Some are free; some are not. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend money when you don’t have much coming in, but this should allow you to hit the ground running when the crisis is over.
We would recommend the Harman and Dante courses, and perhaps start on the CompTIA+, or pick a discipline and work your way through.
Neuron is also looking into generating some video content, covering our approach to AV, system design, tutorials or walkthroughs of our equipment and assets in the coming weeks. Watch this space for more information on those!
Harman Core Curriculum – Audio, Cabling, Control, Networking, PC, Video – max 40 minutes each https://pro.harman.com/training/core-curriculum
Harman also has BSS London Architect / Audio Architect training, as well as guides on how to make sound predictions for JBL systems with their Line Array Calculator v3.2 video series. These skills carry over nicely to non-Harman stuff too, so are worth doing:
DANTE BY AUDINATE
SHURE – WIRELESS & RF
BIAMP – MODULAR DSP
We’d recommend this to keep your brain active, and generally keep you fresh and learning.
It’s £8 a month if you sign up for a year:
SYSTEM TECH / ADVANCED AUDIO ENGINEERING
SOUND DESIGN LIVE / PHASE INVADERS BY NATHAN LIVELY
There is proper training in the forms of ebooks about getting on tour, as well as courses on RF and wireless, mixing on digital consoles, good EQ for speakers, introduction to the phase graph & audio analysers, tuning without SMAART, and of course. This full Seeing Sound course is an end to end process for system design.
All of this is online, with direct chat to Nathan for help and support:
You can cover:
Transformer based distributed speaker systems (70v / 100v line)
DSP including tuning, crossover filters, FIR & IIR
Gain structure, power amplifier and speaker ratings, loudspeaker physics
Designing a system to a room, the listeners, and with the tools that you have at hand
You choose how far down the rabbit hole you go, but all of this can make you a better engineer:
REDDIT USER IHATETYPINGINBOXES
For example, if you’ve always wondered what those graphs on a laptop you see at front-of-house are, start with this introduction to audio analysers:
MERLIJN VAN VEEN’S STUDY HALL
Plenty of articles covering the tricks and tools of advanced system design. Predictions, maths, and real-world results converge here, in an easy-to-follow writing style. We have been fortunate enough to train with Merlijn in person, and this website is an invaluable resource for cardioid bass arrays, correct aiming of speaker systems, and more:
BOB MCCARTHY’S SOUND SYSTEMS: DESIGN AND OPTIMISATION BOOK
MOTHERCLASS ON MIXING CLASSICAL MUSIC LIVE
Carsten Kümmel is a specialist for live sound in classical music with a breathtaking list of references: He’s touring with live productions like Disney in concert or The World Of Hans Zimmer. In this series of videos he allows a deep insight into his work, from the microphones to setting up the console and working with conductors and orchestras. Some tips are as simple as standing up an applauding when the orchestra enters the stage to make sure the audience will start applauding too – a way better start for a concert than if they’d remain silent. But Carsten Kümmel also offers a share of his highly developed skills concerning work with a high end audio console like the Stage Tec Aurus.
CHAMSYS MAGICQ BASICS
While most lighting study requires you to have fixtures, software, and hardware at your fingertips, plus a space to play in, the ChamSys MagicQ software can be downloaded for free to experiment. They also have some easy to follow videos on their YouTube channel, that teach you the fundamentals of lighting programming, with a simple 3D visualiser that allows you to experiment with different fixture types, and create looks or try out ideas.
You don’t need a monster of a PC to do it either, and it runs equally well on macOS and Windows operating systems. If you’ve ever wanted to mock up the club or stage of your dreams, now is the time:
3D MODELLING & VISUALISATION
There’s infinitely more stuff on SketchUp online, and once you start on this, you can move onto ‘proper’ within a few years which can earn you good money. In the meantime, you can mock up any event or design quickly to win clients, as well as start doodling out things to make, 3D print, or CNC.
CAPTURE LIGHTING VISUALISATION
AVIXA AKA INFOCOMM
There are two types:
CTS-I (Installation) – a specialist in installing and maintaining audiovisual systems
CTS-D (Design) – a specialist in designing and documenting audio visual systems
DIGITAL SIGNAGE EXPERTS GROUP
DSCE (Certified Expert) – General overview of digital signage systems
DSDE (Display Expert) – Deep dive into screens and projector systems
DSNE (Network Expert) – Deep dive into media servers and display multicasting
DCME (Content & Media Expert) – More design and creative focus, covers how to produce good quality content – images and video – for digital signage
COMPUTERS & NETWORKING
CompTIA A+ – Basic computer troubleshooting – this one is useful in everyday life, and not just for computers
CompTIA Network+ – Deep dive into TCP/IP, which is the backbone of the Internet
CompTIA Security+ – Best security practices (a requirement for working for defence contractors or services)
CompTIA Linux+ – Fundamentals of being a Linux server admin
CompTIA Cloud+ – Fundamentals of administering services and storage in the cloud, Amazon Web Services, S3, the kind of stuff that is the backend to many major websites
Professor Messer has excellent video guides with course notes for all of these CompTIA courses, for a low fee of $25:
He also has a great YouTube channel for free, covering general computing education:
It is not an entry-level certification, and you should have current IT experience, or have completed at least up to the level of CompTIA Network+.
It also is not quick; typically, it can take up to 6 months of study to take the exam. However, it’s a massive plus for any audio tech who wants to make the switch into integration or design or get out entirely and become a network consultant when life in a literal field is less attractive because you’re old and no fun any more.
If you’re serious about this, we would suggest using an agency with a support team such as these:
COMPLETE AV ECOSYSTEMS
HARMAN PROFESSIONAL AMX
Audio Certified Professional – Design
Audio Certified Professional – Programming
Certified Control Solutions Master (AMX)
Networked AV Certified Professional
Architectural Lighting Design Associate
All of these can be found here:
CEDIA – HOME AV & SECURITY
CEDIA ESC – Basics of Home Theater / Security / Technology
CEDIA ESC-T – Advanced training for technicians and installers
CEDIA ESC-D – Advanced training for designers and PMs
CEDIA ESC-N – Advanced training for networking engineers
RATIONAL ACOUSTICS SMAART
If you’ve ever wondered what those graphs are that sound guys and gals like to look at, and want to feel like a wizard, then you should check out the SMAART Operator Fundamentals webinars. They’re being hosted on YouTube, from the software developers and lead trainers, giving you a rundown of what SMAART is, what it does – and doesn’t – do, and when you should use it. They run live at 7pm GMT Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and take questions from the audience – but you can always catch up at your own pace.
BUILDING YOUR OWN SPEAKERS WITH DIYRM
His Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DIYRM/ is a goldmine, with complete start to finish projects including lists of fully costed components. The real treasure though, is found in this spreadsheet, which he kindly put together after I griped about how awful FB is for finding archival diamonds:
That cumbersome URL will whisk you off to a land of some of the most insightful and entertaining papers on speaker design that exist on the internet. I consider it required reading for any aspiring engineer who likes to get their hands dirty!
There are also catch up videos hosted on YouTube for those that can’t make the live sessions.
We recommend getting going on the Rigging Basics & Product Basics courses to start.
Vectorworks is used by architects to make buildings, so is ideal for installations, but it is also a staple in the event world – with a ready to use asset library of trussing, lighting fixtures, speaker cabinets and more, you can accurately visualise and plot an event or installation out. Best of all, you can then easily generate documentation or 3D renders from these drawings, ensuring that everyone is on the same page, and things are done correctly when the big day comes.
Usually, these seminars are locked up behind a pricey Vectorworks Service Select membership, but until June 30th you can access a bunch of them for free! They run on a rolling schedule, and you can check the calendar here:
There’s also a 30 day trial of the software available so you can follow along!
If you keep your head above water and take the free time to finally learn that thing you’ve been thinking about for ages, then we can be in an even better place once the crisis passes. We here at Neuron are committed to giving our staff, permanent and temporary, the chance to develop their skills, at any time.
Get in touch today
Whatever your budget, our friendly team are always happy to discuss your project and provide a quote.