouldn't have gotten my first assistant gig years back without having been to SAE either.

And I wouldn't take an intern / assistant who didn't go to SAE. Sure, you don't leave as a master.
But graduates have the basic knowledge I want them to have.
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
mikevarela's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I'm an SAE grad. I would stay away from online classes.

I really liked the school, more so the hands-on experience. I was interested in post and unfortunately the post program at the time left a lot to the imagination.

I learned a lot. Routing, patch bays, ssl and neve consoles and of course more in-depth pro tools. that being said, i spent 2 years before attending mulling over anything audio I could get my hands on - Mags, books, tuts and online videos - i soaked up as much as i could.

I also did part time. 1.5 yrs. Most of the people in the full time program got spit out at the end with more questions than answers.

The entire experience is hands on. It's important to spend time with the equipment, practice and work with it. The school is also a place where you can ask questions, talk with others interested in the same industry and find friends to work with in the future - all this is lost when moving online.

If pure knowledge is what you're after, cheaper options are out there.

Also, in my estimation, a vast majority of students attending these types of schools are ill-equipped in both knowledge of audio, but more importantly, drive. Often preferring the bare minimum to putting in the hard work and study. However, there are a few really great people you'll meet. spend more time hanging with these people.


these types of school's focus heavily on profit. 40 students per class, 12 classes a year and a dwindling audio industry. You do the math.

Beyond education, a hard work ethic, drive and good personality will get you far. Be humble, ask questions and respect everyone.

I'd say that if you're read up on the basics, know pro tools, understand audio in general and have some time, an internship is always best. I learned everything I know about post from interning, not school.
Old 27th September 2012
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
I'd recommend doing some research as well on non-SAE (and university) courses too, as hands-on is the way to go. I did the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey and there were certainly lots of theory and academia. But importantly we got to put them into real-world tests and get hands on with assisting and leading recording & mixing.

It aims to give you a broad range of skills so you could be flexible about moving between different parts of the audio industry. Even on the website it said if you have your heart set on being a recording engineer then you're better off interning at a studio!

Several post houses hire interns from that uni and the professional placement year they offer is a great way to get your foot-in-the-door for that first job after graduating. Classmates of mine are now full time in places like Abbey Road, Air Lyndhurst, Focusrite, Radium Audio, Anvil Post Production, Films @ 59...

Again, what you put in is definitely what you get out of it!
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