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If you could do it differently?
Old 4th March 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 
albinotuba's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
If you could do it differently?

I thought I'd ask a fairly broad set of related questions: how did you get started in the industry; if you could do it all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently; and, what was your biggest stumbling block when you were first getting started?

I hope this might spark an educational discussion for those of us less experienced than the master remote recording engineers on here.
Old 4th March 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I think if you do some searching you will find that this topic has been covered any number of times.

Just a thought but "hindsight is always 20/20"

Personally there are lots of things I would have done differently when buying equipment or policy making but at the time they seemed to be the right way to go.

Best of luck on your search for education.
Old 4th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hello albinotuba,

I like your question which is in some ways like asking a buggy whip maker about his business.

I have learned, worked, learned, worked, worked, worked, learned, worked in the classical recording (acoustic music genre) for over 30 years.

Now studios are much fewer, jobs are lower paying and clients who can offer up quality musical judgement and REALLY play and sing are less than before.

Pop music recording is a wasteland. Don't do that. Classical music recording in America is not taken seriously. Go to Europe to do it.

The best jobs in AUDIO are currently in sports television audio where stereo and surround are valued and paid for.

There are many areas of audio that are different from music recording. Pursue those different areas if interested in AUDIO.

Go to school and get a well rounded liberal arts education. Doing less than that GUARANTEES that you will be unprepared for making it as a
21st. century man.
Old 4th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
rumleymusic's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I started in music school, learning composition. I was required to learn music technology as part of the curriculum. Back then there weren't any computer synths and we leaned things like acoustics and proper microphone setup etc. I also, like every young student, wanted to enter the film composing industry, and through conversing with a few prominent figures in LA, I was persuaded to learn engineering and recording as a stepping stone. I rather enjoyed the idea of creating recordings, and felt a similar satisfaction to composing music. It took over my focus after earning my composition degree. It also satisfied my addiction to learning, so I studied and studied worked as much as possible. I persuaded a few groups to let me record concerts and that work led to other work which led to other work.

It is a rather slow climb toward becoming self sufficient with this model, so it is very important to keep a day job, and preferably one that supports your love of recording and helps you meet potential clients. Personally, I work in classical music radio full time and I started a sole proprietorship business and kept my two incomes separate, that way I could but the earnings from my recording back into the business with new equipment and deduct everything I spent.

It is a dangerous slope now. When I started out I would think "Hey that microphone is $250, I might be able to afford that if I saved" and that turned into "Hey that mic is only $1700, I should get a couple." One question stays the same though, "How am I going to break the news to my wife?"
Old 4th March 2014 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic ➡️
One question stays the same though, "How am I going to break the news to my wife?"
This is truly the biggest hurdle in the recording business!

On occasion, I have slipped a few items in late at night when my wife and kids were sleeping.

-Tom
Old 5th March 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I wouldnt do it differently
I entered Radio, progressed to Film and eventually digital Video
Music Recording is now a wonderful hobby and I learn more about Music every day.
Still love Radio.
Old 6th March 2014
  #8
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I would have bought a Tascam DR-05 and a Canon S-95 in 1970, instead of waiting all these years.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➡️
I would have bought a Tascam DR-05 and a Canon S-95 in 1970, instead of waiting all these years.
Best answer yet.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➡️
I would have bought a Tascam DR-05 and a Canon S-95 in 1970, instead of waiting all these years.
Nah... I wouldn't have missed hauling that road-cased 3340S and Peavey Stereo 800 mixer and tri-amped Voice of the Theaters all over Texas and Ohio...

Ok. Maybe I would have missed it. A little.

H
Old 7th March 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I wish I'd started earlier. I wish I'd come from a family that was in the biz--makes a big diff.

philp
Old 7th March 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I have thought about this for years. I studied History, graduated from a fine grad school and wound up as a systems analyst. The burger flipping jobs were all taken. I loved listening to good recordings and thought about my HS years. I was very interested in recording then. It was on a mono tape deck. I was building simple amps and FM tuners and could have gone in the RE direction. But I chose an academic path instead and wound up with a great education which had no commercial value. In the late 50's/early 60's the RE business was strong and my bent was classical and jazz; rock came later. It could have happened.

Who knows? But I am making up for the past decision by doing as much recording as I can now. I've a nice classical live performance to record this Saturday: piano, cello, clarinet and vox. I've recorded in the venue often and can mix it pretty well. It will be a fun afternoon and using a previous setup I am assured of a good recording. No, starting in the business as a pro is not going to happen. But I can be the happiest amateur in the county. And my time is a tax write-off as charitable work, too.

And the thing which fostered my interest in the late 50's is still active: the thrill of a good recording. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
Old 7th March 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Ive got Deruffles Requiem and the Haydn Nelson Mass next week followed by a Cotswold /Nashville session,it is a bit addictive.
Im about to embark on an aural history as well......
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➡️
... That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
Sounds like a best-of-all-worlds scenario to me.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➡️
No, starting in the business as a pro is not going to happen. But I can be the happiest amateur in the county.
I feel the same way.

-Tom
Old 7th March 2014
  #16
KEL
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'd have: charged one dollar per hour more, smiled more, let more troubles roll off my back, enjoyed more shows, bought less mics, changed the oil more, booked a lot less doubles, watched less TV, played more guitar, asked more dumb questions
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL ➡️
I'd have
<snip>
bought less mics
<snip>
This is heresy!
Old 8th March 2014
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I'd have bought a nice camera and become a videographer/cameraman.
Old 12th March 2014
  #19
KEL
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
....hah..or a DJ..
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL ➡️
....hah..or a DJ..
Nah... too much rap.

As to the video thing... Every sub-$500.00 camera Sam's Club and Costco sell make better quality video in full auto than my $18,000 Sony DSR-130 did in through a full tech station in 1999. Good luck with that, and with competitors who have likely NEVER produced (or, perhaps, even watched) videotape. Ahh... the bad old days.

Glad they're gone.

:-)

HB
Old 13th March 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Having worked with film and then video for most of my pro life
Im very glad to be back in the asetic world of Audio only, the unlimited pictures in my mind are better than any DP can fabricate
I enjoy taking stills of the events, but the agony of compromise for picture is long gone
Now its only the Event Directors I have to charm and bamboozle!
Old 14th March 2014 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav ➡️
Nah... too much rap.

As to the video thing... Every sub-$500.00 camera Sam's Club and Costco sell make better quality video in full auto than my $18,000 Sony DSR-130 did in through a full tech station in 1999. Good luck with that, and with competitors who have likely NEVER produced (or, perhaps, even watched) videotape. Ahh... the bad old days.

Glad they're gone.

:-)

HB
It is still about the person behind the camera or the audio console and not just about the equipment.

This is a age of the DIYer. Everyone considers themselves a professional even if they are in fact rank amateur.

am·a·teur (?m??-tûr?, -t?r, -cho?or?, -ch?r, -tyo?or?)
n.
1. A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.


It is IMHO not going to be too long before everyone does everything for themselves and the only need for a professional will be when you go and see your family doctor. Anyone with a computer and a printer now considers themselves a writer or graphic artist. They also can be a recording engineer, a mastering engineer, a videographer, a VFX specialist and what every else they want to be because they have access to a computer and the WWW. What use to take millions of dollars in equipment and years to learn now can be done by anyone according to these individuals. People now put up full length movies that they have shot and edited themselves on their personal computer. The world is a changin...

On the professional side major recording studio are closing and video production houses are closing because there is not enough work to sustain them. I don't really know where this is all headed but the days of having a bunch of high paid professionals working on a project all in one place seems to be fading. There are music artists that have full fledged recording studios in their houses that are better equipped than some major studios. There are boutique video studios that are contained in a house and are turning out full length major motion pictures. It seems like eventually everything will be done literally "in house". Brick and mortar buildings that have hundreds of people working in one spot are slowly being replaced with smaller operations all linked by the internet

The world of audio and video is changing on a daily basis. What was the modus operandi last week is no longer valid this week.

20 years ago I would have given much different advice to someone seeking a career as a recording engineer than I would give today. 20 years ago it seemed like an wonderful job opportunity..today not so much!

Best of luck! to all who are looking for fulfill their dreams...may the world be everything you want it to be.
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