learning on a budget

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AudioStudent, Feb 10, 2006.


Is it best to go to a recording school or start as an apprentice or an intern for an experienced and

  1. apprentice

  2. recording school

    0 vote(s)
  1. AudioStudent

    AudioStudent Guest

    I'm very new and inexperienced and seeking guidance from the pros out there. All I wanna do mix, master and just record music for a major record label or for film so I can get the experience of being in a professional environment before branch out on my own business venture.

    What is the best way to get enough experience & education to make a living as an audio engineer? Is it best to go to a recording school or start as an apprentice or an intern for an experienced and successful recording studio?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Hey audiostudent!

    Well the answer to your question, is, YES! That is to say, Times have changed! When I was young.....a long time ago, you could only get a degree in mass communications, electronics, journalism, music but there were no "recording" degrees or schools. I got into the business by first being exposed to the business of recordings and broadcasting, through careful observation. My grandfather and father had a small advertising agency, so I would go down to the TV and radio stations on the weekends, to watch them produce their clients product (commercials, ethnic programming, Church shows). Dad was also a violinist who played string tracks for Motown to help support the family and took me down there on the weekends to watch, listen and babysit me. I had later, in my mid teenage years, became a licensed (3rd class FCC radiotelephone license) broadcaster where I volunteered as a on air board operator at 15 years of age, for FM 91.5, WB JC at the community college of Baltimore, the youngest engineer they ever had. I also had an opportunity to do audio (orchestra assembly and play back) for the Maryland ballet company. They already had an old-time engineer who was stepping down and later became my mentor. So I was basically an apprentice. I also designed and built my high school radio station.

    By the time I turned 17, I was lucky enough to get a job as a production engineer at the biggest studio in Baltimore (thanks to my mentor). It was there I started to dabble with professional recording (I was actually thrown in on a gospel recording that was 24 track and had never been checked out in the API/MCI control room before, when the primary A 1 engineer did not show! What a nerve wrecker that was but I was victorious!)

    After high school, I also went to school for electronics and also obtained my 1st class FCC license. After that, I worked for numerous radio stations as a maintenance and broadcast engineer. It wasn't until that "extended apprenticeship" was over that I had the opportunity to design and build the second-largest studio in Baltimore for a high school friend of mine. I later worked in NYC at Media Sound, a legendary place as a maintenance engineer where I also did some "A2" assistant engineering on some Maynard Ferguson and Barry Manilow recordings along with some midnight sessions in music engineering, for an in-house manager/producer. I spent one year in Philadelphia working for Scully and going back on the air in a radio station as a DJ, without an audition tape or resume! After that it was Fort Lauderdale for 2 years, at an international syndicated advertising agency in charge of studio productions and music. It was after that I eventually ended up as an engineer for NBC-TV/radio where I spent 20 years.

    It wasn't until after 1990 that I was able to save enough money and build my remote truck, the Audio Oasis that I still have to this day. It doesn't really make me a living anymore so I am now freelancing again, lately at Voice Of America, doing what I did at NBC-TV, doing sound for international television news programming. Oh well.....variety is the spice of life!

    I hope this gives you some insight as to what direction to go for your future in the business? My abilities were unique and I had some very lucky breaks! The field has become even more competitive and glutted with far more people than the industry can really support. I think which is why you should get a good education first and foremost while trying to get your foot in the door? I know other studio owners who have also supported their "studio habit" through employment in broadcasting like myself. Studios don't make the kind of money they used to in times gone by, unfortunately. Fame and royalties are only for the lucky few but if you can dream it, you can do it. Keep yourself focused.

    Good luck to you in your future!
    Ms. Remy Ann David

Share This Page