Hello there. My name is George . I want to study Sound Engineering(produce records,record bands, mix ,master etc). I have been accepted to the Thames Valley University to study Sound Engineering there. I have searched a lot over the internet and I have found very very bad comments on Thames Valley, but nothing on the specific course.I am from Greece so I really have no idea if TVU is a good university. I would love to get some feedback on whether its a good choice.
I found some good private schools for Sound Engineering, which have 1 year intensive programs but do not give any formal qualifications. Alchemea and Point Blank really stand out as very good institutions. Anyone have an opinion for those? I could use some info, and I really didn't find much info or reviews on Google..
Thanks in advance guys,
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Thames Valley vs Private Schools for Sound Engineering watch
- Thread Starter
- 04-04-2011 13:24
- Thread Starter
- 15-04-2011 12:22
- 16-04-2011 19:51
A lot of discussion about universities in England is context sensitive and a lot of the bad comments you'll see tend to be from people who have never even been there.
Thames Valley just happens to be "worst" university with the best name, there are far more universities consistently ranked lower across the board but they take a little bit more effort to type and aren't as recognisable as TVU which has only cemented its reputation.
When people compare universities in the UK they compare all of them against one another.
People say what's the problem with that? Well it means you have Oxford with 1000 years of history and an endowment that could wipe out a third world debt (Somalia for example) with buildings that have been listed by English Heritages as places of significant historical importance being compared to universities with 20 years of history an endowment which is half an average Wednesday night lottery jackpot and buildings which are frankly just buildings.
When the gap is that wide you have to look at it from a different perspective.
Most students around here have "high" aspirations toward traditional careers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, academics and more than a few soulless husks impersonating human beings doing whatever they need to so they may one day be in a position to fill the void where their heart should be with money which they plan to get by working/stealing for their hideous overlords in the city (*cough* Investment bankers *cough*).
Institutions that run on reputation that rank highly (even though tables are structured to rank them highly) with lots of history and even more money cater to these careers and these people. Therefore these people aiming for these careers put a lot of stock in what these tables so when people ask about lower ranked universities they apply their own criteria to the selection.
The fact is most of the time this is invalid, people say a Maths degree from Cambridge is worth more than one from TVU and this is 100% accurate not because Cambridge is so great but because you cannot study Maths to degree level at TVU and the reason for that is because as a London university you're in direct competition with LSE, UCL, Imperial, KCL, Royal Holloway and others which escape me right now.
To me and you and what we want to do however these traditional universities offer very little. They don't have the courses, the faculty, and any kind of track record and while I assume rich universities will have some facilities I can't see why it would matter if they don't even teach the course.
With that said we can address your question.
You're in the same place I was this time last year, you're finding yourself trying to enter a career which is highly competitive to the point where nobody else on here can comment, people say psychology is competitive they say medicine is competitive and I say bull**** because nobody can walk in off the street to the place they want to work for and say I'm a psychologist here's my demo/portfolio and be taken seriously. They have to have the relevant experience or education which cuts down the pool of workers by a great deal.
There’s also very little glamour in psychology where media/music for some reason attracts everyone, people hate their job sitting on a phone all day but it would for some reason be incredible to do the exact same job for 30% less money because you're "in media" but I digress.
What I was trying to get at is you're not just buying an education you're also buying time. This time last year I was interviewing for Uni and let me tell you the time has flown by if I was on a one year course I don't think I'd of been better off. Because we're in highly competitive industries lots of places put themselves forward as a golden key, in my instance you have places like Escape studios in London which is a similar deal. Looks very professional, new, shiny and puts itself forward as "the" place to go but charges a **** load of money for extremely short courses and that begs the question:
"How good can you become in a year?"
You might gain a lot of knowledge but it my experience the quicker you learn the quicker you forget.
Another critique of these places is they tend to be little more than button pushing schools, because you're on an expensive clock and everyone wants to make the most of their time and money you're forced through the creative process rather than left to explore. The downside to this is while you may learn how to do something you may not gain an understanding of what is you're doing at a fundamental level.
So in my opinion I wouldn't be sold on the whole private school thing, it can be a revolving door money mill and in your case it's really not worth it.
Most TVU music students fall under the London College of Music (now music and media) and while they have some of the same facilities they for the largest part have their own dedicated building about 5 minutes away from the main Ealing campus and from the little I saw in there when recording for an animation project It looks at least comparable to that Alchema place only much larger with far more equipment.
That Alchema place granted looked a little more "shiny" but I can't see it having anything over LCM where you'll have more equipment, more time to use it, more people to experiment with and different situations to experiment in.
You'll also actually have access to ****, a fact often overlooked when people are comparing the shininess of monitors and mixing desks. It can be made out of chrome and marble but if you never get to touch the thing does it even matter?
It can be annoying if you actually know what you're doing as you get kind of tested before they just let you book stuff and take over. We had to do a project which involved filming but we haven't been able to get a decent camera even though I know what I'm doing with them so we had to make do with the most basic **** they'll give you which to be fair is a decent camera but it's not HD which is making our lives difficult.
Two more things, when I was in school all the exams used to come from the London College of Music as well as the text books, the day I went into TVU they had some guy who graduated from there coming in to do a Q&A and show off his Grammy. Neither of those things would sway me in any decision I had to make but I thought you might find it interesting.
Also Freddie Mercury went there, I only know that because the SU bar is named after him and has the huge crappy cartoon of him on the wall.