Pro Tools Post Production Operator Certifiable


It’s official.  I am now Pro Tools Post Production Operator Certified (7.3), or certifiable as my bank account tells me.  Pro Tools class was a lot of money for the piece of paper and T-shirt I got in exchange.  I guess that one could argue that it’s the knowledge that I paid for.  So I’m going to comtemplate that here for myself and for anyone else thinking of taking the Pro Tools certification course.

I should begin by saying that, out of all the Pro Tools courses, 210 was by far the most useful and most meaty.  From chasing tape to editing ADR, 210 gave workflow suggestions and tips that I had not previously thought of.  I have already seen some improvement in my post-production gigs.  Additionally, 210 had sections at the end of each chapter called Practical Application Scenarios.  These little tid bits were quite useful and something that I felt was missing from the first three quarters of the overall four-part course.  software knowledge is all well and good, but learning about the ins and outs of any software, especially one as powerful and in depth as Pro Tools can be painfully boring.  So it’s nice to see how and where this kind of knowledge can be useful, for both boredom cures and for long-term retention.

But the real question is whether or not the thousands of dollars you pay for the Pro Tools courses is worth the amount of knowledge you gain.  This is the question for any audio program, of course.  Especially since the long standing common knowledge is that any kind of certificate or degree won’t help you in the world of audio… it’s just purely good sounds (probably more important, however, are good connections).  So then the question becomes, “Is taking this Pro Tools certification course going to give me better sounds?”  The answer is maybe, maybe not.  There are some cool tips and tools drawn out for the student in all of the Pro Tools certification classes.  Many of them go beyond just teaching software and give some theory and some practice tips.  But someone who has been working in the field for several years may find these little knowledge nuggets somewhat elementary.  If the question is something more like, “Will the Pro Tools certification course make me faster and more efficient?”.  The answer to that one is probably, in the case of the experienced veteran, and definitely with the novice Pro Tools user.

However, interested students still need to be advised to do a cost benefit analyses of the course.  It is not cheap.  If you’re the kind of audio professional who is already fast in their workflow, then I’m not sure about investing this money.  However, if you’re like me, and still trying to figure out ways to maximize workflow and please his clients, then it may be worth it.  For me, it was totally worth it… but unfortunately now comes the little task of paying it all back.

    • Steve P
    • July 5th, 2009

    I’ll agree on that advisement. Have talked to people who took those classes, and in a one year period on the job I learned exactly what they did for 101-210P, if not a little more comprehensive hands-on understanding, including TDM hardware architecture and configuration.

    Being fast and efficient comes down to being comfortable with the toolset, source material, keen ear training, and constantly working to keep those skills well-oiled; can’t be learned or taught really.

    Congrats on passing though!

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