Recording Connection is mostly a waste of time and definitely a COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY!!! Sadly, I enrolled in Recording Connection and went thru the program in 2011. Before starting, I had already done a little bit of live recording in my rehearsal loft, but I knew very little about ProTools (only enough to do live stereo recordings - all the mics going into a mixer and then into the 2 ins of a FW410 - and then cut them into individual songs that I distributed on my band's fb,lastfm, etc.) and nothing about mixing. I thought that taking a course would be a good way to learn every thing thoroughly instead of relying on books and forums and doing it by myself.
I explained to the recording connection staff exactly what I was looking for and they assured me that with
their program I would come out a competent engineer, able to work as the sole engineer on a project. I paid the $7750 up front. The studio I was set up with was cool, they had a great business, I got to see all types of sessions, I even got to see a few well known musicians in the studio (Warren Haynes, J. Mascis, some others less known) as well as talented local acts. But my mentor, who was the studio owner and one of the 2 engineers, really didn't care about teaching me. He never taught me what I had come there to learn. All I was doing was setting up mics, plugging things in and rolling up cable. The program is supposed to consist of some time where you intern - basically working as an assistant, and some time where your mentor teaches you and gives you lessons. My mentor was always late for lessons, sometimes an hour late. He never prepared, not even so much as to know what he was supposed to be teaching me, as we simply followed the RC workbook. And then he would constantly interrupt our lessons to chitchat with random people who walked in or with his staff engineer - and I don't mean that he was talking about important work-related stuff that couldn't wait or interesting studio-related things that I could learn from - just random BS. I would sit thru lessons where he arrived so late that the lesson was basically canceled, b/c his next session was starting, or where he interrupted the lesson to chat with some dude (or his staff engineer) for an hour and then the lesson was over (once again b/c the next session was starting). So we moved thru the material really slowly - I think it was about 7 months at least before I actually got to sit at the desk, open ProTools and hit the record button - and that was all I got to do.
The RC agent or counselor in their LA office that I was set up with was this incredibly dumb, vapid girl whose "check-ins" with me simply consisted of her repeating stock self-help/positive-thinking quotes completely out of context,
so explaining the situation to her seemed useless. I was certain she would probably f**k everything up even worse if I told her about it. I was really stuck in a bad place, b/c this was in a small town where this was one of only 2 studios that good local acts recorded at that weren't basement/project studios. I was trying to be as cool about the situation as possible b/c I was hoping when the program was finished that I could work at this studio, as well as others, as a
freelance engineer. But since my mentor wasn't teaching me what I needed to learn, there was no way I could work as an engineer - I still can't. But yes, I got tons of time assissting and looking over shoulders.
Finally, after 10 months of this, I spoke to my mentor about the situation. He was sympathetic, but also indicated that perhaps I misunderstood what the RC program was about. He said he did not think their program was supposed to teach you how to use ProTools or how to mix. He said that he considered it more of an introduction to recording. Looking over the course materials, I have to say he is right.
When you sign up they send you a textbook, a workbook and ProTools LE. At the time I signed up, PT9 had already been out for a few months, but sure enough what they sent was PT8 with a d**n M-box. I imagine they had bought a bunch and hadn't gotten rid of them all. I should have canceled right away - I know. Furthermore, the textbook they send is just Modern Recording Techniques by David Miles Huber, which you can buy at Barnes & Noble. If you are
familiar with this book, then you know that it is just an intro book - it doesn't cover how to use PT or any other DAW, it doesn't cover mixing. The RC workbook is their own book, which contains the lessons and exercises, but in reality it is completely based on the Modern Recording Techniques book. For each lesson, it tells you which chapter(s) to read, it has a page or two summary of this material and then a little quiz. I think 2 chapters have material that is not covered in the textbook - that is all. So yeah, 1 little chapter on PT, nothing on mixing.
Anyway, I know I should have canceled the program as soon as I received these materials, but I was a little naive and the RC staff assured me that the course covered everything you needed to know to start working as an engineer. They also said that the mentor will show you much more than what's in the lessons. Anyway, it's all bullsh*t. I don't know how anyone can claim that a course prepares you to work as an engineer if you doesn't teach you how to use a DAW or how to mix. It's a complete lie.
All their advertising, all the testimonials where an RC student got hired as a chief engineer or staff engineer or whatever is either a lie or one very lucky student who had a mentor who was actually willing to teach him/her how to engineer instead of just following the RC lesson plan. They do pump you up going into it - you have to work hard, you
have to prove yourself, not everyone will make it, etc. But it's all part of the game to get you to part with your money. What it boils down to is that you need someone to teach you how to engineer (or you need to read books, consult forums and figure it out for yourself), and this course does not do that. It just sort of introduces you to some of the background theory and lets you hang around a studio and help out. Obviously, if I knew that going into it, I would not have spent $8k on it, b/c an intro to recording is certainly not worth that. Also, for me personally, I had already been introduced to recording - I had been in really nice studios with all kinds of bands I was in, I had recorded some things myself, I knew a lot of the theoretical background, etc. - I just wanted to get to that point where I could do everything that engineers who have recorded me in the past could do and where I could confidently say to any studio owner, any engineer who needed a freelance sub, any band who wanted to make a record, etc., that I could take care of that for them.
What's really upsetting to me now to is that not only do I not have any more audio-engineering knowledge and skills now after taking this course than I did before beginning, I am still paying for the d**n thing (I financed it myself with a low-interest credit card - lower than the interest RC charges for financing) and I can't afford now, or for the forseeable future, to take a real audio-engineering course, if indeed there is one out there. I really wanted to try to see what kind of career I could have as an audio-engineer. This is a really dead dream.
So please, if you are interested in becoming an engineer, do not waste your money on this course. You will not learn how to engineer. You will get to assist in a studio and learn some background knowledge related to recording that you may or may not already know, but you won't learn how to go into a studio by yourself with a band and come out with a finished song or album. That's not really worth $8 Grand, is it?