Your First Studio Job

Lesson 8 of 11

People Skills

 

Your First Studio Job

Lesson 8 of 11

People Skills

 

Lesson Info

People Skills

Where we left off, we were really diving into the assistant engineer and kind of their technical role in the studio and what's required. And how, how you can set yourself apart from other assistant engineers. So we're going to start this segment off, which is the people skills segment. I'm kind of the same way we did the last time, which is. I want to get an idea from the audience from you guys off. What your perception is of what you think. The most important people skill type of trade that a good assistant and or engineer would have death. Oh, yeah, patients it's, always a good one. I deserve it. Can engage in conversation and actually be assisting right? Don't be. I don't want dale. Dessert uh say another big one is being able to understand both sides of the conversation if there's some kind of debate going on right and even spinning that often we'll talk a little bit more about that is is assessing and analyzing what the conversation is but knowing when and when not to chime in jus...

t because you understand what's going on doesn't mean you should say anything but it is very important just like we've been talking about how you storing information that's not necessarily public it's for you inside your head it's important information for your re kon and for your ninja abilities but doesn't mean that it can become public you know some of these things you maybe aren't supposed to know but knowing them will help you strategically planned as long as you keep it inside your head and only there yes sir being able to translate somebody's idea and get what they're trying their idea is in their head teo translated times you fill in the blanks yeah you have to try to create specific information from vague information important job description of an engineer taking vague directions and interpreting that into something very specific get off the same respect that you want to get from other people because no one really wanted like you know like you said earlier no one really wants to work with a hole you're an asshole they're going to get that back thing absolutely and you will not be working very long as an engineer, trust me, the producer could be an asshole. The engineer absolutely cannot. Sure, flexibility, flexibility, more specific, flexible. And what way? I mean, you're absolutely right I'm just trying to get what you think I guess it falls under like, open mine up in mind this eye and under being able to see both sides sure conversation absolutely uh open minded might be a better way to yes, sir like you said earlier enthusiasm as much enthusiasm is they're bringing if not more so that you keep hearing remember you're taking care of someone else's child, someone else's baby nobody wants the hand that off to somebody that doesn't seem like they're happy about it dumped listening skills exuding confidence and grounded nous and eye contact sure, I mean listening of it what are we doing here? Right? We're recording also clients want to feel heard and absolutely there are people and you'll come across this they want to give an opinion even though the opinion doesn't hold any weight doesn't matter but that's not your job to decide whose opinion matters and who doesn't it's not your job yet maybe one day when you're the producer it is your job come and when you're an engineer gets to a certain point and people are paying you for your opinions that's different but come on that it's not your job to decide who should chime in and who shouldn't it's your job to listen to everybody and take all their opinions and try to make everybody happy all right so the things were over in this part of the segment you know the basic the people skills you need to six a succeed as an assistant and engineer that way we can keep climbing the ladder were keep we're building on our career you know we've got our foot in the door we've got a great internship through our re kon and our ninja abilities we've been able to move from um from an intern state to an assistant engineer state we've been a rock star that you know because we were obsessed with how things in the studio work why people do things the way they do if you're an assistant for long enough and you're good and by falling all this you will be good and better than most and be the best that you possibly can be this is going to lead to you engineering just it's gonna that's what's gonna happen this will happen you're not going to just be assisting and be a great assistant and never get a chance to engineer that's never gonna happen you are going to be engineering so we're gonna go back to this pie I don't know if you remember back from in the first segment where we kind of basically cool the musical pie at the very top is kind of small much bigger the very bottom obviously the biggest piece of this triangle he's your personal skills you have to be likable you have to be someone that somebody wants to spend fifteen hours in a tiny room with doing the most intimate creative. I'd like these creative ideas are very, very personal to these people. They're very vulnerable moments to something to these people. And in some cases, when you get to the really high level, you're working with people of kind of that could have a celebrity status. People that you've grown up listening to watching, and you're seeing them at their most vulnerable. This is their creative process. You have to be somebody that they want to be around that that does that. There's no room for people to be starstruck or kind of getting overwhelmed by the moment this is part of your people skill abilities you are a professional even though what you're doing is very vibe oriented and I guess you could probably say cooler than all your friends jobs like you still have to maintain professionalism because these people are here to work and with that being said when you become an engineer this is essentially what you are you are a hair stylist it is not your song remember that you know again some of you guys that are producers this line may blur a little bit because in that sense you are it is your song but speaking from my perspective because I am a glorified recording and mixing engineer I'm not I don't claim to be a producer don't really have experience producing um your hair stylist the client asked you for a specific haircut they say I want a mohawk if you give them a mullet that is a problem it's not what they asked for and they're not going to like it however if they ask for a mohawk and you give them the most basic standard out of a supercuts magazine mohawk it's going they're going to say ok thanks that was good but are you going to build a name for yourself and really branch out and are people going to be talking about the amazing haircuts that you give? Probably not so your job is to give them what they asked for but the best possible version of it um this is where your musical taste this is where the sum of the talent is going to start separating people that move up faster and people move up slower through this hard work you can always get there, but this is where talent kind of starts to play a role because the talented people are going to be able to give people some pretty amazing haircuts that people going to be talking about um as long as you remember that there's a fine line here, you know when you're getting your hair cut, you don't really I don't know about you guys, but I don't really like my hair stylist talking me to death when I'm getting my hair cut I'm kind of just like, you know, get this done and we'll keep it moving you want to make sure that you're careful about your opinions but you don't really want to give opinions unless you're asked and when you are asked, you want to be careful with the way you respond brutal honesty is not always the best way to go when you get to a certain point in your career where you're established or maybe you're producing or you're in the producer's role you're getting paid for those brutal, honest opinion so it's different, but as an engineer you're very careful about the way you talk to people how you respond think about the chain reaction of those responses if a singer is in the booth and your recording and she said you know he or she's like how do I sound oh you're a little flat or all your little sharp like okay well now that's in their head that they're flat or sharp and it's probably going to be a little more difficult to get the great recording out of them so you were responding something more like oh everything sounds great we're still getting the levels and we're still trying to get the perfect sound but I mean you're killing it just keep going just we'll just we'll just keep it moving just let's get some more takes let's let's we're just going to keep working on the sound and but you're killing that we're going to get in the right direction it's sounding amazing you know they don't have to know what they're doing wrong if there's a producer in the session that's their job to tell the artist what they should or shouldn't be doing the engineer's job is to capture great recording and make sure the vibe of the room is good so if the producer starts giving saying things the artist and make him uncomfortable that is that's not really your problem I mean your job is to keep the session moving the best way you possibly can so with the whole hairstyles mentality just realize that you are there to service them, you are there to service the creator's, whether it's, the riders, whether it's, the producers, whether it's, the band, whether it's, the singer, you are there to help them get the best sound that they possibly could get in the way that you do that is by letting the people in the room do their job. Let the producer produce. Let the artist sing or let the band play. And you do what you're meant to be there doing, which is capture a great recording. Or get the best possible mix or fear the assistant. Your job is to make sure that all of their technical abilities flow seamlessly. They want to change it, mike. You know, like everything that we talked about in the last segment. All of this pertains to letting the engineer become the best possible hair stylist that they can. So also, this is very important. This industry is very, very small, everybody knows everybody, and this works in cross this works in all genres the people that are at the very high levels in pop music, no, the people that are in the high levels of country music, no, the people that are in the high levels of urban music, these people do business together, it's a very, very small community, everybody knows everyone. So with that being said, you have to be very careful with how you speak to people and again now we're kind of we're getting into a mode where you're doing more engineering now, so you work your ass off is an assistant. Follow all the steps you will be engineering and will happen. So now that your engineering you're starting tohave to start, you're starting to have to think about these other things, which are more vibe related, and mohr the temperature of the room related more responsibility on the creative side of it rather than the technical side and making sure everything works in the studio, like an assistant engineer would do. And the punishment for mistakes starts getting more brutal if you burn a bridge realized you're actually probably burning ten or twenty or thirty bridges because people talk in this business. The reason why we don't talk and we're ninjas about it is because we're trying to avoid this. But there are people that talk. This is how I've learned not to do it, because I've seen it happen to people and one of the ways you're gonna learn, you know, when you go out on your own path. I mean, I'm giving you great guidelines on a good way that I did it. But things are gonna be different for everybody you will start to see. You'll start to learn from other peoples mistakes as much as your own, if not more so. Everybody knows everybody, and word travels fast. And when I say fast, it's, like it's, circled the globe in fifteen minutes, like especially now, with social media and things, which I'll get into a little bit later. But it also can work in a positive way. You know, because word travels really fast about how good you are, is, too. Excuse me, how good you are, as well. If you actually absolutely kill a session and producers like man, this engineer is great. There's going to be twenty producers that know about you overnight. Well that is uh you mentioned assistant from east west audio right too? I don't know a couple thousand people watching right now watching five years ago for however long ago it was years ago and because you were so impressed by that now her name got out to the right people she was I imagine that she's probably successful in her own right by now because she was so good that I don't see her staying where she was for very long remember in this business you know I'm gonna keep emphasizing the fact that you do the job that you're doing to get out of it not to stay in it and you do that by being the best at that job like if you're going to be an intern you're gonna be the best intern that ever walked in that studio not so you can stay an intern so you can get the hell out of there when you're an assistant you're going to be the hardest working assistant like I worked eight months without a day off you're gonna work a year without a day off and then once you've done that now you've become an engineer, you're starting to engineer you're you're starting to see your game plan is starting to unfold in front of your eyes like it starts to become evident and possible like something that's just seemed like a pipe dream in something that seemed so out of reach is now right in front of you, it's. So close. You can smell it. And this is where the drive starts kicking even more, because it's, easy to lose sight of something when it's so far away. But when it's, literally right in front of your face, you're like, oh shit, I could do this like, I'm I'm on my way. So back on track with the, you know, don't gossip. I mean, you're going to be in the room, and you're going to be seeing things and hearing things, smelling things. Sometimes there were that are never meant to be public information at all. I've seen things that could literally destroy somebody's career with one tweet or you know, but this is part of your job. You are a professional, you these people are counting on you to be professional, your in a professional working environment just like anything else. It just happens that your office is a creative space in a recording studio. You have to respect, respect the walls and respect the unwritten law that what happens in the control room absolutely stays there. This is this is something that's been true forever since recording studios started and trust me, you know, their things are probably a lot calmer now than you know, just if you were working in studio in the eighties, you probably saw even crazier stuff and that, but that law still stands now like you to see things in the studio. It's, a studio session. People are creating it's not you know they're not painting or hanging drywall, they're making records. You're going to see things people use methods to make records that you may be like, wow, that's crazy, but what happens in the room stays in the room. You never know one of another reason why you don't want to talk because you don't know who you're talking to, you know, a lot of these people that come into the studios that are very high up in the chain of command, be it, you know, vice presidents of labels, presidents of labels, ceos of giant record labels, they don't look flashy, you know? They were baseball hats and dirty jeans and tor nup shoes, and they may not look like somebody that's super important, but they could be somebody that could black paul you and instantly sink your career like that. So the solution to that is you never know who you're talking to, so don't talk at all. You know, you're a ninja, you see things you storm in your head and they're there for you, but only you, you know, you're you're you have a plan in front of you have somewhere you want to get, you don't want anything to get in the way of that. So seeing things in the studio is always going to be something that's there, it's, always something that you just have to realize is part of your job. You know, I had. We had an overly overly overly eager assistant it's like kind of a tongue twister and overly eager assistant. I know they got the chance to engineer got the chance to record a pretty big artist. And he went on his facebook. And it was like, you know, I'm in the studio recording bala blah. And I had to rip him a new asshole for it. I was like, look, man. Stay off of social media please no this is something that's kind of a new thing I mean obviously because the explosion of social media isn't even a decade old really this is something that they didn't really teach me in recording school because there was my space then it was kind of there but it wasn't like you know now I mean people are literally living on the internet come and you can get information to circle the planet in ten seconds with the use of social media so this is a weapon of mass destruction teo somebody in the recording studio a possible weapon of mass destruction that everybody that's in the control room has the finger on this is dangerous so please don't do it like it's the it's something it's like the some studios will actually put signs up you know no tweeting no facebook ing no instagramming it's kind of rare because most people that I deal with in the studio I mean this is kind of like yeah obviously we're not going on social media because we are professionals and yeah there's a time and a place for social media it's great to be excited about what you're doing you should be excited I mean if you're not then that's a problem like I mean you're doing cool shit you're working with these cool people but just know that there's there's a time and a place to talk to people and it's not on the internet, you know, you go out and have a beer with your friends or your family, you can tell them I can't. I got to work with bob, a blind man. It was great, like that's, the time to talk to your friends, it's, cool, you could tell your friends who you work with that's. Awesome. Just don't put it in writing for the whole world to see, because that's just really not appropriate. All right. So this is very important. This kind of rolls with the assistant and the engineers role um because this can also be disastrous in the studio when you're in the studio things happen problems are going to happen really there's going to be things that aren't working properly you're going to have to improvise on the fly um you're everything you've studied as an assistant to this point learning from all these things you should have a pretty good roll index in your mind of had a problem solved different things and the more time more times you actually have problems and solve them that's that's that's a problem that the next time it happens it's instantaneous fixed so the mohr experience you get the easier it will be to fix things and the easier will be to maintain your cool but you can never panic even when things go bad and they will you can never wear your panic on your face I mean you're in a recording session it's vibe it's creativity people consents your energy when things are going bad and you make it obvious people start worrying what's going on why why you down there what's going on with cables does it work? Oh shit it doesn't work what's going on you start a chain reaction of panic that starts with the engineer, then moves to the producer and last and worsley I don't know that the word gets to the artists of the musicians because once it spreads there it's a virus that can't be cured, it's very hard when an artist or a musician when they lose the vibe, it's very hard to get it back. It's one of those things that's gone and time it's the only way to get it back is to walk away and come back, which, when you're dealing with big recording sessions, isn't really an option. So what ends up happening is they plough through it and they push through it with bad vibes, and it shows on the record, and you can avoid that by just knowing that you cannot panic. Once you panic, you've lost control of the room. Control of the control room is a control room. It's why is it called a control room? Because everything that happens in there has to be okay. You know, if nasa engineers lose control of the space shuttle what's gonna happen, people are going to die. Well, if you lose control of a sort of musicians and and the control of a recording session, the song is going to die and to some people, that's equally as important as nasa losing control. So the assistant and the engineer especially the assistant are two people that can never lose control my great mentor always told me that if a building is on fire and it's burning down and so full of people the person that everyone stops and looks at what we do that's the engineer like they're the ones that will always make it okay like anything could be going wrong and if you make your clients and make the producer make the artist make the musicians feel like no matter what happens I got your back like we will get through this and it will be great no matter what don't this we're good in your mind you could be like oh my god this is a disaster but they can never know that and as you get more experience than you get through these situations and you get through them in a positive way you start building confidence and you start believing your own advice like I can't get through this is nothing because I've done it before question for you yeah throughout the day I've been really impressed with some of the kind of examples you've thrown out as far as the kind of language you used to handle the given situation when such and such happens don't freak out just say this and like the things you said I'm like that was really good you know how did you know what? How could somebody go about learning you know those kind of responses, you know, learn howto handle things in such a cool way. Yeah, you know. Like like I just said you'd do it and you get through it and you start to build confidence upon that confidence spreads like a virus just like panic does when you panic other people panic and when you show people that's things are going down in flames how fast it's going down in flames accelerates get spread like a wildfire you know it starts getting bigger and bigger and bigger and after a while you can't stop it well confidence kind of spreads in the same way when you walk into a room as an engineer and you have the confidence like yo I'm going to kill this shit like a man like weights you hear what I'm about to do that spreads and that confidence gets to the producer and the producers like oh man thiss guys were good and then that confidence from the producer he and prints that onto the artist like the artist gets in there if they're feeling a little shaky or whatever the confidence of the producer and the engineer is going to make the artist feel more at home and they're going to get I expect they're going to get you're going to get performances out of people that you never thought would be possible I've seen it happen um singers that had no business singing in a major recording environment and all of a sudden there's there sounding better and they've ever sounded not because we're doing extra processing or making stuff running it through extra, you know, fixed, fix the pitch, even though, you know, obviously you can. We're not even thinking about that right now. We're thinking about a performance. You get performances that these people and they come in and they're like, man like, how did we get how did you sound like that, or how did I sound like that? We're like you just you did. We didn't do anything. We just made you feel comfortable and made you believe that you could do it, making the artist and musician believe they can deliver extraordinary things is essentially your job, um, because it all starts at the source, right? You're recording engineer, you want the best possible sound before it even gets to the microphone. And the best possible sound comes from the best possible performance from the best ability of the person playing whatever instrument it is and that you get that with confidence that spreads come. So with kind of moving down from that we kind of talked about this a little bit earlier you have to have a thick skin and I feel like any time you're dealing with some type of business where egos are involved which is true with a lot of forms of entertainment business um like I'm saying like we were saying earlier that these air people's babies these air these their creative babies and some people that have had success with those created babies start to feel really good about the babies that they have sometimes overly so and you're going to you're going to catch flak from people and you know what? You just have to think about the vibe you know what this guy's yelling me for no reason this guy's out of his mind but if I make us think about it it's going to screw up the vibe and I don't want to that's the artist you're always thinking about the artist or the musician it starts with them so that the producer is throwing you flack or the a and r is in the back trying to give an opinion when we were like oh I think the drums should be louder and bubble blowing like you know what I think about the most important thing which is the artist the creator the song itself if you fear in a mixing environment the song is everything you have you can't let the song fall victim two things that are going on personally in your life so thick skin is absolute must sure that was a really interesting so just shut up let's say you're the assistant and the engineer steps out for a minute uh take a phone call use the bathroom whatever and you know when the cat's away the mice will play and then everyone in the room starts chime in with their opinion about telling you to do stuff how do you you know how do you how do you respond to that what do you d'oh when ana and our decides that since the boss is gone he can tell you to turn up the drums well in a professional recording environment I've actually most people that are in the room being a and r executives other producers no the kind of the chain of command of the studio and they would never ask an assistant to change something on a mix they would never be like hey you have a lot of times I don't even know your name like honestly like you're a piece of gear in the room right they when they need you they'll go like this and then when they don't vent your gone that's ah not to backtrack but that's actually a perfect trade I guess it goes back to the ninja thing to ah great trade of of a great assistant engineer is you're there instantaneously when they need you and the second they don't need you anymore you are gone you're not really gone you're just not relevant to them right now it's not like you leave the room or anything like that you're just invisible great you're you blend into the wall like a piece of wallpaper and then when they need you you're like you're like a and they're like oh I don't even know you were there that's insistent I like it's like when I need it I'm like before I can even open my mouth he's like I got you that's a bond that engineer and assistant get over a certain amount of time is literally you finish each other's sentences not literally but like literally I'm reaching for a button in my assistant already knows what I'm wanting and it's already there that's the type of relationship that you get overtime yes sir so you can talk mentioned briefly before um so like the hierarchy I mean you can't let go and skip the chain of command right I mean you're being the assistant you're not going to go in speak to the artist he would speak to the producer and have them speak to the artist I wouldn't recommend it I mean there are times when and as an assistant I mean again you're always thinking about your people skills your friendly so an assistant is going to go in adjust the microphone like to say the singer is in the booth and engineers all right? The she's too short or he's too short, the mic is too high. Can you go? Move it! We're gonna go in there, you know, and you're going to move the mike and they may talk to you or strike up a conversation, you know? No at that point you're you do your best to be friendly, witty and nice, and then make it so that the second you walk out, they forget who you were, you know you're you're here to be nice, but not memorable. It's not your job to be memorable yet it's your job, too, to make sure you know the engineer is supposed to be memorable, that produce is supposed to be memorable, you're helping her with the mike and your professional, you know you're not sitting there like, oh my god, this is beyonce's mike right here, like you're like another day at the office, you know, here we go. Anything else I can get, you know, okay, cool, and you're out, and then she instantly forgets what you look like doesn't know your name that's the best assistant. Ah! Did I answer your question or die kind of ramble? No, it was fine. I was basically so even above assistant, like so the engineers not going to go and speak to the artists well. It's all circumstantial, and this goes with feeling at the temperature of the room you can tell pretty obvious pretty quickly when you start a session who, what their personalities going be like if they're approachable, if they're not approachable and the engineer is a pretty pivotal part of the process, I mean, you're the hair stylist, but you know, to someone that really likes their hair, the hair stylist is pretty damn important. So to someone that really cares about their vocals, they're going to treat the engineer like they're important because they are so engineers will speak to artists all the time, absolutely like if I'm communicating with a singer through talk back, you know, I'm like, how does the level in your headphones is there? Too much river? Can you hear yourself? Okay, can you hear the click track? Can you hear everything going on? Yeah, yeah, we're good. We're good, okay, great let's, let's, let's go that's role and then the producer usually takes over from there. A lot of times they'll have a remote talk back and in a professional environment, usually they have the remote kind of like this, and they can walk around the control room and talk to the artist as much as they want. Otherwise, you actually have to push the talk back. The engineer has to sit there and push talk back every time they want to talk to the artist. That can get a little annoying, so usually once the engineer side like, okay, you're headphone mixes. Cool. Everything sounded good. You're happy you're ready to start getting the vibe in recording. The producer will take over from there, and their job is to get the accurate performance. Your job is to capture the greatest recording of that performance. Um so, and also realizing that, no, we're going to say there's a couple times in the last two segments here, um, there's, no room for egos and engineering, in my opinion, I mean, there are engineers with egos, they'll say. But, I mean, I'm really great at what I do have the right to have an ego, absolutely, but in my opinion, there's enough ego in the music business to go around already between artists and producers, and and the engineer doesn't really need to have those traits, in my opinion, I mean, you can, and those guys, they're successful, that do, but to me, it's. Unnecessary. I think there's a faster track to get where you want to go, if you don't have, if you check your ego at the door and realize the whole hairstyles mentality, um no one to have an opinion, because people are going to ask you, what do you think that how does that sound? But what do you think? What do you think? Yeah, I like it, but what do you think? So no wind to chime in with a professional opinion and always be thinking about your response. You never just shoot off your mouth and be like, oh, maybe I should have said that, you know, but we don't do that because so much of what we've been doing in our career thus far has been so orchestrated and calculated that even things that were saying and were about to say in five seconds is just is calculated. You know, we're not just off the top of the head, people where engineers were. We're very cold, calculating people no. And understand that you're replaceable. And just the same way that you approach this as a ninja and going behind people and taking them out without them knowing. Someone's. Going to be trying to do that to you once you start moving forward. So, having an ego is a perfectly good way to get your throat slit by someone else who doesn't have one. Lot of remember, a lot of jobs are not very many jobs and a lot of people that want them so you can never blue side of that once you're in the door, once you're moving once it's in front of you, like, okay, I'm on my way it's, it's, it's so close, it's reachable, realized that there's other people that are literally right behind you, that it's also reachable for and you need to find a way and make sure that you stay ahead of them. You're all you're never losing the ninja capabilities. You're never not doing re kon, you're never not doing the peyton manning. I mean back to sports, you know, sports references. I mean, peyton manning's been the best quarterback in the nfl for eight years, and he still over prepares every week because he doesn't want to get caught slipping. He did. All of a sudden doesn't want to be this third best of the fourth best, and it shows for those of you watch football, you know? Um, so kind of this. This may answer. Mohr question. Back here to the chain of command. You have to respect it. You have to know it. Um, and as an assistant is where you're going to kind of learn what the chain of command is. Not because you're because you're a near hustler because you're a ninja, because you're picking up things that are none of your business, but you still know them for your own personal benefit in game. So this is kind of like this maybe review for some people again but you know I just want to make sure everyone's aware the process of making records it's kind of the same even from independent to major label level um the label is the business they're the bank they're the ones the other one's going to market the records so they hire the producer the producer's job is to deliver the record so in delivering the record the producer either writes the music themselves and then brings in a songwriter or brings in the band and they write the music collectively and then with that they go to the studio sometimes they write in the studio sometimes a lot of times these days just to save money on budgets they write the ideas at home or in a home studio or something and they go to the to the commercial studio would take advantage of the equipment in the microphones and and stuff like that and then through here you have the studio the engineer who works hand in hand with the producer and then once the records done the mixer takes over the role of the engineer these two are pretty much one in the same it's just a question of what process and the record make what area the record making process you're in the both work hand in hand with the producer obviously them during preproduction in them during postproduction and then assistant engineer. Look there, the gateway to everything they see up and they see everything, then down here, you know, earlier, I kind of briefly but brushed up on, you know, the tech and the studio manager, which the studio manager, in a lot of cases, basically a hotel manager, keep the clients happy. Make sure, you know, make sure there's a fresh fruit basket in the lounge if they want it. Not a lot of creative. You know, times will decide, like what color curtains to put in the room or something, you know. Very, very important. But not really what I'm trying to teach you guys here today, you know. You know becomes an assistant in there they're happy they're finally a little bit higher on the ladder than somebody you know and gets a big head and treats the tax the studio manager's badly or anything like that um it happens to god guys that have been around for a long time they feel because after a while you when you're very very valuable and you've been around for a while as an assistant and you're kind of one of those assistance that I was talking about that your engineering a lot too but you just don't quite have enough work like freelance work to self sustain yourself so you're still an assistant but you're basically an engineer you're overqualified assistant and that's what happens to assistance after a while and that's how you know you're ready to move on is when the job is no longer you're just like man you like sit by an engineer you're like what is that guitar sound is getting eye I could get away better sound than that like you start hearing things your own way I've seen some of them get a little bit like that but again the people that make it really far they're always going back to the remember the people skills and being respectful of the chain of command like they didn't get there by being assholes so they're probably not going to be even down the line so it's very rare I've seen it! A couple times. But not not very often. Usually, when you get to the start getting towards the upper echelon, everybody, you're gonna start to see very similar personalities, very similar people, because that's, what it takes to get to that point, so you're gonna start seeing a lot of the same qualities in your peers, mom. So as an assistant, really, you're not goingto anything that happens outside the control room is none of your business. I mean your businesses what's in the broom. But that doesn't mean we can't know what they're doing. I mean, as long as you don't shoot your mouth off and spread it around. It's, re con it's information. Cia shit, like, you know it, it's all preparation, because you never know what you're going to need to get to the next level. You store it all up here and, ah. I mean, I your hustle all the time, like you'd never know that. I'm listening to what somebody saying I could be having a conversation with somebody like this and know what someone back there is talking about. They no one would ever know that. I knew that, and when I left the room, I would never tell anybody the only person that would knows me, because I don't talk or spread it around. But I know so you're always how many times I've written on the board, but I just want to make. I want to burn it and your guy's brains. This is what you are. You know, you can't even see a ninja's face. You don't know what they look like, and they'll kill you. Yes, and you won't even know who it wass. So in that be respectful of the chain of command by ear hustling and knowing, you know, the hierarchy of things that happen outside the room, it will help you better understand what I was talking about earlier, where it was like you never know who you're talking to. Well, this will have help you better educate yourself on who you are talking to and how to act around people, because when the ceo of universal music is in the control room, the temperature of the room is going to change. I mean, the producer is going to be more on edge. The engineer is going to be more on edge, the artist is going to be more on edge. The temperature is going to get shaky if the assistant engineer comes in or that you're even the engineer and doesn't know who this person is, and they just act like business as usual and there, you know, bourbon or drinking like there's, not acting right because they don't know who's in the room because they didn't re kon and they didn't learn about what, what this person even looks like or what, how they dress or, you know, being a ninja and doing the re con will help you understand information that essentially you shouldn't know, but I'm telling you, you should know it. So, again, take the temperature of the room. You know, act accordingly to feel the vibes what's happening. Are people getting down? Are people really up? Are they you know, are is the energy highs the energy low? When your engineering this is going to dictate your workflow, you know. Trying to give some good examples of no. Of ah temperature. Dictating the temperature like you can just feel some tension. And maybe you don't know what's causing it. You can feel it. And what do you do that? When I feel tension in the room I tried to not be too abrupt about anything I'm doing when you feel things are happening a certain way in a room you may want to counter act that with the opposite of what that is so there's a lot of tension and people are starting to feel uptight you know if you're comfortable enough around people maybe crack a joke or or do something that's the that will that will create the exact opposite of emotion of what people you feel like people are feeling come you know if it's people are starting to slack off and yeah like I do this all the time when I'm mixing and I get a lot of people hey you know kind of behind me like talking a lot or kind of getting off track you know start talking about things that have nothing to do with music or nothing to do with what we're working on I'll start working really fast you know I'll maybe I'll patch up a bunch of gear that I'm not even really using and I'll turn the volume of the music up a little bit and I'll start like I'll start acting like I'm really really engaged in what I'm doing and without saying anything I can kind of make them feel like okay, we're kind of I think this guy's getting a little annoyed like I think we're kind of bothering him working I want everybody to take notes because that is a ninja move right there absolutely it's all about getting what you want without actually telling people that you need it and that's I actually have another trick that I do when I'm mixing too and sometimes when you're mixing especially when you're in the early stages of the mix it could get a little annoying when people r trying to you know, do that yo yo can you make this sound like this in this sound 00:46:25.666 --> 00:46:29. like this? So I have this thing where all lupus section 00:46:29.46 --> 00:46:34. of song not even loop like ah bar and two beats or 00:46:34.09 --> 00:46:36. something and I'll just loop it and it'll be really 00:46:36.98 --> 00:46:40. short loop like a bar into, like literally that long 00:46:40.63 --> 00:46:43. and I'll just loop it and I'll actually know I'll 00:46:43.66 --> 00:46:46. be like acting like I'm doing stuff but really all 00:46:46.15 --> 00:46:47. I'm trying to do is irritate the people in the back 00:46:47.95 --> 00:46:50. of the room so they're like, oh god, stop that and 00:46:50.81 --> 00:46:52. what times they walk out the room 00:46:53.19 --> 00:46:55. because I don't know if you've ever it's like listening 00:46:55.73 --> 00:46:57. to one of those broken record players that's just 00:46:57.45 --> 00:47:00. like on like that's what it sounds like when you get 00:47:00.62 --> 00:47:04. a song that's not an even loop where your body can't 00:47:04.64 --> 00:47:08. feel the rhythm it starts getting awkward and it starts 00:47:08.54 --> 00:47:11. getting off putting like he starts getting annoying 00:47:12.29 --> 00:47:15. so little chicks like these are good ways to change 00:47:15.3 --> 00:47:18. the temperature in the room without actually saying 00:47:18.25 --> 00:47:21. anything, guys, you know that people are getting off 00:47:21.72 --> 00:47:24. track. He worked super fast and make them think like 00:47:24.01 --> 00:47:26. you're really engaged in that, you need concentration. 00:47:27.09 --> 00:47:29. Things are getting too tense maybe. 00:47:31.59 --> 00:47:33. I mean, lighten up the mood a little bit. 00:47:36.14 --> 00:47:40. I've even done things like purposely do something 00:47:40.69 --> 00:47:44. that I know that they won't really like like put so 00:47:44.98 --> 00:47:47. much reverb on the vocal they'll be like that's weird 00:47:49.04 --> 00:47:50. because I'm trying to get them at least I'm trying 00:47:50.91 --> 00:47:52. get their mind off whatever it was that it's on that's 00:47:52.99 --> 00:47:55. taken their mind off of the song or whatever it is 00:47:55.81 --> 00:47:59. making dragging the the mood of the room down 00:48:00.19 --> 00:48:01. I'll try to 00:48:02.79 --> 00:48:06. get them back to being engaged with the record sometimes 00:48:06.68 --> 00:48:10. you do it by working really fast and making them feel 00:48:10.28 --> 00:48:12. like you need to concentrate sometimes you do it by 00:48:12.05 --> 00:48:14. purposely doing something that you know they won't 00:48:14.07 --> 00:48:16. like so that it catches their attention like no way 00:48:16.46 --> 00:48:19. way way too much river okay so you got it I'll change 00:48:19.94 --> 00:48:22. it really I'm just trying to get them thinking about 00:48:22.51 --> 00:48:25. something else come it's 00:48:26.09 --> 00:48:29. yes sir a situation I know it's probably don't happen 00:48:29.36 --> 00:48:30. very often but when an artist is in the room when you're mixing and they're trying to tell you what to do do you listen to me listen to their song your song but let's save some they're not the songwriter and they're just just the article with air like a celebrity and they're just like telling you you put mohr do you listen to everything they say and do it or sometimes you act like you're doing stuff and then not really do it whatever happens there's a little bit of this. I'm gonna write down right now. Do we do that? Absolutely. We do that usually, artists that are big, I have kind of earned the right to have an opinion, and again, you always have to remember that it's, not your song. So your your hairstyle is, you're giving them the herrick it that they want. So you, anything that they asked for you at least try it. Maybe it's not gonna work. Where this starts to come in. Mohr is when you have conflicting opinion's, the producer says, do this in the artist says, do something else, or the record companies saying, we need this and the producers saying, no, I'm not doing that. This is when you start doing this. I mean it's, not uncommon to where they will be like, turn the delay up or something, and I'll zoom in on the track and then it's perfect right there, and I didn't touch anything, and I'll be, like, great cool. I mean, sometimes the brain fills in since I was a brain here's. What it wants to hear it happens to everybody I mean, happens to the greatest engineers in the world. Who will you know, I've seen the greatest engineers in the world be sitting there trying to brighten up a vocal or something like that, yeah, it's perfect right there, and then I'll glance over, and the insert isn't even pushed in like they weren't even hearing it. But they wanted to hear, I mean, it's, it's, something that is just anomaly in our ears and in our brain. So it happens and that's, how you can do this, you can use that phenomenon to do this to people. But then again, you want to be careful with that, that it's, this is something you do when you start getting confidence and again, once you start moving and progressing in your career and climbing up the ladder, your people are going to start to pay you for your opinions. Your started they're going to start to come to you because they trust what you can do with sound and that's. When your own opinions start to make their way into the song, you're still a hairstylist, but you could be there. Okay? You want a mohawk? We'll see if you like this to a little design at the bottom, you know they'd be like, oh, wow, that's great. You know, you start doing this two people to answer your question. Yes, we do do that. I just have to know when it's appropriate and who it's appropriate to do, too. If it's a big artist, I'm always going to do what they ask for always because they've earned that opinion. They've earned that right? Yeah. Yes, sir. It seems like through something story. You know this. But when you're mixing our, they're usually people in the room with you. I have to go. No, I would say it's when I started out, it was more more so. But now most of my mixes are unattended now. I do because I worked directly with tricky stuart every day pretty much still and since we're in the same studio absolutely you know we're collaborating constantly coming in the room were tweaking the record I send it over to him he does more production on it we go back and forth but when I'm just doing straight mix work usually they just send me the files over the internet I mix the record and then I send it to them and they give me the comments um or out yeah and they sent me the notes you know turn this make this brighter make the base poke out more bob loblaw I also there's a great program and hopefully have time to go through this way didn't have it in the curriculum but there's a great program called source live that basically you put it on your master bus and whatever approaches logic whatever using and it basically it broadcast your session over the internet with your mixing or tracking whatever so basically you email a link to your client whoever it is and they click on the link and it opens a little quick time window that's a live stream of your of your mix or whatever you're working on and they can here your playback in real time so they could you could be on the phone with them or I do it on I chattel they'll be ok loop the bridge real quick and I'll go and loot the bridge, and they're hearing it all in real time. So it's, just like they're sitting in the room with me when this came out, it kind of revolutionised the way we mix, because now I could be working on a record with clients that I haven't. Sweden. They could be in sweden, and it be like we're in the same control room. So since that came out, I have less and less attended sessions. It does happen, um, you have people in your back swing, so this week you have people standing behind you looking over your shoulder, and, ah, that becomes less of a problem when your confidence starts getting up and, you know, source lies, yeah, and there's actually think there's a couple, the companies that make something similar, that's, the one that I use that's, the one that I really like. It does broadcast in a high quality mp three, so I do always let the clients know, like, look, this is an mp three, so it's not going to be the full fidelity. And once we get the mixed feeling, the way you like it, I'll send you, ah, high resolution wave. You know, because us engineers, we hear little things, you know, that, uh, maybe we wouldn't be in an mp three. Yes, sir, you're mixing generally, like, depends on the artist. But would you rather makes the whole thing by yourself with maybe some of their beginning notes, and then have them send back stuff? Or would you rather have them in the room with you? Kind of going it through, or does it just depend too much on? It? Depends. Personally, I like. I don't like having them there like when I'm starting but I like getting them involved early because I feel like you save time because if you spend like a whole day or two whole days on a mix done and they haven't even heard anything yet you may have taken the wrong direction or something and you could have to backtrack and and you may have wasted some time so right I like to I like to spend some time by myself to get the field and you know see how I can start moving things around and see how they start feeling and how different parts interact with each other and once I've done that and I get kind of my static okay this is what I feel like their direction is this is where where the records should go from here I like start getting involved in that to make sure that it's the right decision is the right direction a lot of times there are always always require you know, some sort of rough mix um probably I'd like to start from where everyone left off occasionally I get sessions that air like completely zeroed out and I hate that because especially these days producers and engineers and creators they spent so much time you know on production preproduction getting putting plug ins on sounds to change the sound you know, getting the record in shape that they want like why would you do strip all that off and have me start over like like I'm trying to enhance what you've given me. I'm not tryingto just do what I only what I hear. So in that sense, I feel like that is kind of them being in the room is they've essentially started the mix for me. The tracking engineer has started the record, it's, my job, just to take it to the next level as a mixer, how long does it usually 00:56:40.197 --> 00:56:43. take you to mix a mix down the track? I mean, obviously, 00:56:43.51 --> 00:56:45. they're different lengths. Yeah, it depends 00:56:46.94 --> 00:56:47. anywhere from 00:56:50.64 --> 00:56:53. six hours to two days it just depends on the song 00:56:54.24 --> 00:56:56. depends on how complex the production in the arrangement 00:56:56.64 --> 00:56:57. is come 00:56:59.14 --> 00:57:02. depends on how good the recording is I mix the record 00:57:02.57 --> 00:57:05. for an artist and another lens that actually went 00:57:05.54 --> 00:57:09. to number one in the netherlands and ah we did the 00:57:09.07 --> 00:57:13. mix and literally two hours because the vocal recording 00:57:13.03 --> 00:57:17. was spectacular the production this producer had such 00:57:17.05 --> 00:57:20. an ear for sonics and for the frequency placement 00:57:22.44 --> 00:57:24. you know in that sense he was kind of like a pretty 00:57:24.47 --> 00:57:27. solid good parent to would be like dr dre who mixes 00:57:27.37 --> 00:57:30. all his own records because he's so good at choosing 00:57:30.51 --> 00:57:33. sounds they don't really need to be cute or anything 00:57:33.34 --> 00:57:36. is every piece of the kind of to think of it is like 00:57:36.84 --> 00:57:40. a it's like a rainbow of colors like you have the 00:57:40.76 --> 00:57:44. brightness and of the sub you know and you have to 00:57:44.01 --> 00:57:46. fill in everything in between that producer that gives 00:57:46.61 --> 00:57:49. you every color to work with at that point it's very 00:57:49.69 --> 00:57:52. easy you're just kind of making it work together 00:57:53.64 --> 00:57:56. so a production like that would only take a couple 00:57:56.29 --> 00:57:59. hours and then there's ones where you're missing a 00:57:59.08 --> 00:58:01. lot of colors and you're gonna have to synthesize 00:58:01.29 --> 00:58:04. that somehow or you know completely changed the way 00:58:04.88 --> 00:58:08. something sounds too so that there's no holes in the 00:58:08.6 --> 00:58:11. frequency spectrum something like that would take 00:58:12.04 --> 00:58:13. a day two days 00:58:14.99 --> 00:58:19. it's completely dependent on the, the production. 00:58:20.04 --> 00:58:23. Typically, if it takes longer than a day or two, you're 00:58:23.53 --> 00:58:26. probably overthinking it again. You're not trying 00:58:26.56 --> 00:58:27. to reinvent the wheel. 00:58:29.14 --> 00:58:31. I feel like if you spend too long on a mix, you're 00:58:31.67 --> 00:58:34. starting to think of it like your song. It starts 00:58:34.27 --> 00:58:37. to be like, okay, this is my song now, you know, this 00:58:37.63 --> 00:58:38. is what I wanted to do. 00:58:39.71 --> 00:58:42. If you can't figure out and within a day or two, what 00:58:42.89 --> 00:58:45. someone else's vision is, you kind of you to start 00:58:45.5 --> 00:58:45. over.

Class Description

Learning how to write, record, and produce music is hard enough, but getting your foot in the door at a reputable studio is even harder. In this one-day workshop, elite engineer/mixer Andrew Wuepper will teach you everything they DON'T teach you in recording school-- the industry secrets that will separate you from the rest of the pack and help you land the job that will launch your career.

Sharing the insights he’s gained working with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Katy Perry, Andrew will cover everything you need to know to get your foot in the door and up the music industry ladder. You’ll learn the technical skills you need to have to be taken seriously, the do’s and don’ts of dealing with artists, and how to approach the shot-callers who can give you your first big break.

Reviews

Athenea Machiavelo
 

perfect for future music producers!!!!!! the hard but sweet reality !