Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A. It is useful but not necessary to have had some experience in home-recording with your own equipment. Our program begins very simply but it is very complete. It will take you from whatever level of knowledge and skill you have now all the way up to a professional level.
You will receive all the AIA lessons as pdf files. They can be opened and read by Adobe Reader which you probably already have on your computer. (Available as a free download from www.adobe.com)
You will also need an application to play the Videos and Audio tracks. You probably already have this too. Either Windows Media Player for PC users or Quicktime for Mac users. Both are available as free downloads.
A. Anything from $250 to $5 million!
A. You can follow the course purely theoretically if you wish on your computer -- you don't actually need any recording equipment. However, many of our students already have some form of home studio and others plan to set one up soon. If you presently have nothing, we strongly advise you NOT to buy anything just yet -- not until you are at least one third of the way through your course. Why? Because by that point, you will know exactly what you need for your own particular style of recording. We don't want you buying the wrong stuff.
A. YES! There are so many different pieces of equipment available that it is quite formidable to choose the correct pieces for your own special needs. Your instructor will gladly help you make the right choice when the time comes. That's why we ask you to fill in the questionnairre when you enroll - so we understand your own personal recording needs and goals. Beware: there are too many hustling salesmen ready to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and make a quick buck at your expense. We hear horror stories about people buying all sorts of equipment that they don't really need.
However, if you are determined to set up a home studio right away, we can recommend a certain minimum of equipment so that you can practice as you learn. For equipment recommendations click here.
A. Yes, you will receive a Diploma in Recording Engineering and Music Production. (Or Live Sound Engineering if that is your goal). Many of our graduates hang their framed Diploma in a highly visible position on their recording studio wall. Clients and potential customers are impressed by this proof of training.
A. You can't get work from a potential employer unless you can show that you have reached an acceptable level of training. The best way of doing this is by showing them your AIA Diploma along with any other recording credits you may have accomplished. Lesson 25 in our course shows you exactly how to apply for a job in the recording world.
You could also hand over your "SHOW-REEL". This demo will be a compilation of samples from your best works. Unlike the teachers at many schools, the Audio Institute's instructors have spent decades in the "real world" of recording studio business and know exactly how to prepare you for this.
A. Absolutely. You certainly can. In fact we encourage it. Even after you have finished your course. And, unlike most schools there is absolutely no charge for this. When you have completed your practical assignments, you can send them in to your instructor for assessment. When you have reached a satisfactory level of achievement, AIA can help you get your music heard by the right people. We have world-wide contacts.
A. We have owned our own music publishing company since 1974. It is affiliated with BMI (Broadcast Music Industries). If we like your songs enough, we can offer you a publishing contract. We also have contacts with Major and Indie record labels, artist's managers and publishers all around the world. Some of our colleagues in the music business go back as far as the 1960's.
A. Sometimes a potential student tells me about their prior experience in recording and ask me if our course will still benefit them. The answer has always been a firm YES! They may have achieved a degree of success in sound engineering or music recording and some of them may have already set up their own studio but they find their recordings lack the lustre of "the pro studio sound". That's exactly where we shine. Once you see our program, you'll know you have made the right choice.
Usually it's the elementary principles that they have not fully grasped. You cannot capture sound successfully if you don't know what sound is! Our course makes sure that all the foundations are fully covered. There are certain basic concepts of audio that everyone needs to know and unfortunately, as many of you have already discovered, most equipment manuals don't teach you these fundamentary principles. That's why your recordings may sound flat and lifeless. AIA's course will give you exactly that knowledge to make your recordings sparkle.
A. The AIA Music Production and Sound Engineering course is delivered to you either online or in a printed book format. You can download the complete online version and study it on your home computer. You can even print it out if you wish. If you choose the printed version, we mail it to your home address - no shipping charges anywhere in the world.
A. Basically, the course consists of 5 modules, each containing 5 big lessons which makes a total of 25 lessons containing over 500 pages of learning material. The program take you all the way from a basic understanding of how recordings are made, through complete recording and mixing sessions, setting up your own studio and record label, mastering and marketing your music.
The course also contains 90 professionally recorded video and audio lessons which contain extra material that is not in the printed text. There are also practical assignments where you can learn from the successes, and mistakes of former students. For a complete lesson-by-lesson breakdown go to lessons.
A. The video lessons make you feel you're actually in a big studio. You're right there and see how it's all done. We also give you a special high-density full-screen 24-track recording console on which you can see for yourself the exact positions where all the control knobs and faders are set to reflect the sounds you are hearing from our Action-Audio. For example, you can zero in on the EQ that is applied to each and every instrument and vocal during the mix-down. At the same time, you read the text in your training manual which has additional detailed photos and graphics.
It's a total 4-way learning system, devised and copyrighted by AIA over 20 years ago. It works beautifully. There is no better way to see and hear precisely how individual sounds are created.
A. Each module comes with practical projects that you can carry out in your own home studio. When you have completed your practical project you can compare your work with professionally made recordings. Our assessment team will allow you to pinpoint and cure any problems in your work.
A. You can complete the course in as little as twelve weeks, or you can spread it out over as long as a couple of years if you wish. There is no time limit. We know all our students enjoy flexibility in their study schedule. You set your own pace and study when you want. The timing is totally up to you and we will never rush you.
A. The Audio Institute of America works entirely by distance learning. Therefore you do not need a visa nor expensive plane tickets. You can enroll and take our course from anywhere in the world and study from your own home. Some of our graduates do come and visit us here in fabulous San Francisco after they have received their Diploma.
A. Yes. If at any time within the next 15 DAYS after you enroll you decide that the course is not for you, you can ask for your course fee to be refunded. School director Peter Miller will make sure personally that your refund is processed promptly. However, once you are over half way through the course we can no longer issue a refund.
A. Excellent, and getting better every year. The entertainment business is growing like wildfire all over the world. The U.S. Department of Labor says over 10 million men and women are employed in show business and the demand for qualified personnel is increasing. The Internet and trade magazines regularly display help wanted advertisements for engineers, sound persons, live sound mixers, etc. There are dozens of other sound-related jobs that your AIA training could lead you to.
In addition, the AIA experts will assist you in every way possible to help you get and keep a job in the field. We have been doing this successfully since 1986. Lesson 1 tells you how and where to get that first job. Even if you decide just to use the knowledge in your own home studio, the AIA program is a great learning experience.
A. Absolutely! In fact we encourage you to find a job as an intern. It will speed up your learning process. Some students work part-time or even full-time second engineers or studio interns. You could pay for the entire course with part of your first paycheck if you follow the simple instructions in Lesson 1. And naturally employers would much prefer to hire someone who has at least enrolled in a training program over another who has had no training whatsoever.
A. No. That is impossible. In fact is its totally illegal for any school to offer this. AIA has no control over who is or is not hired. We do however make every effort to help you find the job you want. We offer career guidance as well as placement assistance and will supply written recommendations when asked. We also personally recommend our outstanding graduates to any recording studio or company who requests names of such people for possible employment in their area. Your success is our success and we don't intend to let either of us fail. Students should register for placement assistance when they enroll.
A. First and foremost is the qualifications and experience of the instructors, writers, editors and others who will teach you how to properly conduct every kind of recording session there is. Add to this the quality and quantity of the training material. Last but not least is the cost. AIA offers the most for the lowest price. Compare the AIA Training Program with any other course and you will see why we are the undisputed leader.
A. Music does not discriminate. We have had male and female graduates as young as 15 and as old as 84! Thankfully, music is finally in the responsible hands of the younger generation rather the bald-headed, fat, money-minded weasels of the old record industry. Women are making Grammy-winning records. There are Latin Grammy awards. Hip-hop and Rap labels are dominating some markets. There are so many different cultures and genres in music that minority groups have engineers working everywhere. All you need to be a sound engineer or music producer is a genuine love for music and the professional training and guidance that only AIA can give you. Together, we will take you to a higher place.
A. We don't have to pay huge salaries to "financial advisors" who's sole job it is to fix you up with a gigantic student loan. We don't have to pay big rents for classrooms and equipping recording studios with tons of flashy gimmicks that you just don't need. Most other schools have high advertising costs, offer less information, and make huge profits at your expense. Any school that offers you a few printed pages without giving you audio and visual aids, or even an Audio Dictionary is simply ripping you off! The price of our course has barely increased since it was first offered in 1986. Mr. Miller's reputation and integrity are far more important than excessive profits. He puts his in-depth experience and knowledge into the largest, most complete course available at the lowest possible cost. You can pay more but you cannot get more. Compare schools.
A. No. You do not need a license to work as a recording engineer nor music producer in any state in any country. In a few countries you may have to show a diploma to prospective employers but usually only if you're searching for work in a government or a large corporate organization. AIA will write a letter for you if necessary. We will train you to be a good, knowledgeable sound person so you can work anywhere.
A. Yes. Whether you pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Moneygram or Western Union the payment processor will convert currencies for you. You can find up-to-date exchange rates at www.xe.com
A. Please contact us for details.
A. Yes. Go to www.westernunion.com or www.emoneygram.com to find the nearest office to you. They will ask you where the money is to be sent and who will be collecting it. Tell them the payment will be received by Peter Miller in San Francisco, USA. Peter will then enroll you personally.
Western Union and Moneygram will give you a reference number for the transaction. Don't forget to send this reference number to the Audio Institute, together with your full name and your complete home address plus your email address.
A. Yes you can. You don't need a PayPal account to pay via PayPal, just a debit or credit card. Just follow the instructions once you're on their website. click here.
A. You can enroll right now if you click here.
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The Audio Institute of America was accredited by B.B.B. with an A+ rating for twelve years