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Need help deciding on a career.

Member for

21 years
Hey everyone I'm new here and this is my first post.

I"ve been posting my question in alot of places, and so far I haven't got the answer I'm looking for.

It has been my dreams to live in Japan, I know this is random but bear with me here. I'm chinese, and I want to live in Japan and then....

I want to have a job that is in the music industry. I have been looking into Recording Engineering. I checked out some schools and the best one I"ve found so far is

(I live in Canada by the way).

If I were to really move to Japan and look for a job in the music industry, what kind of career will have more chances? Same for America? Canada?

Recording Engineering sounds interesting, but I wanted to go to a University as I've been working hard in school. Is there anything I can do in University, come out and work in a record label?

Like, are there any jobs that works with artists and bands that I can get if I graduate from a University?

Like the question before, what careers are avaliable in a record label and oppotunities in Japan, America, and Canada? I intend to finish school, get some work experience in Canada, then move to Japan and fish a job there. But I've got lots of planning to do, because I don't know if it's possible at all.

By the way. How are the salaries for a recording engineer? I've been wondering ever since I went to the open house for Metal Works Institute. They get paid per hour right? Around how much do they get paid, is it enough to make a living? Same for other careers in a record label.

Please help, thanks :D!


Member for

15 years 10 months

mark_van_j Wed, 11/15/2006 - 21:17

First what you have to do, is browse around the forum a bit. What you are asking is a very popular question, and has been answered dozens of times in hundreds of different ways. Apart from that, I've seen the brochure for Metalworks and am actually thinking of getting a Pro Tools certificate there (since it's the only authorized place in Canada to do so) after I'm finish my bachelors.

As far as payment I might as well break it to ya, if you're in it for the money it won't work. You won't get anywhere. It will be hell on earth, and it will start by having to intern months on end (sometimes years) for no money at all. You will have to have a part-time job on the side to make ends meet.

That's as far as engineering goes. If you want to be any sort of record label exec, a&r, just get a degree in business or something. Those guys usually don't know much about music. But they can flip numbers like a mofo. :D

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Wed, 11/15/2006 - 22:06
Mark is right and he is probably 25 years younger than I am? The industry has changed radically in recent years. The golden days are over. The wonderful large studios and beautiful record labels are becoming a thing of the past. Things however are probably slightly different and perhaps a little behind the times in other countries??

If you are smart, you can find a university where you can major in business and minor in recording arts and sciences or major in recording arts and sciences and minor in business. That would make much more sense for you. Nobody is really hiring recording engineers anymore, at least not to make music recordings. You have to be really good with marketing yourself in order to get music work and then that's an uncertainty altogether.

Television audio broadcast engineers might be a viable alternative? I prostitute myself doing audio for television news programming. That's bread-and-butter. That's stable. That's boring! But it's a living in the audio business. There is also theater and musical touring acts that all require audio personnel.

I have been morphing my career towards doing more video production, DVD authoring, since more people seem to need video services than they need a rock-and-roll bands recorded. Besides, why do you want to move to Japan if you speak Chinese?? The sushi is so much more affordable in Canada and here in the US than it is in Japan. Besides, you will work harder, make less and have a lower standard of living then you have in Canada. But you might blend in a little better?

Sheshe or should I say, domo arigato?
Sushi loving bitch
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/16/2006 - 05:26
Well it's been something I want to do since I was 8. My parents keep saying I won't make it there and stuff, that made me want to attempt it more :D

Recording Engineering is falling a downfall eh. Hmm. What other careers are there that works in a record label. I know of A&R, but what kind of education does that require? And how do you get jobs/start getting a job with that career?

Please tell me all other choices out there, thanks :D

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/16/2006 - 06:08
>>What other careers are there that works in a record label.

Scantly dressed secretary?

>>I know of A&R, but what kind of education does that require?

Short skirt and very thight t-shirt...must show navel at all times (extra point for piercings...) oh...and yes, an Mp3 player.

>> And how do you get jobs/start getting a job with that career?

Have a "dinner meeting" with appropriate VIP at the label...

All HUMOR aside, the Recording industry is probably the ONLY business that doesn't require a degree (or, in some cases, that people actually know what they are doing...). :)

In the relatively short time I have been working in Los Angeles (about 5 years) I have been to meetings with well known Labels' A&Rs where I had to work hard at keeping at straight face. I have talked to Label's presidents who hadn't signed a commercially viable act in years (in fact the label(s) is(are) now gone). No one knows what's going on ever. It's a miracle anything gets done! I'd be working with an artist for a while and then the A&R that signed the act would be fired and a new one would come on board and I'd have to start from scratch.

Things are somewhat more stable now that the axe has fallen and many studios and labels have closed door but, from what you are asking you don't really have ONE love in the field. You simply seem to want to be 'in the biz' so to speak.

You can look for INTERNSHIPS at a label near you. That's always a good place to start and get a feel for it. You will also meet peple, etc...

As far as ENGINEERING careers it's best to diversify and be prepared and ABLE to excel not only at MIXING music but, FILM, TV & Broadcast work as well.

In a UNIVERSITY you could get a degree in marketing, if that interets you. You could then, take an internship within a label's marketing/promotion dpt. Or, you could take a software/computer science degree and develop the next best recording software in the universe (you'll have to let us have copy first though :) ).

It really depends on what YOU want and LOVE to do...

Member for

15 years 10 months

mark_van_j Thu, 11/16/2006 - 10:29
hueseph wrote: Mark is 25 years younger than you and his avatar is an antiquated characature of Clark Gable? Nobody's that old. You for sure aren't. Whaaa? My cheek is stinging already. :oops:

Never judge a guy by his avatar...

25 years? That would throw Remy into the mid century! Naaah. She can't be over 30! :D

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Thu, 11/16/2006 - 13:59
I most certainly am 51 years of age. I am a baby boomer. Television wasn't even 10 years old when I was born. As a kid, I would turn on the television from the moment I woke up, to the point where my mother would have to fight with me to turn the television off and go to bed. She would waive her finger in my face and yell at me " What do you think you are going to do for a living when you GROW UP...... WATCH TELEVISION?!?!" I spent nearly 20 years at NBC television, then public television, then Voice Of America Television. She has eaten those words many times. Thanks Mom for the great idea! (: It was really that tour of the television station on a Saturday when I was watching adults being paid to watch cartoons! What was MOM talking about??:)

Of course along with that comes one's passion for rock-and-roll music from your little transistor radio you've got for a birthday present. So between the television jobs there have been the music oriented jobs in my entire life career has been spent in the mass media. I loved. Can't get enough of the stuff. Got to look for another full-time job now and start the process yet again of reinventing myself, in an a decreasingley diminishing, overly homogenized rampant technology race. If you have the passion, you'll have your career. Don't let anybody discourage you. Keep the focus.

It's not a tumor
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/16/2006 - 21:31
Thanks for the great replies.

As DIGIT mentioned, at this moment I don't have a specific career that I really really want to do. But the thing I really really want to do is work in a record label in Japan. I don't think that's possible but that's what I really really want to do.

Of course I can have a little variation and a few bends. Like, if I didn't make it to Japan, I won't give up life. I'd just work in a record label in North America.

I want to feel what it's like to work in the music industry. To get a feeling of what it feels like to work with artists and bands. It definitely interests me more than working as like an uhh... accounting in an office (which is what my mom does.).

Internship sounds good, I should do that as soon as I can. By the way, Internships are like volunteering right?

Back then when I had this whole idea of working in a record label in Japan, the first thing that came to me was recording engineering. But I"ve been getting alot of negative feedbacks on the job oppotunities, salaries, and so on. So now I'm reconsidering my choices.

Where do you guys think is the best place for me to go to?

If I can't goto a University, I'm thinking of Berklee College. That means I'll have to move all the way to America....Which is not bad but costy and I don't know if I can afford it.

Right now in high school I've been taking business courses. This semester I have both marketing and computer science. I'm doing good in both of them actually. I'm considering getting a marketing degree in university like DIGIT mentioned. But I definitely won't go into computer science/software development. It's just not my thing hehe.

Say, if I get a marketing degree or if I study business courses in University. What kind of jobs are there avaliable in record labels? Anything that works with artist/bands?

I'll also look for Universities that has major in business and recording arts. But I haven't found anything so far.

Thanks for all the replies once again, I'll be looking forward to more inputs.

By the way... I bet all my posts have offended some of you with my ignorance. But.... Bear with me :(.