October 2011 Reviews from our Students and Graduates
October 28, 2011 Success Stories
Learn the skills needed to become a successful audio engineer.
“This lesson was with my mentor was one that I had been looking forward to for quite some time, the week where I started console training. The console is eye candy that anyone aspiring to be an audio engineer wants to play with. My mentor has a beautiful analog API console board and I was extraordinarily excited to use it. My mentor is tremendously understanding, as well as kind so it makes it easy to talk to him about any questions I have. I got the opportunity to meet my mentors’ partner who is an absolutely hilarious and awesome guy. He made some of the funniest jokes I have heard in quite some time. We all sat down at the console and I asked some questions about how console busses work and a few other miscellaneous questions about signal flow automation, which I got prompt answers to. Learning the console was spectacular. My mentor demonstrated to me an in-depth way of understanding exactly the spectrum of uses for a console board and what he specifically used it for in his recordings, as well as what I might do with it in my interests with psychoacoustics. Once I got my fair share of tutoring I got to sit back and my mentors’ partner began using the console to go over my mentors’ mixes, adding a few more mastering and fine-tuning details. I watched intently to see the way the DAW was connected to the console and what he did in the process when he heard something he did not like or something that he felt needed fixing. We then talked about the signal flow with the busses in the console, as well as the differences between that and an auxiliary send. The day was great and I left my mentor feeling that The Recording Connection really displayed its magic in this instance. I say that because I did well on the quiz my mentor, and understood it like I would in a normal school. But, once I sat down to have the hands-on training with my mentor, I was still slightly unsure at first what to do, which is why this method of teaching that the Recording Connection implements is so wonderful and effective. Just physically having hands-on experience with what I had learned quickly filled that gap of discomfort that I would have still had if I had graduated from a normal school with no real life experience.”
— Altay Pulak, College Station, Texas
Learn the basics from your mentor.
“This was been my very first week in the studio with my mentor, and may I say, what an amazing experience it has been all ready. There are clearly many factors that go into running a studio, but what I have been focused on this week is the introduction to sound and hearing, and I have now learned about how our brains process sounds. I have also learned about the dangers of sound and how certain frequencies can be detrimental to our hearing. I have put my time into comprehending kilohertz and decibels’, being it is a new concept for me to wrap my head around. Although this is new concept to me, I have found it to be quite simple to process the details it inquires. I also spent time with my mentor on the understanding of studios as a whole. How different designs create different sounds. For example, a studio that records an orchestra may have one large room with separate small rooms off to the side. Those small rooms may be used for recording instruments that have a softer sound, those of which could not be captured properly with all of the different sounds in the main room. The rooms may also be use for vocal tracking as well. There are obviously many ways to set up a studio, it all depends on what sound the producers seek!”
— Katie Glynn, Birmingham, Alabama
Learn how to run recording sessions all by yourself.
“Today my mentor and I re-recorded some vocals for this club song my mentors’ client has in the works. This was an awesome experience for me because my mentor allowed me to run the recording session pretty much on my own with him guiding me over my shoulder. We had the typical issues with the clients’ notes being flat, or the timing of the notes being off. But I was able to spot out the flaws during the recording and it turned out pretty good at the end of the day. The next day we recorded vocals for another client’s new song that is due to be released soon. This was a very longwinded song so we had to alternate between tracks to provide him with time to get his breath. We actually were able to catch recording a lot easier than in the past because he was showing improvement in his ability to rap in a tone and timing that was sounding more professional. Then today at my mentors’ studio we recorded a new artist my mentor is working with. We mixed his amp with both a dynamic and condenser mic, then we slaved his Akai drum machine to the console to sync the drums into Pro Tools by connecting the Akai’s midi in to the console’s midi out. First we recorded the guitar tracks in only a few takes, and then we caught the vocal recording after two takes.
— Jason Findley, Spokane, Washington
Get all your questions answered with the assistance of your very own mentor.
“This week was my twelfth week in the studio with my mentor, which was very important and informative. I read each page at least twice just too fully get the gist of the reading the Recording Connection assigned me, then I rounded up some questions for Joey and like always he explained it all thoroughly. I even had questions before the lesson about compressors, as to when noise gates, side chains and limiters came into play, so I was really glad to get into class with my mentor, as compressors are definitely things you must learn hands-on. Now I know what the range and release dials truly do. Before I joined the Recording Connection I was just messing around with it hoping I could tell a difference. This lesson was very essential especially if I want to make it as an audio engineer. I believe I can say that I understood this lesson with my mentor pretty well.
— Albert Flordeliza, Burlington, New Jersey
Receive one-on-one training.
“First off let me say that my first session went great with my mentor. It was a very smart idea for me to have completed my first lesson assigned to me by the Recording Connection upon arriving for the first day at my mentors’ studio. This is because I found myself having to do a couple things in the studio that I had read about. Although these tasks were very minor, I had to setup a rack tuner which wasn't hard at all, but could be referenced back to my readings. My mentor next went over the quiz also assigned to me by the program and he did a very good job explaining things in detail, even if it wasn't necessary. I greatly appreciated this because I was able to write down some notes on a little extra information that I know will help in the future. I also got to stand by my mentor in the control room as he was working on a mix so I got to start getting a feel for the atmosphere while a mix was happening. I felt very comfortable and at that moment couldn't wait to start on my own mixes. I spent a lot of the time getting familiar with the studio and getting to know where everything was at. Overall I'd say the first day went great!”
— Thomas Gentil, Bremerton, Washington
Learn all that it takes to succeed in the music industry.
“Today was a mellow day in the studio today. I arrived at the studio and went right to work. Since it was a quiet day I just kept practicing everything I learned the last two weeks with my mentor. After practicing for a little while I started to play around with the programs and see what I could teach myself and I ended up making my first ever beat. It’s nothing too special and it’s only about 30 seconds but it’s still a start! I’m very anxious to build on it and make it into a full song! Then, the next day I started the day off by running a few errands for my mentor. When I got back me and a fellow apprentice (extern) sat down in one of the studio and I actually was teaching her some things! I couldn’t believe it; I was able to show her some things! I felt proud of myself because I felt that I was really learning. She ended up working on a brand new beat using a few tricks that I showed her. Then today with my mentor I learned a lot! First my mentor started to teach me about sound levels. He taught me the decibels for kick drums and bass and gave me some information on EQ. There was a lot of material he was going over and I didn’t get to catch it all at first. But afterwards I spoke with him and he said he will sit with me next week and go over it with me again so I’m very anxious to learn even about EQ. Besides EQ and levels, I learned how to mic a drum set. There is a lot to do when you mic a drum set. I was taking pictures and writing every step down. I felt these last few sessions with my mentor was a very productive day.
— William Coors, Shirley, New York
October 21, 2011 Success Stories
Learn my live demonstrations from you own personal mentor.
“This was my very first week in the studio with my mentor. When I first came into my mentors’ studio this week the first thing we went over was how to power up the studio, and down, if I ever to come in or leave before everyone else. Then we started the lesson by going over the actual recording process, which included Recording, Mixing, Mastering, and Production. We also talked about being fully prepared before the recording process even starts by having a small meeting with the client beforehand. We then proceeded to train on Sign waves, and my mentor even showed me using Pro Tools the different kinds of Sign waves, which are Square, Triangle, Sawtooth, as well as how they all sounded relative to a normal Pure wave. I also learned about the different Timbers of instruments and how if all sound waves were the same with all instruments then the instruments would all sound the same and have no distinct sound. I also came into my mentors’ studio the very next day for a couple of hours and learned about taking notes about where I place mics to get the same kind of sound in all the recordings, as we were looking at a group of tracks that have been recorded over the year in multiple sessions. First week I learned a lot and I’m so excited for the next week, there were many things that I learned that didn’t mention in the above, but these were the ones that really stood out to me because of how my mentor used real life examples to help me see what the book was explaining.”
— Jared Pugh, Newbury, Massachusetts
Work one-on-one with your mentor.
“This was my fifth official session with my mentor in the Recording Connection. We have been averaging about 2 lessons per week, which has been really great. I am so passionate about music and my mentor always takes the time to show me things that I may have questions on, as well as additional things that only real life experience can give you. With my sessions this week with my mentor we covered consoles, amplifiers, and microphones, as well as their placement. We ended the session with scheduling our sessions for the upcoming week; I am really looking forward to continuing with my training in the Recording Connection.”
— Vincent Fisher, Desoto, Texas
Accomplish your dreams in the Recording Connection.
“These weeks are going by so fast so I'm taking in everything for sure. I want be the best I can be, especially being an African American female in this industry. I love it in the Recording Connection! This week I went in the studio to learn about different microphones I will need to know, a well as learn how to use in the recording studio. I didn't know microphones, where something so small could be so powerful and useful in this industry. There is a lot I don’t know that I can truly say I'm ready to be a part of. Last Week R. Kelly was in the studio and I can't wait to work with so many amazing artist, this is just the start of many to come!”
— Kai Jackman, Orlando, Florida
Learn what it’s like in the day of the recording industry.
“Today was crazy when I got to my mentors studio. I walked in and there was an assistant engineer recording an artist. The music was very childlike but catchy. They were working on some Halloween tracks as well. The artist singing was super energetic! He was always laughing and even dancing in front of us when we would listen to the song. Well I guess he’s supposed to be like that since he does shows for kids. My mentor said he performed at the White House for some Easter shows! Tomorrow my mentor said I am going to record with him. After the artists left that studio for the day I had to show this new engineer assistant working for my mentor signal flow and how to start a new session. It was great practice for me to make sure I know what I’m doing. Next, we started to record some guitar but we had to leave the studio since there were some repairs to be done. So next me and my mentor sat down and discussed digital audio and dealing in the music business as a music producer and engineer. Very interesting information was given out by my mentor through the Recording Connection.”
— Peter Abdiel Rodriguez, Murietta, Georgia
Apply your training to real life situations.
“I've been doing very well at the studio with my mentor, the Recording Connection program has been amazing and so much fun. I've been setting up drum sets and micing them as well. I even miced up a piano as well. My mentor and I then recorded his clients as well as adjusted the volume and pitches on the Pro Tools equipment. I've been working with the patch bay as well and I actually set up my friends drum set at home, hooking up a mic for him to sing as well. The mic didn't work at first but I went through the list of possibilities that could be wrong and the first thing I checked was the cord and that was the problem. I got a new cord, hooked it up to the mic, and he was set to go. I'm having an awesome time in the Recording Connection.”
— Amanda Pantell, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Learn by doing.
“Today the studio was busy, everyone had a job to do. I was given the responsibility to cut a piece of audio for one of the head engineers, which was for a clients’ dance performance. It really helped me get around on Pro Tools and also gave me the potential to do something a little bigger. Another audio engineer in my mentors company then taught me the lesson the Recording Connection had assigned me. He’s by far the greatest teacher I’ve ever had in my learning experience from elementary to college. He’s very informative and gives lots of examples. A nice thing about it is that he doesn’t hold my hand. He lets me do it without interruption, truly guiding me. The lesson learned was pretty much the basics of the physics of sound. We looked at different waveforms and how they sound. Mixed and matched them to get other sounds. It was really cool. When I was making a nice pot of coffee, my mentor walked in and asked me what kind of wavelength is this on his cup and I of course answered. So that’s a good example that he tries to incorporate random stuff to keep me sharp. This was a great first week and I can’t wait to go again. This is going to be the best experience ever!!!”
— Nicklaus Rodriguez, Katy, Texas
October 14, 2011 Success Stories
Learn how to work in professional recording sessions.
"I sat in on a vocal session with my mentor. He was engineering for a guy producer and a track he produced for a singer of his. My mentor had to set up a vocal mic but he chose to do it in the large recording space, instead of a vocal booth, so I was able to pick his brain on his choices as well as his engineering approach to this session. I’ve been good about asking fundamental questions while he’s setting things up so I can understand exactly what my mentor is doing and why he’s doing it. My mentor explained all the cables and the mic he was using, including why as well as the microphone and pop filter angles which was very helpful. The session went smoothly as my mentor was solely an engineer and didn’t have to worry about production elements, like coaching the vocalist and these types of responsibilities. It was a very useful engineering session for my mentor where he basically handled the gear to facilitate the producer’s and artist’s vision."
— Bryan Ray, Austin Texas
Learn everything there is to know in a professional recording studio.
"My second session with my mentor was just as much if not more fulfilling as my very first session. It was amazing to have the feeling that every time I go into my mentors’ studio I know there will be lots of things going on to see and experience. So during the second session my mentor in the Recording Connection, I was mainly shown about how to track a guitar properly and all the things that go along with tracking a guitar, such as knowing what amps will be used during the recording session to record with, and what mics to use to record them with, and how the mics should be positioned towards the amp. One very interesting tip was that he showed us what a Direct Injection Box was and how important it was to use that to be able to record a copy of the clean signal, in case the sound from the amp is not up to par with what the artist or producer agrees with. When my mentor showed me how to position the mics on the speaker cabinet, he also explained more details specifically on how the microphones differ according to each model. In this case we used a mic with a figure 8 pattern and also a cardiod mic. After everything was setup correctly, my mentor started playing guitar, really awesome by the way, and we were recording the track. During the recording, he was showing a couple of the other apprentices who were further ahead in the lessons many tips in Pro Tools, and I was watching closely, as I am eager to learn the software as well. At the end of the session for this day with my mentor, I helped breakdown the equipment and will probably continue to help with that every time, which helps a lot to add to the entire experience of learning daily routines required to know in any professional recording studio. Again, I am excited and ready for the next session! Thank you Recording Connection!"
— Alexander Ahn, Brooklyn, New York
Work on your own projects with the assistance of your own personal mentor.
"This week was a lot of fun with my mentor. We went over the quiz the Recordingm Connection assigned me, then went straight to work on my song. My mentor isn’t only teaching me MIDI editing, but also helping build on my musical abilities. I learned a lot about staying in key and although I have been playing guitar for 15 years, I never learned to read music, or even learned scales. I have always just played by ear. My mentor is teaching me chromatic and penetonic scales while we edit my MIDI bass tracks. I never leave the studio displeased. I love this!"
— Jeremie Killinger, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Continue to learn more and more while observing professional recording sessions.
"Today with my mentor I was able to sit in on my second recording session for a rapper, whom my mentor has worked extensively with. It was a vocal tracking session but I was able to assist my mentor the entire time by setting setting up the vocal mic and filters in the booth. We set everything up for this session based on what my mentor showed me the week before. The rapper had a productive night with my mentor and I and we laid down great vocals on a song in under two hours! The artist and I chatted for a while after the session and then my mentor showed me a lot more on the board and what he was doing to the rappers’ vocals by running them through two compressors before they hit the board, one for the highs and one for the lows. This being my second time ever watching and helping my mentor set up the vocal mic, I am now feeling confident that I will now be able to see some other mic tactics using other mics for vocals during the upcoming recording sessions with my mentor."
— Bryan Ray, Austin Texas
October 7, 2011 Success Stories
Work on your own tracks with your mentors’ professional recording equipment.
"This week my mentor helped me get all of my own personal tracks I work on into his DAW Samplitude. Then I arranged them and made sure the drums were in phase with each other. Next I normalized the all the tracks and brought down the volume about 1 db. I then worked on the EQ for the kick and snare, attempting to get them as level as possible. I next brought in the over heads, panned them to add a spacey presence and did the same. After that I patched the kick and the snare into my mentors’ distressor compressors to level the dynamic range so I could boost them up and keep them hot in the mix. After I got a mix that I liked I took a break from the song so I could come back to it and listen to it in a newer light. I called in the lead guy in the band and had him listen to the mix, asking what he didn't like and what he did like as we played around with different pannings and mixes until he really liked it. Honestly, my song sounded amazing to me. I didn't think the song I recorded in a basement with four tracks at a time could turn out so well! I listened to the song over and over so I could cut out muddy frequencies and boost the clearer songs. After I felt comfortable with the mix I patched the two mixes into my m mentors’ Carter Oak EQ unit and patched it's out into the Charter Oak Compressor and into the A/D convertor of the Crane Song Spider mixing console. My mentor then proceeded to show me how to make the sound clearer and bring out the overall sound in the mix and then we recorded from the Sphere's Two Mix\EQ\Compressor\Crane Song A/D back onto a stereo track on the computer. All and all it was a very fun and enlightening lesson to the pressures of a mix down session."
— Ross Polley, Bloomington, Indiana
Receive hands-on training to understand hard to grasp concepts.
"Today was my very first lesson with my mentor at his recording studio. I had prepared my weekly assignment the Recording Connection had already assigned me so I had a basic understanding of how the lesson would go, but I was still nervous. Those nerves faded away as soon as I sat down with my mentor in his luxurious studio control room. I immediately felt relaxed and became more comfortable asking questions as the lesson progressed. Every question I had was met by an easy to understand yet comprehensive answer. I don't think I've ever learned so much in three hours! Lesson #1 pertained to the basic understanding of sound. We discussed sound waves, phasing, pitch, envelopes and timbre. I had a basic understanding of everything from doing the homework but my mentor was able to help me fully grasp the concepts through detailed explanation and hands-on examples. My first lesson exceeded my expectations and I am grateful to have a mentor that I get along with and that is so knowledgeable. Most importantly, one that is able to share his wisdom in a patient, direct and practical way. I look forward my second session with my mentor in the Recording Connection!"
— Robin Brett, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Learn from the pros.
"For my session today with my mentor we went over the questions to the quiz the Recording Connection had assigned me. During this review my mentor explained the questions that needed corrections. He then introduced me to Pro Tools, seeing as it is a very valuable tool in the recording arts. First, he gauged my knowledge of recording to see where I stood. Then we started with the basics; how to open a new file, what the program looks like. He explained the basic constructs of a mixing board, mostly what groups of buttons and switches correspond to the aspects of recording. I came to the conclusion that Pro Tools basically replaces a good portion of a mixing board. To my request he explained the similarities between the set up in a recording studio and a live environment, and to my surprise the similarities outweigh the differences. To wrap up the day at the studio, my mentor showed me some tips on Phase, which he said would benefit me in the long run as it is an easy tool to overlook inevitably stunting your ability to record with ease. I feel as though I'm picking things up at a very good pace. My mentor is great at explaining what he's doing in a way that I can understand and makes sure that I am keeping up so this is great! The first session was amazing, I'm already positive this was the right decision in my part to join the Recording Connection."
— Patrick Lynch, Hagerstown, Maryland
Apply your training you your very own home studio.
"For my third session ever with my mentor I got there around 1pm. I tidied up various areas around studio and primered/painted a wall in the repair lab as there was a band booked to finish tracking their project. Here I got to observe them add in some keyboards and more vocal tracks. The duration of my day in the studio today was 9 hours and just after just a few weeks of studying this Recording Connection course, and sitting in on recording sessions with my mentor, I've picked up on many things that I had overlooked during my own prior research and experience before I joined this program. Specifically I am referring to a better understanding microphone placement and because of this, my latest home studio recordings have seen a boost in clarity. Knowing how to better treat my own home studio, I can push quality even further. I've learned a lot from everyone at the studio as well, including my mentor. They've all become friends of mine, always taking the time to make sure that I understand 100% what is being taught. Very much looking forward to my next session with my mentor."
— Bryce Burke, Mount Braddock, Pennsylvania
Work hands-on with Pro Tools.
"Today was my first day at my mentors’ studio working with him. He gave me a tour of the recording studio, and explained what type of work they usually get there. I played with the quadraphonic console a bit to familiarize myself. Next my mentor and I talked a lot about mixing. I got to watch him mix a side project he is working on, and learned some very good techniques for mixing trumpet, which I currently play, so that was great! He also helped me out with a mix I’m currently working on. Overall, it was a calm, but good day. I spent the entire today working hands-on with Pro Tools at my mentors’ studio. I was working on layering in drum samples to a project my mentor is also finishing up next week. No one was in the recording studio at all so it really was great practice. It is excellent experience to have the studio to myself, and although I was doing tasks I’ve been familiar with for a long time, it was still a confidence builder to be able to come in, turn everything on, do an editing session, and shut it all down…all myself."
— Ryan Hunter, Los Angeles, California