Set career goals for yourself.
“Everything is going great over at the studio with my mentor. I have to say, the Recording Connection program has helped me tremendously towards my musical goals. This is actually the first time I have actually had any interest in following through with something.”
Receive hands-on training from the Recording Connection mentors in your region.
“Today I went into the studio to see my mentor and have our Lesson training. I am currently on Lesson number 14. This lesson is actually the Midterm so it ended up being a lab to demonstrate some of processes of a mix down session. I started with the midterm written exam, which was mostly questions about the physical controls of some of the hardware found in a studio, and what each of those controls do to a certain parameter in the mix. Also, it contained questions about different ways to affect the audio signals through reverb and gating. My mentor basically had a session open from a previous client to show me how he had all of his different parameters set, and to which hardware knob/fader he had each mapped to. Then we went through the whole process of trying to make all of the percussion sounds fit in with the lead vocals and so on. He put it in a good analogy that you have to give all of the sounds space in order for them to fit together. This means that you have to mix all of the different volumes so that some are higher than others, yet they all seem to fit together seamlessly. My mentor has now even invited me throughout the past couple months to sit in on mix down sessions he does with his real clients so I can get a feel for how it will be in real life.”
Open up the door to all your opportunities in the music industry by joining the Recording Connection.
“My studio experiences so far have been excellent. In the past months, since I have joined the Recording Connection, my mentor and I have recorded many well-known bands. However, what we have done most recently is that for the past three weeks we have been recording a collective Colorado high school orchestra-choir event. First off we have to get up at 5pm each day, ouch! We travel all across the state to different schools, and concert halls to record all these different events. When we arrive at the venues and set up are recording rig, which is two, DPA microphones, a live CD burner, and a live DAT tape recorder. I have done the set up of this rig many times, but to me the hard part is the timing of the recordings, as well as the cutting of each song. You have to be paying constant attention because there is no room for error. Even though its very nerve racking I really enjoy doing these live recordings, and all the opportunities I’ve been given in this Recording Connection course.”
Learn complicated music theory in a fun and stimulating environment.
“During today’s session with my mentor we went over the last part of my official first Lesson assignment in the Recording Connection program. My mentor explained to me how waveforms transduce from the acoustic sound to the microphone, or capturing device, to electrical voltage into analog form reproduced on the computer as a visual waveform, then spitting out of the amplifier as sound. He explained how the amplifier is able to make precision movements, which mimic the patterns of the waveforms in order to reproduce the authentic sound of the instrument being played. He also moved on to show me on the keyboard how different instruments and synthesizers sounds create different patterns of waveforms. I had a great time in the studio today with my mentor. He is a mater at his craft able to comfortably switch from one music style to the next without much hesitation. My mentor is also very knowledgeable and passionate about music, making it fun to learn the concepts, as he is able to explain things in a manner which is easy to comprehend. I look forward to my next session and cannot wait to start making my own beats on the keyboard.”
Work hands-on in a professional recording studio.
“I spent all morning in the studio, which turned out to be a very important day for me. My mentor brought up a session in Pro Tools from the previous day. He made a copy and on the copy he removed all he had done. He gave me a few basic instructions and let me play for a few hours. This was literally the best day I have had all year. I got to actually use the Console for the first time. I learned a little about a couple plug-ins and reinforced the idea that I should listen to a broad variety of music, as every genre is mixed differently for the most part. I knew the Recording Connection program was something I felt drawn to before I even applied for this program, but this day washed away any kind of doubt I had that this is what I want to do. The next day I spent all early afternoon, as well as evening, in the studio with my mentor. Here I sat in with a client, where I got to talk to him before the session; very nice guy. I learned about how to sample the sound from a movie or video from a DVD. I also got to learn that the studio, because it retains no rights to the music, does not have to worry about any copyright infringement. That is actually for the client to worry about if it becomes an issue. I learned about cross fading and about the grid and shuffle modes of Pro Tools.
A few days later I went into the studio and sat in with an RnB artist my client has. My mentor had to do a lot on this track. Next, after the recording session, my mentor and I actually talked about some personal things. He told me about his relationship with his wife and how he made it clear early on that his work takes up a lot of time. I respect that. We also talked about how even though it can be tempting, as a professional you never should accept any kind of intoxicant while on the job. This seems obvious because you want to be able to think clearly and expediently but is especially important because many intoxicants affect the way you perceive pitches. This week was great; I got to sit in on many more recording sessions this week, just not mentioning them all because it’s so much. Having a great time in the Recording Connection program.”
Work with all different types of music genres.
“Today was my eleventh week with my mentor, where we worked a little more on the gospel album tracks we have been working on for weeks. We changed a few elements of the instruments, as well as fixed some of the vocals so that they would go well together. We pretty much did the usual mixing work that is great hands-on training. We listened to each track to make sure there were no more changes needed to be done and then bounced the final mixes. The client was very pleased with our work, which was a huge relief for my mentor since he had been working on that album for a very long time now and our efforts finally paid off. The following day I spent several hours on the studio, where we went over Lesson 11 assigned to me by the Recording Connection program. So, my mentor and I went through the basics of Signal Processing and then we moved on to the functions of EQ, as well as how to use it. I have had some previous experience with EQ before I joined the Recording Connection program, and to be honest, I did have lots of problems with figuring out the true purpose of each of its functions. I am really working through it though, and beginning to master it. After the Lesson training my mentor and I worked on one of the newer tracks that my mentor had recorded for his artist. We also some auto tuning as well as some mixing until the end of the day. I few days later I went into the studio for several hours in the evening, where my mentor asked me if I could come in because he was recording for a rock band. Since I have not had much experience with recording for a modern rock band I was excited to go. I received some experience in recording drums, which I’ve never done, which was excellent. I also had the pleasure to meet a young girl who actually owns her own music production company and was signing younger bands who apparently had some potential. This was a useful session and I did learn a about recording for bands and how to pick which bands to sign.”
Work one-on-one with your mentor to get all your questions answered.
“This lesson was a great overview of the progress I’m making in the Recording Connection program so far. My mentor and I went over every question step-by-step, discussing each question in-depth so I definitely got to receive an even better understanding of the previous lessons I have completed in the program with my mentor. Next I went over the quiz the program assigned me, and guess what, I actually didn’t do too badly at all. I had a general idea of what each question was asking so I got this lesson nailed down. Time is flying by since I have joined the Recording Connection, working hands-on with my mentor in the studio. I cannot believe I’m more than half way done with school and more, more, more is all I want!”
Apply useful techniques learned from you mentor to your own band recordings.
“This lesson with my mentor was very informative, especially getting since I just received the Pro Tools and the MBox from the Recording Connection. Being able to have hands-on experience with my two mentors is definitely my favorite part of the Recording course so far. As a musician myself, all I do now is spend my time recording guitar, bass, my singers vocals, and programming drums for our band. I would prefer to be able to use, and record real drums, but due to a lack of microphone’s I can’t afford to do that at the moment. However, to make up for that my mentor has given me plenty of help in the studio with recording drums. Moreover, my introduction this week to Pro Tools plug-ins, as well as signal processing, is another big thing I was looking forward to in the Recording Connection program. To me, plug-ins are a very big part of the audio recording world, all of which add to the overall sound, and will help me towards my finished product. Equalizers, Compressors, and Synth machines are all very complex machines and are very hard to get down. Luckily with the help of both my mentors I now feel I have a pretty good grasp on them. One of my mentors’ actually spent an entire day sitting me down and introducing me to all of these.”
Become an audio engineer by learning hands-on in a professional recording studio.
“This week I two days in the studio with my mentor, both days spending several hours in the studio. The first day my mentor and I started the week by catching up, then beginning our in-depth lesson review of the reading assigned to me by the Recording Connection. My mentor also had an extra quiz for me that had not been assigned by the program. This quiz was designed to see where I am in regards to getting myself through an actual recording session. We took it pretty easy at the first day because we knew we would be very busy the next day, as there was a recording session scheduled. So for this day it was an easier, more relaxed day, as there was to be a session the following day. We really took this time to spend on my bookwork, as well as making sure I am truly understanding the inner workings of the studio and learning how everything works. The following day was a straight 4 hours in the studio for a recording session. This day our recording artist was actually acting as producer for her new project girl group she is working on. She is coaching them vocally on their parts, as she first lays down the track herself before. I am learning how to record as my mentor and I tracked and recorded them on this session, as these artists are learning how to sing and be in the studio environment in general. Everything is going well with the recording and she is planning on keeping this track to use for a video project that this new girl band is currently working on. We will finish tracking tomorrow, as well as finish up mixing the very next day. I am really moving along well, working one-on-one with my mentor during the lesson review, as well as taking on more responsibilities as an engineer!”
Establish yourself as an audio engineer when you enroll in the Recording Connection.
“This lesson with my mentor was about the Console, as well as dealing pre-amplifiers and their use and types. My mentor has shown me the pre-amps that he uses, explaining to me why he uses them during certain recording sessions. This Lesson was actually pretty short and pretty straightforward. However, I will continue to keep gaining knowledge about pre-amps with more and more sessions I go to while enrolled in the Recording Connection. As well as attending in-depth Lesson training with my mentor, which is our one-on-one time, I have been working on a project every Sunday for the last month or so with my mentor and couple of people I personally know that rap. I have been making all the beats and helping out engineering it with my mentor. Some of the things I have been learning about from my mentor and doing frequently include micing techniques for recording vocals, Patch Bay connections, and I have also been learning about recording into Pro Tools and editing within it as well as using plug-ins. These sessions with my mentor have been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to completing this project to get some producer credits under my name.”
Fine-tune your skills in areas that you have previous knowledge in.
“Lesson 15 with my mentor was an in-depth training session about Studio Design, as well as monitors, which was actually something my mentors’ taught me very early on in the Recording Connection program. From the beginning of the course they have always stressed the importance of a well-designed acoustical environment. The use of certain wood, how thick the walls need to be, the proper use of bass traps, and such. I feel like, even though I have finished the lesson, there is still so much for me to learn on this subject, which I love. I have now actually moved onto Lesson 16, which is all about The Midi, Electronic Music Production & Beat matching, which was actually a very easy lesson for me to understand. Reason is, the use of midi is something I’ve had a lot of prior experience with, as I am a musician myself. When my mentor had me apply this in the studio it was a breeze. Beat matching is also something I’ve had prior experience with, given that my old band had no drummer, I was actually forced to learn the use of electronic drum kits and beat matching.”
Work as a team while working in a professional recording studio.
“My lesson review time was only a couple of hours this week because I spent most of this week with my mentor doing observation. When I got to the studio at the beginning of the week my mentor was just finishing sleeving some really nice mic cables. Each cable took about two days to complete and will complement his new custom mics that were ordered a couple weeks ago. My mentor had yet another new student during observation that I hadn’t met yet but was pretty cool. After helping my mentor finish up the cables, as well as working some more pop tracks, he tried to help me in finishing up the computer I’m building. This didn’t go so well, but I eventually got it working as I’m typing this journal entry right now. I was invited by another student to observe his final, so later that night we drove down to McMinnville to do some rhythm tracks at a different professional recording studio my mentor sent us to work at. I could care less that I was dragging at work the next day off of four hours of sleep. This was my favorite observation yet and a very productive week.”
Learn how to improve on your own personal mixes with the guidance of your mentor.
"During this lesson with my mentor we discussed the basics of Pro Tools. First, my mentor asked what kind of setup I had and gave me advice on improvements to start implementing. He then ran me through the installation process, which was very helpful. Next he demonstrated how to actually set up Pro Tools to inform me on possible adjustments I would need to make for my computer. The following day was a great hands-on day. It was a Mixdown/Tracking session with one of my mentors’ clients. I'm having a fabulous time with my mentor. He has a lot of knowledge and experience in this field, as well as some extraneous knowledge for my weirder questions. I'm having the time of my life now that I have joined the Recording Connection."
Wesley Waibel, Royal Oak, Michigan
“Things are going great with my mentor. We have been meeting up twice per week, as well as working around my work schedule, which I really appreciate. Last week I did have some challenges understanding the Lesson assigned to me. However, after my mentor explained it to me in detail it made perfect sense to me and I understood from that point on. I have been reading up on the subject ever since, preparing myself for my next Lesson as well. This week was great as well with my mentor. At the beginning of the week began my observation day. My mentor and I actually traveled to McMinnville, Oregon, where I got to observe my mentor co-write at his friends’ studio. I was very impressed with the studio space and I took it all in, as I have been reading about building recording spaces because I want to build one of my own soon. There were two other externs in the studio that day as well, so at one point we even got to go over the Pro Tools HD 3 set up again, which is something I had wanted to review anyways. Next my mentor and the staff at his friends recording studio began to record for a few hours, and I continued to take notes on the physical compressors and rack gear they were using, which is really important for when I go to purchase equipment for my own studio once up and running. A few days later we covered the 4th Lesson, on Patch Bays, which really has been the hardest lesson to date and the hardest for me to understand, which was a great challenge. After reviewing it with my mentor though, I got more of a grasp on it and feel much more comfortable. Since then I have read through the lesson a few more times along with other Internet sources so really bring it all together. My mentor also showed me a Patch Bay that he was building himself, which made it easier to see how they work, as sometimes I am more of a hands-on learner. I am started to see how important it is to understand signal flow as an audio engineer.”
Work with the professionals in a live recording studio.
“Today I spent several hours in the studio with my mentor. Here I learned about the different types of microphones, as well as how they work. To be honest, this lesson with my mentor was a little easier for me to understand because I have used a few different kinds of microphones already. However, it was great to learn about how they actually work, as well as the differences between each microphone and what they should be used for. It was very cool to be able to handle all of the different microphones and to get a real close look at them to look at all of the nit picky little details in them. I am truly very excited to learn about where to place them when recording various instruments. I love the atmosphere of the recording studio I was placed in through the Recording Connection. Just being in there makes me more and more excited to come back for my next lessons and externship training. And of course, everybody is so friendly which makes it so much better to be in there.”
Secure your future in the music industry by working as an extern with the professionals.
"After a longer wait than expected, the Console at the studio was finally fixed! So I scheduled to have a lesson with my mentor as soon as I heard it was repaired and today I am back in the studio. My mentor had me do a mixing lab and gave me 2 whole hours to work on a full drum setup! He said this would be good experience because drums are usually the hardest of any instruments to mix. He didn’t offer help unless I really needed it and just gave me some basic guidelines to follow to get started. First, I used basic plug-ins for every channel input, adding specific load outs that sounded good to me, and then tweaked specific frequencies if needed. Then I used gates on kick, snare and toms to make them sound punchier and eliminate any undesirable frequencies. Next, I added compression to all channels to bring the dynamics up, and finished by adding reverb to certain channels on the output section. I presented my final mix to my mentor at the end of the 2-hour lesson and he admitted it sounded quite good, which made me feel proud of my work. I have learned so much in this short amount of time I have been enrolled in the Recording Connection. I've gone from knowing close to nothing on the subject, to having a job opportunity at the studio I extern at right when I finish this program, so I must've learned quite a bit!"
Learn by doing.
“Lesson 9 with my mentor was about file management with Pro Tools. Breaking down where all your files like Audio, Fades, Sessions are placed. My mentor this week really stressed how important it is to know where everything goes in order to find or move it later. Moreover, he also explained when taking sessions from home or the studio somewhere else, you have to move the whole folder not just one or two files from the folder or you’re going to have missing parts. When you’re missing parts your session is pretty much useless. Later that week we decided to move onto Lesson 10, which was by far my most fun Lesson I have gone through since I enrolled in the Recording Connection. First we started off by going over the MBox & Pro Tools I now have set up at home. Then we addressed some of the problems I was having with the Beat matching homework. After all that was set in done I was giving a song to play around with on the studio Console. It did take awhile to get the feel and understanding of the Console since this was the first time I really got to dive head first and really play around and make a song sound as good as I thought I could get it. Really was a blast!”
Work through your nerves and come out on top.
“Week one session one was very enlightening in its completion. I was very nervous about my ability to retain all this information and be successful in my training. Upon my arrival to my mentors’ studio, I had read the required information as well as done my assignment in my workbook. Though a little nervous about the math portion I had gone over in my reading I was confident in what I had studied thus far for session 1. My mentor was awesome. Every question I had was answered with perfect visual clarity. I had questions about phases, spl formulas, how harmonics related to musical instruments, and a brief interpretation of the psychoacoustics involved in sound. I know that it’s the beginning of my training and I have a lot to learn but I feel very confident in success with my mentor and I look forward to the weeks and sessions ahead.”
Develop your career with the professionals in your industry.
"I entered into my official fourth session at my mentors’ studio here in the Recording Connection. I started out by hooking up line 1 through a volume meter (VU), then into the Patch Bay. The Patch Bay allowed the signal to be run through Pro Tools, then into a LA2A power compressor. We set up a condenser microphone to record a saxophone session. I then finished watching the video multiplatinum recording. In the video they finished hooking up all the equipment and cables, and then they all did a full session, recording all the instruments and vocals at the same time. It is extremely fun, interesting, and my mentor explains everything in order to ensure I am clear with everything that is happening and I continue to develop my career."
Get all your questions answered, as well as hands-on training, while you work in a professional recording studio.
“The main topic behind this lesson with my mentor was Midi. Midi in the most basic terminology is basically playing virtual instruments through the computer. There will be a control surface that gets hooked up to the computer which is recognized by whatever DAW. After the controller is recognized, you will be able to pull up any virtual instrument and play it through the controller. This environment lets you do pretty much anything you want to do with these sounds. The only real limit is your imagination. If you want to play a violin through the controller, you are able to do so. The DAW will record every action and display the corresponding notes on the screen. Once these notes are recorded you can actually change the instrument to whatever you want it to be while your software still plays the same notes you laid down with the violin. It is very versatile and makes the world of composition much easier in the way that there are more sounds for you to mess around with. Of course, it’s not a cheat. You still have to have the ear for all the sound that you are changing and properly work with all the notes. There is a really cool thing called a sampler and most DAWs have them. They are basically a virtual instrument but let’s say that you like a keyboard part or solo from an existing song. You are able to load that song into the sampler and assign different parts of the song to different keys on your midi controller. You can even assign different sampled sounds to different keys on your midi controller and play them as you record them or pencil them in and play them back. Some people say samplers are a little like cheating, but I believe if it’s there then why not make the most use of it and try to create some good songs from these samples. A lot of hip hop and rap, and maybe even some pop producers use sampling quite frequently. Many songs that we hear on the radio have some sort of sampling in them. In the studio, we went over some basic midi concepts and plugged a midi controller into a midi jack that was plugged into a USB port on the computer which transmitted midi data through Pro Tools. We played with some sounds and I learned a few things I didn’t know. There are many sorts of Midi controllers. Drum machines are also a common one. All you have to do to hook up a drum machine is set pro tools to recognize it. You will then be able to play drums from either a sampler or from a virtual instrument with pre-loaded drum samples. It’s a great thing to have in a digital studio as there are many possibilities with this as well. I spent the entire next day at the studio on lesson about Audio post production and basic automation. This lesson really took me by surprise. It involves a lot of concepts that I had not yet been touched on in the previous lessons. I took the most out of it that I possibly could, making sure I tried to understand how to sync audio with film and automate things. The basic principle behind film post production in my eyes has a lot to do with timing. For me personally, it’s very annoying when I’m watching a movie and the person lips are moving at a different time than you are hearing the words. Even though this is something that I will probably never want to do in my career, it’s fun to know the basic concepts behind it and how some of the audio is mixed into a movie, commercial, or TV show. I learned about drop frame time code. This time code is basically explained in the way that it takes about 30 shots-per-second of the picture to create an illusion of a moving picture. This has to be matched or the audio will be playing at different times than the picture, which will of course cause huge problems and be very annoying. Everything must match up to a master time code of interlocking audio which is smpte. Smpte will match up everything like the boss, and any number of slaves can run off of a master time code that is created. Automation was the thing that was more interesting for me. It is very important in audio engineering and I will eventually completely grasp this concept. The basic principle behind automation is being able to save the fader or knob moves that you have either manually done or drawn in to the DAW. This has become very common amongst the new digital technology. Digital technology has also made it much easier to do. I already had a grasp on this concept, but in the studio I learned about all types of automation and how to use it with Pro Tools. My mentor showed me the different modes and when I might like to use them. I took a lot out of this lesson.”