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Old 08-05-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,348 posts, read 1,241,165 times
Reputation: 1129
Quote:
Originally Posted by audio engineer mom View Post
can you say what area you currently work in? any advice for a young graduate of recording conservatory currently interning? any and all advice would be greatly appreciated...
Sure thing! I write music freelance (just finished scoring an independant film). It depends on what you want to do: record or write. Both however share one thing in common: networking. In the audio industry it's less about the degree (I have none) and more about raw talent you possess and most importantly, who you know. I can't really give much advice on interning because I never did that (made my own way). I will say however that recording engeneers are a very tight knit group and, unless you personally know the person you will be interning for, then most likely they're just trying to get free labor (not saying that every internship is a scam though and even if it is, you can still use the time to meet people, network and get your name out). Most audio engeneers end up starting their own studio rather than going to work for an existing one. In that case, unless you were wanting to start a multimillion dollar top of the line studio that major labels would use, I would look for a city with a large local music scene that might not have a large number of recording studios. The vast majority of recording comes from local bands and artists recording demos and EP's trying to claw their way up to a label signing. Austin is the first city that comes to mind but search around. Most likely you'll find cities that you wouldn't expect.

If you're wanting to write music then really it's just flat out who you know. Network, network, and network. Don't expect too much from Myspace because they're are millions of bands on there now all looking for the same thing. There is no substitute for face to face networking.

An indie label owner said once that you have to be crazy to get into this industry but everyone does it because it's what they love (it's certainly not the money!) and being surounded by these people and making friend along the way makes it the most gratifying experience regardless of whether you make it or not.

Have fun but be prepared to serve your dues! Best of luck to you!
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:12 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,127 times
Reputation: 10
I'll throw in my 2 cents as well.

I'm an audio engineer in Nashville. I've been here three years and have had some successes and many disappointments as well.

CRAS: I graduated from CRAS and I really believe it's the best school out there for audio. They teach a lot of things that the other schools don't, namely Analog Workflow and Studio Etiquette. The thing to remember is that no school can guarantee you a job in any field, their job is to teach you the skills. Once you get out here, noone cares where you went to school. They want to know that you know your stuff and that you won't embarrass them if they give you a shot.

Interning: It's a part of the deal. It used to be that studios would pick up where the schools left off and continue the training in exchange for the free grunt work. Now they just take the free work, knowing that once you get burned out, there will be 20 kids out of engineering school waiting to take your place. That said, you still need to intern. Be the best darn intern they've ever had and when your tenure is over, they won't offer you a job, but you may be able to maintain a good relationship with the staff there. Work your tail off, keep your mouth shut and know when to head out on your own. That's my internship advice.

After the internship: Expect that you will always be the new guy/girl in every situation you are in, and that you will always have to prove yourself. Never stop being the first person to show up and the last person to leave. Also, don't expect everyone to be decent and recognise that you are a great worker. More people have taken advantage of me than have appreciated me, but those few who have seen how hard I work have been the rare gems. They're the ones you're looking for, because they will call you with work. The others are just the chaff, and you'll go through a LOT of them.

Here's the best advice that noone gave me:
+Have a sustainable plan: you need to figure out how you're going to pay your bills while you're doing all this, because it's going to take a while before you can rely on your engineering income (5+ years is not uncommon). I've been in town for three years and I'm at the point where about half my income is from engineering, and the other half is from temp office work. Kelly Services and Manpower are two temp agencies that have thrown me office work on the side. The folks there are great.

+Get your finances in order: You need to really have your house in order financially or you won't be able to sustain your efforts in the long run. My wife and I took a course called Financial Peace University last year and I cannot put into words the positive effect it has had on our lives, our marriage and our dream. If we hadn't done that, I would have had to quit by now. [URL="http://www.daveramsey.com"]www.daveramsey.com[/URL]

+There are so few actual "jobs" in studio recording, and so many engineers in town, that its pretty much accurate to say that there are *no* jobs in studio recording. There are only "gigs". A couple days here, a half day there, then you're on your own until next time. Work is dependent on your ability to network enough contacts that one is throwing work your way while the others aren't.

One final note:
One thing I consistently hear from veteran engineers is that there are so few good assistants in town. There are a ton of new engineers but so few of them have the maturity and work ethic to be of real use. So the challenge is to be the very best and to find your way to those engineers who are looking for a good assistant. It can still happen for you, but it will be an uphill, hand-to-mouth struggle the whole way.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Franklin
3,856 posts, read 6,581,543 times
Reputation: 2801
This is great advice! As a songwriter, I can honestly say the engineer has a huge effect on where I choose to work and how it all goes.

I appreciate your work and your abilities!!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:10 PM
 
6 posts, read 27,192 times
Reputation: 10
Default thanks for the advice

Thanks to you both, snapicus and adric, for the advice. I appreciate your insight and honesty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snapicus View Post
I'll throw in my 2 cents as well.

I'm an audio engineer in Nashville. I've been here three years and have had some successes and many disappointments as well.

CRAS: I graduated from CRAS and I really believe it's the best school out there for audio. They teach a lot of things that the other schools don't, namely Analog Workflow and Studio Etiquette. The thing to remember is that no school can guarantee you a job in any field, their job is to teach you the skills. Once you get out here, noone cares where you went to school. They want to know that you know your stuff and that you won't embarrass them if they give you a shot.

Interning: It's a part of the deal. It used to be that studios would pick up where the schools left off and continue the training in exchange for the free grunt work. Now they just take the free work, knowing that once you get burned out, there will be 20 kids out of engineering school waiting to take your place. That said, you still need to intern. Be the best darn intern they've ever had and when your tenure is over, they won't offer you a job, but you may be able to maintain a good relationship with the staff there. Work your tail off, keep your mouth shut and know when to head out on your own. That's my internship advice.

After the internship: Expect that you will always be the new guy/girl in every situation you are in, and that you will always have to prove yourself. Never stop being the first person to show up and the last person to leave. Also, don't expect everyone to be decent and recognise that you are a great worker. More people have taken advantage of me than have appreciated me, but those few who have seen how hard I work have been the rare gems. They're the ones you're looking for, because they will call you with work. The others are just the chaff, and you'll go through a LOT of them.

Here's the best advice that noone gave me:
+Have a sustainable plan: you need to figure out how you're going to pay your bills while you're doing all this, because it's going to take a while before you can rely on your engineering income (5+ years is not uncommon). I've been in town for three years and I'm at the point where about half my income is from engineering, and the other half is from temp office work. Kelly Services and Manpower are two temp agencies that have thrown me office work on the side. The folks there are great.

+Get your finances in order: You need to really have your house in order financially or you won't be able to sustain your efforts in the long run. My wife and I took a course called Financial Peace University last year and I cannot put into words the positive effect it has had on our lives, our marriage and our dream. If we hadn't done that, I would have had to quit by now. www.daveramsey.com

+There are so few actual "jobs" in studio recording, and so many engineers in town, that its pretty much accurate to say that there are *no* jobs in studio recording. There are only "gigs". A couple days here, a half day there, then you're on your own until next time. Work is dependent on your ability to network enough contacts that one is throwing work your way while the others aren't.

One final note:
One thing I consistently hear from veteran engineers is that there are so few good assistants in town. There are a ton of new engineers but so few of them have the maturity and work ethic to be of real use. So the challenge is to be the very best and to find your way to those engineers who are looking for a good assistant. It can still happen for you, but it will be an uphill, hand-to-mouth struggle the whole way.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
407 posts, read 605,440 times
Reputation: 245
CRAS currently has a 94% job placement rating. What city did your son(s) do his internship?
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:15 AM
 
6 posts, read 27,192 times
Reputation: 10
he interned @ blackbird in nashville. he worked his butt off, and had a great attitude. seriously, i know a lot of mom's think their kid is awesome....but my son really is a HARD worker, kept his mouth shut and worked like a dog for the mcbride's, even did an errand for their nanny!! john liked him. there were no job openings when his internship was over though--and he moved back home after a year.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
407 posts, read 605,440 times
Reputation: 245
Did he call the internship department after he completed his internship?
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