Work as a full-time extern.
“I spent all day and night into the wee hours of the morning at the studio. Today we went through Lesson 1 in depth to help my understanding of the material. I felt the way my mentor elaborated on each topic really helped my overall understanding of the Lesson. I now know how to try useful information regarding the science of sound and what factors can alter it. After reviewing the lesson and taking my quiz I was able to shadow my mentor in the studio session he had scheduled with a local band. He started out by matching the drum track to the tempo of the song which was a very precise and time consuming process. This was a very crucial part of the process because without an accurate drum track the whole project could turn out to be a train wreck. I also studied the process of how to mic a guitar amp in preparation to the actual recording. I watched how my mentor adjusted the tone of the guitar until they were all happy with the sound. Once everything was set I was able to see how he recorded the rhythm guitar tracks and made helpful suggestions on how to enhance the buildup in specific areas of the song. It was a long but extremely informative session that I was very thankful to sit in on. A few days later I spent a few hours at the studio. I came into the studio to observe my mentor mastering a track for a client who previously recorded a song there. I was able to watch as he played with some frequencies that were obstructing the overall quality of the track. As little as the adjustments may have looked on the screen, it made a great difference when hearing the playback. He also EQ’d the vocal track to brighten the overall tone and make is stand out more among the other instruments. He then added a limiter to raise the amplitude of the track without it clipping or distorting. I absorbed a great deal of knowledge in the mastering process.”
“This week was another great day in the studio. My mentor and I went over the process of how a recording session goes. If an artist has a song and the musicians know the song we start the “bed” or basic track process. The bed tracks are just laying down the foundation of the song. Typically the drums and bass are recorded and a scratch track of the vocals are recorded. The engineer will mix all the instruments and vocals and EQ the songs to make them sound the best. After that the engineer will master the CD or send it to be mastered by other engineers. This Lesson was great for me to learn because I never knew the order in which the recording phase is laying down. You don’t have to follow this phase religiously but it’s a solid foundation to follow. Today I learned about the different types of microphones and how they work. There are two man types of microphones. They are called dynamic and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones are used for vocals and some instruments. Condenser microphones have lower end frequencies ideal also for vocals, bass cabinets and drums. Each microphone has different heads on them for different purposes on how they capture sound. An omni mic has a round head that will capture sound from all angles. A bi-directional mic has a figure 8 pattern that can capture sound on one end to the other. A cardiod mic has a head that captures direct sound when the front of the mic is facing the object directly. A hyper-cardiod mic is the same as a cardiod but is a little longer on the back so it can capture sound in the back. Finally, there is the shotgun mic. It can capture sound all over and is a condenser mic and is used in recording instruments. It can pick up sounds from all angles. Lesson #6: Intro to the Console part 2 and Amplifier. The follow day my lesson was a introduction about the different amplifiers used in the recording studio and live settings. An amp can be used in several ways. An amp can be used to give power and effects to guitars and bass. A microphone needs a amp or preamp to give it more signal strength. There are different amps that provide different functions. There are Amp saturation, pre amps, summing amps, and Impedance (resistive) amps. Without amplifiers signal flow would be poor and power would barely exist without amps. Amps provide power and effects and control. I am learning a lot…The Recording Connection is a very humbling experience. I am enjoying each lesson I have with my mentor and am blessed to be in a program like the Recording Connection!”
Make your dreams a reality.
"Now that I have had some time to reflect on my experience since I have joined the Recording Connection, I can honestly say my experience with my mentor and the studio will be some of my most memorable moments in my life. My mentor and I developed a good relationship which was always professional. He let me sit in on more than my fair share of sessions. The techniques and tricks he taught me with Pro Tools will always be vital information to me. I do feel as if I have begun to develop my marketing skill but I continue to develop it every day. I have been working with Propellerhead's software as well as Pro Tools. I have purchased a mic for vocals which I have utilized when I have artists come through and record. My goal is to have a small studio running within the next two years. I want to keep chasing my dreams of becoming an electronic musician as well."
Make the decision to have a career in the music industry.
“It has been a wonderful experience to be able to get hands-on training since I made the decision to join the Recording Connection program. I have had several great experiences from working live sound on a few occasions, from setting in on long sessions and helping out some very talented people to helping the production of a music video for an artist shot in-house in the studio. I am grateful to have been able to be alongside a true professional in every sense of the word. My mentor is just a great individual who is always passionate about what he does and his work speaks for itself. He has been extremely helpful by giving me confidence, showing me mic placement techniques, DAW functions, and the way to work with clients at a professional level which I think was one of the biggest parts of the whole spectrum of being in this industry. I am truly grateful for having had this opportunity and I know this is only the beginning for me.”
Develop both a business and personal relationship with your mentor.
“My mentor and I began the day by going over the Lesson 1 exam assigned to me by the Recording Connection, discussing all the book work that led up to the Exam as well. We talked about the importance of the Fletcher-Munson curve and how it relates to monitor level. We touched on how different systems need to be considered when mixing music. We also discussed the importance of the concept of phase. He also showed me a pretty cool trick using stereo tracks out of phase to remove vocals and/or anything else that may be mixed in the middle, like a snare or bass. He briefly touched on Compression and Hi and Lo Pass filters. We also had a lengthy personal discussion about integrating computers and DAW’s with Analog Mixing Consoles. We had intended to cover a few lessons but our session was already running long due to the thorough nature of the discussion. I completed Lesson 4 last week and will be skipping ahead to lesson 15 before we go back to train in Digital Audio. This Saturday I will return to the studio as well to gain some more ground. Looking forward to spending more and more time in the studio now that I am official enrolled in the Recording Connection program. I can already tell that my mentor and I will be lifelong friends. He speaks about his externs with pride and interest and that means a lot to me. The man is a walking encyclopedia and a great educator. He has a great ability to show me where my focus on the material should be and I have already been shouting my praises about this Recording Connection program from the rooftops! Thanks so much!”
Work hands-on in a live studio atmosphere.
“In this lesson my mentor continued to teach me more about microphones. We learned how to pick which mic is best for your own personal studio. I also learned about the different polar patterns and which mics have which. Next, I actually got to sit in on a live rock n’ roll session. I helped mic up the drums and everything. Seeing the live session and being able to participate really helped me learn this lesson. This week my mentor taught me the basics on Signal Flow. It also introduced me to Patch Bays and taught me why they are used. At first this Lesson was kind of complicated, but once I met up with my mentor he made things a lot easier to understand. He even had me hook up 4 different microphones and use Patch Bays when I did it. Later that week my mentor started teaching me about Consoles. I learned about the I/O module, mixing, overdubbing, and a little bit of mastering. On this day I actually got to help my mentor set up for a live show. It was a fund raising event for Japan. There were rock n’ roll bands performing. I got to help mic everything up, put up DI’s and even learn about the console we were using for mixing.”
Work around your schedule when you join the Recording Connection.
“Well I finally finished school for summer, and I had my first studio lesson with my mentor! Life is good. Needless to say the studio went great! Since it was the first lesson, we just went over the material in the first chapter of both books. My mentor played some audio representations of human hearing phenomenon. I had several questions to ask, and I learned a lot about my mentor’s past and how the music industry has changed throughout his career. It was hilarious hearing about how people actually, literally, had to splice and join cassette tapes. I had some car troubles this week so I couldn’t make it on Tuesday, but rescheduled for Saturday, so I’m so glad the Recording Connection program works with my schedule as well. We have been talking mostly about studio design as I enter into this week, and now we are getting into microphones in great detail. I really enjoying all the questions I get to ask, as well as all the knowledge I am gaining from observation. I learned a lot about the nature of sounds, and ways to diffuse sound to make a better recording environment.”
Work with well-known bands.
“My progression through the program is continuing smoothly. This week was even better than last week, if that is even possible. I was already in Nashville early that day, where I happened to be really close to my mentor’s studio, so I was just able to walk to it whenever the time came to go work with my mentor. The more time I spend in Nashville, the more I fall in love with it. Anyways, at the studio I got there a little early so I was looking at the pictures on my mentor’s wall and noticed this signed photo of a band called “Seven Nations.” This happened to be a band that I was a big fan of and soon found out that my mentor actually recorded them, making the experience even better than it already was. Once we got into the recording room, we talked further about how the room was designed. After elaborating on that, we talked about monitors and tweeters, as well as cross fading. I look forward to going back next session as I continue in the Recording Connection program.”
Work right alongside leading industry professionals.
“I have been working my tail off since I joined the Recording Connection, knowing that I will be the one being rewarded once I earn my certification as an Audio Engineer. I have been pushed to learn and have sought to learn in many situations. Setting up drums and micing it with a plethora of microphones that can buy a car is no problem for me. Client relations and hospitality have always been a strong suit for me. I try to stay invisible when sitting in on the recording sessions, but at the same time, I am always there when help as needed. The session that just passed with my mentor was great. I sat in a session for a link rock band that consisted of past “MISFITS” members. The same day I also sat in a morning session for a jazz-fusion solo project. I set up both sessions, breaking down the session afterwards as well, putting everything away. Bigger responsibilities have been trusted to me since I joined the program as well. An example is handling artist gear and equipment, which doesn’t seem like much. But when you’re dealing with a HARP from the 1800’s that literally has gold fixtures in it, it becomes a big deal. That same day the studio building was hit by lighting and fried a laptop and the Internet router. The owner quickly reacted to the console health and risk of damage. We then went and set out to find any other equipment that could have been damaged or shut off. Having your building get hit by lighting during a session is something no book or traditional school will prepare you for. I was relieved that nothing major happened to the hard drives or any Studio A gear. But I was ecstatic to have experience d this scenario, of an absolute calm and smooth sailing recording session, then having pretty much a panic attack and frenzy for 15-20 minutes. A story will like this outweighs any words in a resume. I have been given tasks of dealing with many artist and clients. Some lovely kind people! Thank you to the Student Services department, as well as the entire Recording Connection Team. You all could have found me a fancy and large studio that goes by the book and where I will be seen maybe once or twice. But instead I was set up with a tight knit community, which has become very close to me. I will continue to work and try to overachieve in every aspect I can.”
Recording your mentors’ clients.
“Today was such an interesting day in the studio with my mentor. My mentor and I were working with the same band we have been working on for a few weeks now, finishing recording the last pieces to their album. The starter of the band has a quartet with one violist and a cellist, which is what we recorded today in the studio. I helped my mentor set up the microphones and I understood the meaning on the placement of each mic. Along with the quartet came their own director, who during the recording was paying close attention to every note they were playing and corrected them to make it perfect. My mentor was watching for the high and low notes making sure the song played through smoothly and kept the same texture throughout. He really knew what he was talking about I always make sure to pay very close attention to him after each take and learned a lot about breaking up the song into sections, listening to the dynamics, as well as the flow of the song. They were very talented so the recording went smoothly and quicker than expected. After everything was finished my mentor and I started going over signal flow with Patch Bays and how everything went through the different equipment. He showed me around the studio to all the different Patch Bays he collected through the years and explained how different ones were wired and put together. Once we were back in the studio he allowed me to experiment with the Patch Bay and I was able to connect a signal through different pre-amps, condensers and other equipment. After that I was able to really understand the signal flow process very well. This upcoming week I will sit down with the same band again and we will mix and master there album. It will be my first mix so I’m really excited to see how it works!”
Work hands-on with professional recording equipment.
“My mentor started off my very first day in the program today by showing me how to properly wrap a chord with the “In & Out” technique. He also stated the importance of leaving a loop on both ends of the chord so to prevent the pulling of the chord connection if someone were to trip the chord. I learned that the male XLR connector is the output and the female XLR is the input. My mentor and I used a 3 prong XLR connector for the mic today. Then I got to hook up the AKG 414 Condenser Microphone to the wall outlet and mic chord. The Condenser mic needs Phantom Power at 48 volts, the power knob for this is on the console in the control room. We then booted up the interface racks for the Pro Tools, analog to digital-digital to analog, and I ran through my Signal Flow drills. I am still trying to learn the correct terminology but I remember what to do and can visualize it as if I were in front of the Console. I also learned that the headphones cue are always in pre-mode so that way the clients in studio don’t hear the mixing and adjusting of levels that are being done in the control room. I then moved onto Lesson reading assignment and Quiz 1 is done and my mentor graded it. I believe I missed 2 and he went over the corrections with me, really making sure I understood everything before moving onto the next question in the Quiz. We used some effects from the rack like the Yamaha SPX 1000 and Digital Reverb Lexicon 224. I got to listen to some really cool music by “Blind Faith” and “Chicago”. First time I’ve heard of Blind Faith and I was diggin’ it!”
Develop a working relationship with the professional in the music industry.
“I spent all day in the studio today with my mentor learning all the different plug-ins about TDM, RTAS, and more, for Pro Tools. Also I was able to understand the use of plug-ins and the different uses of them all. We also went into great length about Reverbs, EQ, Compressors, Delays, and Flanger, including what each one of them can be used for. Different instruments need certain plug-ins, or else they do not sound very good with certain plug-ins. I also discovered delay on a piano doesn’t always sound good. I was able to track what my mentor had done, and he let me mess around with it, such as adding d-verb to the vocals, or bomb factory compressor to the guitars, or EQ and delay for the drums. The Recording Connection is exactly what I was looking for when I started researching what program I would join online. I have a real cool mentor in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Learn how to record in a professional studio.
"My mentor is doing a great job of making sure I understand the Lesson assignments before moving on to any other curriculum assigned by the Recording Connection. This week we began to discuss Signal Flow, next moving onto Microphone Placement. My mentor and I worked with about a dozen of his different microphones, setting them each up as though we had a band ready to record. I learned which microphones are best used for each instrument in various situations and how different micing techniques get different results. It was great to start applying what I've been learning into actual recording activities."
Learn what it takes to work in a recording studio.
“Over the past few weeks I have learned a huge amount from my mentor in the Recording Connection. I have done everything from learning the Patch Bay to mics, and even setting up sessions for my mentor. In the past few weeks my mentor has continually quizzed me on how to set up the Patch Bay. He gave me a track sheet and had me set up the Patch Bay for the session. The next day he gave me a track sheet he set up his self with a couple trick questions. I got it though, and the next week I helped my mentor set up a session or I should say a rehearsal, he taught me how to speak with the clients and how to run things around the studio. The following week we discussed mixing and mastering techniques along with different microphones and polar patterns along with mic placement. In this last week I personally went through the mics at the studio checked them off and gave a brief description on how they work what kind of pattern they had and what they’re good for. This week I have been helping edit and master a project with my mentor. This week should be fun!!”
Work with your mentor one-on-one.
"This week was my first week in the Recording Connection. I completed all of my reading assigned to me by the program, as well as finishing the Quiz. Not only this, I did additional internet research and note taking on 3 topics of interest from my reading: the mix down process, the mastering process, and techniques for taking care of my hearing. My mentor and I reviewed my Quiz, talking in great detail about the different career opportunities that are offered to me in the music industry. We looked at several waveforms using Pro Tools, discussing the concept of wavelengths, as well as how they appear in a DAW. We discussed the decibel and how it is VERY important to mix at a moderate decibel level. We discussed the Flethcher-Munson curve and how it applies to sound engineering, as well as the sounds of everyday life. I also watched several YouTube videos explaining some of the basic functions and "hot keys" for Pro Tools. My first session with my mentor was GREAT! My mentor is a great guy with a very strong work ethic. He did a great job explaining the entirety of the Lesson assigned to me by the Recording Connection, also doing a great job answering the additional questions that I had prepared for him prior to going into the studio to work with him one-on-one. He is very knowledgeable and I can already tell that I am going to learn a lot just being around him."
“These lessons with my mentor have been very exciting for me. My mentor had me patching things on the Patch Bay as well as recording live audio with a vocal mic. Next we went over the Lesson assigned to me by the Recording Connection, where we talked a lot in detail about it, as well as put it to practical use. He even let me mess around on Pro Tools after we recorded as well. When we did this my mentor showed me everything about how their board at the studio is wired, including which inputs are where in the Patch Bay and how to route those to Pro Tools. We set levels on the board for our vocal recording and then recorded it through Pro Tools. Afterward, I did a few things on Pro Tools with our audio clip we are working on together. This week, there was also another student who was coming in for his first Lesson ever as a Recording Connection student. My mentor asked me to stick around to meet the guy and give some of my input during the Lesson. It was exciting to see another student just starting out in the program. I stayed for his entire Lesson as well and we all left together. I do really enjoy my mentor. He is a super cool guy and I am really learning a lot from him. A few days later I was able to go down to the studio for the grand opening of the Bar/TV studio/ Concert stage downstairs underneath the studio. It was great! I got to meet a lot of people associated with my mentors recording studio and he showed me all the details of the sound booth for the stage. He mentioned having me run sound on the weekends at his studio once it gets up and running to perfection. I have been very involved in the studio with my mentor since I joined the Recording Connection and it is a great experience. “
Work with well-known producers and artists.
“Last week my mentor and I started making a sample library. He explained to me how important it is to be organized while dealing with music. In result of the sampling sounds I was also learning the different techniques to mic an instrument. This was all very helpful because the way you mic an instrument may change the sound dramatically. I then was instructed to mic up a full drum set. I tried many different techniques like putting a krk rokit behind the kick drum mic and recording it, this way I would get the kick as well as the feedback from the kick, creating a very nice drum kick. I also got to engineer my first track for an artist named “Little Beat”. This artist does children’s music, and you can even look him up online at Little Beat Music. Even though he does little kids music, let me tell you, this was not an easy task. He brought kids in to have them record tracks, after they were done then he recorded. It was the introduction to his album that he will be performing at the White House this year. Little beat told me I did great for my first time engineering and that made me feel great!”
Work hands-on in multiple recording studios.
“I was invited to sit in on a tracking session at Vibe Asylum Studio in Waikiki by a friend of mine that just so happens to be an engineer at my mentors’ studio as well. We were able to get solid drum tracks for two songs, which was great. Then I helped run cables and set up mics on the bass and guitars. I got to set up the project in Pro Tools and learned about creating templates. I also learned some basic editing and quantizing midi drum tracks. It was a great learning experience and I think I will be sitting in on more sessions in the future. I realize this is not part of the program, but I just wanted to keep you abreast of all the experience I’m getting. I completed lesson 5 this week. I cannot say thank you enough for the opportunity. The Recording Connection program is exactly what I was looking for and I have already told 100 of my friends with similar interest about it. The value is immeasurable. Things are great over here academically speaking.”
Work with your mentor and his clients.
“There was a lot going on at the studio this week: there were artists coming in and out checking out the studio and also recording. On Sunday there was a band recording at my mentors’ studio, which was great. The setup for them was fairly basic: drum kit, bass guitar, acoustic finger-picked guitar, and vocals all required mic-ing up. The drums had 9 mics, the bass went through an amplifier and was also DI’ed, and we had 2 mics for the guitar amp. Finally, we had a room mic and a vocal mic. The session went very well. The guitarist did a few takes and he doubled his vocals for a nice effect. For me, it was great to have a band in there so I could get some experience working closely with actual paying clients. They like to have things done quickly. Now the third lesson was on everything to do with Microphones. I first learned about the three different types: condenser, dynamic, and ribbon. Condensers are more sensitive due to their multi-polar pattern switches that allow them to be switched between cardioid, bi-directional, and omnidirectional. The different polar patterns are actually displacing the electrical charge in the capsule of the mic so as to change its pick-up pattern. I then began learning about mic-ing up a piano. There are multiple ways to do it and it all depends on what style of music the performer is playing. We discussed the sound holes, the hammers, and the strings and how each of those three elements produces a piano sound slightly different from the rest. I found this very neat. We had mics set up: 2 on the soundboard (sound holes), 2 on the strings (low & high), and 2 room mics (left & right). All of these mics picked the piano sound up in various ways: the hammers had a more metallic, percussive sound, the room mics of course had some natural reverb from the room on them, and the sound holes were more soft and expressive. Overall this was a fantastic week. Not only did I get to work with an actual band, but I also learned about micing a piano, which was always a particular curiosity of mine. Looking forward to Sunday’s lab and Lesson 4 with my mentor that was assigned to me by the Recording Connection.”
Work with your own mentor one-on-one.
“Had another great lesson in the evening time with my mentor. We went over the second Lesson on Studio Design and Monitors. I learned how studios are designed I also learned how to make a floating wall, a floating ceiling, a floating floor, and bass traps and when and why to use them, as well as learning how to build “a room within a room” and how and why to create a sound lock between all your rooms. I learned about why we build “barrier, air pocket, barrier” in relation to floating ceilings, walls, and floors, and to offset dense materials because sound travels more easily through dense materials. I learned about pink noise and how to set up a control room and use a spectral analyzer to get as close to a flat frequency as possible and the ideal set up of monitors, work station, and how to find where you want reflectors and absorbers and why. I learned how to make a rooms “liveliness” customizable utilizing hinged doors that have absorbers on one side and can swing to be either wood (reflector) or an absorbent so you can create a more dampened or lively room for recording. Overall, another excellent Lesson with my mentor, tons of information, and a great time as always in the Recording Connection.”