Learn how to record your own music.
“Today my mentor showed me the different ways to save audio files in the Nuendo program. I learned input and output data that routes into the console, as well as into the computer program. I asked him how to route signals into the computer so I would know what signal comes from what microphones. He answered by actually showing me how to setup the input and outputs, and to what signal in the program. It was very interesting and I had a great time learning! I also showed him song lyrics I had written and he played guitar to the chorus, even putting chords to one of the songs for me. It was great to finally hear music to one of my songs. We are going to eventually finish it so he can show me how to record it. I'm very excited for this opportunity!”
Learn how to run live recording sessions on your own.
“I came in to see my mentor this week to work more on the percussion record we have been working on in the studio. I booted everything up, opened the session, and pulled out a couple of guitar amps. I miked one with 3 mics to capture the bright, body and the low. The other amp was with a stereo pair. Next, the guitar player came in and prepared, where I recorded all of his parts down in just a few hours. We will be mixing that record shortly thereafter. The next day I went in to work on a bands demo my mentor has recording in the studio. They wanted to track "live", so my mentor and I put drums in the live room, 1 amp in the office, 1 in the hall, and 1 in the break room. We got a pretty good isolation on everything too. Next we put the singer in the booth for a scratch vocal, 2 guitar players in the main room to maintain the "performance", and 1 in the control room with me and my mentor. Then my mentor let me take the wheel and run the entire session and it could not have went any better. Everyone was well rehearsed, had good gear, and was patient while I got levels and did setup for all the guitars. T hat made my job easier and I actually was the engineer at the studio. I am very pleased with myself, so is my mentor in the Recording Connection program.”
Get all your questions answered by the leading professionals.
“This lesson was all about signal flow. As an engineer you need to know where your signal is at all times, where it is coming from, where it is going, and what effects or plug-ins it is going through to get the end result. There are many different ways to rout sound signals but the simplest way would be to use a patch bay. We started off going over the written work assigned to me by the Recording Connection and from there we got right into signal routing. I had a tough time understanding the concepts of all four different kinds of patch bay from just reading the assignment from the Recording Connection. So my mentor got right into explaining to me how each different application works. The four different kinds are open, normalled, half-normalled, and parallel. Every studio owner/engineer has their own opinion on what type of patch bay to use. My mentor uses an open patch bay, which means there are no tricks to it. I would most likely use the same type of bay just for its simplicity. It seems like with an open patch bay there will always be more patches and wires to take care of but in simplicity terms it’s probably the easiest. My mentor has a big name client renting out his second studio room for a month or even more so as we finished our lesson he had to go take care of some things for the other client. He offered me the opportunity to stay and fiddle around with the mixing bored which I happily did. Great lesson!!”
Work hands-on with your mentors’ clients.
“I had a chance to sit down with a couple of bands while one of the studio engineers was doing the setup and track. I got to learn neat microphone placements and microphone choices for drums, electric guitar, and vocals. I also got to play bass with the drummer to get the levels right for the next day to track. It was very exciting getting to know the clients, talking about guitar, string choice, double bass pedals with the drummer, and a whole lot of other stuff. A few days later, in our next lesson, I learned about what amplifiers can do to improve your sound, as well as what distribution amps are important for helping the musicians hear their overall mix through the headphone mixers. My mentor and I talked about many signal paths, including live sound setups where it is extremely important to have an aux send out to the stage monitors so the band can hear themselves play. I just bought some ribbon mics that my mentor recommended and he discussed some microphone placements that would be great using it. My mentor is insanely helpful and has a great uplifting attitude to what he does.”
Learn about microphones from the professionals.
“So, my mentor and I are now done with my third week in the Recording Connection program and I have to say, I love it. I have learned so much. This week was all about Basic Microphone Design. I have learned about the differences between a dynamic mics and a condenser mics. Microphones can be used in so many ways so it would be foolish to say this mic goes here and that mic goes there; yes all mikes are made for a specific uses, however, you can actually use different microphones in other places as opposed to just what the microphones were originally made for. For example, a condenser mic is generally used for vocals and smaller instruments, as opposed to the dynamic mic, which is generally used in a room to record bigger groups. However, either one could be used in either case to get a particular sound. It all may sound complicated but it is so interesting and with a little time and hard work it is all becoming second nature. I love what the Recording Connection has to offer and have truly enjoyed learning and working with the skilled professionals.”
Learn how to engineer.
“The second day this week with my mentor revolved around an extern’s final project. I stood back and observed everything that was being taught. One of the most important things I learned was proper documentation of your wiring to easily make corrections to faulty wires. Numerous times throughout the session the musician was unable to hear certain members of the band, click track, feedback, and more. The patch bay, which the wires were run through, was really the main thing that I found challenging to fully grasp. There will be time in a one-on-one session to go into much detail in the upcoming sessions and I will ask questions about the remaining compressors, analog, and reverb systems. On another note, I was able to see how to communicate with the musicians in order to create a time efficient, yet, comfortable setting to accomplish what needs to be. I’ve always been on the musicians’ side of the glass, so it was a completely different aspect seeing all the technicalities be factored in. I enjoyed the entire session and am glad I will be able to know both sides of a recording studio.”
Learn how to edit music hands-on.
“At the beginning of the week I went into the studio to work on another song with a drummer that is making the percussion record. I got everything booted up and opened a new session. The client came in and had few ideas, but he kind of just winged it. All of his ideas are in his head, so he's very open to trying things differently. An example would be my mentor and I trying one mic on the drum kit in the main room just for a sense of space. Since we used almost all synthesized percussion, we felt a "roomy" backing drum part would glue it all together and it would sound much more natural. It worked very well. We will be finishing the rest of his recording later this week and then we will do the mixing. The next day I requested to do editing exercises. So once I booted everything up I took a mix of a song my mentor did and made a radio edit. The song was close to six minutes, so I cut it down to about four minutes. My mentor said to just make sure I kept it "musical" so my approach was to figure out what was absolutely essential and leave that alone. Then figure out what was extraneous. Ultimately I trimmed the intro a few bars, cut a chorus in half, and took four bars out of the bridge. My mentor was pleased, stating all the edits were clean, had no clicks or pops, and that the song was still as the artist intended so I did a good job! I told my mentor I would like some more editing experiments to keep my chops up, so he said I can come in next week and we'll find some more editing experiments for me. Everything is progressing nicely and I am very pleased.”
Receive hands-on examples to further your knowledge in the industry.
“Yesterday I completed my first studio session with my mentor at his studio. It was great. This training session really helped me solidify the concepts I had learned in my reading and homework assigned to me by the Recording Connection program. This week has been great in terms of the material and concepts I have learned. This is the first time I have actually understood how sound is created, how it travels, how it is perceived, stored and transduced. I explored concepts the following concepts: sound waves, hertz, frequency, amplitude, the velocity of sound, wavelengths, harmonics, and envelopes. When I went into the studio my mentor really spent a lot of time not only further explaining these concepts, but actually showing me how they work in real life. I also got to see my mentor in action mixing down a song for a client. I saw how he manually compressed certain tracks, how he de-essed certain lyrics, and how he adjusted the volumes of different tracks within the mix. Overall it was a great week with my mentor and I learned a lot. I am looking forward to next week when I get to go into the studio twice!”
Earn yourself a spot externing in a professional recording studio.
“My first lesson in the studio working with my mentor went very well. I walked in the studio and finally got the real feel of being in a professional recording studio. I was really excited to see what I was going to learn and actually truly understand with my mentor. My mentor and I started about by covering step-by-step Lesson 1 that I completed before I got to the studio that day. First we went over some waveforms, where my mentor showed me how Frequency can be applied by the sound that travels from the Recording Room to the Recording Area. My mentor taught me to be in between both high and low frequencies in order to have a nice crisp sound in my own music production so that the wavelengths are not all over the place. I got to see a live example of a small portion of how these sounds travel through mics, as well as sound equipment through wires that connect to the recording room. Next we moved onto pitch, where my mentor explained all about it to me, as well as the importance of it in great depth. You have to make sure your sound levels are not overflowing each other but are as equal as can be to have a nice clear sound in your music. For example, my mentor explained the lower or higher the frequency, the lower or higher the pitch is. A great hint to me was understanding that high frequencies have a shorter wavelength than low frequencies, which was pretty easy to remember if you ask me. We also went over an important step and that was the term word Fundamental Frequency, which sounded familiar to me from my Recording Connection Textbook. However, having it explained in front of me really helped me in understanding what it truly is. He told me that Fundamental Frequency is the lowest pitch of a sound & by far the strongest pitch that can be heard. My mentor and I then went over Octaves & and how they can be read by plain notes on the Piano. He told me Octaves are canceling the difference between any two frequencies of the notes, which means it separates the amount of Hz from the other frequency. I really enjoy working with my mentor for my very first lesson and I can't wait to learn more in further upcoming lessons, always keeping in mind that during my time in the Recording Connection is the time that is helping me in Music Production!”
Learn by doing.
“This was an interesting session today, one on equalizers. Being a guitar player, I have had some extensive experience with equalizers so this lesson was somewhat familiar to me. When I arrived at the studio, my mentor and I started working on ensuring Pro Tools had been installed successfully and was up and running. However there were some complications so it wasn’t properly installed that day. However, my mentor taught me how to use equalizers on the recording software used in their studio computer system. He first played a few tracks that had been previously recorded, then proceeded to use several “EQ” settings for each track, including pass filter, shelving, parametric, and notch equalizers. After showing me how each equalizer was properly used, and in what situation they would be used in, I was able to use them myself for some hand-on work. My mentor picked a few tracks for me to edit with the equalizers that were shown to me. This was really exciting to me to be able to edit tracks in an actual studio. Like I had mentioned earlier, equalizers are very familiar to me because I have worked with them before. However, it was an interesting lesson because I hadn’t known exactly how many equalizers could be used in a mixing session, learning which ones to use in certain situations. Being able to do it myself was a lot of fun and very informative.”
Learn how to be a live engineer.
“I am so intrigued on how amplifiers with additional components can adapt and enhance audio. I love how not only are they designed to amplify, they can equalize, isolate, combine, and distribute. I was already familiar with the two currents of electricity alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). When we define noise it results from thermal electron movement from transistors and other circuitry. As far as saturation that is when out input is way too big for the DIRECT CURRENT to produce. Many examples of alternating current are wall mounts and batteries. The wall mount would be alternating current and the battery would be direct. I love how resistive and networks control the tone of the guitar amp. To me the best example of a distribution amp would be a headphone amp which would provide a single feed to many pairs of headphones. Any engineer should definitely know power amps boost the audio output of speakers to a rated volume signal. Any live audio engineer BETTER KNOW you have an auxiliary send from the mixer to the preamp to one's speaker monitors.”
Work in well-known recording studios.
“On this day my mentor explained a lot about all the different microphone types used in his studio. I have been learning a lot about the different uses of microphones, what they are best us for, as well as the quality and inner workings of these microphones. There is a lot of information to pick up on in the Recording Connection, but as I get more time in the studio with my mentor I continue to learn more and more. Next I sat in on a studio recording session where this female artist recorded vocals over the tracks her band had previously recorded. It was very cool because I got to see the client lay down her basic tracks, as well as the overdubs. Then to see my mentor mix them and make them sound good was a great learning experience for me. He did not do the final mixing, however, he touched them up and it was very cool to see this process unfold. Also I have been getting much better at making my own beats. A few days later I showed my mentor some progress I had been making on the my own equipment so a few days later my mentor had me come in with some other people who were recording some tracks; one was a rapper and the other could sing really well. I became friends with them so I now have a new connection with some musicians so we now plan to work on some music to upload onto YouTube. It will most likely be hip-hop so I would make all the beats. I am going on a vacation now but when I get back my mentor said that the studio will be recording with some bigger producers that have years of experience, with engineers that have worked with artists such as 2pac, Snoop Dogg, and Korn. So I am really excited about this and looking forward to meeting him and a few other people that will be there that I can network with. Overall I am having lots of fun and I remain excited to continue learning and getting more experience in the Recording Connection.”
Learn how to record working artists.
“My session today with my mentor was on mixing in surround sound. On this day there was a client in the studio doing some recording. The client wanted to record vocals on 4 tracks. He has been working on putting together a few songs to give to his wife and family for Christmas. This guy was a very talented vocalist and I was impressed with his playing of a 12 string acoustic guitar! He also had a track with vocals already recorded. With this track he wanted to re punch some of the vocal parts and sing them differently, mainly at an octave higher. The client had done a lot of listening himself and had already pinpointed certain places he wanted to overdub what was previously recorded. During today's session I was able to see how to properly utilize auto tune to help vocals without making them sound auto tuned. I basically got a very nice lesson on using auto tune which I was very happy to have. I think it will really help me in the future with producing vocals.”
Develop your skills in the recording industry.
"I am very happy with the Recording Connection program and the progress I have made. My mentor is very patient and easy going, helping me a great deal in understanding the recording process. Mostly we have worked with rappers and it is a good way to get my feet wet as far as basic recording. I have also begun to get more exposure to recording bands and the extra work it takes to record live instruments. I am beginning to learn the importance of the patch bay and how it correlates to the mic snake and E.Q.'s, compressors, condensers, and preamps. Much of the work is beginning to make sense to me, as my exposure to watching the recording process is prolonged and is becoming much easier to comprehend. I owe a great deal of my knowledge to my mentor, who as I said is very patient and easy to be around. I have no doubt that I will have a complete understanding by the time I have finished the program in regards to the entire recording process. I am very happy with my progress in the Recording Connection."
Learn what it takes to work in a professional studio.
"Today my mentor and I went over consoles, which was almost a review because in the previous sessions we discussed mostly what parts the console is made up of. However, today my mentor showed me how they are all put together on a console, as well as how all the controls are set up differently for any individual session. He showed me how to set up all the controls to route the signals to either the monitors, or the headphones in an iso room for a headphone mix. We also discussed rhythm tracks, how they are set up, and how they are used as the bare minimum for any artist to listen to and record their overdub tracks with. Rhythm tracks need to have a good feel so when the artist is listening to them, they are provided with a solid base that has a good feel in order to emit a good solid sound from the artist themselves. After my mentor and I finished with our lesson review of consoles, a local Springfield band came into the studio and I was able to listen to them lay down the MANY parts to only ONE track. First my mentor and I had the drummer lay down his part, and then I watched as my mentor chopped and quantized the drum track to provide a better sound and a solid beat for the rest of the players to record with. After the drum track was finished, we recorded 3 guitarists, and the screamer was recording his vocals in the iso room. It was a very good session and I was glad I was able to see how a hardcore band lays down a track. I am only on my 5th week in the Recording Connection program and I have already been able to meet some very interesting clients."
Learn how to run a record session on your own.
"My 3rd lesson with my mentor was where I sat in on my very first mixing session. It was a hip-hop RnB track, where I got to witness the many plug-ins that they use to properly EQ vocals, as well as compressing effects. I got to sit in, watch, take detailed notes, and ask questions for the entire two hours. This was a very valuable session for me. The next few days following were action-packed. I helped set up a drum video promo that my studio engineer would like to put out. He is playing live drums over popular songs in it. I mic'd up the drums, set up the Pro Tools session, made sure that each specific drum was properly mic'd up with the proper input, and checked the volume levels for each drum. It was the first time I actually set up a session solely on my own. Then, for the next lesson with my mentor, I actually ran the live drum session, from manning the boards, to rechecking the volume levels, to making sure the video camera was working. Once the session was done, I actually learned how to properly sync a video clip with Pro Tools audio files!"
Learn how to run live recording sessions.
"This week I helped my mentor set up the “A” room for a live recording session. These sessions lasted a couple of days this week, where my mentor and I ran live recording sessions for a guitarist recording for his band. The band is currently in the process of overdubbing guitar tracks over existing tracks. So we began the week by coiling up all the chords, mics, and cables that were out of place from the previous nights recording session. Once completed we were able to begin the session, where I sat in and assisted my mentor with everything he needed, including locating a ground lift adapter because there was a loud hum coming out of the guitar amp. I watched and learned as my mentor engineered song after song with this guitarist. This was the first time I had been in a recording session with my mentor and a client. The following day at the studio again I headed straight to the live “A” room to set up for the next session with the guitarist. As I worked on the set up an engineer came in to inform me that there would be a session later in the evening, lasting well into the night. He invited me to come in later that night to sit in the session so I moved on to assist him with the set up of the isolation booth “1” with a mic. He also took me over to the microphone cabinet and showed me all the different types, as well as demonstrating how each kind worked, what they do, and where to store them in the studio. This was a very good application to the lesson on microphones that the Recording Connection assigned me prior to my meeting this week with my mentor. I returned to the studio later that night to sit in for the session with a local artist, recording overdub vocals over existing tracks that the artist brought in. The client brought in a guest singer to sing the harmonies in the background. This guest singer had not been around the music seen lately so needless to say the clients were very nervous. The engineer is great at making his clients feel comfortable in any environment. They proceeded to record and track out the song and finished up with a complete song. I watched how my mentor from beginning to end powered up everything and patched everything in for the “A” room live recording session. There were many steps and it will take me awhile to get familiar with how everything works so that I myself will be prepared to run a session on my own. This week with my mentor was a very good application and I really got to experience live session recording!"
Reach your goals in the Recording Connection.
"Things have been going very well in the studio. My mentor and I met up and I completed my mid-term, and from there got hands-on with a lot of the gear we had yet to touch on. We even brought out a legitimate plate reverb enclosure, which I physically patched with XLR cables into a vintage compressor, into Pro Tools, and then back into the mixing console. I had an opportunity to sit in with my mentor on an 8-hour recording session with a hip-hop label, which I spent participating very in-depth in this project at hand. I helped set up the vocal recording booth with a music stand, microphone, and headphone mix, adjusting the lighting. Next I sat with my mentor during the Melodyne vocal editing process, contributing suggestions as I have been using Melodyne on my own projects for a long time. My next studio session is tomorrow, which will be covering Studio Design and Monitors. I've also recently had the opportunity to remix for a well known artist with my occasional writing partner, as well as just completed a remix for a track a client of mine has, which is going to be featured on his EP. Just the other day I finished a remix for my friends’ album, which is likely to be released on a label they were signed to. I really feel that a lot of these successes can be greatly attributed to the knowledge I've been getting from my mentor and everyone else at the studio. They've been taking what was a natural gift/obsession from a young age and are helping me sculpt it into a profession."
Get all of your questions answered with the Recording Connection.
"This week was all about signal flow. It’s actually kind of funny that the Recording Connection book assigned to me emphasized signal flow so much, as I had just spoken to a buddy of mine that does audio mixing for an animation studio in Miami, Florida. He always harps about the importance of signal flow as much, maybe even more than this lesson the Recording Connection mandates. I guess I never realized it until I read into it more. If you do not get it right, it is not going to be right. There is a set path that each current must travel. If anywhere along the way the path gets messed up, the entire signal fails. My mentor uses an open patch in his studio A, which is basically a manual patch where he lines everything with the use of patch cables. Patches can be used to split a signal or change direction of a signal. I also got my mentor to go into an in-depth discussion with me of the Aux sends and IAP’s to better understand the routing process. For the following lesson I moved on to learn about the importance of pre amps and how they work. It never occurred to me that pre amps are in so much control of the initial sound of what is played through them. I always used my preamps for an equalizer, which is a function. However, they also give you more boost amplification. They let you combine signals and distribute them while also isolating them. Then my mentor and I moved onto mic placement. I really enjoyed this lesson very much because it gave me an opportunity to look at how stereo sounds are made, as well as how different types of sounds are made. I even got my mentor to go into more specifics of the ORFT and NOS recording techniques; the entire setup intrigues me and makes me want to try out different ways to place and record with mics."
Pitch your ideas to the experts in the music industry.
"My mentor and I have covered a lot of material in the lessons using a hands-on approach to it, which has helped me understand everything much easier. My mentor told me today that he wants me coming in three times a week now and some pretty cool things have happened since I joined the Recording Connection. My mentor has now had me and another extern work on a beat he started five or so years ago as a warm up project because I have just joined the program. I described to the other extern what I wanted to do with the beat and he helped me use the program to get the sounds that I wanted, and from there, we mixed everything. A couple of hours later my mentor listened to the final project, loved it, and sent it to an artists in New York that he has been doing sessions with. Guess what… she is putting the track we made on her album! The next day my mentor gave me a new beat to work on. That very day I pitched the idea to my mentor that the track would be good for an Adidas commercial. I explained my idea to him and showed some examples of how it would look; everyone at the studio loved the visual I gave. My idea for the commercial got picked up as a current project at the studio right now and we are in the process of making a storyboard for it and getting everything ready to pitch it to the agency that is currently handling the Adidas Originals Campaign. The entirety of the Recording Connection course is going great along with projects I've already assisted my mentor with."