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The Best Way to Learn to Record Music

The apprenticeships/externships offered at the Recording Connection put you in a unique position to focus on the aspects of the music industry that interest you the most. If you want to be a recording engineer, what do you suppose is the best way to learn to record music?

The answer might not be as obvious as you think.

Yes, of course you have the curriculum we’ve provided, and it teaches you some things you need to know—things like microphone placement, signal flow, and the different types of gear. But the truth is, you’ll never learn to record music from a textbook or manual. It just doesn’t work that way.

So how do you learn? You learn by watching, and you learn by doing.

As an apprentice/extern, you’re taking your classes inside a real recording studio—but that’s only part of the experience. The real learning comes from participating with your mentor in real recording sessions, assisting with setup, assisting in the control room, and eventually running some recording sessions yourself, as your mentor decides you’re ready. The mentor-apprentice approach gives you the unique opportunity to learn the recording process hands-on.

Why is this so important? Simple: No one has ever learned to record music by reading a textbook. If you want to learn this skill, you have to learn it by doing it.

So by being an apprentice, you’re in a prime position to learn the recording process. Here are some tips to make the most of this opportunity while you work your way through the Recording Connection curriculum:

  • Spend as much time in the studio as possible. Most of our mentors encourage this, and even reward it. Make yourself available to help out at the studio in any way that’s needed, even when you’re not officially “in class.” The more time you spend there, the more you’ll get the hang of how things work.
  • During recording sessions, watch your mentor like a hawk. Pay attention to things like where the microphones are placed, how your mentor adjusts levels on the board, how he/she works with clients, etc.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand. Our mentors aren’t bothered by this—they want you to know what’s going on. After all, you’re there to learn the ropes.
  • Get involved. As you get used to how things work during the recording process, your mentor will begin trusting you more and more with certain tasks. If you see something that needs to be done, begin taking the initiative. Remember, the more hands-on you are, the more you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to record music.