Success Stories, July 2011
July 29, 2011 Success Stories
Run your mentors’ professional recording sessions.
“Everything is going great in terms of curriculum and mentorship assigned to me in the Recording Connection. I am having a lot of fun and learning a lot. Every week brings something different and exciting to the table. With the help of my mentor, I am improving my skills with Pro Tools and have started to branch out in learning other programs. Also my mentor has started to have me run the sessions more directly, which is great experience.”
— Nikolas Petersen-Overton, Seattle, Washington
Learn how to work with Pro Tools from the experts in your field.
“I am having a lot of progress with hands-on work that my mentor provides me with. It really helps when my mentor clarifies the information I've read from the Recording Connection. With that said, this week in the program and I listened in on a recording session my mentor was working on, which was great! I have since made a beat and had my mentor to help me arrange it to make it as professional as possible. He said he liked it and that I have potential. I'm very proud of myself. I have made such great progress with the Recording Connection and still remain eager to learn more and more. There is so much to learn with Pro Tools, which I'm loving working with my mentor on. I had to eventually give up garage band which I thought was fabulous until I started using Pro Tools.”
— Felicia McNair, Davie, Florida
Receive hands-on Pro Tools training from the experts.
“In my session with my mentor this week we talked a little more about mic placement, but mostly about getting audio into Pro Tools. My mentor demonstrated how and what to do with a new Pro Tools session, then showing me how to get audio files from hard drives to the Pro Tools session. I took the wheel after he demonstrated and did the exact same thing. The more I work with Pro Tools the more comfortable I’ll be with it that’s for sure. The next day I sat in on a session with a local gospel singer and her key board player from Dallas, she was fantastic and so was he. I really connected with these artists and was able to add input about their songs which were unbelievable. I really enjoyed myself as always, looking forward to going back.”
— Michael Dibble, Rochester, Michigan
Develop a business and personal relationship with your mentor.
“My first official session with my mentor was last week. We went over the quiz that had been assigned to me by the Recording Connection, in which I answered everything correctly on. Then my mentor began to show me some of the equipment in his studio, explaining exactly how certain things worked. Luckily I am already familiar with a lot of what he showed me so we had long conversations about how different bands use different machines to get the sound they wanted. I was very excited to start my program, and I think my mentor could tell because he invited me back the following day, as well as on the day after that! When I went back to the studio the following day we got to talk even more in depth about the various pieces of equipment and he told me of many personal stories and helpful hints about the music business in general. His experience in this field really extends beyond just mixing local bands, and I thought that was really cool. I get the feeling that he will be an extremely helpful person throughout my program and even into the future when it comes time to look for jobs. He knows ALOT of people, and I’m excited to possibly meet some of them one day!”
— Kyle McPherson, Wesley Chapel, Florida
Learn how to produce a professional album.
“Today at my mentors’ studio I had a tracking session for track album my mentor is producing. I set up the drum set, all the microphones and headphones, and the bass amp isolation. I had helped with drum sessions before, but this was the first time I set it up primarily by myself, which was a good confirmation that I’ve grasped the way this recording company sets up a rhythm tracking session. I also helped out with the patch bay, which was helpful to me. This was a very good hands-on session, with the remainder of my training focusing on more mixing with my mentor.”
— Ryan Hunter, Los Angeles, California
Become comfortable working with professional recording engineers.
“I was a little nervous walking into my official first session with my mentor because it felt like most of what I read in my assignment book went straight over my head. T here were so many equations and I kept thinking about all those times in high school where I asked my math teacher when I would ever use a sine curve. When I came into the studio, my mentor introduced me to one of his professional engineers who would be going through my lesson with me that day. He started out asking me if I had any questions about what I read and I just gave him my list. He proceeded to get into Pro Tools, pulling up real examples of waveform envelopes, the difference between in phase and out of phase and different decibel settings. It is reasons like this that I'm glad I picked the Recording Connection program. After we finished going through the quiz at the end, and he answered my questions, I felt I had a much better grasp on what I had read. My mentors’ engineer does a really good job of taking what the book is saying and either giving me a real example of it or putting it into easier terms to understand. For my internship part of the afternoon, the engineer gave me a tour of the equipment. He walked me through how all of the wires are connected and what they can plug in and out of depending on how one desires to mix. He had me re-organize and rewrap all of the cords hanging on the wall while giving me a tutorial on what each one was and what they did. He also played me some stuff he had recorded previously and showed me how he was tweaking it to make it better and explained how he got the sound that was already there. After walking out of my first session, I wasn't so nervous anymore.”
— Kelly Putman, Tacoma, Washington
Work with the real recording professional.
“My mentor and I went through the reading lesson for that week, going over the answers for the quiz as well while he provided some more detail and clarity into things like the Nyquist theorem and expounded on that for me. He also gave more detail of actual, in the studio applications of the things covered in the lesson. Being that I have already done work for films, and now a documentary, it was great hearing the actual reasons behind recording in 48 kHz for movies/film work as opposed to just 44.1 like normal music and stuff not meant to be added to film. Next, I sat in on my mentor and his engineer going over recordings of a group they had just worked with and began mixing some of the songs. We also installed a 1930's military aeronautical compressor into one of my mentors’ racks and plugged it in and set it up to test it on some bass and drum tracks. That was amazing. Loved every second of it.”
— Glenn Gizzi, Superior, Colorado
July 22, 2011 Success Stories
Watch your skills develop in front of your very own eyes.
“For my 3rd lesson with my mentor I learned about EQs, which we have just started to talk about it. We also started recording and learning what knobs we need to know when we are recording. We also learned when bouncing how to make a separate folder just for tracks that are bounced. I must admit at first I didn't feel like I was learning much until I started talking to people about what I was learning. It was at that point that I said to myself "wow I have been learning a lot." Hearing myself talk about everything it was clear that I have learned a lot. I think mentor is a great mentor and he really knows what he's talking about.”
— Robert Tolentino, West New York, New Jersey
Learn how to work in a professional recording studio.
“This week with my mentor was more of a hands-on lesson for me, basically covering the same things from last week, but more in depth. My mentor was able to ask me something about the console and I was able to tell him what to do, and how to do it. We also talked about preamps and their uses in studio recording and live performances. I'm noticing that the more time I spend in my mentors’ studio, the more information I'm retaining. I have my lesson training tomorrow, and then on the weekend I am going in to extern in a recording session with my mentor and I'm really looking forward to this. As always, I am enjoying myself at my mentors’ studio.”
— Michael Dibble, Rochester, Michigan
Take what you learn from your mentor and apply it to real life situations.
“As I enter into week 7 with my mentor I made an extra effort to apply what I was reading in the book the Recording Connection assigned me to the training sessions with my mentor. So I applied the techniques of mic placement to get familiar with what sounds I should be looking for when recording. I used mostly dynamic mics from the sound equipment I have available to me at my church. Getting hands-on in my own time really helped me to grasp what my mentor and I practiced in our session. I feel privileged to be working with my mentor, as he is very helpful and knowledgeable in this field and I'm honored to be working with him.”
— Charles Hudson, Washington, District of Columbia
Start your own recording company.
“With my mentor this week I got to sit in with a band my mentor has as his client. They came in to finish some previous projects that they didn't finish the last time they were at my mentors’ studio. Next, my mentor and I went over the lesson on studio design and monitors, and he showed me some pictures he had of how his studio was created. I would have never known his project took 1 year long to construct, as well as how much money was invested. Now that I have the understanding of how he designed it, and how much the estimated cost was, I can now start planning for my future build on a better studio for myself. So my training this week was very useful.”
— Efrain Salinas, McAllen, Texas
Learn more and more with every week spent in the Recording Connection.
“A good amount of time to this point with my mentor has been spent learning the studio hardware; consoles, mics, amps, patch bay/signal flow input and outputs, etc. Now, it’s time to get into the software! One of the things I like the most about this field, and the program of course, is that everything builds upon previous lessons and studio practices & techniques that I’ve read and experienced in my time participating in studio sessions. When my mentor and I discussed plug-ins, it all tied into the lessons on mic placement and instrument positioning, as well as lessons on signal flow, digital audio basics. I can fully appreciate the fact that there is no irrelevant information and that makes the course much more exciting, knowing that every time I meet with the staff and sit in on recording sessions, I will gain something that will benefit me as I continue in the world of audio engineering. I love the Recording Connection program, and it’s exciting that after such a short time I can say that I have real experience in running recording sessions.”
— Torey Bryant, Alexandria, Virginia
Get to know the professionals.
“In my second lesson with my mentor, I got to know my mentor more. He’s a funny, laid-back guy who makes the process of learning enjoyable. The main areas of focus in this lesson were sample rates and bit depths, which I found interesting. I learned about the standard sample rate used for music and why it’s important to have a sample rate twice as high as the highest recorded frequency. We also discussed the various file formats and the differences between each, as well as audio problems like aliasing and clipping. This was a fun lesson and I’m actually booked to sit in on a recording session in a few days as well. I’m very excited.”
— Nathan Zachar, Oxford, Michigan
Run your mentors’ recording sessions.
“This week I got to sit in on a recording session of a punk rock band that my mentor was recording. During the recording session we recorded a total of 8 songs. We laid down scratch vocals while the instruments were recorded, and then over dubbed them at a later point. I learned to use a few different shortcuts when using Pro Tools on a Mac as well. My mentor even stepped out for a second and I got to man the control desk by myself. I learned to open a new track, how to save properly, and watched as my mentor made a rough mix of all the songs for the clients to take home. I also helped out by ripping a sound byte from a video the clients wanted to use for the beginning of one of their songs. I thoroughly enjoyed just getting to experience what I have in store for when I graduate the Recording Connection.”
— Michael Butler, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Learn how to make a clients request a reality.
“My training with my mentor this week was very interesting, in which I learned all about digital audio and the importance of bit depths and sampling rates. There are many different ways music can be exported and distributed depending on the purpose and quality standard of the individual. My shadow session was amazing being able to see firsthand how my mentor interacts with new clients and his professionalism made a remarkable impression. One of the things I took away from this session is being honest with the artist and listening to what the artist is trying to portray, making sure as the producer I am doing everything I can on my part to make artist vision happen as if it were my own.”
— Brian Williamson, Indianapolis, Indiana
Learn how to work with professional equipment.
“Today my mentor and I went over Signal flow, Patch bays, and also talked about Microphones in even more detail than the week before. My mentor explained to me how important it is to follow a signal flow throughout the studio. He stressed this to me because if there was ever an instance, I would know how to trouble shoot the problem. The Patch Bay was an important piece in the studio as well because that is where we plug the mics at. I was also told every studio has their own way of setting up the Patch bay. I am so thankful to have a chance to learn the studio and become an Audio Engineer myself one day.”
— Corey Lawson, Colorado Springs, Colorado
July 15, 2011 Success Stories
With the Recording Connection, receive live demonstrations from the experts in your field.
"This week with my mentor, my training was all about EQ. We went over the quiz, identifying each kind of EQ, and what their different functions are. I already had a pretty good understanding of EQ, but my mentor went much in deeper than I knew was possible. I always EQ by ear, and never paid too much attention to frequencies. My mentor explained to me why I would want to pay attention to the frequencies, as well as which filters I should use to isolate certain frequencies. We also spent some time talking about the difference between passive and active electronics, especially EQ’s. I didn’t know that adding a charge to a passive circuit made it more stable, and before my training, I had thought that it just boosted the signal more. The thing I like the most about working with my mentor is that he is also a musician. He finds a way of explaining electronics to me in ways that I can relate to. For Example, when my mentor and I were discussing passive and active electronics, he used guitar pickups to relate it to me, and this kind of stuff really helps me grasp concepts much faster."
— Jeremie Killinger, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Using professional equipment, receive hands on training on how to run a successful recording session.
"The band that was coming in to see my mentor was going to use the drum set, so before they came in, I had to mic it up. Me and another fellow extern were the ones who got to mic it up because we had never had done it before, which is great training. So, we figured out which mics to use on certain parts of the drum set, then changing the position of the mics a few times so it was to the liking of the artist. As we were micing the drum set, we had to fill out a track input sheet so we knew where each mic was getting connected to. It took us awhile to finally figure out what we were doing because we weren’t familiar with how to mic a drum set. However, we knew the mics and which ones to use. Once the drums were miced to their liking, we had to then go inside and figure out the settings for each mic. I went to the patch bay and figured out which one each mic was connected to, in which I was still a little unsure of the patch bay, so this was really good practice for me to understand it better. Once we got the levels right the band started recording and I got to observe how to set up the Pro Tools and the tracks for each mic. One of my mentors’ was giving me advice on how to mic everything, but letting me do it myself. He also was giving us advice on how to deal with artists, and what to expect from them. Whether you like the artist or not, it’s still a business and you want to make the finished product the best that you can do because that’s why they came to my mentors’ studio to begin with. I definitely learned a lot from this lesson because it was hands-on training, and with the entire process, I was able to put the knowledge that I have learned so far into use."
— Kimberly Knutsen, Wappingers Falls, New York
Learn how to interact with recording clients.
"Sitting in on the client meeting with my mentor this week was very interesting. It is a very delicate balance between artist, produce, and engineer. My mentor is great because he's honest no matter what. It definitely gave me an insight into the tact and patience involved with meeting with artists. — Jessie Coan, Ocala, Florida
Work long hours in a professional recording studio.
"On my sixth week with my mentor I spent the entire day, and late into the night, working on Pro Tools, getting used to the program. I got to work on mixing Hip Hop songs. I worked on remembering the quick shortcuts on the keyboard to make mixing faster. I also sat in on a Hip Hop session with my mentor. I learned how to apply the increasingly popular auto tune to vocals. My mentor showed me how to find the pitch of their notes on a keyboard and how to apply those setting on the auto tune plug in. The next day, I showed up at my mentors’ studio and found more time to work with Pro Tools. I learned to how set basic effects such as reverbs and echo’s to vocals to further increase the fullness of a song. My mentor also showed me how to take out certain frequencies of guitars that were too loud and how to make instruments and vocals blend together, along with many other points of training I learned, and again, I worked late into the night. I really feel that I work well with my mentor and feel very comfortable at my mentors company."
— Joel Castro, Victoria, Texas
Learn the importance of recording equipment.
"In week 5 of the Recording Connection program my mentor and I tackled all about console parts. I get to learn more about the specific parts of the mixer, as well as how to use it. The mixer is one of the most important gadgets in recording because you'll never get to have a good sound while recording without it. My training was really good and I had a lot of fun learning more and more throughout every session with my mentor."
— Rasec Ortega, Arcadia, California
Work in brand new recording studios.
"For this week with my mentor, I got to work with another engineer within the studio. He was really cool and showed us around my mentors’ brand new studio. We got to go over a bunch of things regarding protocols, such as an entire refresher on quick keys, dynamics, and condensers. We also got to sit down and hang out for a while, getting to know each other. Afterwards, my mentor and I went over my reading lesson assigned by the program, and then, I helped the engineer from earlier in the day set up a mic for some artists who were coming in. It was a good experience and I really like the new studio."
— Larry Johnson, Stratford, Connecticut
July 8, 2011 Success Stories
Receive hands-on training in a real life studio.
"In today's lesson with my mentor I reviewed my reading that the Recording Connection had assigned me for my very first week. I went over the different positions of the career in sound, as well as its importance. I also learned about waveform and their different characteristics, such as velocity, amplitude, frequency, timbre, and harmonics. With this, I also learned from my mentor on how the decibel is important, learning about the different instruments we use in the studio, such as an compressor, equalizer, and pre amplifier. With certain exercises that my mentor gave me, I have now learned how to recognize each piece of equipment by its physical feature and with more practice will become a better assistant. It feels amazing to be in the Recording Connection program, and working with my mentor. I was telling my mentor how phenomenal it was that even with the first lesson I'm learning things that I didn't in the five years that I went to school. I'm being trained as a real assistant and it feels so good and motivating me even more. I'm so excited to go again next week. Yay!"
— Christina Conti, Rockaway, New York
Learn by doing.
"This week I shadowed my mentor, and even though it was very educational, it also gave me a bit of an edge on picking up some terminology for our upcoming lesson training in the future. At this point I am trying to get a feel for how the studio is run, as well as the studio etiquette, which gave me a great insight into mixing and mastering, which is what my mentor was doing as I shadowed him. For the lesson training that the Recording Connection had assigned me, we covered the basics of Digital Audio. The great thing about picking my mentors’ brain is that, if you're confused about something, he will explain it, or even give an example of a real life situation or analogy that will make better sense. One of the most important things that leveled me was realizing how important this information is to fully understand the information structure of audio, but at the same time, that in a real world situation. Learning about MP3's, and here I thought I knew all about them as a seasoned CD burner, was very interesting, as well as hearing my mentors’ take on their impact to the recording industry. After our lesson training I continued to shadow him for a few more hours. Also, as I am getting to know everyone who works at my mentors’ studio and I am getting much more comfortable being around there. Everyone is very nice and I'm learning a lot, getting very excited to move into my hands-on training as the course continues."
— Jessie Coan, Ocala, Florida
Learn the correct away to record from the experts in your field.
"My mentor and I get along very well, as we both share the same views on the music industry, always finding ourselves talking for hours past our scheduled time. What I'm learning with my mentor is basically the right way to do everything. All my past experience is in digital recording, and being able to work with my mentor in the Analog world is amazing. I am learning why I've been having troubles in the past, as well as how to fix them. I'm having a great time in the Recording Connection."
Nathan Hook, Beavercreek, Ohio
Apply your training to real life recording experience to prepare yourself for the future.
"Throughout my experience at my mentors’ studio I have had a great experience. I have been able to consistently sit in on sessions. Also, with every lesson reading that the Recording Connection assigns me, my mentor and I work on it, then go work on their gear to see real world examples of the ideas that I read about from my homework assignments. I have been able to get a lot of practice on Pro Tools, working with many different mics, as well as having many other experiences. That I never could have gotten at home. My mentor, as well as the other engineers, always work very hard to make sure that I learn everything we work on in the best way possible to make sure that I can then apply it when I need to. I greatly enjoy my experience here with my mentor, as well as in the Recording Connection program."
Richard Chouffot, Houston, Texas
Monitor your development in the program with the use of your mentors’ professional recording equipment.
"This lesson with my mentor was all about reverb, delay, and flanging. In the past, I never fully understood reverb, or the effect it would have on sound, until me and my mentor went over this lesson together. He described in detail what it meant, as well as why people would use it. I originally had thought it was simply an affect for fun, but after my training with my mentor, I realized that pretty much all music has a reverb on it. I have been using my time with my mentor to get used to all the different effects right now. Everything is going very well in the studio, and my mentor is showing me a lot. I am working on getting a band to come in the studio so I can record them, as well as to make sure I know how to bring the signal into the program correctly. I'm excited to see how I do now that I know so much more than I did in the beginning."
Mike Dudek, Export, Pennsylvania
July 1, 2011 Success Stories
Opportunties always lay right around the corner while working in a real recording studio.
"My mentor and I focused largely on monitors and speakers this week. My mentor brought me around the studio to explain everything that the quiz the Recording Connection had assigned me, going into great detail, as well as providing me with extra information. We went from the Live room, where we normally do our lesson, into the console room, and then into a back room where the rest of the equipment was. It was neat to see how everything worked, as well as how important even the slightest machine was. After this, I had to set up a mic because my mentors’ Company was starting an internet radio station and had to record radio spots. I immediately was interested because I had gone to school for promotion and advertisement so I have knowledge on how to write spots for television, magazines, internet ads, and radio. I used some of my editorial skills to go over the spots, making sure the correct words were used. I also was helping to come up with ideas as to how to make sure the correct timing was used per spot and how to add extra seconds to the ad if needed. When my mentor saw how involved I was, he asked if I just wanted to take over and run the show. I said SURE. That had me very excited."
— Larry Johnson, Stratford, Connecticut
Learn how to work with professional recording equipment to maximize the quality of your recording sessions.
"This week’s lesson with my mentor was all about Microphone Basics Design and Uses. My mentor and I talked about how mics work, the different types of mics, different pick up patterns, placement, and the mystique of the microphone. I learned that the dynamic microphone is the most commonly used, and referred to in a live or studio setting. A condenser mic is usually found in a vocal booth for overdubbing vocals. And last, but not least, the dynamic ribbon microphones are not usually used very often because they're very sensitive and delicate. This week with my my mentor I really got familiar with the Mics at his studio, learning how and when to use them properly. Once again it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to going back soon."
— Michael Dibble, Rochester, Michigan
Fine-tune your skills with the guidance of your mentor.
"This session my mentor and I covered MIDI Sequencing, Sampling, and Editing. I had already had a pretty good grasp from my various experiences in music prior to the Recording Connection, so I didn’t have many questions regarding the lesson. However, my mentor did answer questions that I had pertaining to the operation of specific equipment, such as Pro-tools. He demonstrated to me quick use tips that really helped me to get along with the software. My mentor is very proficient with the software and this is very encouraging for me, as most people I know have found the software so difficult that they have given up. But, because I have now seen and experienced a real pro operate within the software, it has given me hope to hang in there. This mentorship experience has continued to be an encouragement for me in my new career."
— Anthony Hankins, Lake Elsinore, California
Give creative input while working with your mentors’ recording clientele.
"My mentor started out this week by talking to me about sound and its different forms: acoustic, analog, and digital. Then he went on to explain the importance of frequency, and that human hearing ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. He then showed, and explained, to me that Pro Tools uses the full-scale decibel system, and that 0 dB is the highest range in Pro Tools, showed me his sound pressure level meter and what different frequencies look like as sound waves in Pro Tools. After the lesson, my mentor even let me sit in and observe a short editing session with a client. He then gave me an overview of all the equipment in his studio. I was able to sit in and observe while my mentor and the studio engineer worked on mixing and mastering a new track together. I watched as they added effects, such as compressors, reverb, and distortion, in order to specific tracks using the plug-ins in Pro Tools. I was also allowed to give feedback while they were making changes."
— Chris Dodds, Westminster, California
Learn what it takes to become successful within the music industry.
"This week I spent with my mentor assisting the set up sessions and recording some demo tracks, along with my mentors. I am very lucky to be learning from some of the best in Denver. I am doing very well with knowing what mics should go where and what they do, as well as where the signal goes through the patch bay, and knowing what outboard signal processors they go to. Also, while the musicians are working with my mentor, I like to be a "fly on the wall" while they make their magic. The past few weeks have been filled with valuable learning experiences."
— Erik Edson, Denver, Colorado
Learn complicated recording techniques with ease with the training of your mentor.
"For my first official lesson with my mentor, now that I have joined the Recording Connection, we covered my reading assignment that the program assigned me, which was learning the basic audio terms and a general overview. I was confused on a few points, and as my mentor said, "If this is the only time you're confused during this, then there's a problem." My mentor was wonderful at explaining the lesson reading to me and tried to do so in layman's terms so I could understand it. My mentor has a great ability to put someone at ease, but in a professional manner. His many years in the industry are blatantly apparent when he delves out his wisdom and information."
— Jessie Coan, Ocala, Florida
Build business relationships with your mentors’ clients.
"This weeks’ training with my mentor was mainly a review of the signal processing that we had been going over for the last few weeks. Then, after our review, I toyed around with Pro Tools and I now see I am becoming more comfortable with aspects such as the gain control and threshold. After this, a recording artist came in to see my mentor to go over 2 more songs, as well as to finish recording them. It was a blast because me and the artist are pretty cool now so we always just speak about current artists while she’s not working and have fun. I also went back the following day because the artist wanted me to come for support so I stayed that day for a few hours as well!"
— Larry Johnson, Stratford, Connecticut
Learn how to be a real engineer through the Recording Connection.
"My mentor has now started to talk to me further in detail about mic placement, such as the on-center and off-axis approaches, combining degrees of both close and distant techniques, as well as how small placement variations can effect levels or improve the overall sound source. To end our training this week, we overdubbed some bongos. I got to sit in the big chair, set levels on the mic-pres, and recorded the track. My mentor played drums on an earlier track and this bongo track was being added to that mix. This was my second time sitting in the engineer’s chair and it felt great. My mentor is a pro musician and recording him makes the process feel seamless. How did the recording sound… awesome of course!"
— Craig Tully, Costa Mesa, California