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Best way from here to engineer
View Poll Results: Best way from here to engineer...
DIY - Buy the equipment & learn it (includes studio savvy musician turned engineer)
5 Votes - 21.74%
School/university program diploma
2 Votes - 8.70%
Apprentice/assist working pros in studios
8 Votes - 34.78%
School + DIY
2 Votes - 8.70%
School + Apprentice/assist
6 Votes - 26.09%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

Old 20th October 2002
  #1
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Best way from here to engineer

We've seen on the current poll on Jules' forum that most of the respondants are self-taught engineers.

But what do you think is the best way to go?

What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Old 20th October 2002
  #2
I really dont see how most youngsters starting out can NOT start with audio school nowadays..

Unless you have a relation or close friend that has a small (or large) studio set up and has the patience to teach you, how the hell are you going to get started?

In my assistant search an audio school graduate was what I was looking for.

However there is no "best way" in our science!

That's the crazy thing about the job!

The 'studio savy' musician to engeer route is frequently sucessfull too.
Old 20th October 2002
  #3
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I really dont see how most youngsters starting out can NOT start with audio school nowadays..

Unless you have a relation or close friend that has a small (or large) studio set up and has the patience to teach you, how the hell are you going to get started?
By making yourself valuable and appreciated, and showing aptitude and attention to detail.

Studios need a lot of help. It starts with cleaning lounges, running errands and preparing tea and meals ... and moves quickly to doing recalls in the CR, doing minor gear repairs, ordering parts, testing/trying out gear, and recording/mixing during downtime or between sessions.

Some guys don't want to go through all that. Some do but don't have the aptitude to make themselves valuable. Some love it, have the aptitude, and quickly take on real responsibilities.

I agree, though, that most all I've seen had already done an audio school or were currently enrolled in one when they applied.

Aside from a couple of notable exceptions (in France, the University of Brest's excellent 4-year program and, to a much lesser degree, SAE), by and large the interns didn't feel the schools were that useful.
Old 20th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

I agree that no particular method should be dicounted in favour of another.. we are all humans after all and adapt and learn in different ways.

What i am saying is that in order to acheive the best possbile results.. relative to producing comercial quality product. Eating **** and working ya way up in a pro commerical studio that does major work, will provide youngsters an exponential insight into how those sorts of commerical type sounds, practices, theorys, industry bull****, etc etc etc. This has been extramely valuable for me, and something that i am very thankful for and way better than going to any school... i used the school $$ and got me some bitchin gear isntead and learnt by trial and error.. much the same way that home recordists do. I am not a technical ****** i just know what i want and how to get it when i need it to sound like what i am envisaging. From my experience school types are often singular in their approach to studio problems and recording.. oftening taking the ...this is the way i learnt @ school approach.... there are no rules to recording, only if it sounds good it is!..lol

well thats my .2 worth..

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 20th October 2002
  #5
"Unless you have a relation or close friend that has a small (or large) studio set up and has the patience to teach you, how the hell are you going to get started?" - Jules

"By making yourself valuable and appreciated, and showing aptitude and attention to detail." - Jon

- That's merely a description of a 'non idiot'. Everyone with a job vacancy wants to employ a 'non idiot', that's a non brainer!

"Aside from a couple of notable exceptions (in France, the University of Brest's excellent 4-year program and, to a much lesser degree, SAE), by and large the interns didn't feel the schools were that useful." - Jon

- I personally, wouldn't concern myself too much about what the INTERN felt was useful or not about the school they attended.... Interns when they start are almost useless to a facility and need total on site training. But the fact that they are fresh from a previous 'audio training' experience is a very big point in their favor IMHO. They should arrive fully adjusted to a culture of training, as problems can easily arise when they are not.
Old 20th October 2002
  #6
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
"By making yourself valuable and appreciated, and showing aptitude and attention to detail." - Jon

- That's merely a description of a 'non idiot'. Everyone with a job vacancy wants to employ a 'non idiot', that's a non brainer!

Interns when they start are almost useless to a facility and need total on site training.
Jules, I would disagree with both statements.

Showing serious aptitude is much more than being a 'non-idiot'.

And those with aptitude and motivation are certainly useful from day one, in my experience. If not, then we probably didn't choose the right person. Receiving 30+ resumes per week, we try to choose our interns well so they can indeed step right in from day one. Usually, this means previous internships at other facilities plus school, but not always. It's a combination of attitude, aptitude, motivation, experience and people skills. The more experienced interns show the newer ones the ropes and move up to assistant work in sessions.
Old 20th October 2002
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 

How about starting life as a musician and then moving into studio work because there's nothing else that you want to do? One of may favorite engineers got his start as a mandolin builder, never went to school, and has grammy awards both for country and classical albums.

Several others I know are (were) musicians who loved the studio - again, no schooling but a great willingness to learn the craft of reacording.

Two things that piss me off are kids out of school who think that they know everything, and self taught engineers who are absolutely sure that the way they work is the only way to work, and aren't open to any other approach. Both of these faults can be fixed, but it takes working in a professional environment to do so. The sad thing is that neither schooling or the DIY approach alone can teach you how to listen, and what to listen for. For that you have ti be around someone who knows what they're doing.
Old 20th October 2002
  #8
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

you can learn to listen w/o someone telling you [if you really pay attention]

but i think ANYONE who thinks they know everything is just full of themselves... or anyone who thinks their way is the only way. even the most experienced can ALWAYS pick up something no matter how minor.
Old 21st October 2002
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I'm a musician who's absolutely obssessed with the art of recording! There's nothing in the world that I want to do more than making great music and then recording it myself and making it sound the way I want it to. I'm still very young, and still have a lot to learn. That's why I am joining an audio school this winter to add to the basics that I am already kind of familiar with, and get to touch more cool gear. After that, I want to become an apprentice at a pro studio, and then I'm building my own ****in' studio in my house, where I can do my own recordings in peace.

The big problem Im facing now, is that making music has taken a back seat to my love of the art of recording engineering!!!!!! Thank god they're both inter-related.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #10
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Dave and Agony, I can relate...coming from a similar experience.

How 'bout some more votes on this poll? Are there so few people among the visitors here who have an opinion on the subject?
Old 22nd October 2002
  #11
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
How about starting life as a musician and then moving into studio work because there's nothing else that you want to do? One of may favorite engineers got his start as a mandolin builder, never went to school, and has grammy awards both for country and classical albums.

Several others I know are (were) musicians who loved the studio - again, no schooling but a great willingness to learn the craft of reacording.
This is definitely where I sit. Player first and then moved to recording myself, my bands and finally other bands. After many recordings that I wasn't that happy with (in some very nice and not so nice studios), I just decided it made sense to invest in my own gear rather than others.

I have friends churning out incredible things recorded on ADATs through Mackies, but it happens to fit with their mode of working...

At any rate - I agree with Dave, the poll should have another choice...

Musician to "knows enough to be dangerous" engineer?!
Old 22nd October 2002
  #12
A reminder of the poll question...

"what do you think is the best way to go?"

"What advice would you give to someone starting out?"
Old 22nd October 2002
  #13
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
A reminder of the poll question...

"what do you think is the best way to go?"

"What advice would you give to someone starting out?"
You're right, I'm a little off course.

At any rate, what I was trying to get at was - look at your strengths. Are you good with computers, a musician, a people person, an electrician type, etc. How you answer those types of questions could help steer your decision.

The obvious answer though is still DON'T DO IT! I thought we all knew that...
Old 24th October 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

best way to go imho :

if you're young enough .... go to school. Get the theory behind it all in your brain first. After that ... forget everything you learned and start making tea / preparing meals / running errands in a professional studio. And after a couple of years, try to remember what they told you at school and try to find out how it relates to what you've seen from the pro's.

It is definately not the only way, nore the way I did it (I had to do everything on my own) but it is the way I would like to try doing it if I had to start all over again as a 16 year old.

I know lots of people who just turn the knobs whithout realy knowing what they're doing or why. And sure ... some of them get amazing results and that's what it is all about but I am sure that if those same guys would know why they turn those knobs the way they do they would even get bettere results. It makes that thin line between something great and something fantastic imho.

As far as advice : read the above.
Old 24th October 2002
  #15
cnmberryman
Guest
I'm in the process of a different route don't know if it'll work but I'll post a follow-up in about 10 years (lol). I am in the Marine Corps and the are paying for my college (Bachelors of Music in Sound Recording Technology w/ minor in Electrical engineering ). After sucessful completion of school I will apply to become a Marine Corps officer working in the Public Affairs (production) field. Retire 10 years from now, and have a degree and a portfolio to hopefully get a nice job...oh and a retirement check until I croak. =)

Peace, Chris
Old 26th October 2002
  #16
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I don't think one can begin interning young enough. Most of the stuff you'd learn in school is available in books and there are plenty of community college classes that can fill in the rest in a very short time.
Old 26th October 2002
  #17
Gear Head
 

Most of you are right. As in life, there is no best way, only what works best for each individual. Attitude (positive, ready to learn, eagerness to help and ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY, even if just coiling leads).

The thing that always kills me is when I (a, ahem, uh... senior engineer/producer) am coiling, lifting, plugging, and the intern/GA is standing there looking at me.

Probably the biggest shortcoming that I see consistantly is a serious lack of musical experience and understanding (either playing, listening, or analysing).
There are many pros and cons about the "big" U.S. music technology programs (Berklee, Miami, Peabody, etc.), but one thing they all have going is that graduates all have quite a lot of experience as players, arrangers, theorists, etc.

As some of you have said, many coming up engineers know "turn knob, watch meter, press record...". I could coach my mother (80 years old) how to do this over the phone, and she'd make a quality recording. ("Tell 'em to put a c12 into a 1073, turn the red knob on top until the needle is reaching the red, say 'here we go' and press the red button....").

The real deal is to have the desire and ears to really sus out what your clients are trying to do and help move them along their way (many times in ways they don't even perceive).
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