Getting Your Foot In the Door
All right a lot of creators a lot of good mix of people and what I have to say is going to pertain so everybody whether your producer songwriter again it's going to be about how to get a job in the recording studio no the route that I took that worked again this is only my experience but it worked so I want to share that with people because it could work just as easily work for me it could work for anybody so segment one getting your foot in the door so that just overview of what nobody going through in this how to find where you fit in the industry and how to get your first big break now big break is a term that most people would think of like oh the first big song that I did or the first you know time I got to meet this person well you're gonna have lots of breaks over the course of your career your first big break is probably getting the internship at the studio that you want that's going to be in the field that you want to work in that's very very important is that you don't if you...
want to be a mixed engineer, you don't want to wind up at a movie post house you know if if you want to be a recording engineer, you probably don't want to wind up in a studio that just does mixing because most of studios air set up just to do that. You know, if you want to be a mastering engineer, you should probably work it a mastering house. So these are all part of the strategic plotting that I was talking about, about getting that goal and being more prepared than anyone else to get where you need to get. All right. So my story little brief you know overview of what I did I started like anyone else in my parent's room making beats with my friends I've always been into music I grew up on rap music grunge music me and my friends when we got into high school started getting into the concept that we can make our own music and this concept was very very fascinating to me and once I started doing it it instantly drew what really drew me more than the actual music making which is what kind of maybe different where I different from other people is I spent more time messing with sounds and was more fascinated with how I could take a sound and change its tone and it would make me feel a different way about the sound that is what kind of drew me into the concept of being an engineer I never knew that there was an engineer or what a mixer does I don't know any of that I just knew I like music I can make my own music and if I move these knobs the sound of the music changes I was like oh that's really cool so then I started studying my favorite records and noticed that there were engineers okay, what does an engineer do? Well, I didn't really know. So I started reading up on things I started doing my re con like okay, well this is really fascinating to me would I ever have a career in this? Hell, no. I'm the construction worker who just got out of high school. No, but one day it kind of just snapped in my brain. I was like, you know what? What if I actually tried to do this for a living? I looked up recording schools. I ended up going to the conservative recording arts in arizona. A really, really good school. The schools are going to teach you the same things. The knowledge, the foundation of knowledge that you need to have a career come once I got to the school basically the first day I was instantaneous, I knew it was going toe. What? I knew that it was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. That's how I kind of knew I was in the right place. It started with a fascination. And then once I got my hands on some of the stuff and started doing it in the way that the rial people that make records do it. Which, you know, you go to recording school, you get your protocols, raise, you get your consuls and everything, and you start putting your hands on it, I was instantaneously obsessed. That's. A term that I'm gonna write down because my spelling is absolutely horrible. I'm an engineer, not a 00:03:58.893 --> 00:04:00. spelling of handwriting. Person 00:04:01.78 --> 00:04:03. obsession is vital, 00:04:04.94 --> 00:04:08. so in that I started learning the different jobs in 00:04:08.24 --> 00:04:10. engineering, I knew that I wanted to be this thing 00:04:10.68 --> 00:04:13. called a mixer. They're the ones who tweaked the sounds 00:04:13.0 --> 00:04:15. and move the levels and put the effects on stuff. 00:04:15.75 --> 00:04:17. I was like, that's, what I want to do, that sounds 00:04:17.13 --> 00:04:17. fun. 00:04:19.94 --> 00:04:20. So 00:04:21.4 --> 00:04:23. you don't know as I was saying before you don't just 00:04:23.3 --> 00:04:26. get one break you have lots of breaks you have breaks 00:04:26.42 --> 00:04:29. in every level of moving up the ladder in your career 00:04:30.63 --> 00:04:34. my first break came when I got my internship at larrabee 00:04:34.05 --> 00:04:36. sound studios why because I knew I wanted to be a 00:04:36.67 --> 00:04:40. mixer that so I sought out the studios where they 00:04:40.08 --> 00:04:43. do the most mixing so when I moved to los angeles 00:04:43.1 --> 00:04:44. after I graduated from school 00:04:46.14 --> 00:04:48. I'll explain more in detail when I'm going through 00:04:48.29 --> 00:04:52. some of the other steps of how exactly my path to 00:04:52.01 --> 00:04:55. get to larrabee came about but that was my first break 00:04:55.04 --> 00:04:57. is getting that internship because that my foot is 00:04:57.34 --> 00:05:00. now in the door I'm in the studio with the best mixes 00:05:00.38 --> 00:05:02. in the world in that field the field that I wanted 00:05:02.63 --> 00:05:05. to be in so I'm literally just doors away from being 00:05:05.77 --> 00:05:06. around these people 00:05:08.24 --> 00:05:11. so my next break came when I was promoted to be david 00:05:11.28 --> 00:05:15. sato's assistant david sato's regarded is arguably 00:05:15.1 --> 00:05:17. the best mixture on the planet in my opinion he is 00:05:17.86 --> 00:05:20. the best mixture on the planet but not only easy that 00:05:20.3 --> 00:05:22. but he's the greatest mentor and engineer could ever 00:05:22.51 --> 00:05:26. have most maybe you're familiar with his chopin sato's 00:05:26.6 --> 00:05:29. place an excellent excellent source of information 00:05:29.89 --> 00:05:34. and techniques and learning what people do and I got 00:05:34.15 --> 00:05:36. the pleasure of being around just him for two years 00:05:36.94 --> 00:05:40. being in a two year long since otto's place, essentially, 00:05:42.0 --> 00:05:44. and through my connection with day, even working with 00:05:44.2 --> 00:05:47. him, I was introduced to a producer named tricky stewart, 00:05:47.07 --> 00:05:50. who has produced countless smash records, umbrella 00:05:50.94 --> 00:05:54. single ladies, lots of huge records, and threw my 00:05:54.94 --> 00:05:58. connection with dave is where I learned how to engineer 00:05:58.89 --> 00:06:02. and tricking kind of took me under his wing from being 00:06:02.02 --> 00:06:04. from dave and that's. How I moved from assistant to 00:06:04.83 --> 00:06:08. engineer, which is, I'll get through all these steps 00:06:08.22 --> 00:06:10. and how, you know, you move up the ladder, going through 00:06:10.39 --> 00:06:12. all these. Right now, I'm just kind of breezing through 00:06:12.95 --> 00:06:16. my story, and as we're going through the course, I 00:06:16.57 --> 00:06:18. will kind of revert back. Okay, well, this is what 00:06:18.8 --> 00:06:21. happened to me when I was in this stage. 00:06:23.81 --> 00:06:25. All right, so the lessons you want to learn from my 00:06:25.86 --> 00:06:26. story, 00:06:28.01 --> 00:06:30. you have to be in the scoring zone again. We're talking 00:06:30.21 --> 00:06:32. this kind of sports here. So I guess the red zone 00:06:32.29 --> 00:06:33. for football fans out there, 00:06:35.06 --> 00:06:39. if you want to be in the music, mecca's, if you want 00:06:39.17 --> 00:06:41. to make records with the best people in the biggest 00:06:41.25 --> 00:06:43. records, you have to be where the records are made, 00:06:44.61 --> 00:06:45. you know. 00:06:47.61 --> 00:06:49. If you want to work in a big studio, you need to live 00:06:49.21 --> 00:06:51. by one. You know it's pretty cut and dry, 00:06:53.21 --> 00:06:56. the big places that music are made right now and again, 00:06:56.19 --> 00:07:00. this changes over time. Los angeles in nashville, 00:07:00.61 --> 00:07:02. eighty percent of all commercially made records were 00:07:02.62 --> 00:07:08. made there. Obviously, with ella being the pop r and 00:07:08.11 --> 00:07:11. b basically everything except for country and then 00:07:11.23 --> 00:07:13. country and rock. A lot of rock music is, well, everything 00:07:13.91 --> 00:07:17. country in nashville. So these two places are the 00:07:17.51 --> 00:07:20. major mecca's there's, a lot of stuff in new york, 00:07:20.61 --> 00:07:22. a lot of stuff in atlanta, some stuff here in the 00:07:22.45 --> 00:07:26. bay as well. Um, but again, I'm trying to teach you 00:07:26.3 --> 00:07:29. guys how to get to the big time. So these air steps 00:07:29.15 --> 00:07:31. of how you get to the big time and again, you can 00:07:31.1 --> 00:07:33. cater them to your own specific needs and everything, 00:07:33.61 --> 00:07:36. but you want to be in the reds owner in the scoring 00:07:36.19 --> 00:07:37. zone, you've got to be where the jobs are. 00:07:41.71 --> 00:07:44. It's not going to be easy, okay? Not only is it not 00:07:44.82 --> 00:07:47. going to be easy, it's going to be probably the hardest 00:07:47.08 --> 00:07:48. thing you've ever done in your life and ever will 00:07:48.98 --> 00:07:49. do in your life. I mean, 00:07:51.11 --> 00:07:52. it was certainly the hardest thing I've ever done 00:07:52.75 --> 00:07:53. in my life. 00:07:54.41 --> 00:07:57. You have to be willing to give up almost any and some 00:07:57.64 --> 00:07:58. of the things I'm going to say, we're going to sound 00:07:58.89 --> 00:08:01. a little harsher, like, really, like, is that true? You have to be willing to give up your life, everything in your life, no. And, you know, you could take what I say, however you want interpret it, but this is what I did to get where I need to go. This is an understatement, that it's not going to be easy. And you'll see, as I explained things going through, how hard some of these things they're going to be. You're in for a long, tough road ahead of you. Um, there's, a very limited number of seats available in a lot of people who want him. It's very, very competitive field, one of the most competitive fields in anything. I mean, entertainment in general is competitive. Music is even more competitive within entertainment field, which is why we're going to be. Maur prepared than everybody else. Because that is how. You get through this is to out prepare and outwork everybody come you're osik successor low and you have to be unwilling to fill obsession there's no such thing is no there's no such thing is I don't think I could do this there's no such thing is maybe maybe I was wrong maybe it's a pipe dream if you want to go all the way then go all the way the only thing that's going to stop you is how hard you're willing to work so in doing that it's all about a game plan like I was saying um you're not gonna get your dream job by accident you're gonna work your ass off to get it your opportunity is going to come when you least expect it so your opportunity is kind of going to come by accident no one's going to come on tv in two weeks you're going to get the opportunity lifetime so you better be ready you could come within five minutes it could come within a year it could come within two years income within a week the way that you combat this is to be prepared every day any day you walk into work if you're sweeping 00:09:59.835 --> 00:10:02. the floor be prepared to be recording beyonce did 00:10:02.98 --> 00:10:05. you have to be pretty it's probably not gonna happen 00:10:05.5 --> 00:10:06. but what if it does 00:10:08.2 --> 00:10:11. no a laser focus specific goal and put together a 00:10:11.68 --> 00:10:13. game plan like I was saying you don't want to be vague 00:10:13.96 --> 00:10:16. about your goals ever. You don't want to 00:10:17.7 --> 00:10:20. not. No, no, I don't really know yet. I got to figure 00:10:20.49 --> 00:10:22. it out. Will you figure it out before you get out 00:10:22.66 --> 00:10:24. in the world? You figured out why you're in recording 00:10:24.68 --> 00:10:27. school. You figure it out while you're at home making 00:10:27.44 --> 00:10:31. your game plan once you put your head to it and say, 00:10:31.1 --> 00:10:33. you know what? It's. Time to go, it's go time. You 00:10:33.97 --> 00:10:37. better have a specific goal and an endgame in in play 00:10:37.93 --> 00:10:41. because all of your energy is going to be exhausted 00:10:41.47 --> 00:10:44. in your maneuvers and how you get to that goal. You 00:10:44.84 --> 00:10:47. don't have timeto waste your brain on trying to figure 00:10:47.37 --> 00:10:48. out what the goal is. You have to figure that out 00:10:48.97 --> 00:10:49. very quickly. 00:10:51.24 --> 00:10:53. And of course, there's luck involved, of course, is 00:10:53.74 --> 00:10:57. there. Of course. There's luck. But the harder you 00:10:57.07 --> 00:10:59. work, the more positions you put yourself into get 00:10:59.51 --> 00:11:01. lucky there's. A reason why successful people are 00:11:01.96 --> 00:11:04. constantly getting lucky it's because they're better 00:11:04.2 --> 00:11:06. prepared than everybody. You know, luck is an illusion. 00:11:07.03 --> 00:11:09. It's luck is what happens to people that are more 00:11:09.3 --> 00:11:10. prepared than other people, you know? 00:11:12.8 --> 00:11:16. And when it happens, it will seem like luck. But 00:11:17.3 --> 00:11:18. you're in the right position. You put yourself in 00:11:18.97 --> 00:11:20. the position to get lucky. 00:11:21.9 --> 00:11:23. So little kind of chart here 00:11:25.0 --> 00:11:27. about kind of the skills that are needed to get where 00:11:27.12 --> 00:11:27. you need to go. 00:11:29.1 --> 00:11:33. A musical. Of course, like you didn't decide, you 00:11:33.37 --> 00:11:35. wanted to do music. If you're not musical like, nobody 00:11:35.59 --> 00:11:37. just wakes up and says, I want to do music, and they 00:11:37.35 --> 00:11:40. know nothing about music, so that kind of is obvious, 00:11:40.57 --> 00:11:43. right? But what's, a little less obvious to some people, 00:11:43.54 --> 00:11:46. is how it's kind of a small piece of the pirate. 00:11:48.0 --> 00:11:51. These are much more important when you're dealing 00:11:51.31 --> 00:11:54. with the engineer, and even more so, the producer, 00:11:54.84 --> 00:11:55. and you'll see why. 00:11:59.9 --> 00:12:00. Re kon prepare I mean like I'm going to say that so many times you're going to get sick of the word yeah it's almost like you know you're you're in a war and you're looking at the landscape like a general like preparing for his battle like look at what is in front of you like here's what I want to get here's why I'm right now what's in between you have to strategically maneuver through these steps and it's all about having a plan plan plan plan prepare prepare prepare so real quick I'm gonna go over this maybe review for a lot of you sounds like you know a lot of people probably already know a bunch of this stuff but I'm gonna go through it just in case you know and just so it's fresh in your mind while we're talking through all these things kind of the steppes of making a record you know obviously the record has written the record is tracked and recorded the record is mixed the record is mastered the records released these air kind of some of the jobs in some of the this the people that contribute to that process writer engineer, mixer mastering engineer the producer's in charge of it all some people where all these hats simultaneously very rare well I mean when you're talking about I'm talking about in the commercial world in the top forty world the big time world you're dealing with specialty players the person that writes songs, they write songs and engineer that engineers a mixer that only mixes and amassing engineer that sits in a room and masters one hundred records a day. Um, and the producer is in charge of the whole party. I'm you know, I'm gonna go through and give specifics about what each person does. And again, that might be review for some people. But it's very important to know this because it is a specialty business, specialty players, anyone could be ok in a bunch of things, you know, I'm a pretty good songwriter I make okay beats my engineering is good enough to make it presentable. My mixes are ok. You want to be amazing at one of these things are amazing at the thing that you want to do. You have to be the best that if you want to be a record producer, you have to know you don't necessarily have to be the best mixer, the best engineer. But you better know what the best mixer is and what the best engineer is and you better know why because how you gonna hire the right person if you don't know why they're the best. And the key to getting your foot in the door is knowing where you fit and how to get there again. That's all back to plotting and strategically planning. Um, what do you want to do? Okay, I want to be a mixed engineer. So where do I fit in? Well, I need to find a place where they mix and they do a lot of it, and how do I get there? Well, I'll explain that, but you need to know where these places are. I love country music. I want to record country music will go to nashville, there's, a thousand studio, their studios there that do it. If it was me, I'd be like where's, the best what's, the best place, the place where I could least likely get into, like the biggest pipe dream. That's. What, you go for it. This is really what you want. And this is what's going to guide your education and the way you network in the way you plot for the rest of your career once you dictate this because it's going to be different for everything and once you find the lane and you get there yes you know it's balls to the wall let's go it's go time so let me just quickly explain you know real quick through the jobs the producer the boss they're they're they're in charge of the whole party it's their song they're responsible for delivering the final product to the record label the buck stops with the producer so basically the success in the failure rides on the back of the producer um it's the most stressful job obviously it's could be the least rewarding and the most rewarding it just depends on how successful the music is um the writer obviously you know again this is probably review for a lot of you guys the creator of the song you know depending on the genre the producer could also be the writer you know if it's urban music pop music hip hop a lot of times the producer also writes the track so in that case the producer is also the co writer or the writer in some rock and country the producer is more of like a consultant they're more like the boss like they're dictating to the musicians what to play, what they like how it should be the engineer is responsible for the sound of the record capturing the sonic vision of the producer writer this is kind of just in the most general terms the engineer can also be the editor of the song the engineer could also be doing editing to the song that could be considered production is just a very blurry line especially as music has moved more mohr into the computer world as it was you know on the outside world come but essentially the engineer is the right hand of the producer they work hand in hand with the creators of the song teo get on tape I still say on tape because that's just the terminology that we use in them and even though it's on a hard disk now their job is to get the sound of the record and now you have the mixer in the nineteen eighties a new concept came into play which was the concept of a mixer before that the engineer just did everything the engineer would record the record would mix the record now you know is you get into the eighties you have this concept of a mixer a person that just mixes and that's plays today more than ever because the the way that records have recorded now they're not all recorded in professional finally tuned studios so a lot of responsibility falls on the mixer to give the record the professional polish that it needs so that's essentially what they do they take the raw recorded materials and they create the song that you hear on the radio or here on his own mp three or on a cd or on a vinyl? Whatever medium your listening to music on the mixer is the one who's decided the blend of where things should be, the tones of how things should sound. And, again, that that's hand in hand with the recording engineer because a lot of those things are decided in production. But the mixture it kind of just puts the final blend of everything in and then mastering which I won't get too much into, is the very, very final tweak it the very, very end. Now, this, my friends, is the key to victory. To get into where you want to be, the assistant engineer cut and dry, they do whatever the producer and engineer asked them to do. Whatever it is I'm gonna get, I'm gonna do a whole. We're going to a whole segment about specifics on this because this is your ticket into the business, this job right here. And I'm not going to get too much into it because you're going to basically learn everything you need to know about being the best assistant engineer in the world and by being that the sky will be the limit text they fix shit you know they're more technical people which are very very important but it's not really a creative job most people that are aspiring music creators don't really aspire to repair compressors or fix the wires in any q or fix a buzzing speaker these are more electric electric minded people maur technically savvy I'm a terrible tech you know people tell people I'm an engineer is misleading because I'm really not very technically minded at all the studio manager you know they booked the rooms collect the payments ah lot of studio managers or ex musicians and ex engineers so I think I'm going through all this to carefully explain you know kind of the pecking order what how things are in the studio just so you know because again we're trying to be prepared you need to know everything or as much as there is no such thing is knowing everything but as much as you is close to everything as you possibly can so you're going toe I'm going to show you things that made you may not necessarily completely need to your own career but you need to know them because it's going to help you plot your game plan is going to help you move through your goals and move through the weeds by knowing what other people are doing as well. Even if it's not what you're doing. So that's, kind of what you know. Student manager falls in that capability. However, some of you guys that want to own your own studio, you're probably going to end up being studio managers, too. So.