where did everyone learn?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by imloggedin, May 23, 2005.

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  1. imloggedin

    imloggedin Guest

    where did everyone learn howto record and mix? did anyone here goto college for it or did most of you just read alot of books? whats the best way to learn?
  2. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I'm no expert, but I've learned mainly from two things.

    1) Experimenting - try different things and see what works (and what doesn't) I've learned tons from just spending a few hours moving mics and changing settings

    2) Researching - there is so much information out there (books, the internet, etc.). The wealth of knowledge on the internet is amazing; I can't tell you how many great tips I've gotten from Recording.org. Spend time using the search function. It will pay off.

    Good Luck,
  3. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    assisting then engineering and then producing on albums and such in studios.
  4. imloggedin

    imloggedin Guest

    unfortunately theres no big studios around here. :\
  5. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I'm no expert, and my sounds are still very amateur...but.....

    I got interested in recording when my old band spent hours upon hours in and out of recording studios. I quit my band a few years back and decided that I should put together my own setup so I could continue to write songs, and possibly put out a demo. I started out with Cool Edit and my computers factory sound card. I was having a kick ass time and decided that I should by more gear and attempt recording other peoples bands. Soooo I spent about 10k on some gear, read books, started recording high school aged bands...and that's where I am today. The clients are getting bigger slowly, and sessions are getting more frequent. From a pro standpoint my recordings are dog crap, but my clients don't expect a pro mix...they just want a cheap demo to hand out!

    Probably the best tool I've had so far has been learning by doing, and all of the help I get on this forum. The hardest thing for me to come to grips with is that there isn't a right and wrong way of doing things. A great sounding kick to me could be a crappy kick to someone else and vice versa. Sound is very subjective, and there are commercial CD's that sound like ass, but people love them! No matter how good or bad your recordings turn out there will be people who say it sucks and people that say it's great. So I've had to learn that if I like it and the band likes it...then it's good!
  6. School of Cheap Gear and Cheaper Sound Systems
  7. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I had a friend spend 3 hours with me giving me the essentials for pro tools, how to get around the system, but not really anything musical. After that I read two books one of the being the pro tools power book. Since then its been this and one other website and practice. And like someone said above what sounds good to you may sound like crap to other and so on. I'll give you an example of one of those commercial cd's that sound like crap that therecordingart was talking about. Limp Bizkits first cd 3 dollar bill yall. In my opinion its there best effort musically but whoever mixed and mastered the cd sucked. The cymbals are non existant, the kick sounds totally dead, and the guitars seem to disappear very frequently, it was just a horrible mix. Now in my opinion the music masked the poor quality of the cd , and before I started recording I never knew the diff. So listen to some of your cd's and ignore the music and listen to the mix and mastering you'll get some good ideas from cd's, got my kick sound from mudvayne.
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    i started pushing boxes and wiring PA's at my uncles PA / production company when i was still at school, showed interest and been taken under his "wings" learning what is what for, how it works and interacts...
    started then to buy my own DAW based system and started to experiment, listenening, experiment, listening and so on... eventually jobed in studios and for live events, got a lot of additional advise and tips from a friend an amazing london based producer and recording artist...
    read a lot and asked a lot of questions, but the main part is for me experimenting and listening to train skills and most importantly my ears and the art of listening... it never stops.
  9. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I started by getting a Roland VS-800 and learning as much as I could on that. I learned what various effects sounded like and what they could do to a signal. I recorded as much as I could. I recorded every practice of my band. Mixing it each time and learning what good mic placement was and bad. Learning as much on my own without breaking the bank right off the bat. I started reading up as much as I could as well. Buying books, magazine subscriptions, coming to forums such as this. I then enrolled in a technical training program put on by a local commercial recording studio. The knowledge they had to pass on you can't really put a price on. Their client list includes (Mudvayne, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Kill Hannah, Veruca Salt, Candlebox, Smashing Pumpkins...) some really big and successful names. These aren't amateurs I was going to be learning from - that was for sure. After 3 months or so of good, solid training on signal flow and acoustics we started getting to tracking and mixing. We tracked a talented band with excellent studio musicians - taking the performance factor out of the equation. Then we spent days mixing one song at a time. Bottom line - what they were able to give me in 6 months or so would have taken me years to figure out on my own. I can now honestly say that I can make CD's and tracks that sound much better than your average project studio. I am competing with the big dogs now. They are still a bit ahead of me of course but I can come pretty damn close now. I would have paid three times what I did for that training. It has become the best purchase I have ever made - far greater than any equipment money can buy.
  10. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I guess I officially got started running sound for a band I played in in college, 1973. Went to College for Recording Arts in San Francisco '76-'77. Worked at The Mixing Lab in Boston '79-'81, projects included Bela Fleck, Pat Metheny Group, Pete Seeger, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Boston Symphony, Jeff Muldaur. Rounder Records was the bread & butter account. Also did all music & recording for Zoom, kid's TV show on PBS. Went to Institute of Audio Research in NYC '83-'84 to get up to speed on digital. Freelanced a bunch, moved to Nashville 10 years ago, built my room last year and doing everything but country.
  11. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I guess there are a couple separate things that need to be learned. First is the technical stuff like how to use a DAW or console/tape machine or compressor or reverb. Then there is the HOW to use the DAW, console/tape machine, compressor or reverb.

    One can be taught, the other only comes with experience/talent.

    I got started with the cool yamaha 4 track cassette that had small mixing board attached. I think not having access to 40 billion tracks makes you learn a lot of things you otherwise would never have to worry about.

    I did a lot of stuff throughout highschool and afterward with local bands and doing sound at local clubs.

    Then I went to recording school at "the recording workshop". Learned how to use a big console, tape machines, microphones, etc. That taught me the first "how".

    Then I got a job at a studio. I didn't even really get to apply anything I learned for the first year or so....aside from tape machine maintenance. But I learned a lot by watching.

    Insert 8 years of very limited music industry involvement.

    Now that I'm back into it, everything I learned gave me a good base to begin experimenting for myself. Instead of just doing what others have done, I can take what I learned from them and try to make something of my own. I think the best knowledge you can get is from your own experimentation. Experimentation has been teaching me the second "HOW". And hopefully the lesson isn't over.
  12. imloggedin

    imloggedin Guest

    rain your experience sounds awesome. i wish i could come across something like that.
  13. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    i got my first gig at the record plant in 1988 but it closed in 1989 but i got a job at the power station where i worked my way up to being an assistnat and then a full staff engineer.

    i went freelance until 1997 when me and two friends built a sturio i still ffrreelance but do most of my work in our toom

    i learnd by wathching the great endineers from the late 80's like jason corsaro and ed stasium apply their magic
  14. I bought a cassette-based four track recorder in college to record the band I was in. I enjoyed recording so much that I changed my major to music and worked on a sound recording emphasis (BYU). My recording professor gave me the opportunity to mix live sound for one of the most active performing groups on campus (two or three shows a week) for eight months.

    During college and after graduation I did several internships at local studios and worked for a live sound company. The situation here is a bit strange. There are so many project studios charging $25 an hour that the four or five big studios (probably too many for the area) have a very hard time keeping busy. Consequently, they tend to have only one or two engineers. In my four years of internships, not a single job opened up. I finally went broke and started working for computer software companies.

    Anyway, back to the learning. To keep myself up to speed, I read magazines (Electronic Musician, EQ, Mix) and books. Some of the best info I get is from forums like this one and other websites. I also swap ideas, techniques, and gear opinions with other audio engineer friends. I've been able to put together just enough equipment to record very small acts (solo artists and duos, mostly).

    Read and ask questions. There's no substitute for a desire to learn and improve.
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Damn it all man, whatever happened to stories with happy endings? :cry:
  16. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    This mostly conerns live sound but...

    "What are we going to do about a sound man" said the lead singer in a band comprised of fellow musicians that I was not a member of...

    "I can mix" streamed from my mouth while bypassing my internal think before you say it mechanism... Hey, I did know all the songs and the bands needs.

    You're hired, show up at the club Friday @ 7:00. My heart sunk and was soon followed by a constant pit in my stomach. I had spent years & years as a kid fiddling with wires, playing bedroom stereo mix man among other things. I had always thought mixing made sense enough to me but had never actually done it. I am truly screwed. I can't believe my first and last gig are going to occur on the same night.

    Well, Friday night arrives, I'm scared $hitless. A little rough, played it off ok, no bottles were thrown. I was the new sound guy for the band. The band had rented the PA from a local sound company. The owner said, "The mix sounded pretty good, I gotta mixin gig tomorrow with another band and I can't make it, wanna sub for me?" Sure! I will be happy to again streams from my mouth by passing all logic and reasoning... He thought I was an old pro, he is a great friend now and to this day I have not told him that night was my first night. Anyway.

    More pits in stomach, no appetite.... Gotta stop speaking before I think... An intervention maybe... Surely all my friends would notice my continued lack of sanity and tell me they cared about me and were going to get me some help.... Fat chance, it was entertaining to them, why stop me?

    Six months went by and I was mixing seven nights a week for many bands and also had a couple of house gigs as well as a few sub gigs for other sound guys. One of the house gigs was incredible. Monday night might be 2 violins and a snare drum and Tuesday its a stand up bass, flute, acoutsic & electric guitars and a guy on a tuba. Wed night a full Jazz band thursday might be alternative...That was night after night and was a great experience. You never new what the lineup would be.. The pits in the stomach finally subsided a little after a few months but I still get them.

    Ended up mixing for about 10 years before I finally relaxed and started doing a few other things. I was lucky... Right time, right place, right people to take notice and endless years of training just playing around with stuff as a kid. Much easier than all those years as a musician.

  17. Kevin Glenn

    Kevin Glenn Guest

    Where did I learn the art of recording?

    From the Jedi School of Rock and Roll of course.
  18. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    "Very wise in the art of recording is he...pay close attention to him you will and wise you be." Sorry that's my best Yoda dialect I could come up with.
  19. imloggedin

    imloggedin Guest

    intoxicated i must become, yesss mmmm
  20. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    haha nice one...
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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