Lessons Learned & Questions
In the whole conclusion of being an assistant and how, you know no sleep, no, no life, lost girlfriends and even some cases lost wives. I'm sorry. Well, that wives and has I realize that it's all down hill from here, if you make it through, I guess. What do they say in the navy seals hell week or whatever? This is hell week, this system gig. Once your seasoned as an assistant, you were able to walk into any studio anywhere in the world and perform and the beauty of it is he won't have to do most of the work because who is doing the work the assistant but you will know the good value of a good assistant because you were there you will know how to dictate tasked to the assistant because you were there you will know when the assistant is doing a good job and where they need to improve and how to help them improve because of a session is falling apart and you because your system isn't good you can't just call it a day and be like oh well we got I brought this up because our assistant isn't...
good you're gonna have to help the assistant and although you may never hire him again or you may call the superman will be like get me a new assistant you've got to get through the day and if you've been an assistant you know what the system does so I've always said that a good leader is somebody that knows how to properly do the jobs beneath them so even though you don't have to take over the duties someone else is doing it if by some reason you have to take over the duties, you could do it and the session will move smoothly and as long as the producer and the artists don't know the problems are happening. It's, smooth sailing, it's all about the vibe. If problems start happening and it's obvious, you're going to screw up the vibe and especially going to fall apart. So here we go everything matters and it sounds really vague everything matters the smallest details are the most important student of the game you know you're learning why the engineers used this how they use it what sounds they're getting if you're a producer why why did they drop why did he drop the drums out in the in the middle eight or why did he add this extra sent in the post course what did it do to the song to make it better when you're thinking in production boat how did the song how do they make the course lift? Is it extra background vocals? Is it an extra synth part is an extra base part that really makes it jump out of the speakers like what about it and you're going to see all these things and assistant as a ninja in the back with your ears it's the greatest place to be in the world even though it's hard it's so the drive and the the the drive and the fact that even though you haven't slept in a week and you haven't seen the light of day in a month when you're in the room and you hear that magic happening and you're there and you're part of it it's all worth it and you forget about all of that stuff and all you think about his men's the coolest job in the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything five minutes here. Okay, got a good question that I think will kind of lead into your next segment, which is from johan sue karev in a chat room. Who, uh, I recently got my first job in a major voice over studio. Well, I had experience recording. There were some specific things about the workflow that, and there was no one to show me. I had to jump right in. How should I approach the inevitable criticism and what's the best way of making sure I learned the basic info ahead of me? I want to focus on the first part of that, which is how to approach the criticism as an assistant, you know when when you are learning on the job. You can't get overwhelmed even if you're under qualified for something, and you're not quite prepared for its gonna happen because this is a job that you really learn on the job and on the fly, you do your absolute best to plato, where it's a dress, the part, even if you don't, I mean, you know, you want it is a fine line between a bullshitter, which you don't want to be because I could get you in even more trouble, but you have to you have to know you have to make people feel like, you know what you're doing even when you don't. So some of the criticisms, you know, whether it's ah recording that didn't come out quite properly or the gain structuring? I mean, those are things that you, you may make a mistake and you learn from the mistake, and unfortunately, you may make a mistake at someone else's expense, but like, if you screw up somebody's recording and the unfortunate truth of that is that person may never hire you again, but that doesn't mean you're never gonna work again. It just means that you chalk it up, that you've learned and it's just very important, that you never make the same mistake twice. I don't even. No second mistakes. Excuse my chicken. Scratch handwriting. If you mess up a recording become obsessed with the reason why it was messed up is it is it crunchy or is it because the source was too close to the mic wasn't the right mike the mike pre was distorted it was too compressed like if something is someone walks away unsatisfied about something you did you have to do everything in your power to figure out why they were unsatisfied you can't just be like oh well well may I guess they just didn't like what I did well why didn't they like it even if even if you thought it was perfect there was something about it they didn't like that rubbed him the wrong way find out what it is so what about what about those times and so I know you're going to touch on this kind of stuff in your next segment of people skills but what about those times are getting criticized for a mistake you didn't actually make you know when you're taken some here you know this does happen his assistant you will get blamed for many mistakes that you did not do you suck it up and take it on the chin and keep it moving because honestly that a lot of times actually I'll say like ninety eight percent of the time the person that's yelling at you for a mistake you didn't do knows you didn't make the mistake and probably made the mistake themselves and is looking for someone else to blame it happens is just part of the business and you just say you know what you're absolutely right I'm sorry I'll keep it you know that that will never happen again and the fact that they know that you didn't make the mistake is the important part because that that means it won't tarnish your future mom you have to develop a very thick skin you're going to get yelled at for things you didn't do you're going to get people going over exaggerate about something that's not really that big a deal and they make it out to be a big deal you just have to understand that this is part of being in the business and part of knowing when a mistake is bad and when it's someone overreacting is all reverts back to your re kon and your preparation you should know the mistakes that people make and how they're made and what they what people you should know what the chain reaction of something being like the vocal is distorted you should know the chain reaction of that come and if a vocal isn't distorted and someone is saying oh I think it's distorted then there's something about it they don't like so just be like okay, well let's get it again and do it differently even if you didn't think it was distorted but you know the short answer to that is yes you're going to get blamed for things that are useful, and, most of the time, the person blaming you knows it wasn't your fault. And sometimes you're just a punching bag. You know, it happens. Order some important assets that you learned from working with day prince otto, that you've taken from from him one. How to treat your clients which I'm going to get into that in the last segment which is when we're kind of you know we're kind of moving up through the ranks of where your career will take you and once you kind of engineering and you're doing this you're self sustaining and you're having a career I'm managing treating your clients and managing that's when the business part starts to kind of come in probably the most valuable thing I learned from dave other than you know the actual techniques of mixing was you treat every client the same whether it's dr luke or it's some guy that just got his first placement on on his first major record you always make the producer feel like it's their it's their baby is an engineer it's not your song it's not your song you're borrowing it from someone else that it's very dear to them music is very personal to these people they people that create music they take it very seriously and it comes from in here and you have to make them feel like you're going to take care of something that's very important to them you can't blow them off or just be like yeah I'll do it right like and just go through the motions like you have to make them feel excited that someone is going to put that type of effort into their creation and dave did that every single day day in and day out he made everybody feel special and that's why he's been in the business for so long and being so successful and that's one of the greatest things I took away from him was is it so much more about you as a person than your skills and that's what we're going to get into the next segment is how important your people skills are and how important it is for people to like you and want to work with you it's more important than how good of an engineer you are really is not being liked is good in any part of life I think yeah, absolutely but but no one wants to be in a tiny control room with with an asshole like you're not gonna be there for more than one day it's going to be over you know, everyone in the world loves love dave and ice witnessed for you a couple of years why and it's it's how he treated people and how his passion for the music really reflected onto the clients and and the enthusiasm you have to be enthusiastic I mean when someone's giving you something that's so dear to them and important to them I mean you have to be enthusiastic about it like I mean, would you want to give something that's that important to you to someone that doesn't seem like they give a shit absolutely not