Student Loans vs. Business Loans

One of the big draws of higher education is the fact that the federal government subsidizes U.S. citizens’ tuition. This is probably the number one reason tuition rates have skyrocketed over the years. With the Parent PLUS loan program, they are pretty much handing out unlimited amounts of money to people with good credit.

It reminds me a lot of the housing bubble. Except if you can’t pay back a mortgage the bank takes your house. This is called a foreclosure. If you can’t pay a student loan back? Tough luck. You are stuck with the bill until you die.

Time is the most valuable resource. Every day that is spent sitting in a college or trade school classroom could be a day that you are building a business. But, it takes money to start a business. Yep…it does. But there are options!

The normal ways to fund a business are through personal finances (saving money), investors (people who will get a portion of a business’ revenue) or through a loan.

Before the 2007 recession hit, it was relatively easy to get a business loan from a bank. Perhaps a bit too easy…which is one of the causes of the Great Recession. Nowadays, you need to have a business going already and prove that it is making money before even thinking about asking a bank for a loan.

So, what is a wannabe entrepreneur to do? Turn to the government…just like with the Federal Student Aid program but for small businesses. That’s the category an audio production services company falls under. Now, here’s the catch.

The government makes it pretty easy to get a student loan. Getting a small business loan can be a little trickier and there are strings attached. I have never personally applied for a business loan from the government but the starting place is here. My advice on this topic ends here so best of luck!

Audio Engineering Information Resources

Don’t Go to Recording School is a new web site as of May 2017. My goal is to make it the best uncluttered resource for audio engineering on the entire internet. No advertisements and nothing that you don’t absolutely need to know being the main criteria to achieve that goal.

While work is being done on this site to add more and more content there are already a large number of excellent resources dedicated to providing audio production related information. So, while this site continues to expand please peruse the following sites:

RealHomeRecording.com – I produce the videos on this YouTube channel/web site. Honest and thorough information about audio production on the cheap has been the goal from day one. Videos are curated into playlists which I call the Free Online Recording School.

Spectre Sound Studios – A trustworthy resource for music production info. Plus, Glenn’s videos are hilarious. From smashing a horrible sounding guitar amplifier to the whiny high-pitched voices that are used in his various videos. If there is anybody else that I trust as much as myself it is Glenn Fricker.

Produce Like a Pro – You probably can’t find a friendlier guy to teach audio than Warren Huart. His videos and blogs are jam-packed full of information. He also has the Produce Like a Pro Academy, which will further help people who want to learn and practice the craft of audio engineering.

TapeOp – The only unbiased audio production magazine out there. Believe me, that’s saying a lot!

Gearslutz – You’ll have to take the good with the bad on this site. But if you want to read about the latest in audio technology I can’t think of a better place.

Pensado’s Place – Interviews and advice with famous audio engineers plus a whole lot more. The only downside to Dave’s site/channel is sponsors and rambling. Otherwise it’s a huge wealth of information.

The Recording Revolution – One of the first audio engineering related blogs and YouTube channel. Graham Cochrane provides boat loads full of information both free and premium.

Creative Cow Audio Professionals Forum – Well moderated with solid advice and conversation when it comes to all things audio.

DVXUser Location Sound/Post Audio Board – If you’re into recording for video/film and doing post production mixing/re-recording then this is a good place to talk.

Mix with the Masters – In-person seminars at an awesome studio in France plus a video library full of advice from famous audio engineers.

Groove3 – Their all access pass is the best deal on the internet.

Kenny Gioia – Kenny knows his stuff and has a lot of premium video tutorials to watch.

PureMix – GRAMMY award winning audio engineers teach audio. It comes at a premium price though. Good stuff!

Lynda – Want to learn how to use new software? This web site is perfect.

The Mix Academy – Watch mixes come together from start to finish and then mix your own version with the raw multi-tracks.

Nail the Mix – Another excellent resource that teaches mixing and provides multi-tracks. They also have monthly mix competitions.

There are many more web sites but those should get you started and then some. Remember, the goal of this site is to not inundate you with too much information.

The Real Reason Expensive Audio Gear Matters

In this tongue-in-cheek video I explore the reason why expensive gear matters.

Technology has improved greatly over the years that allows anyone the ability to get good results on a small budget. However, if you are looking to start a serious business then that fancy gear matters.

Why? Human psychology. Find out more by watching…

“You Have to Go to College”

It’s a phrase that high school students hear for many years. But how often do the words, “Start a business” get told to young impressionable ears? Not often enough.

Think I’m crazy for suggesting that a college aged person start a business? Marc Zuckerberg was only 19 years old when he launched Facebook. Bill Gates was 20 years old when Microsoft was founded. Apple officially incorporated in 1976 by a 21 year old Steve Jobs. See a common thread?

Forbes runs an annual article about teenage entrepreneurs. This is not a fantasy or some utopia it is a reality. Young people can and do start then grow successful businesses all of the time.

College or trade schools can be an excellent resource but they are not for everybody. And as the federal student loan program continues to pump more and more money into the system the price of a college degree continues to rise. All the while it is tougher and tougher to land a job in today’s marketplace. Many college graduates have found themselves in a position where creating a business is the only viable option. Why not skip the debt ridden step of college and go straight into business…after learning a few things for free, of course!

Public libraries still exist. And the internet is filled with great information. The nice thing about a lot of career paths is that you don’t need a professional license to open up a new business. In the case of audio production services, the barrier to entry is small. As long as one puts in the hard work to learn and do like Gates, Jobs and Zuckerberg did then starting a successful small business is a very real possibility. One that they should teach in school but often times do not.

I’m a college graduate. And while I don’t regret going I felt that my education was lacking in certain areas. If I could do it all over again, the money spent on my education would have been better spent on starting a business. These days, with the average tuition and fees price tag being over $24,000 per year I probably wouldn’t have went to a college unless I had a full ride scholarship.

DontGotoRecordingSchool.com was founded to help people avoid student loan debt and help its readers create their own jobs instead of relying on others to give them one.

Thoughts on the Recording Connection

The views expressed in this article are the author’s opinions and may not reflect the whole of Recording Connection’s business model.

I first heard about The Recording Connection a few years back. For those not familiar with them, they offer an alternative to recording schools and colleges. After doing some research on them, my excitement wore off.

On paper TRC is a great idea. And when it works, it works well I’m sure. But unfortunately in the real world things can be different. And that’s because not every studio or engineer is the same. If TRC pairs you with an excellent studio then you will learn a lot and make good connections assuming you do the hard work. But if you are matched with a not so great studio who is only in it to collect some money from TRC then your experience probably won’t go so well.

Read some accounts from former TRC students on Reddit and Gearslutz. Also, this old thread on Gearslutz was deleted but you can still view it on Archive.org. And here’s one more discussion thread if you care.

I’ve heard that TRC will place you in a different studio if they are made aware of the situation, so there is that. And if that is the case then they are to be commended.

In my opinion though, TRC is yet another unnecessary middle man in the pursuit of the dream career. Although they are much more affordable than most schools, if you made direct contacts with studio owners they would probably let you be a fly on the wall and learn for less money. Maybe even for free. Or, instead of spending $10,000 at TRC you could be better off spending that to start a studio, watch YouTube videos and purchase books/DVDs on the subject of audio engineering.

TRC even says themselves that they do not guarantee that you’ll get a job in the industry. This is very true. So why not create your own job by starting your own studio? The choice is yours.

All of that stated, I do think that The Recording Connection is a better alternative to going to college. Working or just observing how a real world studio functions in-person can teach you a lot of things that colleges cannot. But…you can make your own recording studio connections with a little bit of money, a Google search and a lot of phone calls/emails.