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Starting Out-Don't Go To A Private Audio School!!! 
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Fair cop Mark, I was only going on what other lectures (no, no names) at the time said to me, perhaps as academics and in the line of battle we use information to win arguments.  This is always the case with academics, as we all know we should always be wary about what an academic purports because an academic will always leave out any information that may be detrimental to his or her argument.


You weren’t the ex head of department that suggested JMC had a policy of not caring if the first year students went on to finish their bachelor degree.  This person goes further back; it's funny who you meet on these forums.  I will say this though the person that gave me this information from what I can tell does have his own agenda but that doesn't mean his information is not correct.  Funny how your not racing to Rosalind's defence!!!!  Or even to the defence of JMC or SAE but you do mention that SAE is "supporting" your doctorial research.  So once again and I am sorry but if they are supporting your doctoral research why should we believe what you say?  I mean this is like saying I work for the Sherriff of Nottingham but I support Robin Hood.  Because you are in the employ of SAE your integrity has to be questioned, ok this doesn't mean that you have none though, it just means you have to ask the question.  I would like to say that NO ONE is supporting my research so I have I have no allegiances all I want is some TRUTH.


Look you and I could pick holes in one another’s arguments to the cows come home, we are both highly intelligent men.  I don't like you and I suspect that the feeling is mutual but I will give you this I respect how you teach and what you teach.  You sir are perhaps the best teacher I have had throughout my audio school education and this is something that was echoed from other students who also had the pleasure of you teaching them.  So don't allow false allegiances to dilute the quality of what you teach.


Now on to Obutcher, convertors absolutely but I have used many different convertors ranging from the really crap to your HD rig and I have many recordings from these different converters.  What I would like to say is that I can't really tell the difference any more.  I think converters are important if we are going to make pure acoustic music or record classical but for straight rock and roll or anything that the kiddies are listening to because most of it stays in the "box" converter quality becomes less important.  This is something though that I am interested in and something that I am hoping to explore fully by way of my RHD degree.  I want to explore it from the perspective of the average listener and the audiophile because I just don't believe that the average punter can hear what you and I can hear, so what is the point then of 5000 dollar converters.


Also you mention JMC's upgrade but this is not the future Pro Tools 9 is not the future, unless they have improved the sequencer interface Pro Tools is still just a glorified tape machine and or digital mixing desk.  The future is hybridisation.


If everything that I am reading is correct, and this has been my argument all along that what JMC, SAE or whatever is teaching is obsolete, we have to work out what is going to take its place and embrace that.  With what you are saying that is its high quality all the way, you can hear the difference between the Neumann microphone and the Rode microphone you are rendering our art obsolete.


The future is not going to look anything like the past in terms of recording and our art, by holding on to these antiquated ideals that have been passed down to you from previous generation audio engineers slowly but surely (my opinion) our art (music) has been relegated to a consumable commodity.  Of course it’s not all the engineers fault, greed and as all empires go they become bloated beasts and eventually the beast falls and dies.


We are in that phase but if we embrace the change then I believe our art can have relevance again.  Have a listen to this this is the future, this is something I am hoping to explore with my research. 


For my masters project I chose to explore the notion of recreating production techniques from the past, things such as tape speed effects, also virtual emulators and virtual strings and drums.  This was done by rerecording two Beatle tracks.  What I will say is that we are pretty close to being able to replicate Strawberry Fields and Because on a laptop with a handful of virtual instruments and of course some musical skill.  I played the bass, sang and played the guitar parts.


Ok what does this have to do with my statement about what audio schools are teaching is obsolete, well for one Strawberry Fields when it was recorded needed a whole army of engineers and technicians and this doesn't include the musicianship of the Beatles themselves.  Now I can (almost) and I am going to give this another crack do the whole track at home by myself.  This is pretty radical stuff; it makes what you are saying and what you are teaching so last century.


If we can replicate and reproduce what we understand as the pinnacle of our art that is 1966-1976 on a laptop and a DAW, then if we can take it one step further and recreate Beethoven’s 9th or something as hard all from a laptop and a DAW wow the future is bright and scary.  It is no wonder that you guys are hanging on for dear life to the past.


If we then can go one step further and present this live in a way that an audience will accept, everything that we know and understand about our art will change.   Why form a band, when I can do the whole lot myself and perform it.  Why limit myself to just being a violinist, I can now be a whole orchestra.


There is a precedence to all this as well, if we can trick the audience into watching something else rather than the performer this idea of a one man/woman band/orchestra will take off.  This then leaves a lot of trained musicians, audio engineers and audio professionals scrambling to find a place in the new economy.


This is the future not whether my Rode microphone is as good a Neumann, or whether my 1000 dollar pre amp is as good as 5000 dollar preamp but the basics and fundamentals will still be important.  If we can just embrace this idea and stop the collective conscious of obsessive compulsive audiophiles that only the audiophiles can hear wow what new sounds and ideas will abound. 

"In search of the lost digital chord"
"Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one-so exercise yours"
Ben BCT (Bachelor of Creative Technology, JMC Academy) MMusTech (Master of Music Technology, The University of Newcastle)

Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
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Hi Ben, thanks for the reply. Mine will be relatively short and sweet.

While your reply is lengthy, I think you've missed the point. Sure, I can hear the differences between a Neumann and a Rode, but that doesn't mean I'm rendering your art "obsolete". It just means I know which microphone I can use to capture your art BEST. Sometimes the Rode is better, sometimes the Neumann. The point is to know how the gear works, which gear is best for which application and how to best use that item for that purpose. That is why a lot of people start out at an Audio school. They want to find out these things and see going to a school full time as their best way at learning it. This doesn't mean that it's wrong, it's just their preferred method of finding out. I fail to see how teaching people these methods in a classroom environment is obsolete just because you can record something in your house instead of a big studio. Basic acoustic and electrical techniques still come in to play whether you're in your house or a dedicated recording studio and some people want to go to a school to be able to understand them better.

On a personal level, please don't draw me into your perspective on the audio industry. You don't know me, nor do you know what I would consider the pinnacle of "our art". Just because I may like Neumann microphones doesn't mean I discount anything new (e.g. MIDI or Rode microphones, both of which I use every day). Also, I wasn't debating converters with you. I simply gave you a link to some information to help with your inquiries. Is this how you respond to everyone who gives you help?

Best of luck with this future of yours.

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:19 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:44 pm
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Having recently been strongly and repeatedly advised, by many in the business, not to attend the JMC and why, I really started out in Dr. Hash's corner.

  Slowly, though, the argument just seemed to unravel into the angry ravings of a madman.  I enjoyed the posts by Simmo, Dags and Mark McK-B and (considering they are so obviously such bought-and-payed-for, soulless, corporate shills tounge) I commend them for not, too, losing their Ship.

  I'm still inclined to think that JMC, et al., are the devil.

Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:46 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:44 pm
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Heh heh, "Ship".  That's cute.  I'll remember to use "shiznit" next time.

Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:49 pm
Ben, don't confuse the absence of me lodging a defence on behalf on any
person or institution that you criticise, with me supporting your comments in
any way. I have no interest in defending anyone you talk about on here other
than myself, this includes SAE, JMC, AIM and anyone else you want to comment
on. I don't need to defend anyone, and no one needs defending. The lack of a
defence proves nothing and supports nothing. You will get the information you
publically post about me correct though - this I will ensure.

To clarify, SAE support my research in that I work for them, they pay me a
wage, that wage supports me in the standard ways. KFC would be supporting my
research if I worked for them, but I don't.

If no one is supporting your research, then you have no job, the government
hasn't subsidised your study and you don't eat, pay rent, or take any help or
support in any shape or form from anyone, unless all you do is steal. ALL of
these things count as support. If you're working at all while studying, it's
supporting your research. If the government subsidised your research then they
are supporting your research.

Think very, very hard before you bring the integrity of my research into
question in any way, shape or form. It would be a grave error on your behalf to
publicly question the academic integrity of my research with nothing to support
your claims. Simply working at SAE does not by any stretch of logic bring my
integrity into question - regardless of your opinion of the company. By doing
this (and this is exactly what you have done) your are also questioning the
integrity of the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at Sydney
University, the integrity of Dr Densil Cabrera and Professor William Martens,
and the Human Resources Ethics Committee at USYD. My academic integrity is to
be held in the highest regard, unless you'd like to inform us all as to why
that shouldn't be the case. If you wish to question that integrity then provide
your supporting evidence or withdraw your claim. You will have a very, very
short academic career if you continue to make baseless claims about the
integrity of someone's research with nothing to support you. And no, working at
SAE does not support your claims.

So now you will inform the readers of this forum, my academic supervisors,
the ethics committee and all staff and students at the Faculty of Architecture,
Design and Planning at USYD as to why my integrity is questionable or you will
withdraw your claim. This is the height of unprofessionalism and you can be
sure that this entire thread has reflected very poorly on you within the audio
community - both academic and professional.

Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:57 pm
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Ok Mark I never said you had no integrity i just said that we had to ask the question because of your allegiance to SAE, also I never questioned your research or the validity of it, hell I don't even know what your research is.  In fact this is what I have said: Because you are in the employ of SAE your integrity has to be questioned, ok this doesn't mean that you have none though, it just means you have to ask the question.  Ok so no mention of academic integrity and also no mention of you having no integrity just the question due to allegiance.  I believe this is what makes a good academic ASKING QESTIONS.  I never made any assertions in regards to you Mark I used your name and a situation at JMC that is it and the answer that you and George gave is dubious at best (in my opinion, making sure everybody understands the referencing regime is the first thing that a uni should drum into new students, hell if a student doesn't understand that going to into uni why? are they being admited).  I am sorry if you found me using a situation at JMC that involved you offensive but apart from that all I have done is ask questions. 


I suggest that if you are going to paint me in a bad light make sure I have said the things that you are purporting.  I also gave you high praise no thanks or mention of that.


Ok so the government gives me a small stipend but that doesn't mean that I have an allegiance to the government, so I can still make my claim that I have no allegiance.  In fact as we both know I am a bit of anarchist and the whole notion of allegiance and social contract is anathema to me.  Burn the lot down and start again is my belief, hence the attack on private audio schools.  Don't go painting me in a bad light to academia because what I have said all along is don't go to a private audio school because their motives (money) is dubious.  I have been a firm advocator of Public University’s.


I am also a firm believer in UNI's as whole, I have loved my many years going to various UNI's, yes I have got into trouble but the primary reason a person should go to a uni is to learn to ask questions and also to research and back ones arguments up.  


Ok to answer Sam’s assertion that I am mad, perhaps!!! Aren’t we all or don't we all have the possibility of madness as a seed that lurks inside's oneself.  I will say this though at times I have gone off topic this is because I was waxing lyrical and stirring the pot.  I have found over the years that audio engineers are a precious lot and are extremely parochial (basically don’t poke the bear or poke the bear, I choose the latter).


Waxing Lyrical:

This audio engineering thing is fairly new at best just over 100 years, this music technology thing though is not, it stretches back to ancient Greece and to the first water organs (mechanical music technology) and even further back to the simple bone flute.


It seams that music is something that is ingrained into a human beings core and we have devoted a lot of intelligence into realising our musical dreams, aspirations and ideas over the millennia but and this is my biggest problem how did we go from the pinnacle of musical art namely Beethoven and then two hundred odd years later to the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Justin Beiber and on and on it goes.  Of course we have just had 40 years perhaps even 80 years if you include Bing, Duke Ellington, and the list goes on of great music.  What happened though between 1994 and 2011 to reduce our art to a consumable commodity and to virtually reduce the music industry to its knees?  (Ok I will back my assertions up)


The answer is that technology has out stripped our emotional maturity.  This is another debate that is going on in the world at the moment and it is not one for here.


We have at our finger tips music technology that would make Beethoven weep (anyone see In Search of Beethoven yesterday) but we now no longer need any musical knowledge to make those machines (DAW) sing.  It is time for a radical overhaul of the music making industry and one that includes the debate of what benefits or not, do private audio schools give to that industry.  I am just engaging in that debate, I have given three examples of “private audio schools” where the regime at those schools are toxic.  Silencer gave another example.  Ok Greg was right I overgeneralised but we have four examples that suggest just perhaps that “private audio schools” are doing more damage than good and I reassert proper public unis are where you will get your monies worth.


Ok enough waxing lyrical to finish off, I will today and tomorrow go over my assertions whilst participating in this forum, this includes the ones about audio schools and my more off the wall comments that people seem to have taken as admission of madness and put together a summery this will include all my references, then people can make their own minds up as to whether we need to have a radical overhaul in the way we think about music, music technology and audio engineering because this is all this debate has been about, the title was perhaps a little misleading, controversial and designed to catch your eye hell I will even say that I have gone way off topic but my original assertion one that "private audio schools" are bad still stands.  As an artist because that is what I am, I am not a technician all though I am quite capable (three HD in my Masters course for MIDI, Studio Recording Techniques and Live Sound) linear arguments can sometimes be a little hard.  If you go through all that I have written on this topic you will find that I am rabbiting on about the same things.  As I say I will write a summery and provide references.


Finally for you Mark (just to round things off) you make the assertion that academia and the “pro” audio world are watching this forum and then to make the comment about professionality is nothing short a threat.


I never said you had no integrity and I never questioned the integrity of your research so to threaten me in such a way shows your character.  I have had nothing but high praises for proper UNI’s and academia for which I am a member of (ok so I am not a teacher or a paid researcher but I do hold a Masters degree and am engaged in my own research, perhaps I will be starting my own research degree soon as well).


Look my reputation precedes me anyway (as we both know) so I probably haven’t done myself any more damage so in the words of Obe Wan Kenobi “You can strike me down Vader but I will shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”.

"In search of the lost digital chord"
"Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one-so exercise yours"
Ben BCT (Bachelor of Creative Technology, JMC Academy) MMusTech (Master of Music Technology, The University of Newcastle)

Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:36 am
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This topic has gone sour. I'm closing it.

Brad Watts

Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:38 am
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Came across this thread and just had to register so I could say that Dr. Hash should spend more time working on his craft and less time worrying about private education.

Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:12 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:32 pm
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pools closed!

Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:17 pm
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