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Old 19th May 2004
  #32
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Interns don't get paid. They agree to do helping work and be humble to be able to say when they apply for an assistant position somewhere that they know how to behave in a studio atmosphere and that they know what a studio is.
I never interned or did the "runner" job although I've done it all, the most humiliating.
Assistant's motto: Do everything all the time for everybody and don't let anyone notice.
If you work with an enginner more than once you've probably scoped out his working habits, setup the session the way he's used to before he gets there. If it's a mix have the 1/2" up on the machine even if it won't be 5 hours before you start hitting tape. Make whatever tapeover patches, mults, etc... If it's an in the box project, check to see if it's a clean session and has locations marked for the arrangement, all the main tracks and their subgruped organized in an easily findable manner, mark any tracks for cleaning or hiding and alert the eng of any problems before he starts listening (you should do this on any session) make copies of the lyric sheets etc.... There's a lot more to do.
1988- $300 a week flat- 14 hrs a day for 6 days a week with some excursions lasting up to 40 hrs straight (no drugs!) vacations are frowned upon (meals would've been wonderful, sometimes an engineer that was getting 700 a day would get me an extra thing from the menu when he saw that I ordered only fried rice, no drink) I usually had to waste another 2 hrs on payday to track the owner down, if you skipped a weeks pay he wouldn't believe that he hadn't paid you and you had to threaten to quit to get it etc... Learned sync, automation, midi programming, limited only to HipHop. Did a lot of tracking (1st) and 2nd on mixes and remixes. I also did a bunch of drum, gtr and bass playing for looping, drumfills, percussion, chickenscrathing.
1990- $8 an hour with a 1010 or whatever, pay your own taxes if you made enough money that year, some money and bonuses on the sleeve, in 92 $10 an hour. From the day I got this job I was putting mics. in front of artists and pushing the red button, I did a lot of assisting which could be 1sting or just answering the phones, put up this reel and order the takeout. Some of the time I would play studio manager too. A lot of recognisable, experienced AEs and producers from all genres of music, my ability to read music and sightsing was appreciated here. I got to play on some tracks and I also spent a lot of free time there helping the other staff keep the studio healthy. Lucky studio owner!
The other staff from that studio are now producing and recording Albums for majors or playing and writing them. We remain close friends.
Throughout all of this time of poverty there was always comraderie and this is the thing that's lasted, besides the experience and methods gained, the memories of these friendships are the most gratifying.
It's not easy to be a good assistant.