Learn by doing.
"Today in the studio my mentor and I progressed more into plug ins, discussing different types of reverberation. We discussed what reverb is, how it works in the studio, and the common controls in digital reverb units and what they are used for. We discussed delay and echo, discussing how they are used along with flanging, chorus and phase shifting, as well as how they all differ. Afterwards we went into the studio and listened to different tracks. The very next day with my mentor was all studio time. We pulled up a song and actually mixed it from start to finish. We started with drums and slowly worked our way to vocals last. My mentor said many engineers start with vocals but he preferred drums to get a good solid mix going, and I have to say, I agree with him. We pulled many of the past lessons training for the mix, such as using reverb and compression. He also showed me how to pull some of the parts of the song out so they stand out in the mix, such as a guitar solo. We worked with many instruments on this track from drums to electric slide to Fidel. Each instrument brings its own power to the song, but it is the mix that brings it to life. I definitely enjoyed this mix-down lab and learned a lot with some of the problems I was having. My mentor is amazing to learn from. Oh, and on a side note, this weekend some friends of mine are recording there 4th album and would like me to engineer on it. I am really excited about this opportunity."
Work in a professional recording studio.
“Since my enrollment in the Recording Connection, my first session at the studio was amazing. I met my mentor when I arrived, and we started going over the material and the quiz that was assigned to me by the program. He first showed me around the studio, explaining how my time there will be spent. Things went really smoothly and my mentor and I got along great, which made me even more excited to begin my schooling here with Recording Connections. So, as we went over the quiz he explained principles to me that I had not understood that well when I had completed it prior to our session. Next we went over the career opportunities, looking over every aspect of each job, what there rolls are in the studio, how to get to that position, and finally how to become skilled in that specific area. I came to find out that I didn’t know as much as I thought, especially looking into more of the engineering positions. We went over Amplitude, Wavelength, and Velocity, which helped a lot. This experience is eye opening for me, especially to be in my mentors’ studio. I got to meet real clients and observe how they did business; how it all works. I’m excited for my next session!”
Learn from the pros.
“My week with my mentor was a very informative because I got the chance to start learning about the main console in the studio. It was very helpful because this board always looks so intimidating and impossible to run. However, my mentor reassured me that it’s not as difficult as many may think. I learned that only need to focus on one input strip, as every track after that does the same exact thing as the one preceding. It was also interesting to see how the console interacts with outside computers, mixers, interfaces, as well as Pro Tools. Also, prior to my sessions with my mentor this week, I have not really understood what a bus was in the sense of the console. My mentor was able to explain it to me like it was an actual city bus! The bus can pick up data from other tracks and blend it all into one track. It was also really cool to see space saving terms, however, you do have to make sure the blends are correct or else the compound track won’t sound right. After my one-on-one training I actually decided to stay longer at the studio while my mentor had a client come in. Here I witnessed my first professional recording! The client went into the booth and recorded some vocals and I witnessed that you have the artist do the song multiple times, taking the best parts from all of the performances for the final product. I also witnessed the auto-tune portion, which was really interesting. It was a very fun and informative day and I can’t wait for my next lesson with my mentor in the Recording Connection!”
Increase your opportunities within the recording industry.
“So many things happened in the studio today! First, we had a client, who does pop and opera music, come in. In the past, she did a very cool cover of “We Three Kings” for Christmas. Her vocals and piano were already finished from a previous session. Today, our plan was to add Cello. My mentor was the engineer for this session, and our studio musician would be working on the track, as he plays the Cello. First, the artist, producer, and engineers listened to the recording and marked parts where they wanted cello. Next we put our engineer playing the cello in the ISO room and miced his cello, checking the levels. The next two hours consisted of playing cello parts over the mix and my mentor and I recording the takes. The artist picked out cello parts she liked the best, and my mentor would start taking that direction. Once they decided they had gotten all the takes of the Cello they needed, my mentor and I proceeded onto the next project, spending the next couple hours working on mastering/mixing a song done by a local band. He showed me how to use compression, distortion, and many other effects to make the mix sound the way they wanted. After that, my mentor actually asked to hear some songs that I’ve written. I showed him one I had in mind for one of his Nashville clients and he really liked it! He told me that he’d be happy to help me record a demo of it at his studio and guide me through how to market it to artists looking for songs! I am so excited! What a fabulous opportunity!”
Dedicate yourself to moving up in the industry with the help of the professionals.
“Since the last time I touch bases with the Recording Connection things have literally taken off with my mentor. My mentor is so awesome and a great person. Gaining experience from him has really set things off. My last few sessions we've tracked and recorded multiple artists, and have gotten a chance to be a part of almost every angle. The connections I have made have been amazing and my mentor has even included me in his own projects, which gives me invaluable experience in this industry. There is definitely an overwhelming wealth of knowledge everywhere I turn. I've met producers, writers, artists, you name it. All these connections I have had a chance to build with, and they all are encouraging and extremely helpful towards me too since I am an artist as well. I know I am now finally in the direction I've always been passionate about, and this is only the beginning! My mentor mentions to me many times how important it is to just always be ready for the unexpected, as well as being able to fix situations as they always can or will go wrong. This experience with the Recording Connection has built the confidence needed to perform under the pressure this industry can bring. Thanks again Recording Connection.”
Work hand-in-hand with the learning professionals in the industry.
“My mentor and I worked a lot last week on wiring, where all the wiring is connected, as well as why. My mentor is very knowledgeable as an instructor for the Recording Connection, going into every detail on why things are based and connected to. My mentor really knows the studio like it’s the back of his hand, as of course he is a professional, as well as the owner of this studio. Nonetheless, my mentor has been teaching and showing me a lot. Besides getting to know the wiring systems correctly, we have been taking a long look at the program we are using, as well as the board. There is so much to learn and it’s good because we have gone into detail about all the little things in the program and board that work together, creating the music that it allows us to. Everything is quite stunning to me and I really am loving this experience and learning a lot while in the Recording Connection!”
Get all your questions answered.
“Class is going very well as I am enjoying working with both of my mentors. I am also starting to feel confident with the class as a whole, in relation to just solely focusing on audio engineering. I find myself trying to explain what I've been spending my time learning and most people seem to think I start speaking German, so I enjoy that fact that I'm comprehending so much information in such a short time. The main reason I chose to enroll in the Recording Connection was to further my understanding of the recording process. It would be a great accomplishment for me if I could erase the use of all the middle men and be the musician, the producer, and the audio technician. Music is a passion of mine, I love composing, writing and performing. What I am really searching for from this course is to be able to produce a record of professional sound and quality. The questions that have lingered in my brain, such as why my mix is so quiet or what could I do to give that particular track a main stage sounding boost, are being answered and making a comprehensive full circle in my brain. So far my favorite and most valuable information that I've received has been the "signal chain". Knowing your how the signal operates and how it is carried out through your equipment is essential, it sets up a foundation that opens up the gates for so much more to be involved with the process of sound.”
Work hands-on with your mentor.
“Today was an awesome session with my mentor. I got to be more involved than I ever imagined! This was a session with my mentor and an artist. This artist came in to record a top 40 pop/dance hit Christmas song, as the Holidays are now upon us. Before the session began, my mentor showed me the beat for the song and it was amazing! So, this client was coming in to lay down his vocals on the track. The best part was that my mentor needed a female singer to sing the bridge to his song…and that happened to be me! My mentor and the artist asked me to do it and of course I agreed! First we laid down vocals and did comping and auto tune. After his vocals were finished, my mentor gave me the lyrics for my part and I went into the vocal ISO room and laid down my part. After, my mentor played it back for me. How cool! Did I mention that I got to help my mentor with one of his lyrics? I felt like a true music producer! My favorite part was when my mentor would ask for my opinion on his song, as well as when he wanted advice. I had a chance to talk professionally and add my creative input to the session, and my mentor seemed completely cool with that! Later that week, after the song was done being mixed and mastered, my mentor sent me a copy of it and a “thank you for helping!” It was so cool to hear my voice on a professionally recorded song! Great session!”
Enjoy jam sessions using your mentors’ professional recording equipment.
“The week first started out by going over the lessons I came in prepared with, where my mentor went over it together, one-on-one. Then I got to bring my guitar rig into the studio, where my mentor and I used it to mic up my amp in my mentors’ live room. We used a sm57 a few inches from the grill and just off center of the cone of my Mesa Boogie. We then used a condenser mic in the room for a broader, natural sound for the effect of an ambient sound. I ended up in a jam session with the engineers playing piano and organ, with one engineer playing bass, and myself playing guitar, while we all played to a drum loop that went on for quite a while. I have already been working with my mentor in sessions that he has recorded where I have been in charge of micing up the drums for him, all the while having him observe my setup to ensure no adjustments were needed. So, this was a really fun night at the studio. My mentor and I are even talking about recording something together for my final project and I can't wait!”
Learn by Doing
“My mentor and I reviewed and discussed my reading from chapters 2 and 3 that were assigned to me by the Recording Connection program. We next went through all of the microphones in the studio, applying them to some hands-on recordings. My mentor allowed me to experiment with the microphones and listen to myself as I played guitar through them and changed the settings. The next day, for my externship day, I sat it on a session where my mentor was recording a song for an online Coca Cola advertising campaign. It was very interesting to sit in on this and absorb everything around me. I learned tons about the advertising world and creating music for commercial purposes, as well as the recording techniques that my mentor trained me on.”
Learn the tools needed to engineer clients.
“The past few weeks of class with my mentor have been excellent as always. My mentor and I are constantly building our relationship through knowledge and friendship. The past two lessons were very informative. I now understand the importance of having an acoustically treated room. Slowly but surely the past few months I've been working on my own home studio to make it sound better. So, with this lesson I acquired a good amount of help with this, which included the placement for the reference monitors, near field speakers, bass traps, acoustically treated walls, and much more need to sum up to a great sounding room. Later in the week I moved onto learning the ins and outs of MIDI. For example, sys-ex data are the details of the session and how MIDI time code allows SMPTE to sync through MIDI. All sessions with my mentor were very strongly filled with information that I can use as an audio engineer.”
Work hands-on with the experts in the recording industry.
“This week in the recording studio was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed learning from my mentor. My mentor took me on an in-depth tour of the studio, pointing out the non-parallel walls in the control and live rooms, the diffusers, the size of the rooms, the position of the monitors, and the thickness of the doors. I was able to examine the studio a lot more closely, in a way I hadn’t done before when I first interviewed with the studio. It was as if I was exposed to a new dimension; realizing the strategic placement of the drum set and the diffusers and the bass traps. After checking out the control and live rooms, we proceeded to the vocal booth, examining the walls coated with thick, foamy diffusers. The door also helped to contain the sound in the booth. I could barely hear anything on the other side of the door. My mentor and I also looked at the thick glass between the control room and the live room that completely blocked out any interchanging sound. The producer's desk in the control room was made of marble and also contributed to the acoustic performance of the room. I pressed my ear close to it and could hear loud reflections bouncing off it. It's remarkable how much thoughtful planning goes into the process of studio design. I never really thought much of it before, but now I give a lot of credit to the studio's designers. Later that day I started mixing a song that my mentor had produced. I had a lot of fun mixing and it was very helpful having a professional sitting right next me as I did so, who critiqued me and gave me valuable advice and insight into techniques I had never heard of utilizing before. It was a really fun experience.”
Work hand-in-hand with your own personal mentor.
“For my official first day at the studio this week, I sat in on a recording session, where my mentor was mastering an audio CD for a musician. I was able to begin assisting by finding and replaying tracks as needed on Logic, while my mentor did his thing on the board. We finished the day by figuring out how much dead space to put between the songs. He also showed me how to normal out the console, as well as clean up the patch bay and console. Good first day. I have made a good match with my current mentor assigned to me by the Recording Connection. It's clear that he is very passionate about his work, the industry, and the creative process. I'm glad that he's very involved with his students as well. I like that he's meticulous with both his equipment, as well as how he handles clients and their working relationships he has with other people. So, I'm a happy camper.”