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internships and what to expect...............

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SAWTOOTH, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. SAWTOOTH

    SAWTOOTH Guest

    hello; i'm graduating from a school in 3months for recording arts. I was just wondering if I could get some feedback on what is expected of an intern in the industry; and what will potential employers be looking for. Oh yeah; i make the best damn coffee too!
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Five things I expected from interns in this order.
    (1) Arrive when your scheduled
    (2) Keep your mouth shut.
    (3) Disappear when your not needed but be there when you are.
    (4) Show a willingness to learn from the engineer you work with.
    (5) Don't contradict anything they show or tell you (especially in front of a client). Make a mental note of any questions that may arise and wait for a private moment after the session is completed to ask it. Never interupt the flow of the session.

    A sad fact; So many times people who are "instructors" at "Recording Schools" don't really know what they are doing. Remember the old saying,
    The only pre requisite for most recording school is the ability to write a huge check! There are some reputable schools like Berklee College of Music and the Music Institute in Seattle but most of the good ones are very difficult to get into. Just a few months in a good internship will teach you more than you ever learned in school. Good luck and if you have any question please ask. I will be more than glad to help if I can. Remember there are no stupid questions. ...... Fats

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Jeez, Fats! You are tough, but I understand! Sawtooth, please read this. It is the best article I have ever read on interniships, the humility, the humility...
    http://www.recordingwebsite.com/articles/industry.html

    --Rick
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Rick,
    Ohhh, I didn't mean to be tough. I was just trying to prepare Sawtooth for what is coming his way. I did an internship for noted producer "Cookie Marenco" that lasted one day! She instructed me to align the 24 track and when I finished I told her (mistakenly in front of the client) that I couldn’t get track 24 to come all the way up on the 10K tone. That was it. At the end of the session, she told me she didn't need me anymore and why. Now that's tough! Fats
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Like I said, I understand, we learn from that real fast, but I think she was excessively harsh on you, and left a bit of an impression. But you have deep passion, and would have made it with or without her.

    I want 2 of the best, creative, out of school editors, and when ready, will find them, and give them a good salary. I am desperate for what young people can bring to the art. So you guys in school, if you have the passion, go for it, if you're gonna punch a clock and expect the world owes you because you got paper, forget it!

    --Rick
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Rick,
    In my studio I usually had interns start right out assisting rather than cleaning. I have horror stories to tell. My favorite (which I have told here before) entailed a 27 year old guy who’s “very well to do” parents had decided he needed to do something for himself. They spent a huge obscene amount of money sending him to the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. This guy was late to his first two sessions and spent the second session in the control room sitting and crying (literally) to the clients and myself how his parents didn't understand him and had cut him off financially so he needed to get started being paid by me for sessions. He was of absolutely no value to me and my sessions would (and did) go smoother without his presence. Needless to say he was out of there after that session although he did spend the next two weeks calling me every other day begging me to take him back. ……….. Fats
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  7. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have nightmares too, but in my area, the show must go on. There are exceptional, eager, bright, creative kids coming out of some schools. You can hand pick them. Fats, I would have swept floors just to be around a studio, just to be there, even if I never touched a piece of gear. There are students that are exceptional, and take it very seriously. They are ones that do take initiative, and ask lot's of questions, and seem to have logic as instinct. That kid you mentioned could have bought a studio instead, I have seen many million dollar toy's, but they make money as owners, not engineers. I do say the best experience comes from doing it. Right away. Under supervision of course. You can find some working late just to get better, learn more, or come up with ideas we never thought about. I need the transfusion, new blood for old, it keeps me young feeling.
    --Rick
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Rick,
    I don't mean to say that all interns are a waste of skin. I have had a couple who have been very good and turned out to be first class engineers who I worked the beans out of. There was a guy named Woody Woodson who came from the Recording Academy in Seattle who was excellent. Very consciences and a hell of a funny guy! Clients loved him. I still miss him .... Another who graduated from "The Conservatory" in AZ, Chris Beard, started out slow but as he learned became a reliable and valued part of our operation. He was the "Son" I never had! It is just so hard for a small studio owner to find those "Gems". The schools send there best to LA to work at Ocean Way, Skip Saylor, and Conway etc. I don't blame them, it's just a sad fact. To put the shoe on the other foot, if I were just getting out of school, I would much rater work at the "Record Plant" than at a small studio in Fremont CA. .... Fats

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  9. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    hey Uncle Cedar, do ya want an intern with over 30 Cds in the background and some awards? I promise that I will not ask for Mackie´s, alesis
    LOL
     
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    ACB... in a heartbeat but.... I'm RETIRED!!! hehehe The way I see it is, I should chuck it all up here and move to the tropical island setting your in and work for you. :D ... Fats
     
  11. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :d: . When all the while they could have formed a team with you and helped grow with, and in your company.
    --Rick
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Chris had to leave to move back to AZ so he could be close to his little girl and her Mother. I had offered him a proposal like that. Woody moved out to the San Joaquin Valley because his Mother had become gravely ill with kidney disease and he had to donate one of his to her. He was the only match in the family. If it hadn't been for that either one of them would be running KFRS now and I would be retired and hopefully getting a check every month from them. I miss both of them .... Fats

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  13. Tungstengruvsten

    Tungstengruvsten Active Member

    Hey Rick-
    I'm a kick ass audio editor(if i say so myself ;) ) I went to an audio school, half way through I assumed teaching duties for MIDI and 2-track editing programs, then continued to teach there for a year after graduating...any 2 track editor or multitrack suite is fine with me, also familiar with lots of post equipment, and have already survived my internship experience(s)

    dang, Florida eh? i'm a Canadjian...
     
  14. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    I think it was 83F here today.....
     
  15. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :c: Hey Eric, that's the stuff I am talking about, you excelled in class, and assumed duty's to help others too! I am impressed. I am not quite ready yet, but please e-mail me your vitals for my file. There is a bunch of Canadians here in SOFLA, but it is bit warmer, ya get used to it after 15 or 20 years :d: , cause you never go outside in the day, just at night, eh? My Benz broke down in Toronto once, just off that huge highway :s: , I coasted into a gas station, had it towed to the Benz dealer, and got the best work ever done on it, on a Saturday too! It ran better than ever before, like for 125. US tow and all, nice country. So keep in touch. BTW, do you mind sharing some of your intern experiences to help the folks in school, soon to be interns.

    --Rick
     
  16. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    ;) Sound like great guys, you too Fats!
    --Rick
     
  17. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    I interned for about 8 months and thought I didn't learn much but it soaked in a la Mr. Miagi. "Wax on. Wax off."

    The most annoying thing about my internship was that I didn't know anyone in or anything about the recording industry and my days were with this guy who didn't tell me anything. I mean he didn't tell me what proper etiquette was while clients were present and he never laid out what was expected of me. I never knew where I stood with the dude and that sucked.

    Fortunately, there was another engineer who every so often I would assist and he would actually encourage me to just fool around with all the stuff after the end of the day. That was fun and now I recognize the value. Anyway, do what Cedar told you and hopefully you'll hook up with a cool engineer who can give you good advice.
    J
     
  18. Tungstengruvsten

    Tungstengruvsten Active Member

    Damn you Floridians...i think it's -15 today...

    As for Internship experience...my first was pushing the Tea Party's van out of a ditch...it was all very surreal, i mean I was excited to meet them but we were in the middle of the Laurentian mountains in Quebec, all 3 guys were dressed in black, and there was 3 feet of snow on the ground...
    I did just what you said, made sure I was available when needed, and never talked back. Always, always ask questions in private, and most importantly-figure out how to make expressos, cappucino's and latte's perfectly for whomever wants them....

    My duties ranged from making sub snakes for drums and setup/takedown to cleaning coke out of the Studer and programming the porn channels at the guest cottage....you just gotta be ready for whatever they throw at you.
     
  19. Gary Gidak

    Gary Gidak Member

    Hi folks,

    I've got an interesting story. I attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Phoenix. Didn't really care for the education, but it was instrumental in helping gain the contacts I have now. Anyway, while going to school, I was full time Air Force also. Military by day, school by night. So, when it came time to do my internship (200 hours required) I couldn't just up and leave the state. I still had to do my duty - thus I had to do a local internship.

    There was one really nice studio here (Third Eye Productions) which drew my attention. The engineer was (and still is) a great guy, and a super talented producer/engineer/musician. I spoke to the guy about my internship, and he said "no." He had tried interns in the past, and they were more trouble than they were worth, so he vowed to never do it again. I begged, I pleaded, I groveled. . . all to no avail. Finally, the day I was supposed to start accumulating hours for my internship, I showed up at the studio and said, "Listen, I don't mean to be a pain in the ass. I understand your position, and why you don't want an intern. I hope you understand mine, and the fact that I have nowhere else to go. If you don't want me in the studio, that's O.K. I will mow your lawn, I'll clean your house, I'll do your laundry, I'll paint, polish, scrub, dust, mop, shine. . . whatever. All I ask is that you sign my paperwork at the end of 200 hours so I can graduate.

    With that, I proceeded to mow the lawn. About half way through, he came out and stopped me. Informed me that he had a change of heart, and he would let me intern for him on an up-coming project. After it was all said and done I ended up with an album credit as a second engineer, and got an invaluable education. I still cleaned, polished, vacuumed, scrubed, cooked, etc., but I also got my hands into a serious project.

    So, Sawtooth, the moral to the story is: be prepared to do anything it takes, and be persistent. Just make sure you choose your battles carefully. If the guy I interned with had been an asshole, I would never have pushed the issue like I did. Fortunately, I'm a pretty good judge of character, and a good diplomat as well. Everything Fats has advised is a great starting point for dos and don'ts, also. Be careful, be helpful, try to be intuitive - If mics are being set up it stands to reason they'll need mic cables. Try and stay a step ahead of the engineer, and have the stuff ready for him before he asks for it. Don't break anything, don't handle expensive stuff, don't talk to clients unless they talk to you, and don't be afraid to say, "I don't know," especially if you don't know. Remember, in the eyes of the folks in the studio you're nothing more than snot-nosed degenerate who they've graciously given a golden opportunity. Within time, if you're worth your spit, you'll change their minds, and earn their respect. Good Luck.
     
  20. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    excellant points...to the core.
     

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