FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- What exactly does a Sound Engineer do?
- Pulse is a Digidesign Pro School. What is a Digidesign Pro School?
- What does ‘FETAC Approved’ mean?
- I’m looking at a few sound engineering colleges at the moment. What questions should I ask when talking to them?
- A few important things to consider when starting your job search
- Can I avail of funding?
- Degree FAQ
- Is this an official degree?
- Who or what is UCLAN?
- This is an arts degree. Do I have to study another arts subject?
- Is this degree purely academic with no practical work?
- Work Experience
Q: WHAT EXACTLY DOES A SOUND ENGINEER DO?
A: It’s very difficult to give a brief answer to this, because the industry is wonderfully diverse. But I’ll give it a try! So here goes:
Any time you hear sound from a speaker, be it at a live concert, on the radio, television, in the cinema, at least one, often many, sound engineers have been involved in delivering it to you. Sound Engineers use microphones, mixing consoles, computers and other equipment to control, replay, and mix sound from various sources. Sound crews also design and install audio equipment.
Sound engineers work in the entertainment industry for record producers and recording studios, for radio and television broadcasting companies, film/tv producers, in theatres, and in nightclubs. Others work in stadiums and arenas. Sound design for computer games is, in itself, becoming a very large industry. For a more comprehensive listing, check out the F.A.Q. regarding job opportunities.
Q: PULSE IS A DIGIDESIGN PRO SCHOOL. WHAT IS A DIGIDESIGN PRO SCHOOL?
A: Digidesign is the company that make Pro Tools. Pro Tools is the digital recording system that the majority of audio recording/production studios in the world use. A huge amount of what you hear in music, TV, films, etc is recorded and mixed on this incredibly powerful workstation.Digidesign have a training programme that is world-renowned. It has 5 levels, (101, 110, 201, 210, 310) from beginner to expert level. At 210 level you can opt for the post production course (210p) or the music production course (210m). This also applies to expert level (310m, 310p). These are very comprehensive and train people to work in the most demanding studio sessions. We include modules up to 210 level in our full and part time courses. In fact, our 2nd year students get trained in both 210M and 210P!
There are 3 different levels of Digidesign training centre:
Authorised Pro Schools: Training up to expert level
These offer fast ways to get Pro Tools knowledge. They feature intensive, multi-day, 100-, 200-, and 300-level courses that focus solely on Pro Tools systems and are taught by Digidesign-trained and certified Expert-level instructors.
There are only six in Europe. It’s really tough to become a Pro School!!
Pulse is the only one in Ireland.
If you get your certificate at 210 or 310 level, you get your own page on the Digidesign website where you can put your C.V., and basically advertise that you are now Pro Tools qualified, and ready to be hired!
D.C.T.L. (Digidesign Certified Training Location): Training up to operator level
These are colleges, trade schools, or dedicated training facilities that incorporate Digidesign hardware and software, Digidesign-certified training materials, and Digidesign-trained and -certified instructors. Certified Training Locations offer 100- and 200-level courses. (Operator)
Pulse used to be a D.C.T.L before being awarded Pro School status. Very stringent requirements must be met in order to become a D.C.T.L Certified Training Location.
It’s tough to become a D.C.T.L!
Sponsored school: Beginner level
Can teach the first level of Pro Tools. This is open to most colleges, and even secondary schools can apply to teach this level. They can teach to 100 – level (Beginner only)
Q: WHAT DOES ‘FETAC APPROVED’ MEAN?
A: As the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland, the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) gives people the opportunity to gain recognition for learning in education or training centres, in the work place and in the community.
Programmes leading to FETAC awards are offered nationwide by a wide range of providers in diverse settings, including BIM, Fáilte Ireland (CERT), FÁS and Teagasc centres, VEC’s, adult and community education and training centres, Institutes of Technology and in the workplace.
FETAC was set up as a statutory body on 11 June 2001 by the Minister for Education and Science under the Qualifications (Education & Training) Act, 1999. FETAC has responsibility for making awards previously made by BIM, Fáilte Ireland (CERT), FÁS, NCVA and Teagasc and has made over 170,000 awards to date.
Check out www.fetac.ie for further information, but basically, as a Government Approved FETAC course, you can accumulate a total of 400 points, giving you direct progression to the following colleges:
- NUI Maynooth BA Music Technology
- NCAD BA Art & Design
- NCAD BDes Industrial Design
- NCAD First Year Core
- NUI Maynooth BA Media Studies
- IT Tallaght Higher Certificate in Arts (Audio/Visual Communications)
- NCAD First Year Core
- University College Cork Bachelor of Music
- IT Carlow Bachelor of Arts
- Dublin Business School BA in Marketing and Event Management
- Cork IT Bachelor of Film and Media Studies
- Cork IT Bachelor of Communications and Multimedia
- Dun Laoghaire Institute Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Creative Multimedia
- Dun Laoghaire Institute Bachelor of Arts in Video and Film
- Dun Laoghaire Institute Bachelor of Arts in Applied Music
- Galway-Mayo Institute Of Tech Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television
- ITT Dublin Higher Certificate in Arts—Audio Visual
- ITT Dublin Bachelor of Arts—Audio Visual Media
- IT Tralee Bachelor of Arts—Interactive Multimedia
- IT Tralee Bachelor of Science in Computing in Games Development
- IT Tralee Bachelor of Science in Computing with Multimedia
- IT Tralee Bachelor of Science in Computing with Internet Development
- Trinity College Diploma in Music and Media Technologies
Q: I’M LOOKING AT A FEW SOUND ENGINEERING COLLEGES AT THE MOMENT. WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN TALKING TO THEM?
A: Well, you should try to find out how good they are at what they do! One of the most important things to consider is the quality of the instructors. Do they have any industry experience? Are they respected professionals themselves? Maybe they are just ex-students themselves from a year or two ago. You’d be surprised at how often this is the case! Other considerations include:
- How good are their facilities
- Is their equipment up to date?
- Are their courses including up to the minute techniques?
- Are the subjects taught relevant to employment as a sound engineer?
- What qualifications do they offer?
- Are their qualifications government approved (FETAC or HETAC)?
- Are their qualifications of any use when you leave the course?
- Do they have any professional audio organisations who will vouch for the quality of their students?
- Do they have a list of graduates who are in a successful career, and who will vouch for them?
These are tough questions, but don’t be shy about asking them. Your career is too important!
Q: HERE ARE A FEW IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN STARTING YOUR JOB SEARCH:
A: Careers in multimedia industry are varied and exciting, it’s vital to have the right skills at your finger tips.The structure of the industry has changed over the past few years, so has the required training. For us, it’s important to produce graduates that are highly skilled and work ready, who are practically minded and creative with well rounded industry knowledge.
This is achieved on a number of levels—training on the latest state of the art equipment, tuition in all areas of the industry, career planning, as well as government and industry and recognised qualifications.
We aim to produce what we call ‘Universal Soldiers’. This describes students trained to a high degree in a number of different disciplines, so that they can enter any area of their chosen industry either audio, gaming, and film which we hope will expand and diversify their careers.
Secondly, it is also really important to research the area to be aware of all the careers that are open to you. Please see our careers section in the information tab for some of the potential career paths open to you on completion of your Pulse College course.
Finally, while you are training, use every opportunity to make contacts within the industry and seek advice from as many industry professionals as you can. There are many jobs out there, but they won’t come knocking on your door. Use your initiative and be motivated enough to get out there and let people know how good you are.
Q: CAN I AVAIL OF FUNDING?
Q: IS THIS AN OFFICIAL DEGREE?