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To all studio owners...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by therecordingart, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Ok,

    Lets say a person in their early twenties came to you looking for a job in your studio. This person doesn't have any schooling in audio, but has about 4 years of recording experience, a good understanding of audio, and a nice sounding demo of material they've recorded on their own sub-par equipment. Let's also say that they have a resume of unrelated jobs that shows a proven track record of reliability and small business experience. This person has a good head on their shoulders and a passion to really be a great engineer. To make things interesting they've offered to work for free to prove they can run your gear and deliver a product that meets your expectations.

    Would you give this person an honest shake or would you tell them you won't work with anyone that doesn't have a degree? What if this person never went to school because they had to work full time to care for/support a sick single parent? Would you give them a chance?

    This is just a question to get other peoples opinions, and yes it is a situation I'm in!
     
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Beyond all that you mention, what does your gut tell you? Is this a person who you are willing to trust with your gear, your reputation, your business and your future business?

    A degree in what? That doesn't prove nothing more than he could get answers to pass a test on paper. You know what to ask to determine his qualifications or what requirements your are looking for. So, Test him, drill him. See if he has what it takes and what kind of commitment he is willing to make. Make him earn it. It is very common to have a trial hire period. 30-days, 60-days, 90-days? What ever you think it should be. Those under 28 are still in the real flakey stage. Make sure he knows and understands that it is your business and reputation that he is responsible for.
     
  3. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    To be quite honest....I'm the guy that I was talking about in that post. I only tried getting a job at one studio, and that studio owner made me feel like the lowest form of life on the planet without even meeting me or listening to my material. This was all because I don't have a degree. I'm sure anyone would know the studio if I typed the name, but I'm not going to slander or bash anyone. They are still a good studio that does good work, and the owner was probably just trying to protect his investment/hard work that went into his studio.

    After being treated the way I was by him.....it really discouraged me and put a bad taste in my mouth with trying to get a job at someones studio. I'm sad to say that I'm losing my house and having to move into an apartement in June, so I'm losing my home studio. I can't comprehend how I'm going to feel if I'm not recording bands so I need a job somewhere!

    Enough of my sob story....thanks for your input.
     
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your bad luck. I was in a similar situation for a number of years and only recently got to a point where I could pursue recording again. Sometimes life is like that. Don't let the d*ck at that studio get you down, there are jerks in every profession. He's probably very good at what he does, but that doesn't guarantee good "people" skills. FWIW, consider freelancing. Lots of studios welcome outside engineers bringing their own projects in and offer them discount rates. It helps them fill in the blank spots on their schedule book.
     
  5. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    My experience outside the recording business is that good, non-degreed folks flourish in smaller companies. (Recording is not my day job)

    Look for smaller, privately owned, studios. I don't know that offering to work for free is a good idea - it kind of reinforces the idea that your skills might not be worth the trouble. I would be more inclined to offer to work at an "introductory rate" for 30 days - 60 days - whatever is reasonable giving either party the option to bail at the end of that time. Once they have a feel for your talents and you have a better read on how you compare to others in the studio you would be better prepared to negotiate term for continuing your work.
     
  6. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the responses. I'm going to try to keep my head up and my options open. If any of you know any studios in the Chicago area and can drop a few names of some studios I can try that'd be great. I'm more familiar with the larger studios around here, and there are hundreds of smaller studios that I'm not familiar with.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Marcus Black

    Marcus Black Guest

    As I work mainly as a producer/songwriter I use engineers for mixing quite a lot. The best ones that I use and come back to all the time do not have degrees (at least not in recording/mixing), but tons of experience and an artistic vision about what they do. Mixing is an artform as much as it is theory and can never be fully learned in a classroom filling out forms with Hz and dB all over. You can learn all the theory you need if you´re dedicated enough by learning from others, studying on your own etc.. What it all comes down to: When I employ an engineer for mixing my productions I don´t give a s**t if he/she has a degree or not, my only question is "how does your stuff sound ?". The result is the only thing that counts (of course it has to be achieved within a given timeframe, but if you´re a professional you´ll do it) and no one buying the album, listening to the final product will ever think about the education of the people involved in the recording. Thinking of it, I don´t even know that many professional engineers with a diploma. With a track-record and experience, yes.
     
  8. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    FWIW -
    I spent my last year of college interning at a big recording studio (I was not getting any type of recording degree) with a well respected AE. At the end of the year, the timing didn't work out for them to hire me - so I looked elsewhere.

    Despite what I'd done there, plus work at my own project studio - the best anyone would offer me was $5/hr, and I'd have to start back running the tape duplicators. Everything I'd done was completely ignored. I paid my interning dues at another studio.. every place wanted me to pay my dues with them as well.

    I told them all to pound sand and just ran my own project studio. Can't give you a wonderful success story like 'yeah, and now I'm very famous, in fact - I'm George Massenburg posting under a different name'.. but the studio did serve me well for five or six years, before I finally dropped out of the biz for a while.

    Now - I just do it for me.
    "-)
     
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Put together a mobile rig to record bands at their rehearsal spaces or their gigs. You can get $20+/hr, don't have to work for any jerk and you can build up your gear for when youre ready to open your own studio.
     
  10. KTek

    KTek Guest

    man that's tough! don't give up your passion!
     
  11. imagineaudio

    imagineaudio Active Member

    maintiger.......I'm looking at doing this and I've posted a topic in the DAW forum.......could you take a look and see if there is anythign you could help me with?
     
  12. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    I've said it here before. I'll say it again. And I'll keep saying it 'til people finally start getting it. It's safe to say that most of us here dream about working in music studios, but we shouldn't discount other areas of pro audio that aren't disappearing into people's bedrooms because of cheap technology. If you're in the Chicago area, I'd be willing to bet there's plenty of work in other areas of audio. I work in TV sports, and just off the top of my head, I'm thinking of your 2 baseball teams, da Bears, da Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Fire, plus any other fringe sports teams (AFL, lacrosse, etc.) and minor league teams you may have. So, in the major pro teams alone, in most cases, there are a total of 3 crews per game (with the exception of the NFL, which is 1 TV crew and 1 JumboTron crew per game). On a typical game, you have the JumboTron crew, the home TV show crew, and the away TV crew. So, look at each of those team's schedules, add up all of their games, multiply that by 3, and, HOLY CRAP!! That's a LOT of work, and it's a LOT of fun. Take a look at either working in the arena working on the JumboTron crew, and/or pushing to work "in the trucks" on broadcasts.

    My experience has shown me that the odds of carving out a career in this are MUCH greater than pursuing studio work. Think about it: in a studio, it really only takes 1-2 engineers to make an album. On any given TV show/production, it takes a whole crew of people. On many of the shows I work on, we have a crew of 25+ people, and that's just for one 3 hour game. Now, go back to the number of games/crews above, and just multiply that by 25. See what I'm getting at? In five short years I went from doing camera for JumboTron to now being an A1 mixing shows live-to-air. Plus, beyond my audio abilities, I've had the opportunity to diversify my skill set and not be known as JUST an audio guy, so I'm able to take more calls for more work. Additionally, there's no glass ceiling in the world of TV, but rather there is lots and lots of room for vertical and horizontal movement (doesn't that sound so corporate?) with you can do.

    I say all this to encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to audio. Sure, music is your passion, as well as mine, but the truth of the matter is that music studios are suffering, and it will only get worse with time. Don't like how you were treated by that studio owner? Screw 'em. Find a DIFFERENT path that will allow you to cultivate a more diverse skill set, and shine at what you do. Good luck.
     
  13. Hemophagus

    Hemophagus Member

    never surrender....

    I started in the same situation like you... I hadn't a degree, I builded a home studio, recorded my first demo with a Soundblaster 16! Where I live, most recording engineers are so unfriendly (because they think that you'll take their job off!). As time goes by, the experience increases and if you're really good in the recording art, you'll succeed.
    Don't give up! I hadn't a degree, but I studied hard myself and now I work in an audio school as a teacher and as an audio engineer in a broadcast studio...

    Good luck!
     
  14. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    When the industry rejects you in walks competition.
     
  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    please provide a link as I did not find your post-
    Also, getting a job in a studio is a matter of timing. For the longest time I needed someone to run my studio the hours that I wasn't there and I just could not find anyone reliable. I would have certainly given you a go, if you lived in my area. I ended up selling the studio just for that reason. I was constantly recording bands to make the rent and had no time for my own projects, so I decided to sell so I could concentrate on my music. If I had found someone reliable, I would have kept it for sure. 8)
     
  16. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    In some businesses, you have to develop a thick skin. In the studio business, you have to develop titanium plated rhino hide. In much modern music, there is an overabundance of cruelty among practitioners, especially those who are struggling to make it.

    Get your chin up and don't let the peeps get you down. Remember, you don't suck Narwhal just because everyone else on the planet says you do.
     
  17. cantmix

    cantmix Guest

    when it comes to recording i have heard some things the guys with degrees do and i am not impress...i also think you should keep trying..i went through that you are going through..but i went to further my studies in music also.....it all about being original.. oh do not work for free slavery is over...you might do great work and people will take advantage of it and when you ask for money they will want to refuse to pay do not work for free....
     
  18. machina

    machina Active Member

    This is a great thread! I think it really hits home with the situation most of us here are in (myself included). It's good to see what others have experienced and gone through to have the oppurtunity to express themselves through audio production.
     
  19. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    The cool thing is that I created this post and a few weeks later:

    -I recorded a band on Century Media Records and they are coming back for more and bringing in their side projects for demos!!!!!

    -I'm now booked so much that my girlfriend hates me (this is bittersweet, but mostly sweet)

    -Somehow bands/people I've never met have reffered bands to me and now I get at least 3 or 4 calls a day and a few emails a day.

    I say screw the big studio! I'm going to make this happen no matter what.
     
  20. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Way to go, Arthur. :D
     

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