Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHAT MAKES SRA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SCHOOLS?
Seattle Recording Arts is a license and approved Washington State School and an AVID Leaning Partner (ALP) with AVID Certified Pro Tools Instructors. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality education starting with instructors who are long-standing working professionals. We encourage you to take a closer took do your research and compare. We thin you’ll soo find that we offer a level of quality and expertise that’s rate to find.
- A Sound Education: SRA is founded by veteran audio professionals who bring a legacy of knowledge and experience. As industry thought leaders, studio owners, musicians, gaming geeks, sound designers, and all-around audio fanatics, we understand what it’s like to be different and the need to do something creative – we share that passion. By having a first-hand understanding of today’s industry, its demands and opportunities, our instructors are able to offer the kind of wisdom and expertise only insiders can. Educational institutions typically lag five or more years behind the market. We are the professionals who shape, form and are advancing the industry, so our curriculum stays at peak relevance, remaining fluid and flexible, so it naturally evolves as technology advances.
- Small Class Sizes: We limit our in person onsite classes to a maximum of eight students, and twelve for our live virtual classes because we believe in quality over quantity and giving each student the attention they deserve. The proven benefits of small class size include improved mastery of skills, increased achievement, better engagement and participation, and stronger communication and teamwork.
- Hands-on Learning: We believe in thinking outside the classroom, and that learning hands-on with real-world scenarios is what turns theory into true knowledge. Students taking our “Audio Engineering Level 2 – The Studio Experience” train in our world-class recording studio, Orbit Audio (www.orbitaudiorocks.com), with access to our sought after collection of modern and vintage gear, and eventually produce and engineer sessions independently.
- Business and Industry Training: A dynamic set of business and industry skills are key. Because there is so much opportunity to freelance, contract and pursue entrepreneurial ventures, it’s imperative to understand the industry. As long-time studio owners, we’ve seen over the years where most educational programs fall short and the challenges newcomers face when not properly prepared with this knowledge. We know what skills are desirable and relevant, what makes someone hirable (or not) and what it really takes to be successful. In addition, we feature inspiring Guest Lecturers, who are also audio professionals with diverse backgrounds. This is an opportunity to connect with influential people in a wide variety of audio vocations.
- Professional Tool Kit: SRA students enrolled in our “Audio Engineering Level 1 – Digital Technology” course receive a specially curated Professional Tool Kit of recording equipment including a MacBook Pro laptop with recording software, hardware and much more. You’ll learn and grow with these tools throughout our program and graduate with your own working studio set-up in progress.
- Respect: We promise to not stalk or spam you simply because you’ve requested information. We don’t subscribe to the high-pressure tactics or have a sales team ready to swoop. We are here to help and will keep you up to date with the latest news, but we respect your privacy and individual decision-making process in selecting a program that’s right for you.
Q: WHEN DO PROGRAMS BEGIN AND WHAT’S THE WEEKLY SCHEDULE?
Please visit each program page on our website for exact start dates and application deadlines (see the pop down tab towards the bottom of the page titled “Upcoming Courses and Schedule”).
Audio Engineering Level 1 – Digital Technology: Courses typically begin twice yearly in spring and fall. Classes are held twice weekly (3 hrs each) in a live virtual format. Our format allows for Q&A, interaction and mentorship in real time. Students can anticipate 5-8 hours homework each week outside of regularly scheduled classes. This course is 24 weeks long and our maximum class size is 12 students.
Audio Engineering Level 2 – The Studio Experience: Courses typically begin twice yearly in spring and fall. Classes are held for one full day each week (Saturdays) on campus in person with training at our commercial recording studio, Orbit Audio. Students can anticipate 5-8 hours homework each week outside of regularly scheduled classes. This course is 24 weeks long and our maximum class size is 8 students.
Sound Design for Video Games: We are excited to announce that we plan to offer an updated version of our Sound Design for Video Games course in an entirely virtual format starting in 2021. We’ll be updating the site and sending some newsletter announcements when we are ready to share all the fine details (we hope very soon!).
Pro Tools 101 & 110 Virtual Classes: We are now offering private virtual classes for individuals and small groups. Learn from the comfort of your own home or workspace with one of our AVID-Certified Pro Tools Instructors. As working audio professionals themselves, our instructors will guide you thoughtfully from beginner basics to advanced techniques while personalizing your classes to your individual goals and needs. Each level is approximately 24 hours to complete and is typically held in eight, three hour sessions. Please contact us and request a registration kit if you’d like to get started.
We will additionally be offering a secondary, and more condensed version of Pro Tools 101 & 110 combined as an online offering that students can take independently, stay tuned!
Q: HOW DO I APPLY?
Audio Engineering Levels 1 & 2: Application kits are available on our website each program course page (see the “Applications and Requirements” tab towards the bottom of the page). You may also request one by email: email@example.com. Potential students may apply for one or both levels of Audio Engineering with a single application submission. The process entails an application form, a written essay, personal/professional references, a most recent transcript and a couple elective components such as including letters of recommendation and work samples if available. The final step is an interview/meeting with the school, which can take place in person or virtually depending on your location. A $75 processing fee will be due at the time of submission and all applicants will be notified in writing if they have been accepted or not. Those accepted will be given the opportunity to confirm or decline enrollment.
Private Pro Tools Virtual Classes: Students do not need to apply, but simply register given they meet the program requirements (see below). Please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and request a registration kit.
Q: DO I NEED ANY EXPERIENCE, TESTING SCORES OR PREREQUISITES?
As an independent arts academy, we consider a host of factors including grades from a recent transcript, but do not review academic testing such as SAT scores. In addition to our courses being very advanced, fast paced and setting the bar for technical education, SRA students must maintain and graduate with a 3.2 or higher GPA in order to earn the course certificate, so we are seeking the brightest students who are driven and serious about learning. We also require a passion for music and creativity, a sincere desire to be of service in this industry, being a team player, responsibility, dedication, a great attitude and a readiness for success. Since our classes are very small (8-12 students max), it’s essential that each individual is a team player and can make a positive contribution to the whole.
Students need to be at least 18 years of age and a high school graduate (or GED) to attend our programs. Students who will graduate and be of age by a program start date may apply in advance. Our courses are taught in English, so all applicants must be fluent.
Audio Engineering Level 1 Requirements: Previous experience or prerequisite training in audio is not a requirement, however, background in music, music theory and/or experience playing musical instruments are very helpful building blocks, and are both highly encouraged and ultimately preferred. Our advice for individuals without any experience playing a musical instrument yet is to start now, and gain at least one year of dedicated daily practice. Piano is a great foundation. Experiment with composition, play music with other people and most of all have fun!
Audio Engineering Level 2 Requirements: Students who would like to attend Level 2 and gain direct studio training and project experience will need to have completed Audio Engineering Level 1 with SRA. We will also consider students who already have an equivalent background in education and/or working experience with priority given to SRA Level 1 graduates. In this case, individuals would need to demonstrate their competency in and understanding of the necessary skills from Level 1 to a satisfactory level in order to attend.
Private Pro Tools 101 Virtual Class Requirements: There are no prerequisites to take this course, however it’s beneficial for students to have a an understanding of / familiarity with:
- Basic audio and MIDI recording techniques
- Basic multi-track mixing concepts (such as setting levels and panning)
- Basic definition of effects such as EQ, Dynamic FX, Delays, Reverbs etc.
- Digital audio equipment such as MIDI controllers and audio interfaces
- A working knowledge of Windows or Macintosh or operating systems
Private Pro Tools 110 Virtual Classes Requirements: A successful completion of Pro Tools 101 through SRA or another certified Avid Learning Partner (proof of completion must be provided) is required – or – equivalent level of previous training, a working understanding of Pro Tools fundamentals.
Sound Design For Video Games Requirements: Similar to Audio Engineering Level 1, students do not need to have audio experience to attend, but will be required to have experience playing a musical instrument as well as some music theory fundamentals. Any additional experience in composition is beneficial.
Q: WHAT CREDENTIALS DO GRADUATES RECEIVE, CAN I EARN A DEGREE?
SRA offers certificate programs only which provide a specialized technical focus, whereas degree programs require a good deal of generalized studies before reaching a major. Certificate programs are like a modern day fast track: superseding the old collegiate model created decades ago that doesn’t always make sense for today’s high-tech learning. Certificate programs bypass all the unnecessary general education that doesn’t apply, so you can focus entirely on your craft and complete your education in a much shorter time frame. That’s music to most artists and creative’s ears.
- Audio Engineering Level 1: SRA Audio Engineering Level 1 Course Certificate & an AVID Pro Tools User Certification
- Audio Engineering Level 2: SRA Audio Engineering Level 2 Course Certificate
- Pro Tools 101: SRA PT101 Course Certificate
- Pro Tools 110: AVID Pro Tools User Certification
- Sound Design For Video Games: SRA Sound Design For Video Games Course Certificate
Q: DOES SRA OFFER CAREER COUNSELING OR JOB ASSISTANCE?
By electing to keep our class sizes small we are able to get to know every student personally, understanding their passions and goals so we can provide thoughtful career guidance throughout our program and beyond. As industry professionals, our instructors bring their continued years of experience working in audio and are able to offer insightful, honest support. We are always happy to call on our extensive network in the PNW music and gaming community and beyond to make an introduction or help connect graduates with meaningful opportunities in their field of choice.
It’s also helpful to understand how the industry works. For Audio Engineers, there are traditional job roles; however, the scope of possibility widens greatly when considering client-based, contract-based, freelance, and entrepreneurial opportunities which are the most plentiful. Work often flows project to project. For example, an engineer or producer may work on an album, stage tech or do live sound for a tour, complete a corporate contract and so forth.
As a very social and community focused industry, longevity in audio really is found by those who remain active and involved through things like networking, collaboration, building relationships and growing their clientele. It’s not always an overnight process, but continuing to “show up” with a spirit of service while planting many seeds along the way is a recipe for success. Because we know how important it is, we include specialized business and industry training throughout the course. Our students learn how to both seize and create opportunity, create and implement short and long term goals, how things really work, and how we’ve done it ourselves. In addition to technical knowledge, these professional and personal skills are an essential part of the responsibility and reward of building a lasting career in audio.
And last, because we care – be wary of any claims out there that all you have to do is take a certain program and a “job placement” is just magically waiting at the end. Schools receiving federal funding are required to produce placements stats yearly in order to retain their eligibility. Since these numbers are self-generated with little to no regulation, a job in the field can mean almost anything. We feel it better serves our students to be upfront and transparent, educating them on how things actually work and empower them with the necessary skills and understanding of what it takes to create real and lasting success.
Q: WHAT KINDS OF JOBS ARE THERE IN AUDIO?
MUSIC INDUSTRY JOBS:
- Audio Engineering
- Recording Engineer
- Mixing Engineer
- Mastering Engineer
- Music Producer
- Live Sound
- House Engineer
- Monitor Engineer
- Stage Technician
- Instrument Technician
- Tour/Road Manager
- Voice Overs:
- Post Production:
- Motion Picture
- Music Publishing and Licensing
- Performance Royalties
- Beat Production
GAMING INDUSTRY JOBS
- Audio Director
- Senior Audio Designer
- Sound Designer
- Sound Effects Designer
- 3D (360 degree) Sound Designer (Virtual Reality, Interactive Audio)
- Music Composer
- Assistant Engineer
- Localization Supervisor
- Audio Programmer
- Audio Tester
- Game Tester
- Sound Editor
- Foley Artist
- Dialogue Recordist
- Dialogue Supervisor
Q: WHAT ARE THE TUITION COSTS?
Audio Engineering Level 1: Tuition for this course includes all books, class supplies, and the Professional Tool Kit* which includes a Macbook pro laptop, software and curated selection of recording equipment. Tuition is $11,450 ($9,000 Tuition / $2450 Professional Tool Kit items). *Students attending in the greater Seattle area may receive all Professional Tool Kit items directly through SRA. Individuals living outside the area will need to procure the items independently, with the exception of all software downloads and will receive a reduced cost reflecting the amount of each item. Additionally, if a student already owns any of the Professional Tool Kit items (equivalent or better), they may opt to waive receiving these items in exchange for a tuition discount.
Audio Engineering Level 2: Tuition for this course includes all books, class supplies, and educational items. Tuition is $14,975 ($14,840 Tuition / $135 Educational Items).
Payment Plans: SRA offers payment plans for qualifying students taking our Level 1 and Level 2 Audio Engineering courses. Plans do not involve any loans or lending, but are legal financial contracts between SRA and the student through a third party. All contracts require a 50% tuition down payment at the time of enrollment with the remaining balance paid in monthly installments from 6 to 30 months. While enrolled, payments are completely interest free, with low rates after graduation. Eligibility is based on an approved credit application. Please email: email@example.com to request more information.
Pro Tools 101 or 110 Private Virtual Classes: We are now offering Pro Tools virtually to individuals and small groups. We typically offer each level (24 hours) for individuals typically broken into eight, three hour lessons. The rate is $1575. Please inquire for discounted group rates for two or more individuals.
Sound Design For Video Games: This information will be available when we announce the 2021 course date.
Q: DO YOU ACCEPT FUNDING FOR VETERANS?
We are excited to announce that we now accept VA funding for veterans. Currently, veterans may use their funding for our in-person courses such as Audio Engineering Level 2. As to our virtual offerings, we are waiting to hear whether a current law passed in response to C19, temporarily allowing vets to attend virtual classes, will be extended beyond its expiration of December 21, 2020.
The general process for veterans is to first apply for and be accepted into the desired program at our school, then contact the VA to request approval for benefits to be used. A VA counselor will be assigned and will ultimately make a determination whether funding is approved. This process with the VA can take as long as 2-3 months, and may be slower during C19, so it’s helpful to apply early, and allow ample time.
Q: DO YOU ACCEPT FINANCIAL AID OR HAVE SCHOLARSHIPS?
We do not accept federal funding such as student loans (ie: FAFSA) or government related grants and scholarships at this time. We are currently exploring our options for some potential community-based scholarship programs and look forward to offering those when possible in the future.