Success Without Schooling

by No Name Given

OK Folks, listen up,... I have read all the above posts and as a Full Sail graduate I believe I might have some insightful information that one may find pertinent in deciding to attend Full Sail or not.

Let me preface my comments by stating that I can only speak to those that are interested in the recording arts/music production program.

A brief description of why you may want to listen to me:

I graduated Full Sail waaayyy back in Jan. of 1990. At the time, Full Sail was well respected in the industry and there weren’t many other schools around that would allow you to "break into" the recording engineer field.

Upon graduating I accepted an internship at a VERY nice recording facility in Atlanta whose past clients included BIG, BIG names. Lynard Skynard, Van Morrison, Neal Diamond, Outkast, Salt-n-Pepper, etc, etc.

My internship coming to a close I was offered a full time position and basically given the keys to place as the owner was an absentee owner.

After 2 years there, I opened my own small facility in the basement of a house that I had rented. Completely remodeled the entire basement and had a very respectable 2" - 16trk. facility.

Advertised in the local artsy-fartsy newspaper, and had great success with engineering and producing local and regional band demos and albums.

Two years after opening the basement facility I moved the studio into a 10,000 sf. facility consisting of a two story front half and the back half comprising three separate studios.

We leased out the upper story front half to various related industry businesses i.e. small record labels, tape duplication facility, music producers, and independent engineers.

This facility lasted about 7 years until I just got totally burnt out, working literally 27 / 28 days a month and a good portion of those days lasted MORE than 24hrs.

I got fed up with entertaining fat headed producers at strip clubs till 3 or 4 in the morning, and just looking at what my capital expenditures where every month would nearly throw my body into epileptic shock, particularly when considering the depreciation of the equipment that was being purchased with these expenditures.

In other words,.. I wanted a life...

Now, if you are seriously still interested in this career, please listen to someone with many many years of actual, hands on experience. DON'T Go to ANY school for "recording arts". Particularly Full Sail.


There is a MUCH better and more economically sensible way to do so. I heard that even the least expensive program at Full Sail starts at around 35K !!! WHAT ?!?! $35,000?!? is that dollars or pesos??

It's dollars folks and wasted dollars at that. If your folks are springing the bill or you have the funds yourself DON'T DO IT!! There are better ways to "break in" to this industry and here would be my suggestion...

First, find the nearest major populated center that has an active recording industry. Most all major cities have a large number of viable facilities.

Next,.. Take $15,000 of that "tuition" money and put a down payment on a 2bed / 2bath condo. In this economy these can be found for a VERY good deal ( between 60 and 80k )in decent, safe areas.

Rent out the 2nd bedroom to help pay for the mortgage and have the "roomie" split your utilities.

You would be paying apartment rent in Orlando for two years anyways and this way at least you have something to show for 24 months of "housing" expenditure.

Now,.. find a well known, actively working, well respected, independent engineer, who is doing the kind of work that you are interested in and make him an offer... an offer something to the effect of: "Mr. well respected engineer, I would like to offer you $800 dollars a month, for a maximum of two years to work for you for free" !!

I know your thinking that's crazy!! why would I give somebody money to work for free?. Well,... in exchange for the free work and the 800 smackers a month he will agree to teach you how to do what he is doing.

It is as simple as that but has MANY advantages over going the "school" route.

1. Your actually spending less than the cost of tuition by about $35 a month. Use this for books on audio engineering and study them yourself.

2. You would be in REAL WORLD sessions, with REAL WORLD clients.

3. After having been taught "control room etiquette" (probably the FIRST thing he would teach you) You could expect, at the very least, an introduction to the studio owners and the clients.

Don't expect much but a simple "this is Bill, my helper" at first and as you gain the engineers trust and show that you are learning it will soon be " this is Bill, my assistant".

4. The people you are meeting and contacts you are making are actually "in your area". This can't happen at a school and is worth it's weight in gold!!

5.You will find that you have exposed yourself to MANY different studios, many variations of equipment, and a wide variety of session types, many more so than a school can offer.

I am certain that if you really think about it you can realize that there are Many advantages to going it this route. By the time the two years is up you will already have two years experience, many industry contacts, session familiarity, several demos under your belt, a growing reputation and hey!,... a condo half paid for.....


Response from

Wow. Some really good advice for doing it on your own and saving a fortune at the same time. You have basically outlined the answer to success in the field of the recording arts/music production.

I'm impressed, but how many will realistically heed your sage advice?

The problem is that most kids go to school because they think it will guarantee them a future career. That is what they think they are buying when they pay the school fees.

You are giving invaluable advice but it will just fall on deaf ears. You must remember that the most expensive school offers the safest and most guaranteed path to a safe career. Right? (Facetious).

I agree with you entirely. It's just not going to change the mindset of most people. Many think they can avoid the hard work if they attend the most expensive schools.

The funny thing is that you possess the real ticket to job security and not because of the school you went to.

It is because you are not only intelligent, but have a heck of a work ethic and I bet you don't give up too easily or point the finger when mistakes are made.

Working 28 days a month? That's the real reason you've done so well. Hard work, passion, persistence (and perhaps the ability to watch peelers until 4am) is what earned your success.

You are just jaded as heck right now and need a break ("I got fed up with entertaining fat headed producers at strip clubs till 3 or 4 in the morning").

I can't tell you how much of a pleasure it was reading your post. You have a real driving desire in you to help others. Your writing has an undertone of hope and is inspiring.

Feel free to come back any time. I am putting you on the Full Sail University page instead of the scam page. It just seemed appropriate.

Best Regards,


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