i need some advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tool_4_rage, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. tool_4_rage

    tool_4_rage Guest

    hi, i'm new to recording.org, and i need some life altering advice. i just recently started attending the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS), but am now having second thoughts.
    it's not the educational part i'm worried about. the curriculum is great. what i'm worried about, is going through all this time, money and effort, and ending up at some regular 'ol crappy job, anyway.
    i've talked to a few people i've met around here that are CRAS grads, or people that have gone through the same type of program, and they can't seem to get anywhere in the industry.
    one guy i met recently, saw my CRAS shirt and told me he's a graduate. i asked what he was doing and he told me he's working some crappy job that has nothing to do with the audio industry. in fact, he said none of his classmates are working in the industry. there are other examples too, but this one was the most discouraging.
    so, any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks for your time
  2. Rider

    Rider Guest

    make connections, be damn good at what you do, get an internship during or after you graduate. thats probably the best shot you got to it.

    its certianly not something reliable.

    but, that same thing could happen in any field, not necessarily audio.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Having the degree is only the "door opener" you still have to be good at what you do. This is the same in Audio as it is in any field. Just because you have a degree in Audio doesn't really mean anything if you don't have all the skills you need including good people skills, the ability to learn new skills quickly, the ability to make you and your boss look good and finally the ability to know when to speak and when to listen.

    I get about three to four applications per quarter from people graduating from audio schools. Most of them are very nice people and have good skills. I wish I could hire them all.

    Every so often I get someone from an audio school that thinks he or she knows everything about everything since they just graduated from Full Sail or some similar place. They have worked on some of the best gear in the industry and have probably done things in audio that I have done in my 40+ year career. But when it comes to hiring them they think that just because they have a degree they don't need to learn anything more. They have the preverbal "chip on their shoulder" and show that attitude in the interview.

    I try and tell them that every place is different and every place has different ways of doing things. They need to keep all the knowledge they have gained but be open to new knowledge that is gained by on the job training. There are also ways of doing things that are industry wide but their are also things that are different at each studio and those are the things they need to learn. Just because they went though 6 weeks to 4 years of audio really does not mean they know everything.

    I think, just like everywhere else, studios are looking for people who are motivated, who have the basic skill set and who are willing to keep on learning. If you have these basics covered then you should not have a problem getting a good job.

    One other thing to remember is that BIG studios are fast becoming extinct and it is the smaller studios that is taking over from the big names so if you are thinking that you want to work for one of the really big studios maybe you should think smaller to start, hone your skill set and then apply for a position in one of the bigger studios or maybe start your own studio.

    Best of luck!
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Where are you from, "Tool", and where will you be hoping to work once you complete the program?
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    I really think this is the best way to get a job in the recording industry. A lot of "local" type studios are a one or two man show, so most of the time they have no need or desire to hire anyone. Most of these guys work in a studio because they, well, took out a loan and bought it. To work in the big studios (which are dying as Thomas pointed out), a person usually has to have their name in some credits of note. I guess if you are persistent enough you might be able to weasel your way from janitor to 3rd assistant coffee grinder and on up through the chain someday, but all of this (low/no wages - living expenses in a big city) will probably end up costing about as much as a loan to start your own local studio.

    Of course I recommend that you know what you are doing before you try to open your own studio. It may end in failure if word gets out that you are not an experienced recording engineer. At least be able to fake it (not lie, but act professionally and produce results). Having musical talent can also help your versatility. People might need you to score some simple backing tracks for their commercial or their gospel album or their film or whatever. Skills like this will always help your prospects. So school will in some way help your overall goal, but it is probably not a literal gateway to it.

    Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions; and these are just my observations and opinions.
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    The number of music recording studios within 100 miles of my mastering room is 600. Most of these are one or two person operations. There is one studio near hear that has 11 people on the payroll and they do primarily commercial recording. Most of the people that are hired in that studio come from the surrounding area and a lot of them are from schools of music or conservatories also in this area. I have to kind of go with Reggie and say maybe your best bet is to start your own studio or partner up with someone and open a studio. Because most studios today are smaller operations they don't have the capital or the resources to hire someone as an intern. They need someone who will be making them money at the same time they are learning so if you want to be hired by a smaller operation you may want to convince them that by hiring you- you will produce more income for them than they are spending on hiring you and that may not be possible.

    The studio with 11 people is the only BIG studio I know of in the whole state of Ohio and they are not a music recording studio.


    Best of Luck!
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    All VERY good advice so far. I just want to add:

    You first have to answer a few questions about yourself:

    1. Are you in it for the money?
    (If you are, don't be ashamed to admit it. We ALL want to make some money.)
    2. If your answer to #1 is "Yes," then just how much money do you want?
    3. Are you willing to work and struggle for years to get where you want to be?

    The college degree, in any case, is not an insurance policy against unemployment. Nor does it guarantee that you'll have a job in the field in which you were educated. (This isn't a problem just localized to the music industry. How many biology majors are now working at Blockbuster? Probably quite a few.)

    It's all a matter of how hard you want to work, how knowledgable you are and how dirty you are willing to get your hands.

    The degree (or rather the education) will help - make no mistake about it. Will it land you a job at Sony? Probably not. But, it will make you far more marketable and when someone (maybe the next Britney Spears) comes into the studio with a request, you WILL be able to do the job because you have some foundation and knowledge.

    Then, when you work your butt off and land them a MAJOR label deal and you get a Grammy, then you might get the job at Sony. Of course, then you'll probably hate life and wish for the days you were recording out of the warehouse you had rented out 10 years ago...

    In any case - good luck. Hard work is the only way to get ahead. (Or offing everybody more qualified or more personable than you... :twisted: )


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