Working in audio presents a marvelous opportunity to continuously learn, keeping up-to-date with new technologies, and expanding your knowledge on the multitude of topics that the field encompasses. Audio education can sometimes be expensive or difficult to access depending on where you live and your current life situation and circumstances. Happily, there are many amazing educational resources and opportunities available for free or at a lower cost than “traditional” studies. Here’s a selection of just some of the great resources available on the internet and beyond, that I have found to be invaluable:
Conventions, workshops, and audio industry events, whether in-person or online, are terrific opportunities to learn about the latest audio developments and to meet and network with others in the industry. Some regular larger events worth mentioning are the Audio Engineering Society’s twice-yearly international conventions, specialized conferences, student events, Omni Sound Project’s Signal Gain, and Soundgirls’ Virtual Conference.
Online audio organizations and communities
Over the past years, a number of excellent online organizations focused on education, community, and peer support, have been founded. Many of these organize workshops, weekly or monthly challenges to encourage productivity, feedback sessions, job boards community forums, and much more. Some of my favourites include SoundGirls, Music Production for Women, Beat Collective, Omni Sound Project, and Soundlister / A Sound Effect. Check out this useful blog post by Meredith Hobbs Coons that goes into more detail about several women-led organizations.
Training your ears to easily identify different frequencies or subtle changes in sound can be a lifelong pursuit! Websites and apps such as Quiztones, Train Your Ears and SoundGym make ear-training exercises and drills fun and gameified.
One very effective way to learn is to have a hands-on experience by shadowing someone working in the industry who would be willing to share their knowledge and act as a mentor for a few hours or days. SoundGirls lists shadowing opportunities on the website, or sometimes simply reaching out to someone you admire and asking if you could assist or observe them can result in a great learning opportunity!
There are a myriad of online courses in all facets of audio engineering. Platforms such as Udemy and Coursera allow you to search for courses on all topics, while online courses by The Production Academy and Berklee are geared towards audio production and music. Immersive and Inclusive offers both in-person and online study options. Many courses are made by independent people working in the industry who are keen to share their knowledge. It can be wise to read the details of a course carefully and look at reviews of former students, to be sure which are worth your investment.
Videos, podcasts, magazines and websites
There is so much knowledge to be gained from the massive amount of online content that exists – most of it for free! Some of my favourite video resources include the YouTube channels LNA Does Audio Stuff, Pro Audio Files, Mastering the Mix, and Pensado’s Place. Some great podcasts include Tape Notes, Girls Twiddling Knobs, Six Figure Creative (formerly Six Figure Home Studio) and the Soundgirls Podcast. My regularly-visited magazines and websites include Sound on Sound, DPA’s Mic University, and iZotope’s articles and tutorials. Additionally, the Soundgirls website has an incredible list of content under the “Resources” menu.
Social Media Groups
Knowledge sharing, job posting, networking, collective problem solving, encouragement, and sound advice are just some of the helpful things that are shared in social media communities for sound professionals. Some of the most supportive groups that I have greatly appreciated being a member of are the Facebook groups Hey Audio Student, Soundgirls Private, Classical Music Location Recording, WWAS Social (Women Who Are Sound), and Podcast Editors Club. And there are many more supportive and inclusive groups out there, focusing on various niches of the audio field.