Email question received:
Hi, I’m curious for your opinon about Full Sail in winter park florida. If you look online you will find that there are people that love and hate Full Sail. I want to go there and get a degree in the recording arts, and eventually become a music producer. Keep in mind that I was identified gifted in piano. I have played all my life, and make hip hop beats. Do you think this is a good choice?
I have not heard bad things about Full Sail. I’m familiar with the name and have had people apply to me that went there (when I had a commercial studio in California). If Full Sail was a full out scam I’m sure I would have heard about that by now. So I think you’re safe.
In general I think taking classes and doing apprenticeships is a great way to go. Just remember that attending a school like this is just an introduction to the craft. You will still have a steep road after that of apprenticeships and working for low wage (free).
When I had my studio open to the public (Road Records) I had several “schools” contact me to bring in an intern. The intern would pay a tuition fee and the school would split this with the studio. To my memory they offered me somewhere around $2,000 to bring someone in for a couple months (back in 2000). In my case I turned it down because I was just too busy to have the time to show an intern what to do, we were booked pretty heavy. If I thought I had the time to really show an intern valuable skills, then I would have taken the offer. Unfortunately, I doubt all studio owners would have that same approach. So in that case is it the school that’s a little shady or the studio; luck of the draw?
Another path to take is to enroll in audio engineering courses at a major university like UCLA or North Texas State. A longer path, but one that would be much more in depth for you.
In my twenties I had opportunities to ghost write on teams for film composers, but didn’t possess the skill set. Remember it’s not about “being good” or “being smart”, it’s about skillsets. So if I had to go back in time I would take the path of enrolling in four years at UCLA and then digging into an apprenticeship in Los Angeles or a major hub.
Back to Full Sail – that’s a good option for lower money and a quick overall starter course. 3 months compared to four years – nice jump start. As an employer if I see “Full Sail” completed on the resume I know the applicant is serious about the business and has a chance to work long term.
As far as names go, I’d say Full Sail is the most recognizable. They’ve been around a while so doesn’t surprise me there are some bad comments, they’ve had a lot of customers and us music folk are difficult to deal with (especially when young).
Hope that helps.