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Advice for a (soon to be) SAE Grad.
Old 19th November 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Advice for a (soon to be) SAE Grad.

First of all, I know how the you guys here on GS feel about SAE and recording schools in general. I just have the feeling that by going to school to learn got me into a place where I can pursue my dream to be an Audio Engineer. I know that I didn't have the money to live in Nashville otherwise, and the place I lived had no opportunites for me to try(being within 100 miles of Nashville).

Getting that out of the way, I really want an internship, but I've gotten myself into a position where I think it will be unmanagable. Everyone needs money to pay bills and eat. From what I've heard, studios want their interns to be jolly on the spot any time 24/7.

How can I work a Part time job and still intern? Is all hope lost?
Old 19th November 2009
  #2
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

The hard part will be getting the internship in the first place. Lots of studios in town can't take interns from SAE because they don't cover their students on any insurance when they're off campus.

Certain things they don't tell you in the recruitment speech.
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
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i'm talking about getting one after im out. any advice?
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
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Storyville's Avatar
Yeah. Work really ****in' hard.

You found a way to afford SAE. Now find a way to make an internship happen.
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Search hard, do your research, and be polite and things should work out. I graduated from Full Sail like 4 years ago, moved to Portland, OR to be with my gf, found an internship in about 2 weeks. Nashville has quite a few more studios to work in than Portland......But hey after the internship I went to assistant engineer, then quit and now I'm freelance! Freelancing is tough to, especially getting started, but now I'm getting a few regular clients and more and more.

The important part is to stay positive, and to keep looking! If money is a problem, be open and talk to the studio manager about it. Tell him/her you are willing to do whatever it takes to work there, but we do all need to live!

Delivering pizzas at night is a great part-time job while being an intern, and you can make some great cash if you live in a well populated area!

Good Luck!
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

Advice? Sure. Call every studio in town. Twice. When I interned I had to politely pester the studio manager for about a week to convince him I was serious. Make sure your resume is professional looking. Are any of your classmates already interning? Ask them for a recommendation. Don't bother going to Ocean Way, Belmont owns it and they only take Belmont interns. Try Paragon or Dark Horse.

P.S. SAE grads aren't looked upon very highly by some people around town. It's up to you to convince them otherwise. And my above comment still applies after you've graduated. Just FYI.
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePasson View Post
Everyone needs money to pay bills and eat. From what I've heard, studios want their interns to be jolly on the spot any time 24/7.
A kid in his late teens / early 20's that still lives with his Nashville situated parents might be what you have to compete with on both counts. Cash required and ease of availability.

But if that's the competition, understand it and defeat it.
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
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Can you give me a discount at Guitar Center?


sorry
Old 20th November 2009
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePasson View Post
First of all, I know how the you guys here on GS feel about SAE and recording schools in general. I just have the feeling that by going to school to learn got me into a place where I can pursue my dream to be an Audio Engineer. I know that I didn't have the money to live in Nashville otherwise, and the place I lived had no opportunites for me to try(being within 100 miles of Nashville).
Two bits of advice...

1) Get a "Smart Car"... they get 50 miles to the gallon... you can continue to live where you are and "commute".

2) Master the phrase "want fries with that?"

Attention to detail is of paramount importance in our industry... if you can't get a lunch order straight don't be surprised if nobody is going to be in a big hurry to help you with your dream... oh, and fast food restaurants will often be cool about letting you be somewhat flexible with your schedule so long as your shift is covered if you have to be on the gig [which is also part and parcel to being responsible and paying attention to ALL the details].

Best of luck... you're gonna need it.

Peace.
Old 20th November 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Try looking in unusual places for the money to pay the bills while interning. When I was interning meals and gas would be paid for, which helped a lot. Also after being there for a bit. An ex assistant at the studio started to pay me to do data entry for his business on the side. Not fun work but I could squeeze it in at any time, also had approval from the studio to do it there while I was interning, at late nights when I was just waiting for people to wrap. It's not easy, but if you a determined you will find away!!
Old 20th November 2009
  #11
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toneguru's Avatar
Get a degree in electrical engineering. I believe that is where the term "engineer" originally came from.

Imagine you are Alan Sides at Oceanway. You get 200 prospects a year. 150 fresh out of full sail or sae or the like, 49 musicians with a dream and one guy who has a background in electronics.

Which guy is gonna separate himself from the crowd?

Which guy is gonna save the day by fixing something broken while the tech is on vacation.

Which guy is gonna have a keen understanding of signal flow, not just where it flows but why it flows and how it flows.

If I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school and I wanted to make it as an engineer, I would learn electronics. That and Pro Tools.
Old 21st November 2009
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
Get a degree in electrical engineering. I believe that is where the term "engineer" originally came from.

Imagine you are Alan Sides at Oceanway. You get 200 prospects a year. 150 fresh out of full sail or sae or the like, 49 musicians with a dream and one guy who has a background in electronics.

Which guy is gonna separate himself from the crowd?

Which guy is gonna save the day by fixing something broken while the tech is on vacation.

Which guy is gonna have a keen understanding of signal flow, not just where it flows but why it flows and how it flows.

If I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school and I wanted to make it as an engineer, I would learn electronics. That and Pro Tools.
I agree in a way, but I've also seen guys TOO good at electrical engineering get pushed into doing the maintenance thing full time, never get on sessions as an assistant, and eventually move to an industry with better renumeration!
Old 21st November 2009
  #13
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I agree in a way, but I've also seen guys TOO good at electrical engineering get pushed into doing the maintenance thing full time, never get on sessions as an assistant, and eventually move to an industry with better renumeration!
That's a choice. And when in a position to choose, you have control, as oppose to when you are in a position to be chosen. Personally, I want nothing more than to have a thorough understanding of electronics - but I can't afford school. So it's DIY til I die for me.

As long as you can recognize that SAE was the easy part, persistence and perseverance are your bread and butter.
Old 21st November 2009
  #14
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
In thinking about this... a rather lucrative "part time" job that can actually come in handy in the effort to further your career will be to peddle some weed on the side. It'll keep you in the studio [for the most part] and make you very popular with a lot of the clients... good income potential and you can make your own hours.

I can fondly recall the days when "requested substances" were merely an assistant request away... and while the "product of choice" has changed, there is still a need for "product of choice" in many recording sessions.

The thing is to not let it turn into a "full time business", lay low and fly under the radar... but an eighth here, a quarter there... next thing you know your rent is paid and many who you would like to know your name will know your name. Minimal legal risk, solution to your quandary. Win-win kinda.

The "Smart Car" and "Want Fries with that?" still apply [though you might be adding 'brownies' to your repertoire as well].

Just a thought.
Old 21st November 2009
  #15
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
There is no money to be made as an engineer at this point in the music business. I recommend doing better research before going into a dying field. I'm not joking. Its pretty much the way it is.
Old 21st November 2009
  #16
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rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u View Post
There is no money to be made as an engineer at this point in the music business. I recommend doing better research before going into a dying field. I'm not joking. Its pretty much the way it is.
no offence but i dont get this attitude. there is money to be made. how else would a lot of us pay the bills? sure maybe not as much as guys were making 15 years ago but if you go into it purely for the money then you need your head examined anyway.

OP - just keep trying and trying and when you're done trying then go back to the start and try some more.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #17
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toneguru's Avatar
Few in the industry for over ten years would deny that overall the biz is appearing to be dying a slow death.

If you have great ears and do not mind long hours making less and less as budgets free fall then full steam ahead... but...

Do be aware that the best years for recording studios and their employees are behind us.

The only part of the industry that is holding its own revenue wise is the gear tech. Usually $50 to $80 an hour and booked solid.

Good luck.

PS. I truly hope I am wrong about what I have posted here.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #18
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
Few in the industry for over ten years would deny that overall the biz is appearing to be dying a slow death.
Yup.

At last year's AES Convention in NY my observation was that we are in the absolute middle of a dead industry... we just didn't get the memo that its dead.

On the other hand there are quite a few places that are alive and well, kicking ass and taking names... so is it really dead?

There will always be room for the select few who do the job well. While the automobile replaced the horse and buggy it is still wonderful to take a horse and buggy ride through Central Park on a crisp fall evening... granted the market is much smaller than it was 150 years ago, there is still a market and there are still clients.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #19
I keep having this recurring fantasy.

(I guess if I didn't keep having it... it wouldn't be recurring. (Now that sounds like a line from Dean Roddey.))

I have the chance to talk to my 17-year-old self for five minutes. And I explain, in the simplest terms, what happened to him. Without spinning it or casting it in an adventurous or heroic light-- just them facts.

When I get to the part about "stamping out records with a machine that sits on your desk" I know I've lost the guy. He's squinting at me something fearsome. He doesn't believe one word of it. Why should he? It comes off sounding like the purest fantasy of wish-fulfillment: you built a studio, you engineer bands, you record concerts, you spend your life listening to music, people pay you to do this.

He doesn't believe me because it's the ultimate unspoken goal he harbors nestled in the deepest chambers of his heart, which he doubt stands any chance of actually coming true, because by and large the world has told him his dreams are super unrealistic and he needs to resign himself to a "conventional" storyline.

Maybe you'll have a dream, and your 52 year-old-self will visit you in the dream and tell you what's in store for you, and you might be flabbergasted to hear what he's got to say.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #20
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Like Fletcher said, attention to detail is a must- and the saying is "Johnnie on the spot"- Not "Jolly on the spot". Look up the etymology.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #21
Can't one be both jolly and Johnny, even on the selfsame spot???
Old 22nd November 2009
  #22
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Can't one be both jolly and Johnny, even on the selfsame spot???
Sure, I guess...
But seriously, if I was a studio manager and this kid said to me during the interview that he would try to be "jolly on the spot" or butchered some other saying or expression, I'd go with another kid that didn't show his inattention to detail. Its a very small thing, but in this economy in a field that has very, very few jobs to start with and huge competition for those jobs, it could make all the difference.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #23
Totally agree. Another thing that bugs the hell out of me is when messageboard posts are riddled with mis-spellings and non-capitalization or missing punctuation. Even some of the "big name" guys are guilty of this-- sloppy posting! You could go so far as say "slovenly" posting!

I really, really don't get this-- the occasional lapse, sure, people are human. Most of them, anyway. But then maybe I've got a "language sensitivity" that's all out of proportion. Then again, as you say, to reveal the depths of your non-sophistication-- never a winning strategy.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Brian Cares's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
In thinking about this... a rather lucrative "part time" job that can actually come in handy in the effort to further your career will be to peddle some weed on the side. It'll keep you in the studio [for the most part] and make you very popular with a lot of the clients... good income potential and you can make your own hours.

I can fondly recall the days when "requested substances" were merely an assistant request away... and while the "product of choice" has changed, there is still a need for "product of choice" in many recording sessions.

The thing is to not let it turn into a "full time business", lay low and fly under the radar... but an eighth here, a quarter there... next thing you know your rent is paid and many who you would like to know your name will know your name. Minimal legal risk, solution to your quandary. Win-win kinda.

The "Smart Car" and "Want Fries with that?" still apply [though you might be adding 'brownies' to your repertoire as well].

Just a thought.

I dont know if i would encourage my assistant to sell substances to clients
of my place or even at my place to make a living. Seems kinda odd to me.

You cant foresee the consequences of such behaviour.
I live in one of the most free and hedonistic cities of the western hemisphere. Its actually not illegal to carry some stuff with you and smoking in public is no problem most of the time. But its still illegal to trade that stuff.

And when running a serious business i´d rather not have any illegal activities happening around me.
Old 25th November 2009
  #25
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Makinithappen's Avatar
 

In response to Fletch....

Our main competition in town is a place that openly provides substances for their clients and are more than cool with afore mentioned clients partaking in those activities in the live rooms and vocal booths.

I know at least one of the local colleges in town won't send students there to intern because they end up going on "runs'

I'm not necessarily badmouthing it. It works for them.

We do get a all of the gospel business in town, tho. heh


(and in case anyone is wondering... we don't care what our clients do.. we just make them go outside... it's an industrial area.. no one is around anyway)
Old 26th November 2009
  #26
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LeMauce's Avatar
I just finished the SAE in Paris. And the only thing I can say is that the diploma is like have a driver license "how to operate" a car/gear. You know the basic's of the basic's.
It ain't saying that having the grad that you have that you are good damn driver on the circuit / formula 1 driver. And that the grad WILL you get a job instantly.
Only with a lot experience and being aside a real pro-engineer and working hard you ass off, is you getting there to be become one.

SAE and Full Sail grad's just making learning the basic's easier and quicker perhaps. But that it for me.
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