Learn the ins and outs of Patch Bays.
“Today my lesson was an introduction to Patch Bays, how they work, and what their purposes are. This Lesson was a difficult lesson for me to understand, however, as always my mentor did a great job explaining it to me. The more I use Patch Bays and spend more time in the studio, the more I understand how they work. A patch Bay, or Patch Channel, is a rack mounted that houses cable connections. Patch bays let the engineer quickly change the select signal path without having to switch a whole bunch of cords and equipment by plugging or unplugging cords. On a Patch Bay you can change the path of the signal with simple short cords. Patch bays make it easier to connect different devices in different orders for different projects, because all of the changes can be made at the patch bay. Patch bays can be used in recording, television and radio broadcast studios. There are also three different “modes” you can have on your patch bay. One is called “normalled” the other Half-normalled” and the other “Open”. If you watch really old movies you can notice that Patch Bays were used when using the telephone. When someone made a call it would go to the telephone operator and the operator would pull a plug out of the patch channel and plug into a different one to direct the caller to his or her destination. I am doing extra studying and research on this lesson. This Lesson was tough to grasp but if you really understand the use and how a Patch Bay works you will save a lot of time, heartache and money!”
Build a solid foundation needed for success in a real-life recording studio.
"This week I learned a lot about microphones and microphone types!! There are Carbon, Crystal-cb radios, Dynamic/ Moving coil, Dynamic ribbon, Condenser, and Electret-Condenser. I also learned about the different microphone patterns, as well as how they differ from each other, which really helps me with microphone placement. According to my mentor, the U-87 condenser mic is highly used for vocals in the Hip-Hop World. It can also be used for guitar cab and drum overheads. The U-87 does use phantom power as do all condenser mics…48v! When I first joined the Recording Connection I had a lot of anxiety and was pretty overwhelmed. However, as the program continues and I work hands-on with my mentor I am finally making a breakthrough!"
Work full-time in a professional recording studio.
“A couple of days ago I went in to discuss the introduction of the course with my mentor assigned to my by the Recording Connection. When I first arrived my mentor and I discussed what kind of things I will be doing in each Lesson within the program, and how to schedule each session before arriving at the studio for my Lessons each week at the studio. Once completed we moved on to talk a lot about the different types of positions that are out there in the music and recording industry, also moving on to discuss some of ideas in Lesson 1 that really stuck out to me. A few days later I went into the studio to work with my mentor again, moving on to go over a Quiz that was assigned to me by the Recording Connection. Here my mentor demonstrated the uses of Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release on a Synthesizer using the actual Pro Tools equipment. While doing this, my mentor also helped me to understand how different saw-tooth, square and triangle waves can sound. We also talked about decibels and the speed of sound, and how that applies in real world situations, like concerts or arenas. This week I also had the privilege to meet two graduates of the Recording Connection program while I was at the studio, and it was very comforting to see that they were both working full time and enjoying it there.”
Work hands-on along side the leading professionals in the music industry.
“Tuesday’s session with my mentor went great. First we reviewed the Quiz assigned to me by the Recording Connection, then moving on to go over how to set up Pro Tools. My mentor let me set up a microphone in front of an old metronome, as a sample, in the rehearsal room, then letting me record part of it using Pro Tools. This was my official introduction to setting up a track, which is starting out very basic and will be covered in more detail as the weeks progress in the recording studio with my mentor. I also met a man in the studio this week, finding out he is the guitarist for a band I really like named The Dismemberment Plan! I did like my Recording Connection Student Service advisor instructed me and got all of his contact information because this may be of further assistance in the future. Moreover, it is also nice to have the contact information of the guitarist for a band that I really enjoy during my own down time. Next week my mentor will be going over more recording with me and in the next few weeks to come he has advised me he will want me to bring someone I know into the studio to record. Things are starting to get in to full gear.”
Learn by doing.
“My mentor showed me what Amplitude is on the DAW. He also explained how Wavelength is important to note. He went onto say that through experience he can tell what instrument is playing where from simply looking at the wave format it produces in the DAW. He told me that it comes from experience and that some day, I’ll be able to do it, too. There were so many different topics that we discussed that I can’t recall all of them at the moment, but the two things that we talked about that really stuck with me were Peak and UV monitoring, and the different levels of MP3s and the quality of wave and AVIFF files. He showed me on the consul what Peak and UV monitoring looked like and why it’s important to use both. Peak is basically to measure the transient of a wave. It’s able to do this because it picks things up faster than the UV monitoring. UV monitoring is used to average out the threshold of the whole wavelength. He explained how both are very much needed when EQing things properly. After he showed me that there are different forms of MP3 files, such as 16bit all the way up to 320bit. He explained how basically the more bits, the more data is in each song. Usually, the more data means the higher quality of the song. This easily transposed when he explained to me the difference between AVIFF files and MP3s. MP3s are basically compressed AVIFF files, however because they are compressed, much of the data that went into producing the AVIFF file gets thrown away. So in basic terms it’s not the final mix that the artist and producer intended people to hear. The quality of the track suffers when it gets compressed down, and many people don’t know it. He also told me if I want to get the AVIFF of things, I need to get it straight from the CD, and he even showed me how to import the CD into iTunes without having it get compressed into a MP3 or AVI file. I had a really great time at the studio and my mentor and I got along great. We laughed and I learned a LOT. I can’t wait till the next time I can come in. The one thing I was disappointed about is that he wants me to get a couple of lessons under my belt, at least until the microphone placement lesson, before I go into the studio to shadow him. I do very much understand why he would feel this way and I also agree that it would probably be better for me to have a greater understanding of things before I start messing around with his expensive gear.”
Strengthen your music industry skills.
“My second week in the Recording Connection went great. My mentor and I went over the Q&A assigned to me by the program. I missed a couple so we went over the answers I got wrong so I could really understand them. When we completed my mentor showed me a beat he was working on so I could start to understand the way it worked. I was pretty confident up until this week, my official 4th week with my mentor in his studio. I had trouble retaining the information on the subject and I also didn’t do very well on my Q&A. However, that all turned around with my mentor, who helped me to figure out what I didn’t understand and the things I was not clear on. After that, we did the Q&A for Lesson 4 again and I did pretty well on that. Next I got to let my mentor listen to one of the artists I’m working with and he said he wants him to be on a compilation CD he’s making tomorrow. I love the program so far. I think I’m doing pretty well. Things are going good with the mentor, and he is a great person to learn from. He is a very down to earth person like myself and he is good at explaining the things that I am not sure on. Thanks for all your assistance Recording Connection.”
Learn hands-on in a working studio.
“Hope all is well. Tuesday’s session with my mentor went well. We reviewed the Q&A and then went over how to set up Pro Tools. He let me set up a microphone in front of an old metronome (as a sample) in the rehearsal room and then let me record part of it using Pro Tools. This was sort of an introduction to setting up a track and was very basic and will be covered more next week on Monday. I also met a guy in the studio, and came to find out he is the guitarist for a band I really like. I followed my Student Services advice and got his contact information, because this may be of further assistance in the future, and it is also nice to have the contact information of the guitarist for a band that I really enjoy. Next Monday, my mentor will be going over more recording with me and in the next few weeks, he wants me to bring someone I know into the studio to record. Things are starting to get in to full gear. Thank you goes out to the Recording Connection and I look forward to continuing in the program with my mentor.”
Receive expert advise by working with a professional recording engineer.
“I was very excited coming into the studio for the first time. My mentor greeted me with a warm handshake and we got right down to talking about my thoughts on the chapter. We discussed what I thought about the readings so far and any further information he wanted to add on top of what I learned. I told him that it was all a lot of information to take in and he agreed. I spoke with him about possibly needing to reread the chapter again, and he suggested that it would be a good idea to read every chapter around 2-3 times to fully grasp what the chapter is saying. We both shared the idea that I should be trying to learn as much as I can. After about 15 minutes of just talking about the chapter we talked about my first Q&A assignment. He started by asking me what I thought about it and I said that I couldn’t answer the questions very well, but not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I didn’t know the proper term for things yet. I wasn’t prepared since I didn’t know how the questions would be worded. I feel that I will be able to do much better on my next Q&A now that I have a better understanding of how the quiz is set up. On top of the quiz, my mentor also asked me in depth questions about the different topics covered in the first lesson. He asked me things like what is the producer’s job? What is the engineer’s job? Do I know what this term means? Do I know what the term is?”
Work hands-on to assist in recording sessions.
"Great lesson on signal flow and more on mics. It was good to understand and go through where the signal travels after the mic. My mentor has a great setup and showed me how each box worked, such as equalize compression, pre amps, and monitor control. There is a lot to it and I realized that each sound desired, requires a unique path. There is an art to it where experience and knowledge is needed. I stayed for a while after my lesson to help setup and record a band. The mic setup is also an art in itself. It took about an hour to set up and get the drums sounding good. The band-type recording is what I was excited to be a part of and it we all had a good time."
Receive one-on-one training when you join the Recording Connection.
“My day at the studio today was great. My mentor and I began the day by going over the Quiz assigned to me by the Recording Connection, where he really helped me understand the Logarithmic and that for every three decibels a track or sound is increased, it sounds two times louder to the human ear. He then showed me by letting me listen to a track that he was working on to better my understanding of it. We also talked a little about analog and digital hardware and that people have argued about which is better. And that it doesn’t matter which is better; what matters is that it works good and sounds good. Which brought us to talk about not letting down the artist. My mentor used Mariah Carey as an example. She sounds great on and off recordings. If an artist sounds great in the vocal booth but doesn’t sound the same on the other end of the equipment, that has to be fixed either by bringing different microphones or checking the cables and the rest of the equipment. Basically what goes on in the booth is very important because if you are hear one thing in the booth and another thing on the other side, something with the equipment needs to be fixed. Also, we talked about mixing music to 85db so that you can get the mix right. If you’re mixing a db level higher or lower, the sound you are hearing in the studio isn’t going to be the same when played over your car’s radio, headphones, mp3, etc. My mentor also showed me why a studio’s acoustics is so important by measuring the db level outside in the lobby. This was about 65db compared to the studio, which was so quiet that the db level read low. Which I found amazing because you could have heard the electricity in the wires on the equipment it was so quiet.”
Learn Studio Design hands-on.
“Spent the evening at the studio and as usual I had another great lesson with my mentor. We went over the second lesson on Studio Design and Monitors and I got to really learn how studios are designed. I also learned how to make a floating wall, a floating ceiling, a floating floor, and bass traps, as well as when and why to use them. I also got to learn 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 great lesson with my mentor with tons of information and just a great time.”
Develop your skills as you work with your Recording Connection mentor.
“I met my mentor for the first time yesterday at his studio and we connect instantly. I am very impressed with his knowledge about everything involving the studio. First, he showed me around the place and explained how everything is set up in the studio. We then went over the lesson material and the Q&A. We went over everything I had read in the curriculum assigned to me by the Recording Connection program, and he explained it to me in great detail. The reading material was very helpful but having someone explain it to me in their own words and based off their own experiences really expanded my understanding. After we went over the lesson, my mentor decided that I understood everything very well and so he showed me how everything was connected at their studio, as well as a few useful bits of information like how to run patch cables and tips on creating effects tracks on Pro Tools. Apart from that, we talked a lot about the music industry as a whole, our musical interests, and shared experiences like working with particular artists. Overall it was an awesome first lesson experience. I am very excited to learning more and more each week.”
Work with the leading professionals in the music industry.
“At the beginning of this week I went to the studio first my first official day with my mentor. He gave me a tour of the entire studio and told me all my responsibilities that I have when I first come into the studio at the beginning of every day. After walking me through and introducing me to all the staff we went over Lesson 1 and he answered all questions I had. After my one-on-one training for Lesson 1 with my mentor, he took me into Studio B and introduced me to the studio engineer, who is the head engineer at my mentors’ recording studio. I sat in and watched this engineer record a track he is working on for one of his clients’. During this recording session I also filled out the studio log that is filled out every time a session takes place, to keep track of all the details, such as the engineer, songs, artist, and even people in the room. I loved being in the studio for my very first week in the Recording Connection, it was great. I am glad I have the opportunity to do this and be in a real studio. So, I loved my first week in a real studio!”
Receive hands-on demonstrations while training in a working studio.
"My first session with my mentor went great. We went over the assignments and relevant content pertaining to the first section of the Recording Connection course. My mentor was able to explain the material in the first section by showing me real life, hands-on examples in the studio, which helped a great deal. Also, I am fortunate enough to meet another one of his externs that that recently completed the Recording Connection program and is now actually working with a client while I was present!"
Learn how to run a successful recording session.
"Today's session was devoted to a band that my mentor is currently recording. The band got to the recording studio while I was setting up the microphones and getting the headphones playing properly. The band had a list of things they wanted to accomplish so my mentor and I proceeded to follow their plan of what needed to be done. This included re-recording different parts of songs and punching in vocal effects where they thought needed some extra umph. This session showed me the importance of a leader in a band as well as the importance of being able to work together properly. There were times when the band mates clashed on certain ideas, however, you could tell that they were used to each other and worked together reasonably well. One of the band mates was uncomfortable singing in front of everyone so we closed the curtains to make him more comfortable. It was amazing how much positive effect this had and I had a lot of fun this session."
Work hands-on to develop your recording skills.
"I spent several hours in the studio this week with my mentor, deciding to go into the studio twice this week. On Tuesday I arrived in the morning, going over my 2nd reading assignment that had been given to me by the Recording Connection prior to seeing my mentor. Here my mentor reviewed everything, as well as re-reviewing the important things from the 1st Lesson from last week. After the in-depth Lesson review with my mentor, I went into Studio B and sat in on a session with the studio engineer and a couple of his clients as they mixed a couple of tracks and going over ideas and sounds they were looking for. The following day I spent the entire day with my mentor continuing to work on my second Lesson in the Recording Connection program. I went into the studio and firstly did my daily duties, ensuring everything was nice, clean, and in order so we could locate all materials easily. Then, once finished, I went into Studio A and was taught by the studio engineer how to “zero out” the analog mixing Console. After that we met with clients of his and I observed, as well as assisted, in the analog mix of a beat from their tracks. I think that my favorite thing that I did during week 2 with my mentor would be actually learning on the analog mixer, as I love the hands-on work because this is really when I learn the most. The studio engineer, and his clients, are awesome."
Work one-on-one with your mentors’ clients.
"Lesson 2 went very well with my mentor in his studio. An artist came in, in which I had the pleasure of working with him directly. I helped set up studio B for him since we had another artist recording in studio A. I hooked up all the plug-ins and boxes, set up his drum machine, as well as set up all the microphones the best way possible in order for him to record singing while playing the guitar at the same time. Once complete, we moved on to and recorded 4 first takes of all of his songs and things went extremely good, with my mentor saying that I am picking everything up very fast. I would ask the Recording Connection the questions that I have; however, my mentor covers all of my questions. I’m always asking questions. Moreover, things are good with the reading assigned to me by the Recording Connection as well. Both the Lesson reading review went great with my mentor, and the recording session went even better than I could have imagined. A few days later we moved onto Lesson 4 in the program, which has been the long awaited hip-hop session, which was very cool. I got to sit in and watch the whole process of a single song from nothing to the final finished project. I also watched a video on Bruce Sweeden that my mentor set me up with and it was very knowledgeable, giving me a lot of useful information as well as inspiration. I had lots of questions as far as microphones for my mentor. Things again went good and are going great; I could not be enjoying it more. Thank you goes out to my mentor and the Recording Connection, it’s going very smoothly. I really enjoy working with my mentor as he is a really good guy and is already inviting me to sit in on a hip-hop session in just a few days. I am super excited about this."
Learn from the ground on up, starting with your very first day in the Recording Connection.
“I spent all day in the studio for my very first Lesson in the program, Lesson 1. The first day I got more acquainted with my mentors’ studio, it’s really a rad place. That day we covered about half of lesson 1 that the Recording Connection assigned me. We explored careers in the industry, such as a maintenance engineer, which would be a rather interesting profession. The things you could do with the knowledge of how to actually build a Console, I mean, Mastering, Mixing, and Recording Engineers seem to be where I would wish to arrive in the industry, assisting bands find their sound in a great environment and at a productive rate. The rest of the day I shadowed my mentor as he recorded a Beatles medley. He was an amazing guitarist. Again, the next day I spent all day and evening in the studio for my second day and we cruised on to the second half of Lesson 1, conversing about how sound works and safe hearing. Just learning about attack, decay, sustain, and release, which helps see and hear music better. I had an idea what they were but not to the extent I do now that my mentor has reviewed it all with me in detail. We also touched on what effects amplitude can play as well as how to manipulate it, learning that the Db scale helps a lot and has me listening differently in all situations that I listen to music. Visually seeing the wavelengths on Pro Tools and actually seeing a professional like my mentor manipulate and handle them was a great experience, most my recording time has been analog so it was great to see the ease he could get around and so smoothly. Also, learning of Square, Triangle, and Saw tooth wavelengths helps make sense of more things as well. The remainder of the day we shadowed while the recording artist for the day through down. The best part of this entire program is meeting my mentor, who is a bad ass for sure. He is an awesome mentor. THANK YOU RECORDING CONNECTION FOR THIS AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!”
Learn by doing.
“I spent many hours learning Basic Microphone Design from my mentor. This week was the first time I was introduced to studio equipment, starting with the most basic piece, the microphone. The lesson discussed everything from the different types of microphones, to where to place them in the event of a real recording session. During my Lesson my mentor showed me a few of the more common microphones that are used in recordings, explaining how their polar patterns work and giving examples of how they are used. Microphones and studio engineers go hand-in-hand, so I made sure that I soaked all of this information in as best as I could. On my following day in the studio there happened to be few other externs from the program. I miced up a drum set and did a recording session through Pro Tools. I was able to see hands-on what microphones were used and where they should be placed, as well as a sneak peek into Pro Tools mixing and Signal Flow. This week was a lot of fun and I definitely felt that I learned a lot.”
Develop a working relationship with your professional mentor.
“During Lesson 3 with my mentor we discussed Digital Audio Basics. He even showed me the machine and tools he uses, also showing me how to use it myself. We went over a couple of other subjects as well, including Sampling Rates and NyQuist, as well as Frequency and how the Science of Math works with that. Another thing we went over were Lossy and Lossless compressed Formats and the Nyquust Theorem in great detail. The rest of the week was hands-on training, sitting in on several of my mentors’ sessions in order to assist him with as much as possible. Everything since I joined the Recording Connection is going very well for me. My mentor and I have a good relationship developing as the program continues. Also I am doing very well with the entire Lesson plan as well, as my mentor does a good job describing everything to me, as well as showing me everything that goes on.”