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Career Advice
Old 5th July 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
M.S.P.'s Avatar
Career Advice

I am recently finished recording school and am starting to look for work. I was just wondering if you guys/gals had any advice to someone who is just starting out.

I would like to work in a studio doing music. Im not sure how easy that will be. From my understanding I will have to work for free for a while. This could be hard since I dont have any money to do so... and part of me says that if I did it might be better to just put the money towards equipment and try to make it on my own (especialy with the spectre of making no money hovering over my head).

Im not afraid of working hard and I dont live an exorborant lifestyle by any stretch of the imagination. Im kind of at a crossroads and any advice would be apreciated.

Thank you.
Old 5th July 2005
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spark
I am recently finished recording school and am starting to look for work. I was just wondering if you guys/gals had any advice to someone who is just starting out.

I would like to work in a studio doing music. Im not sure how easy that will be. From my understanding I will have to work for free for a while. This could be hard since I dont have any money to do so... and part of me says that if I did it might be better to just put the money towards equipment and try to make it on my own (especialy with the spectre of making no money hovering over my head).

Im not afraid of working hard and I dont live an exorborant lifestyle by any stretch of the imagination. Im kind of at a crossroads and any advice would be apreciated.

Thank you.

Recording school gives you enough of the basics to appreciate the real learning you are going to do in the field, so don't skip it and just try to go it alone right away. You'll be amazed what you learn by working for free for a while at a good studio, technically, creatively, and about the business and dealing with clients. To be able to observe different engineers, producers, and artists (good and bad), and also to be able to network and build experience and some assisting credits on some real sessions - this is the kind of education you can't get in school or by buying some gear and hanging out a shingle.

How did you survive in school? You must have had some funds for that. Can you pursue a similar line for a little while to get started? This is a continuation of your education and an important foundation for your future career. The people you meet, things you learn, and resume builders you gain are important building blocks of a successful career. It will not only likely present opportunities you may not otherwise have gotten, but also better prepare you to take advantage of those opportunities and help you perform well enough to be given additional opportunities. Find a good studio, spend your time there wisely, and make yourself indispensible.

Good luck!
Old 5th July 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Where you live, is very important.
Old 5th July 2005
  #4
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M.S.P.'s Avatar
Jayfrigo, thanks for the advice. I think thats exactly what I had to hear.

Henchman, do you mean where you live is important if you want to run your own studio? Vancouver is one of the places I was considering if I was to go the established studio route....
Old 5th July 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spark
Jayfrigo, thanks for the advice. I think thats exactly what I had to hear.

Henchman, do you mean where you live is important if you want to run your own studio? Vancouver is one of the places I was considering if I was to go the established studio route....

Don't bother. There is no music undustry here to speak of. If you are starting out, go to where most of the work is.
If you want to run your own studio, and have no experience, well, good luck.
Old 5th July 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
M.S.P.'s Avatar
Hmmm.... Food for thought.

Thanks.
Old 6th July 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
BJohnston's Avatar
 

Spark,
I too went to a recording school right after High School. Because I had no clue about how to get into the business, I figured school would be the way to go. I thought getting a job would be possible upon finishing. Then reality set in. I got an internship at a High Profile studio in NYC. Decided that wasn't for me. Too many rediculous hoops to jump through. Plus I caught wind that they were using there interns to build a new facility. Be carefull where you get a job. Make sure that they are all about helping you help yourself, not using you for free labor. Also understand the music industry is probably as bad as it's ever been if not worse. Definitely plan on doing things for free whether it be an internship or pulling favors. It's a good way to prove yourself. It's really all about your people skills. Meeting people and forming relationships is the most important thing. Oh yeah be prepared to be poor, live on Roman Noodles, work rediculous hours, and have no life what so ever for at least 5-10 years. Do because you love it, not because you think there'll be some sort of financial reward. Good Luck.

B
Old 6th July 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Internship at a big studio worked great for me. It's the ONLY WAY to network with high profile artists and producers.

If mainstream was your goal there is no other way in my opinion.
Old 6th July 2005
  #9
For us (and we have been through a lot of intern interviews) the pivotal points in inverviews from our point of view often are.

Are the interns listening to what we are saying or are THEY interviewing US?

Do they display jadedness or bitter & twisted 'chip on their shoulder' attitude about the gopher / runner and non engineering aspect of a starting position BEFORE they have even BEGUN? tutt

Have they done ANY research into the studio before arriving for an interview? (a google search, looked at the studio's website?)

Recomended questions to ask.

What are the hours?
What is the career path possible? (ask for examples of past interns, how they are doing now)
What type of work takes place at the facility?

Great things to toss into the interview (and why)

"I know lots of bands / musicians" (potential clients for the studio - you have your finger on the pulse of the scene)
"I know Pro Tools well" (does this need an explination?)
"I really want to learn how to be an engineer" (shows a lack of 'know it all' vibe)

Things to "white lie" about

Your band - roll your eye's and say "it's just a part time hobby thing" (even if your band mates will kill you for missing 5 mins of a rehersal)
Being a producer - just sit on that info during the gopher / runner job interview ok?
How you only really like one genre of music - not a good plan in an interview at a commercial studio facility.
Old 8th July 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
M.S.P.'s Avatar
Thanks guys! Sage advice indeed.

thumbsup
Old 8th July 2005
  #11
Gear Addict
 
cletus's Avatar
 

I decided to go the old school route and do the internship/apprentice thing instead of school. I figured most schools would make you finish up some of the requirements as an intern anyway. Most people who I know that have made a name for themselves in this business have said that interning was one of the most valuable things they could have done. I have been doing it for a little over three months now. I got in with some engineers who really did teach their interns and let them work in the studio. Mind you it is just like a regular job except that you don't get paid. I have alot of responsibilty at the studio. Cleaning and running is just part of the job. There have been times when I felt a little discouraged. I just keep reminding myself that I'm lucky to even be in a studio and keep my eye on the prize so to speak. There really is no other way to learn how to be an engineer in my opinion. It's like if your dream is to be a great chef (which I actually did for work for a few years) reading cook books is great and will teach you some things. You might be able to cook well at home but you'll have no clue how to take the pressure in a real kitchen. Aspiring engineers study under great engineers until they really master it enough to earn the title of "engineer" and get out on their own. Recording school has really only become popular in the last decade or so, everyone wants to be a producer or engineer. Before that there were apprentices. It's also a good way to find out if this is really for you, if you can take the heat in the kitchen, rise above the moment and really shine. Juat like cooking there's just not alot of glamour about the job itself. The reward comes from doing it because you love it. Anyway my advice to you if you are really serious would be to first of all find yourself a job that you can do at night and make decent money like waiting tables. This would not only free up your time during the day to do an internship but would also put cash in your pocket every night and help you work on your people skills. They are invaluable no matter where you work especially in a studio. Next piece of advice would be to find a couple studios that you like and give them a call to see if they need interns. If the one you really want to work at doesn't need any don't get discouraged. Just be persisitent call them every week and develop a repoire with the staff over the phone. This will make a good impression from the get go. As soon as they have an opening guess who'll they'll be calling first. Once you have an internship find some jobs that they have been putting off for a while and do them even if it means painting or installing a new toilet or something. This will let them know that you are not afraid of hard work. Be adamant about asking questions about recording and let them know that you will work and take care of the **** that needs to be taken care of but that you are there to learn as well. Good Luck to you bro! My fingers are tired so I gotta go! PEACE!!!!!!!
Old 8th July 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

do you want to spend vast amounts of time and energy recording other people's music, helping them with their dreams, because recording is your passion? press on with a big studio.

do you want to record your own music, following your own dreams, because writing and performing is your passion? rethink what you're doing, now.

i don't know you, i have no idea what you really want for yourself. do you? make it your top priority to get clear on that, and everything else will start to fall into place.


gregoire
del ubik
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