A Student’s Take on the Audio Engineering Program

Posted on April 11th, 2012 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Just a little taste of what you’re getting into….

Six months ago I started at Trebas completely fresh, all bright eyes and bushy tails. The first batch of theory courses introduced the concepts of sound and recording to a group of newbies. Whether we believed we knew more than we actually did or admitted to being blank slates, we all had our minds blown every week by Trevor’s ridiculously inspiring speeches and industry stories. I am sure everyone owes Vince at least one double-double for a button missed on the Amek at Sonic I. By the end of first term, the two classes that started together have bonded in very different ways, on many levels. Our instructors have even seen fit to throw those who are keen a bone or two. In my opinion, these are the moments that define the rest of our careers.

For instance, our department head sent us all an email about a small company out of Scarborough, RL Sound & Lighting, looking for students to work with them. I was privileged enough to have a few things going for me, not the least of which is the fact that I have my G license and am an excellent driver (if I do say so myself…and I do), so I got the job. Just last month on St Patrick’s Day, I was sent to Schomberg on my first official professional live sound gig. I assisted with the set up and live mixing for The Wheat Kings, a Tragically Hip tribute band made up of a talented group of musicians who have an original repertoire under the name of Cat House Dogs. You would not believe my excitement when I was dropped off at my apartment at 5am and handed pay for my day’s work. If I could have called my mom right then, I would have! (As it was I waited until 12 noon, after a good 6-hour rest. :-P)

My next gig was far more demanding: a high school talent show at Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School  in Scarborough. I must admit that does not sound demanding, but these kids are used to having quite the production for their shows. In their gymnasium there was a stage set up on which we assembled the pipe and drapes, back and front stage lighting, dance floor lighting and stage mics that had a slightly different set up every act. It was the perfect gig for someone learning. There were two of us along with a lighting tech for the “wiggly lights” that accentuated the performances. Twenty hours after leaving my apartment, I was finally off my feet again for the night, pretty proud of myself for having made it through… with flying colours.

I give you all of this detail to encourage any students that have the opportunity to work gigs such as this, however low the pay may be, to take it! I was thrown right into it and have had many an “ah-ha” moment, either micing up a drum kit, hooking up processors or using the 2-mix graphic EQ. If only I understood as much as I do now during last term’s exams! Still, here I am 6 months in and so much is making sense.  Next stop, assisting in a studio?! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge to Ian, Darius and Jeff…

Stay in contact with me through the Trebas Toronto (Official) Facebook page or @_VictoriaElysse on Twitter.

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