Andy Shoemaker, Rax Trax Recording
For Andy Shoemaker, Grammy-nominated audio engineer at Rax Trax Recording and Recording Connection mentor, it takes more than being a superstar with the gear. The best audio engineers and music producers also know how to take care of their clients.
“The way young engineers get early opportunities often comes from a situation where they can fill in at a time of need,” he said. “But before I start saying, ‘Hey man, can you do this session?,’ I need to see, technically, they know enough of what they’re doing to trust them enough not to screw up and also that I don’t fear that they’ll conduct themselves in a negative way with a client.”
A bad demeanor on one side of the glass will lead to very little action on the other side of the glass. At the start of your career, musicians don’t come to you – you have to bring them in. Think of it as being a salesperson. You may have the best product, but if you’re lacking in the personality department, you’re not going to be very successful.
“There are people that I think of very highly, like, ‘Man, this guy is great. He knows what he’s talking about,’” Shoemaker said. “But I just don’t know that I can hand him a session because his people skills are a bit lacking. If someone can’t read the artist and interact with them based on what the artist needs, then it isn’t a good fit between engineer and artist.”
It’s About More Than The Gear
With the Recording Connection Audio Engineering & Music Production Program, you’ll learn what you need to know about digital audio workstations (DAW) like Ableton Live or Logic Pro. As Shoemaker explains, however, it’s just one tool. There’s only so much that can be done with sub-par performances.
“So much of the tone comes from the player,” Shoemaker said. “Artists themselves contribute so much more of the tone than we want to give them credit for a lot of times. I think as engineers, it’s easy for us to idolize equipment. It’s easy for us to idolize microphones and preamps and compressors, and those are all really important parts of the chain, but it comes down to the source.
“All those tools are going to help you capture the source in a more interesting or more pleasing way, but they themselves won’t change the source. If you don’t have that sorted out, then you’re going to be struggling with it regardless.”
Get What You Need From A Pro
At a traditional four-year university or trade school, you may get enough experience on a DAW, learn about music theory, or even work with other students to create music. But we feel it just can’t compare with the immersive experience you get when working one-on-one with an industry insider in a real-world setting.
“I went through a traditional four-year style school,” Shoemaker said. “In my final semester, I started an internship and I found that I was learning a lot of things that I’d never learned about in school. I was three semesters in at my school before I was doing some of the stuff that I might have my students do in their first week of the Recording Connection program.
“There are a lot of different audio programs out there. How effective any program is going to be for you personally really depends on what you put into it. You could really dive into any program and get something out of it, but I think Recording Connection provides an opportunity to do that in a different and more efficient way because it isn’t isolated from reality.”
Are you ready to get what you need to Amplify Your Life? Apply to Recording Connection today.