Which requirements do I have to meet for a correspondence course in audio engineering & music production?Adrian Clausing
If you are thinking about starting a correspondence course in the field of audio engineering & music production, the question of which requirements you should meet will certainly arise. This is mainly about the admission requirements, but it also matters how much time you must plan for your studies and how flexibly you can use your time. Moreover, it is essential, especially in this digital/technical domain, whether your computer or laptop fulfills the system requirements.
What admission requirements do I have to fulfill?
We are proud of the fact that there are no admission restrictions for taking courses at HOFA-College. Only for the advanced bachelor’s degree, secondary school qualifications are required – in exceptional cases, admission can even be granted without such a degree. Feel free to contact us to apply for an exceptional admission.
How much time should I plan for the course?
In order to answer this question, it is necessary to distinguish whether you want to complete the program part-time or full-time. For a full-time study program, by definition a weekly workload of about 40 hours is assumed. This also means that you can complete the correspondence course much faster, since the duration indicated on our website refers to part-time studies. While the Audio Engineering DIPLOMA is designed for a part-time period of 24 months, it can be completed on a full-time basis in only 6 months.
Should you complete the DIPLOMA part-time, we estimate a weekly workload of about 5-10 hours. This depends on whether you already have previous knowledge and how intensively you work with the subject matter. Our flexible online learning concept allows you to access the contents of your course at any time and to organise your daily workload independently. Therefore, it does not matter whether you are learning best in the morning, at noon or in the evening.
Furthermore, you can decide for yourself on which days you want to study – and you can pause your correspondence course, e.g. when you are on vacation, or even extend it if you need more time in total.
In summary: You can always adapt your correspondence course perfectly to your situation.
What specifications should my computer have?
Regardless of whether you work with a notebook or a desktop computer, the audio software you use requires resources. The components processor, hard drive and memory are particularly important. While we recommend a processor from a current generation with 4 cores, the individual specifications are not especially relevant – except for the memory: a RAM of at least 16 GB is recommended. This doesn’t mean that 8 GB are not enough to realize projects during the course, but in some cases certain restrictions may occur. Your hard disk should have at least a size of 200 GB and should be a SSD at any rate. Compared to older HDD hard disks, SSDs are much more performant and allow you to work quickly and smoothly. All the specifications mentioned above are guideline values that apply to Windows & Mac – the operating system itself does not play a decisive role. If you consider buying a new computer, we would like to point out that notebooks generally offer more flexibility due to their easy transport but are much more expensive than stationary computers. If you have any technical questions, you are welcome to contact our support team – we will gladly help you finding the perfect computer with a suitable budget for your online course.
Which software do I need?
In order to complete all exercises of the correspondence course, you will need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is a professional audio editing software. We recommend Steinberg Cubase, Apple Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Studio One, Avid Pro Tools or Image Line FL-Studio, but you can also work with any other DAW. If you don’t have a DAW yet, you can get a student version of Steinberg Cubase or Ableton Live to start your correspondence course. These qualify as full versions with limited functionality. Later in your studies, you should decide on a DAW and purchase it. As a HOFA student you will receive an EDU-entitlement with your registration certificate and your student ID card. This qualifies you for discounts of up to 50% from different manufacturers of DAWs and plug-ins.
Every DAW usually offers plugins for audio processing, such as equalizers, compressors, reverbs, etc. These are sufficient to successfully complete all tasks of the correspondence course. In general, it should be mentioned that various third party providers have specialized in programming audio plugins and can therefore offer additional functions and possibly enable higher quality. It is up to each student to decide to what extent he or she wants to work with additional plugins; specific plugins are not a necessary requirement. In order to grant you a perfect correspondence course start, you can use all plugins from HOFA free of charge during the duration of your correspondence course as a student at the HOFA-College. You find an overview of all HOFA plugins here.
Do I need an acoustically optimized studio room?
On the basis of optimal conditions, the answer would probably be “yes”. In practice, however, most students don’t have an acoustically optimized room, nor do they have the budget or the facilities. During the last few years, more than 5000 students have successfully completed the correspondence courses at HOFA-College without having a perfect room.
We recommend the use of studio headphones in order to save the investment in monitor speakers and expensive room acoustics for the time being. Open headphones, which often offer a more balanced frequency response, are a good choice. These open studio headphones can be purchased for appr. € 300 new or € 200 used and offer a very balanced sound. The complete team at HOFA-College works with these professional headphones.
Over time, you will still have the opportunity to purchase a pair of studio boxes and work on the acoustics of your room. Our HOFA-Akustik team will love to help you with the planning.