A laptop is required for college

Anyone who is thinking of starting a distance learning course in the field of sound engineering and music production is sure to ask what requirements one should meet. First and foremost, it is about the school requirements, but it also plays a role how much time you have to plan for distance learning and how flexibly you can organize your own time. In addition, especially in this digital / technical area, it is essential whether the computer or the laptop offer the appropriate system requirements. In this article, we not only explain the requirements mentioned in detail, but also give you valuable tips on what you should also pay attention to.

Which school requirements do I have to meet?

We are proud that there are no educational requirements at HOFA-College to complete a distance learning course. A secondary school qualification is only required for the advanced bachelor's degree - in exceptional cases, however, admission can also be granted without such a qualification. Feel free to contact us to apply for a test for special approval.

How much time should I plan for distance learning?

In order to answer this question, a distinction must be made between whether you want to complete the distance learning part-time or full-time. In the case of full-time studies, a weekly effort of around 40 hours is assumed by definition. At the same time, this means that you can complete the distance learning course much faster, as the specified duration relates to part-time study. While the audio engineering DIPLOMA is designed to be part-time for 24 months, it can be completed full-time, e.g. in just 6 months.
If you complete the DIPLOMA part-time, we expect a weekly effort of around 5-10 hours. This depends on whether you already have previous knowledge and how intensively you deal with the teaching material.
Thanks to our flexible distance learning concept, you can access the content of your distance learning at any time and organize it yourself. This means that it does not matter whether you study actively in the morning, at noon or in the evening. You also have the opportunity to decide for yourself on which days you study - and you can pause your correspondence course, e.g. when you are on vacation or even extend it if you need more time overall.
In summary: you can always adapt your distance learning perfectly to your situation.

What system requirements should my computer meet?

Regardless of whether you work with a notebook or a computer, the audio software used requires resources. The components processor, hard disk and main memory are particularly important. While we recommend a processor from a current generation with 4 cores, but otherwise the individual details are rather open, a working memory of at least 16 GB of RAM is recommended. This does not mean that 8 GB is not enough to implement distance learning projects, but there may be restrictions in individual cases. Your hard drive should sensibly be at least 200 GB and in any case be of the SSD type. Compared to older HDD hard drives, SSDs are significantly more powerful in terms of data processing and allow you to work quickly and smoothly.
All of the information given is a guideline that applies to Windows & Mac - the operating system does not play a decisive role. If you are considering purchasing a new one, we would like to point out that notebooks generally offer more flexibility due to the fact that they are easy to transport, but are significantly more expensive compared to stationary computers.
If you have technical questions, you can contact our support at any time - we will be happy to help you find the perfect computer with a suitable budget for your distance learning.

What software do I need for distance learning?

To complete all distance learning tasks, you need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is a professional audio editing program. We recommend Steinberg Cubase, Apple Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Studio One, Avid Pro Tools or Image Line FL-Studio, but you can also work with any other DAW. If you don't have a DAW yet, you can get a student version of Steinberg Cubase or Ableton Live to start your distance learning. These are considered full versions with a limited scope. Only in the further course of your studies do you decide on a DAW and can acquire it. As a HOFA student, you will receive an EDU authorization with your certificate of study and your student ID, with which you will receive discounts of up to 50% with different manufacturers of DAWs and plugins.
Each DAW usually offers plugins for audio processing, such as equalizers, compressors, reverbs, etc. These are sufficient to successfully complete all distance learning tasks.
Basically, it should be mentioned that various third-party providers have specialized in the programming of audio plugins and thus offer additional functions and, if necessary, enable higher quality. It is up to each student to what extent they want to work with additional plugins; Certain plugins are not a prerequisite. In order to give you a perfect start to the distance learning course, as a student at HOFA College you have the opportunity to use all HOFA plugins free of charge for the duration of your distance learning. You can find an overview of all HOFA plugins here.

Do I need an acoustically optimized studio room?

Assuming optimal conditions, the answer would probably be “yes”. In practice, however, at least the students have an acoustically optimized room or the budget or the spatial possibilities. In the past few years, more than 5000 students have successfully completed the correspondence courses at HOFA-College, even without a perfect room.
We recommend the use of studio headphones if you want to save yourself the purchase of monitor boxes and room acoustics for the time being. Open headphones, which often offer a more balanced frequency response, have proven themselves. We would like to highlight the Sennheiser HD 650 model. These open studio headphones can be purchased for € 300-400 and offer a very balanced sound. The entire HOFA-College team also works a lot with these headphones themselves.

By the way:In the current HOFA-College campaign you will get the Sennheiser HD 650 for free with HOFA COMPLETE and Audio Engineering DIPLOMA!

Over time, you still have the option of getting a pair of studio boxes and dealing with the acoustics of your room. Our team from HOFA-Akustik will be happy to help you with the planning.