Work with the professionals in your industry.
“This week my mentor started out by finishing the recording on some drums. After the drums were done we went over out lesson and started moving the new Console and desk into the studio. I stayed from 3:00 PM to 10:30 PM helping the owner get all the preamps run to the Console. The new console is the Tascam DM-3200 which we got all wired and ready for his session starting soon. It was awesome to see how everything is wired, I also think that I am fixing to buy my mentors’ old Console and desk, so being there at his recording studio to see how to hook the Console up step-by-step was very helpful.”
Learn all about microphones!
"Week 3 with my mentor in the Recording Connection program was an extremely valuable one. This session began with my mentor explaining the various types of microphones used in the studio. Specifically we addressed proper maintenance as well as placement, and not only in their respective cases, but how to set them up and put them away. We then set up various mics throughout the studio to study the importance of various placement settings. My mentor and I set them all up in the recording booth on mic stands. Once this was done he sent me into the studio on the DAW and had me open up a Pro Tools session for each different mic. My mentor then played guitar and vocals and I recorded each riff on a different track. To illustrate the full aspect of each type of mic, we went over each recording and discussed their differences. The Condenser mic sounded remarkably better than the dynamic mics. I was and remain extremely excited about learning these lessons in the Recording Connection with my professional mentor. All questions were answered as we went along, and I am getting more comfortable as we progress at the helm of the DAW."
Receive your own Pro Tools equipment.
“I have now successfully received my MBox and have fully installed my Pro Tools, I am so excited. I opened it up and instantly started messing with everything I could click on. I thought it was going to be a fun class coming up in the next few days when we get to start getting recordings in and manipulating them. This lesson with my mentor this week was all about Pro Tools, the program itself, as well as its inner workings. Moreover, we went over the MBox audio interface in detail, which is a key component to getting audio into Pro Tools. We got into the program settings and requirements so that my mentor could show me all of the things I would need in order to open a studio in the future. He told me all about his 7 different hard drives and the various process boosting cards that he installed all by himself. My mentor is a great audio engineer because he takes the time to learn every aspect of the industry. If a new product comes out that may not interest him, he will still do lots of research on it to find out what exactly it does and how it could benefit his own studio. He takes a great amount of pride in his work and I admire him for that. I got a pair of KRK studio monitors for Christmas so I asked him about the best way I could set them up in my room to get the best sound. I am happy to get passed the half way mark in the Recording Connection program, that much closer to my audio engineering certification.”
Work with professional equipment.
“In this lesson with my mentor I learned about the basics of the Console. My mentor first began by explaining how everything that goes into the Console in something called the I/O module. This is where all the channels are inputted for mixing. My mentor also explained that there is an output for the Console as well. This is so that you can send the signal to Pro Tools and on to other effects and modules. Also, my mentor explained that the Console is what allows the engineer to mix everything together to produce the desired sound. My mentor then proceeded to explain the signal flow diagram. He said that this diagram is the industry standard and is the way that every professional studio routes there equipment. At first the diagram was kind of confusing and hard to understand, but eventually with the help of my mentor I understood how it works. I feel as if the only way to understand it to its fullest potential is to actual experience how it works. Finally, for the half hour or so of the lesson my mentor pulled up an old mix and let me mix it together to achieve what I thought was the best sound. This was very fun because I got to use Pro Tools and play around with the compressors and effects. Overall it was a good lesson.”
Work with music of all different languages.
"Today in the studio with my mentor we went over the 2nd chapter of reading assigned to me. The book is slowly becoming a little easier to understand and with my mentors knowledge and expertise he was able to show and explain to me the parts I couldn't understand. He taught me about sample rate and bit depth, as well as how it affects the recording process. He explained that the sample rate needs to be at the right rate in order to work. I also got to sit in on an artist and watch him record over his tracks that he had. It was another exciting experience at the Recording Connection. The next session with my mentor for that week I got the privilege to watch my mentor work with one of the pioneers of Persian hip-hop. Man-o-man was an exciting thing. I not only heard amazing production in the works but, got to listen to my favorite kind of music in a different language! It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to see what’s in store next!"
Learn all about Signal Flow and Patchbays.
“My lesson at the studio this week was where I learned about signal flow and patch bays, which is one of the lessons that I was looking forward to from the very beginning since joining the Recording Connection. My mentor started out by showing me the patch bay that they have in his studio. Then we went on to talk about how the patch bay significantly helps in routing the signal to different devices in the studio. There are 4 different ways that patch bays can be set up: open, normaled, half-normaled, and parallel. Normaling is indefinitely the most helpful and useful out of the 4 listed above. Normaling is when you “pre-wire” certain connections in the patch bay so that you don’t constantly have to be externally wiring them. After my mentor and I went over all of the questions I had he proceeded to show me how wiring works, as well as demonstrating how to solder microphone wiring to a microphone jack. Once I felt that I had the concept, my mentor even let me do the next one. My mentor then took apart a patch bay and showed me how the inside actually works. Then we soldered some wiring onto a patch bay and heat sealed the wiring with heat shrink and a heat gun. Overall, I really think this lesson was very fun and I learned a lot of useful techniques here at the Recording Connection”
Work hands-on with your Recording Connection mentor.
I have had an incredible learning experience with my mentor over at his studio. As we review the lesson each week, my mentor takes the time out between every question to take me around the studio and show me exactly what we are talking about. We’ve gone over amplifiers, signal flow, microphones, and microphone placement in these last couple lessons and I was even granted the privilege to sit in on two of my mentors’ recording sessions recently, which has been the best experience I could ask for!
Work hands-on with recording equipment.
“I brought my laptop and MBox into the studio for the lesson today with my mentor. I already started mixing a session of my own in Pro Tools before the lesson. However, my mentor showed me some tricks that really helped out speed up my workflow, making the Pro Tools operation much easier. We plugged in a SM57 and a guitar to my MBox, where my mentor proceeded to walk me through the steps to connect them properly, as well as how to switch from one input channel to another. This lesson improved my understanding of the MBox capabilities, as well as my knowledge of Pro Tools. To me, this was one of the most interesting lessons. There are so many possibilities with EQ’ing, and this one really opened the door for me on it. I always messed around with EQ at home, but my mentor talked about high pass filters, low pass filters, band pass filters, and parametric EQ in understandable ways. This lesson covered a large amount of material, most of it relating to different types of compression, compression’s various functions, as well as different ways that compression can be used to enhance the mix or to shape a sound. My instructor went over threshold, ratio, attack, and release, showing me a couple videos as well. I’ve used compression in some of my mixes before, but I was never able to define what the compressor’s ratio was; this lesson really enhanced my knowledge on the subject. We also discussed expanders and noise gates and which situations they’d be useful for. I had a good time learning valuable knowledge that I’ll be able to put to use in my own material in the future.”
Learn about microphones on the job
“This week I learned more about microphones. My goal after I am finish with all my lessons and I have graduated is to work for my mentor at the studio for a couples of years to get my clients up, to have a name of my own, to learn more skills by being in the studio to fill my resume entirely with information that I have done as an audio engineer. As I continue my career and go with my dream record label, Atlantic Records or any other great music recording company to be their next upcoming female engineer and producer. I want to take this experience and go sky's the limit, as I am hard-working and I deserve everything I put my heart into plus more. I love where I'm at in life right now and it couldn't get any better, or could it? Such a blessing!”
Learn what it takes to make it in the recording industry.
“After the first day of training at the recording studio I became very aware of the importance of introducing myself and establishing a relationship with my mentor. On the first day I tried to just be myself and feel good and open about the opportunity of being one-on-one in a real recording studio. I like working with my mentor very much; he is a smart and laid-back person with a good sense of humor, who has also been in the music business for a very long time. One of the first things my mentor proceeded to teach me was about the different microphone cables, showing how the “innies” are female and the “outies” are male. He made sure that I knew about the red, blue, and ground cables inside of the microphone, which he had me identify with corresponding outlet numbers. Then he moved on to show how they were similar to the ones behind the pre-amps. After that my mentor played his new song that he recorded on Pro Tools, having me listen very closely and figure out the individual instruments and sounds that went into the recording. Once I had them all listed, he showed me how to isolate the sounds of each track, so they could be heard as a solo. This was great. Once we did this we moved onto the quiz I had completed, followed by the mandatory assignment that had been assigned to me by the program. We looked at certain dB level examples from my sheet, and then looked up some more on Google; he showed me a dB gauge machine, which we took outside and tested on a car engine and also a motorcycle engine. At the end, he talked about future lessons where I will be sitting in on a studio session. He mentioned the importance of being respectful to musicians when they are doing a session, and told me to not be dabbling in, but be kind of close-mouthed and withdrawn. He then told me that I seemed aware and perceptive to this kind of work behavior. Overall, I am happy and pleased with how my official first lesson went with my mentor, as we are really able to work well together.”
Continue to delve into hands-on work with the professionals in the recording industry.
“I continued this week with my mentor with a lesson on amplifiers. Our main focus was on direct boxes for direct insert, as well as an in-depth discussion on the signal path of mics through to the pre-amp and into the mixer while bypassing the mixer pre-amp. My mentor gave me a history lesson of the old DAT and ADAT recorders in analog, as well as how the digital world of audio has made the process so much easier. To top that off, we then had a nice personal chat to get to know each other better. The next day we discussed mic placement, elaborating through the quiz that had been assigned to me in the student manual from the Recording Connection. We discussed the differences in micing techniques, the importance of practice rundowns, and the right mics for the instrument’s best sound. Since I was out a little ill this week my mentor and I will start getting to hands-on micing next week for our next session coming up, which I am excited for. My impression of my mentor thus far has been very positive. He has a fantastic attitude, matched only by his enthusiasm and optimism for my training. I am really having a positive experience with him.”
Work one-on-one with your personal recording audio engineering mentor.
“I spent my first session with my mentor telling him about my goals and interests, as well as getting to know him a little better. He’s a great guy and he’s very friendly, making him easy to talk to. While at the studio my mentor introduced me to a former student of his who works in the studio. He told me his band was looking for a keyboardist, and I happen to play keys. So I already made my first of hopefully many connections! I came back to the studio two days later and we went over the quiz previously assigned to me. Here my mentor helped explain the important points of my lesson, giving me a more practical, real world definition for the information that I have been studying since my enrollment in the Recording Connection. As the session continued my mentor opened up Pro Tools and showed me how sounds are synthesized. He also explained to me how he listens to and evaluates his mixes, as well as why he does it that way. My next lesson fast approaching is on microphones, where my mentor has said that we will begin to get more hands-on. He is going to show me the mics that he uses in the studio and I really can’t wait to see all the equipment he has and really continue to dive into the world of recording!”
“In today’s lesson my mentor and I talked more about the console and amplifiers. I learned that an amplifier is used to amplify, equalize, combine, distribute, isolate, and match signal impedances in audio. We also talked about the two different kinds of current: alternating current, direct current and how they are used in the studio. One big thing I learned was the different types of amplifiers and how they are used in signal flow. The next day my mentor and I decided to cover the lesson, then moved onto more hands on work by helping my mentor clean some of the microphones, the mic stands, as well as the cords. Of course, this was right after the mic quiz my mentor just gave me, and I really liked the experience as I got to handle the equipment, seeing how everything in the studio is put away. A few days later we moved on to talk about the correct mic placements for different instruments and settings. We also touched on the beginnings of how an engineer sets up in the studio before a recording session. First, I learned about the different types of micing which are: distant micing, close micing, accent micing, and ambient micing. Just as they sound, the types of micing is separated by the distance the mic is placed from the desired instrument and/or amplifier. A big topic that my mentor and I ended up covering today was the practice rundown. This was huge because during this process the engineer needs to adjust the volume and add gain if needed. This is huge to understand in the studio because to record correctly, adjustments are often needed for it to sound of the best quality. After we had covered the lesson my mentor instructed me to set up for a recording session he was going to record later. Not only that, but once we had set up I got to actually use the sound board for the first time as my mentor played the guitar in another room, where I set the levels using the board and Pro Tools. Getting to use the board was the greatest feeling.”
Work hands on in the studio with your mentor.
“Week 14 was a great lesson for me. I was able to recall the things that I had learned from the very beginning of this Recording Connection course up to now. The first half of the lesson consisted of the text book quiz which took quite a while to complete only because it was a good bit of information to recollect. However, everything that I had learned came to me fairly easily and I ended up doing well on the quiz. The second half of the lesson was some hands-on work regarding the final mix down of tracks. My mentor had given me a track previously recorded in the studio and set all the levels to zero and panned everything in the middle, having me mix the levels appropriately and pan the tracks individually. In an instance regarding an acoustic and electric guitar piece of this particular song, I decided that it would sound better to pan the electric guitar fifty percent to the right and the acoustic guitar fifty percent to the left because they both have an equal amount of lead and rhythm parts throughout the entire track. And it was really rewarding to find out after doing so (panning the way I had decided too), that this was the way that my mentor had originally mixed (panned) those instruments. This lesson was overall challenging but also very rewarding at the same time.”
Receive all the answers to your questions while enrolled in the Recording Connection.
“This Tuesday I had the opportunity to spend the entire day at my mentors’ studio and in the process managed to learn many of the things that had been confusing me. I arrived at 10 AM for my lesson, where we were still scheduled to go over signal flow. However, we ended up speaking about Pro Tools and how to set up a pathway for signal flow through the program. The concept of doing so is incredibly simple, and upon asking some questions it became crystal clear how to get the signal to go wherever I wanted it to. After speaking about Pro Tools for an hour or so, I ran exercises with my mentor to see if I could properly track the signal flow from the recording room floor to console to Pro Tools and back. This lasted for just short of another hour, when the next class came in for their lesson. I’ve had the opportunity to audit this class for two weeks prior, so observing their progress has been nothing short of interesting. Watching the class work with Pro Tools in a more advanced manner made me realize exactly how relevant everything I’ve learned up to this point truly is. Towards the end of the session, my mentor gave us all general studying guidelines so that we could further our knowledge, followed by some general Q&A from the students involved in the session. As soon as it was over and the students were leaving my mentor informed me that I could stay longer if I pleased, as the student coming in next were doing something close to what I was involved in learning. Upon the next student’s arrival, my mentor went over his lesson plan from the week before and began making the student run some of the signal flow drills I had done earlier, along with some Pro Tools manipulation. Soon after, my mentor invited me to do the same and I had the opportunity to run these same drills again, as well as work through problems with the other student when they arose. For instance, at one point I made the error of losing where I was in the patch bay, only to be helped by the other student to find my sound. Working with my mentor and the other students has been nothing short of invaluable, and I look forward to learning more in the weeks and months to come in the Recording Connection. To date, I’ve learned how to create audio, auxiliary, and master tracks in Pro Tools, how to route signal to each of these tracks through the use of buses, play the sound on the interface by use of the outputs, and track the signal flow from the floor to the console, to Pro Tools and back. I’m still a bit confused about the patch bay as a whole, but my next lesson addresses it directly, so I’m looking forward to working with it.”
Learn by doing.
“This was a very interesting and sort of straightforward lesson with my mentor. It was mostly about equalizers and the types that are out there. EQ is a type of time-based processing along with delays, reverbs, flanging, phasing, and chorusing. Basically, I learned that EQ is just a way to manipulate the sound of something based on a certain filter. I didn’t really understand this at first. However once my mentor started to explain it to me and I started to use these EQs for myself, I understood them much better. Then after my lesson that day, another student came in for his lesson. While he was going to teach him, my mentor had me mess with a cover song to make it sound somewhat like the original. As I was doing this, I started to see how EQs and all of these plug-ins work. My mentor even told me that I did a really great job because it did, in fact, sound like the original and I caught a bunch of things within the song, such as mistakes and other various things. This was a really cool lesson and it was fun engineering that song to the way it was supposed to sound. I can’t wait for compressors next week, they’re my mentors’ favorite!”
Continue to business network with the professionals.
“Things are starting to run very smooth at the studio as I continue to show my face more and more around my mentors’ studio. I'm gaining a lot more trust and access to the studio as I continue in the Recording connection program. I am also getting more comfortable with using programs Logic and Pro Tools. Since I've started coming in the teachings with my mentor have continue to become more personal and I'm spending much more one-on-one time with mentor, which is great. It’s not always easy because my mentor is very quick and expects me to be on point with taking notes about everything he says and does. Keys commands/shortcuts are a must because it saves time and labeling; saving and dating are just as important. I moved on next this week to learn about the basic drum set and the proper microphones to use with the toms (Sennheiser 421), kick (D112), snare (SM47), cymbals and high hats (Rode NT5). I also got to learn a little about polar patterns and mic checking when working with a client. I also learned the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, as well as the importance of equalization when mixing for a full drum set. Also, Logic and Pro Tools are becoming more familiar, but only because I try not to get ahead of myself and confuse myself even more. It’s very important to listen to my mentor and to learn the basics one step at a time. Other than following my mentor, I'm becoming a lot closer to the other interns in the studio as well. Working with them and doing side projects with them helps make the experience that much more comfortable. We find out our common interests and put it into what we love to do and that is creating music.”
Learn by doing.
“Today when I arrived at the studio I got right to work at the front desk. My mentor was busy working on other things so I sat at the front desk and re-wrote my notes from last week training session. I wanted my notes to be organized and clear so I could just look anything up. Re-writing my notes also helped me remember everything from the week before. Next I decided to go into one of the studios and practice opening up a new session, setting up a microphone for recording. I did it bunch of times and I can really tell I’m getting used to it and now am feeling very confident with setting up a microphone and opening up new sessions. Then the very next day in the studio was an absolute amazing! I was in the studio for hours and I really learned a lot. Besides learning a lot, my mentor went over the quiz that had been assigned to me by the Recording Connection, and I got it all right! I loved today because my mentor introduced us to “Logic Pro” and it’s amazingly awesome. He showed us how to open a session and record on. There are some differences between recording in “Logic” and “Pro Tools”. It was very interesting to see how both programs work. “Logic” is really cool and I learned some minor basics and I truly cannot wait to just mess around with it and learn. I also learned how to record a live electric guitar. To make the week even better, today was another awesome day with my mentor. Today I was totally on my own! I went into studio early afternoon and worked all by myself until later! I recorded another extern playing the electric guitar. He put a little beat together and we added guitar to it. I really felt like an engineer. I recorded him numerous times, creating playlists and doing the actual thing. I really feel like an engineer now. I also felt really confident and now feel I am getting the basics down well. I even successfully set up an amp and successfully recorded an electric guitar. I am very eager to go further in the Recording Connection.”
Business networking with well-known artists, working with the professionals in your industry.
“Lesson 5 brought our attention to the engineer’s desk, which is also known as the console. The Console is the main mixing board filled with hundreds of potentiometers, buttons, and knobs. I was taught by my mentor all of the different bus systems that make up the console, as well as the many different functions that each performs. At first glance, the console can be rather intimidating. Every console is separated into different columns, or channels. After learning the function of each button and knob in one column, it is the same for the rest of the channels. Different functions include control over headphone mixes, effects, and the list continues from there. Though scary at first, the desk is not nearly as confusing as it seemed at first glance. After my lesson I got to sit in on a mixing session with a platinum award winning artist! She plays in a band but was there that night for a solo project she is working on. What a down to earth yet out of this world lady she was! We spent a lot of time talking about music and the creative process. She even told me to get in contact with her if I ever start making music myself!”
Microphone training when you join the Recording Connection.
“This lesson was the most interesting one so far, with it being about microphones, as microphones are one of my favorite things about recording. I just find them so amazing because of how they work and how they receive sound and capture the energy of a performance. My mentor told me something very interesting to think about; he said that you have to think of a microphone like a human ear. It hears like an ear so whatever you want to pick up, put the mic near it. If you want to hear the fret board of a guitar, place a microphone near the fret board during a performance. If you want to hear bongos in correlation with the room sound, go for a more ambient sound and place the mic a significant distance away from the instrument in the room to capture the reverb of the room. There are many different ways to place microphones based on what kind of sound you want, however, the simplest methods are the ones that sound the best. This was a really cool lesson this week and I am really looking forward to next week to learn about plug-ins.”