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Does anyone see hope on the horizon? Plugin Bundles
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
Does anyone see hope on the horizon?

Honestly, I've been trying to get work for about a year now and NOTHING. I think I've gotten a hold of every studio in or around LA. I'm a dang good engineer, an amazing assistant and I'm even willing to "run" to stay in this business right now, no wait... I'd be ECSTATIC to be PAID(key word) to clean toilets right now!

Does anyone see a glimmer of hope on the horizon? A pickup in bookings, or at least inquiries? Actually have a need for runners, let alone ASSISTANTS?

..... we're dying out here!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Honestly, I think if you study numbers, the NUMBER of larger type studio's that need paid assistants and runners opening vs. the number of larger type studio's that need paid assistants and runners closing is a diminishing number. ie: larger studio's are closing faster than opening up. This trend has been going on for a decade, and is now in veritable free fall with the added issues of the economy and governmental control gone amok - and I have not seen any signs of it turning a corner and heading back northward.....

If your career goals depend on someone paying you a salary, I think your odds are pretty slim to none.

I'm sure you are good at what you do, but what if no one needs that? Diversification, re-defining who you are and what you do, foresight and super hard work may lead you in a new direction that includes audio.

But it will be difficult. Good luck.

bp

PS - the good news (if you can call it that) is that there are 1000X's more studios than there used to be. You just need to figure out how to make yourself valuable enough to get those one man garage/bedroom/basement shops to open up their wallets for you....
Old 24th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
fabricaudio's Avatar
 

Why dont you try to bring your projects in a commercial studio?

Plus
1.You get the credits as a main engineer and you start building a name
2.Studios that need to fill slots will be pleased if you tell them you have band that wants you as an engineer and they want to book the studio.

Minus
You need to do start going to a lot of gigs and get connect with bands.


Some bookings we had were with new freelance engineers that brought a band that trusted them (and at the end of the recording they trust us too!!).

I believe it is more possible to cooperate with studios than get a permanent job. We are getting busy as time goes by with rehearsals and recordings but we are not in the stage to spend extra money on assistants. When the business goes slow the first thing you reduce is your expenses.


Nikolas
Old 24th December 2010
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Raider's Avatar
 

Teach home studio people how to record and mix.
There is tons of good equipment being used improperly.

The market has shifted from do it for me, to do it yourself.
Your a product, market yourself as the home studio guru.
Old 25th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 

You have to develop a skill set that's actually in demand.

I'd look into the service / repair / build side of the biz, unless you are hopeless with circuit diagrams and a soldering iron.

Most folks are, which leaves plenty of opportunity there.
Old 25th December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

what did u major in?
Old 25th December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
I'd look into the service / repair / build side of the biz, unless you are hopeless with circuit diagrams and a soldering iron.

THAT'S where the money is!

Years ago one of my keyboards died. I brought it to Manhattan Audio to have it repaired. When I picked it up, they showed me the bill which was $100. $3 in parts and $97 in labor.

I should have switched career paths then and there...


Regards,
Frank
Old 25th December 2010
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
THAT'S where the money is!

Years ago one of my keyboards died. I brought it to Manhattan Audio to have it repaired. When I picked it up, they showed me the bill which was $100. $3 in parts and $97 in labor.

I should have switched career paths then and there...


Regards,
Frank
I dunno good keyboard players can always work. To the OP, as far as getting engineering gigs, Bill is right, at this point if you can find your own clients and use a studio, that would make the most sense,
first studios like engineers that have their own client base, second, studios will make deals with you for the time especially if they don't need to supply you with much. Good Luck to you.
Old 25th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
DanDaMan's Avatar
 

Maybe you could try going into freelancing? heh
Old 26th December 2010
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDaMan View Post
Maybe you could try going into freelancing? heh
That's it. Studios can't deny you if you're bringing in work.
Old 26th December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
That's it. Studios can't deny you if you're bringing in work.
Yepp...

I think someone needs a hook in this business to get a paid job.
A friend of mine went from engineer more to be a producer.

He offers bands a free ride in his studio but he has contracts with them for the case they break-thorough he gets a long time some percentages of the royalties.

On the other side this is not easy as well.
This business still is having a hard time.

To me as long users / producers / labels / musicians do not want to hear/see that they cant compete with a DAW based home studio I see no end.

thumbsupProfesional places cook better IMO sure they cost more.
Old 26th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 

be in the lookout for post studios that are not only geared towards audio.

like deluxe, asent media , technicolor, modern film etc. there is plenty of audio work there. not what u'd expect but its audio work. post audio. which is a bit more stable.

but if u are looking for music, then no.... music biz is hangin by a thread.
i dont think many people are doing much money in music, except for a lucky few who get all the gigs there are to be gotten.
Old 26th December 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider View Post
Teach home studio people how to record and mix.
There is tons of good equipment being used improperly.

The market has shifted from do it for me, to do it yourself.
Your a product, market yourself as the home studio guru.
Great idea!I have a small home studio and I record local bands.I have been using PT for about four years.When I started I needed help getting things hooked up and someone to teach me PT.I called my buddy who owns Velvet Tone studio in Sacramento,CA.He has many Platinum album credits under his belt.He charges 300.00 a day for Private PT classes,mixing and anything I need help with.

This "Home studio Guru" market is a gold mine for you experienced engineers,there are lots of guys out there(like me) just getting into recording/mixing and really need help getting started the right way.It's great having a guy with all this experience sitting in my studio teaching me on my gear.
Old 26th December 2010
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockitrecordings View Post
Honestly, I've been trying to get work for about a year now and NOTHING. I think I've gotten a hold of every studio in or around LA. I'm a dang good engineer, an amazing assistant and I'm even willing to "run" to stay in this business right now, no wait... I'd be ECSTATIC to be PAID(key word) to clean toilets right now!

Does anyone see a glimmer of hope on the horizon? A pickup in bookings, or at least inquiries? Actually have a need for runners, let alone ASSISTANTS?

..... we're dying out here!

man I am having the opposite problem.....which in theory shouldn't be a problem....I'm on the East coast NJ and have more biz than I can handle alone and properly. I'm having issues finding anyone passionate, creative and RELIABLE while even offering great pay! I've outsourced to people that have "good reps" but are hacks at times or just lazy. As I am willing to sacrifice quantity over quality to save face and keep name,but I do want to keep my clients deadlines in check. I am looking for experienced drum RE-samplers versed in GOG/Slate and manual replacement (real sounding snare rolls etc) and TIGHT yet real feel drum editor with experience ( yes you would be surprised what people let pass as professionally sampled kits). 2nd would be a local RELIABLE mix engineer to start templates (not get coffee) and set ups for mixes. 3rd looking for a partnered ME (can be noobish) for quick sequence and red book.....I would consider doing most of this via internet if the engineer was great...is this something you are interested in? cheers and good luck

ps ALL of these jobs are paying gigs
Old 26th December 2010
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
metrognome's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twig View Post
man I am having the opposite problem.....which in theory shouldn't be a problem....I'm on the East coast NJ and have more biz than I can handle alone and properly. I'm having issues finding anyone passionate, creative and RELIABLE while even offering great pay! I've outsourced to people that have "good reps" but are hacks at times or just lazy. As I am willing to sacrifice quantity over quality to save face and keep name,but I do want to keep my clients deadlines in check. I am looking for experienced drum RE-samplers versed in GOG/Slate and manual replacement (real sounding snare rolls etc) and TIGHT yet real feel drum editor with experience ( yes you would be surprised what people let pass as professionally sampled kits). 2nd would be a local RELIABLE mix engineer to start templates (not get coffee) and set ups for mixes. 3rd looking for a partnered ME (can be noobish) for quick sequence and red book.....I would consider doing most of this via internet if the engineer was great...is this something you are interested in? cheers and good luck

ps ALL of these jobs are paying gigs
Wow...if only there were more jobs like that available in CA! I'm in a similar position to rockitrecordings. I've been running my own small studio a few years, but need some more steady work to help pay the bills when business is slow. I have probably contacted/met head staff from 15-20 studios in the SF Bay Area and haven't come across any real "jobs".
Old 26th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

Hope? Yeah there's hope. If I were in the position of wanting to be in the biz I'd open a mastering studio. It's the least gear intensive and therefore cheapest to open. Plus mastering is chick right now and mastering gods are all the rage. Do what you have to do. Lie if you have to everything that has to do with music, show biz or any other of the arts is half bull. All that matters is that you can deliver the goods when the time comes.
Old 27th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
John Moran's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
If I were in the position of wanting to be in the biz I'd open a mastering studio. It's the least gear intensive and therefore cheapest to open. Plus mastering is chick right now and mastering gods are all the rage. Do what you have to do. Lie if you have to everything that has to do with music, show biz or any other of the arts is half bull. All that matters is that you can deliver the goods when the time comes.
yah man, experience and training, both technical and acoustic/listening, have nothing to do with mastering. the best place to start is obviously fixing other peoples mixes when you have no experience nor skills but want to get "in the biz".

yah man, i can lie about technical items that have real physical and specific delivery requirements. the pressing plants and electronic delivery sites don't care, do they ? i know the labels won't get upset if something isn't right.

it's "chick" (not chic?) cool, maybe i can finally get a date too.

less gear to buy. perfect. i can get some cracked software for free.

hot damn, i iz off to the banjo center, buy me some stuff and i iz gonna be a mazzering injunear !



Old 30th December 2010
  #18
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twig View Post
man I am having the opposite problem.....which in theory shouldn't be a problem....I'm on the East coast NJ and have more biz than I can handle alone and properly. I'm having issues finding anyone passionate, creative and RELIABLE while even offering great pay! I've outsourced to people that have "good reps" but are hacks at times or just lazy. As I am willing to sacrifice quantity over quality to save face and keep name,but I do want to keep my clients deadlines in check. I am looking for experienced drum RE-samplers versed in GOG/Slate and manual replacement (real sounding snare rolls etc) and TIGHT yet real feel drum editor with experience ( yes you would be surprised what people let pass as professionally sampled kits). 2nd would be a local RELIABLE mix engineer to start templates (not get coffee) and set ups for mixes. 3rd looking for a partnered ME (can be noobish) for quick sequence and red book.....I would consider doing most of this via internet if the engineer was great...is this something you are interested in? cheers and good luck

ps ALL of these jobs are paying gigs
know what you mean. I've been looking for someone to take up the excess here so I can get a bit of life back..... haven't found ANYONE in three years who is up to the task.
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDaMan View Post
Maybe you could try going into freelancing? heh
disclaimer: I don't work with signed bands yet, so this only applies to my experiences.

This is what I did last year. I have a staff position at a local studio, but have been pushing more "freelance" work these days. When you are calling up studios with a paying gig, they can't deny you. Doesn't really matter if I've ever worked there before if I'm on the phone saying "I'm working with xxxx band, and we need the first week of next month."

With how affordable recording has become, many bands cant justify going to a high dollar studio for the entire length of a project. We, obviously, need to track some where and I can typically explain the value in mixing through analog gear. I have a capable protools rig at home that I can do just about 75% of my work such as editing, voc-aligning, etc and other "mix prep". Bands pay per hour for tracking time + mix time at the studio of their choosing. This has given me the opportunity to work in many different rooms in my area, and with many different engineers and producers because we aren't locked into one studio (and subsequently, their network of people). While I don't want to go too deep into my financial's, I am still able to offer competitive pricing. Trying to break into label work or anything like that seems to be pretty hard from a freelance position, but I haven't been able to hit that road 100% yet (one of my goals for 2011).

I also suggest looking at the market needs in your area, and adapting your services and skill set to what might be most financially viable for you (if that's what you are after). I've gotten a few gigs in the last couple of months that were for media conversions, and audio restoration. These types of gigs can help fill up any down time between studio bookings.

-Jon
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Hope? Yeah there's hope. If I were in the position of wanting to be in the biz I'd open a mastering studio. It's the least gear intensive and therefore cheapest to open.
Setting up a good mastering room/system is NOT cheap!

Sean
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Hope? Yeah there's hope. If I were in the position of wanting to be in the biz I'd open a mastering studio. It's the least gear intensive and therefore cheapest to open. Plus mastering is chick right now and mastering gods are all the rage. Do what you have to do. Lie if you have to everything that has to do with music, show biz or any other of the arts is half bull. All that matters is that you can deliver the goods when the time comes.
Again. Wow. Given this perspective, and ethical orientation, I bet clients flock to your mastering room, eh? I've never heard of a lying newbie "delivering the goods" at all, much less on cue "when the time comes"?

IMO this is the terrible advice. In this tight, competitive market it's a rocket sled to oblivion. Here's the deal: You may fool a couple newbies before your name is slathered all over the internets as a liar, cheat and crook. This reputation will spread faster than your lies, and stick to you like glue.

This might have worked in the 60s or 70s when people had few choices, and were isolated from one another but today that's a pipe dream. This might be the worst advice I've seen on gearslutz. That's saying a lot. But you've managed to combine ignorance (mastering studios aren't cheap, and the market as cut throat as any other), with a bad attitude and a uniquely misinformed assessment of a market you know nothing about. Bravo!
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