Recording Connection's Approach to Careers in the Music Business
Let’s face it: the whole reason you are planning to go to a music, audio or recording school is to get a job in the music biz, right? (Of course, if you are a professional student, or just downright weird, this might not apply.)
So it’s no coincidence that getting you a job in the music and recording industries is exactly the criteria we used in designing our courses at the Recording Connection music recording school alternative. Now, no music school can promise you a job once you graduate, but if you have the right attitude, a passion for audio and music, have studied hard so you know the stuff we’ve taught you, and kept in touch with the contacts we and your mentor have developed for you while you’ve been studying at the Recording Connection, you’re odds have just gone way up.
It’s a bit like dragging a horse to water: you can’t make it drink the water, but you sure can do everything else to make it possible. At the Recording Connection, we give you the knowledge, the experience, and the connections you’ll need for your future career. And perhaps most importantly, because our courses are delivered not by “professional teachers” but by real audio engineers and music producers, we put you in the right place at the right time for landing a job in the music business. The rest is up to you. Here are just a few of the careers for which the Recording Connection audio recording and music school alternative can prepare you.
What Jobs Are Available?
The following are some of the many positions available at production studios, post production houses, recording studios and others around the country. In our program you will be exposed to many, if not all, of these positions.
Having a good musical sense and a desire to learn are the most important requirements for a recording engineer. You will literally “set the stage” for all the musicians to deliver their best performance and sound in the recording studio. You’ll be responsible for recording and sonically shaping all of the parts for the recording — including selection and placement of microphones, placing the instruments, and mixing headphones for the musicians in the session. Although the operation of the recording studio is high tech, the creative side is what sets recording engineers apart, and is also the most fun and gratifying part of the job. You will actually be at the helm!
Potentially one of the most lucrative positions in the music industry, a music producer is like a movie “producer” and “director” all in one. They carry most of the responsibility of the recording project, but they also get the utmost of creative freedom, which often results in the most enjoyable and gratifying job in the studio process. If you have a strong drive and determination, a genuine feel for music, and can develop good people skills, then you are a great candidate for this job. The music producer oversees the entire recording production from start to finish, and is in charge of all major decisions, including: organizing all the musicians and studios, overseeing the hired help for the project, and assisting the talent with song arrangements and content. Once in the studio, the producer sets the pulse for the project, working closely with the talent to create a masterpiece of musical art.
If you enjoy traveling and would love to be involved in the live concert side of things, then you might be a great candidate to be a live sound engineer. The live sound engineer is responsible for mixing the live audio for the performance, delivering the best possible audio experience for the audience. This position requires both creative and technical skills, as well as an ability to think on your feet and solve problems on the fly. Best of all—you always get the best seat in the house!
MIXER (INCLUDES REMIXER)
Do you have a good ear for music, and an ability to really feel the music? As a mixer, you will literally make the “song” into a “record” (in other words, a CD). A challenging position with many long-term rewards, mixing is the most exciting and vital part of the recording process. As a mixer, you’ll be the involved in the final process of the recording, arranging all of the recorded material into one final product. You will mix down all the tracks of the recording into one 2-track stereo mix or a 6-track 5.1 mix (surround sound). The mixer has so much creative influence on the project that often, like the producer, the mixer will receive royalties from the CD sales, which is why it can be one of the highest-paying positions. It is the mixer’s knowledge and creativity that will reshape all of the recorded sounds and performances into a musical experience.
DIGITAL WORKSTATION EDITOR
Delivering the ultimate in high tech, state-of-the-art, modern technology, the digital workstation editor is truly in high demand. In this position, you are responsible for the precise and creative editing and finalization of many different media applications. Your job may involve TV shows and commercials, movie sound and dialogue, radio commercials and taped shows, and more. As a digital workstation editor, you will perform many audio tasks utilizing software systems designed to give you an almost unlimited palette of possibilities. You are on the cutting edge of 21st-century audio engineering and sound design! If you have a desire to let your mouse to the talking, then get set for this ride into an exciting and promising future.
POST PRODUCTION ENGINEER
Imagine watching a video or TV show and hearing your mix come through. The post production engineer (posting engineer) is responsible for joining together and lining up all the sound for many different media applications. In our program, you’ll have a first-hand opportunity to align with the movie industry, TV industry and music business. This position involves the technology, but also offers an extremely creative environment in which you work directly with the music and video producers and directors to achieve the desired results. The post production engineer is a very prestigious position with high potential for growth, and you can always catch your name in the final credits!
How does having a permanent backstage pass sound? The guitar technician (guitar tech) is the musician’s best friend, responsible for set up, calibration, and tuning of a performer’s guitar and amp collection. At the shows, the guitar tech stands by at each song to coordinate and exchange guitar and amp set ups as needed. As the guitar tech, you are the behind-the-scenes clock that ticks with precise accuracy to ensure a flawless performance. An exciting opportunity to travel and be an important part of many concerts and live shows.
A simple yet extremely challenging position, the mastering engineer is the final link between the final mix and the actual CD that is released for sale and radio play. As a mastering engineer, you work closely with the music producer, placing all the songs in proper order and editing or reconstructing the arrangements at the producer’s request. You’ll then add an overall treatment to the final product and issue a master CD for duplication. This treatment process is very creative and allows you to build a reputation for excellence. Once this is achieved, the demand and pay scale for a professional mastering engineer soar off the map.
Would you like to create your own movie soundtrack with all the instruments? As a MIDI engineer, you will have an exciting opportunity to create and record complete musical compositions, all contained within the virtual space. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a very common format for creating and recording audio soundtracks and music. We hear the result of MIDI in most of the music and sound we experience today. The technology is easy to understand, but by combining it with creative talent, the MIDI engineer can literally provide unsurpassed sound and performance. If creating music and sound is something you’ve always wanted to do, and you have the desire to learn, then fire up your sampler. You are ready to record!
As a studio manager, you may have to deal calmly with famous people hanging around your office. You are responsible for booking, maintaining, and running all the recording sessions. You also coordinate and direct all of the personnel for the studio. Everyone looks to you for scheduling, pricing, and necessities for the session. In a sense, you really set the groundwork for the producers, engineers, and musicians. This is a prestigious position with many potential fringe benefits. If you have good organizational and people skills, you are a prime candidate for this job, which carries a great deal of responsibility but also can be a lot of fun.
CONCERT LIGHTING TECHNICIAN
The concert lighting technician is like a piano player, only the lights are the instrument. You will be at the core of the venue, providing a light show that is as emotional as the music itself. In doing so, you will create the environment for the most spectacular show. You use computerized and mechanical products to perform the job. You’ll work closely with the concert promoter and producers, and are usually located at the sound booth along with the live sound mixing engineers. This is an exciting opportunity to travel and become an integral part of any tour.
An art as much as it is a profession, music scoring is a subtle but necessary element for any movie, TV show, commercial, CD-ROM or other media piece. Audiences are emotionally moved by these scores every day, but seldom recognize them as such. As a composer/music scorer, you are at the heart of every project, providing the backdrop for the road to success. You work closely with the producer or talent, but are often set free to create your own musical image. When necessary, you will direct the musicians who perform the score. If you really like music and have some musical abilities, then music scoring may be for you.