Recording Connection Success Stories, Page 54

March 10, 2012 Student Quotes

Learn how the professionals run a recording studio.

"This week my mentor allowed me to audit other classes prior to my own, which I am more than grateful for. I arrived in the morning as my mentor was finishing up another lesson, and shortly thereafter, another lesson began. The class I was auditing was one that I had the opportunity of doing so before, so it was exciting to see as other students moved forward in their own lessons and working with Pro Tools. As I’ve stated before, watching other students work with their songs as they mix, edit, and make them sound all-around great, is very exciting and makes me look forward to when I have the opportunity to do the same. A few hours later my own lesson began, in which I was allowed to bring in an amplifier and use different microphones to see how they differ from one another in placement and sound when micing a guitar amplifier. It was exciting to be able to actually use several of the microphones and see how they all have their individual sounds and characteristics. The next day I had the chance to audit two more of my mentors’ classes, which is always interesting. Both classes I sat in on were doing the same thing as the class I audited the day before, so it was interesting to once again see and hear how everyone mixes and edits differently according to their personalized tastes. Having been in the Recording Connection program for what is now almost two months, and having had the opportunity to audit so many classes, has been great. I feel more confident about my knowledge and my ability to grasp the coming concepts and work in the weeks to come."

Learn how to work in your mentors’ recording studio.

“Upon meeting my mentor this week I began by sitting in on a staff meeting, getting a chance to see how the employees work day to day. They went over problems with the day’s previous recordings, as well as how to anticipate fixing these things before the session starts. My mentor and I next went through the first lesson, talking in-depth about the way the studio runs and how to act professionally in the studio. Looking forward we have set up my schedule to start by myself going in two days per week. Mondays will be my “extern” days, shadowing an engineer and their day’s practices. Thursday will be my student days going over the lessons assigned to me by the Recording Connection program. I’m very excited to have started this process… commuting to and from the city is something way out of my comfort zone and it feels good to tackle such a challenge on my own”

Work with well-known Reggae artists.

“I arrived at my mentors’ studio for my first true day of being in the “business”. My mentor was running slightly behind due to having to do some audio transfers for a Jamaican reggae legend. Being a big reggae fan, and after my mentor had pointed out to me who exactly I had just shook hands with, I was already feeling excited to see what the next 6 months or so will have to offer me here in the Recording Connection. After my mentor had finished with his client, we sat down and discussed the first lesson. He offered me very useful information that the Recording Connection book didn’t quite cover in-depth, giving me a few pointers to note when it comes time for me to learn how to properly mix. After we had finished discussing the lesson, the member from a well-known punk rock band, who I had previously met over a month ago on my interview day, had arrived and immediately remembered who I was and the conversation we had. It was an interesting feeling to have an established artist come up to me and talk to me as if we’ve been friends for years. I also had a chance to meet some of the other engineers and externs in the studio, making some valuable connections both inside and outside of music. In short my first day was more of a “getting the feel of things” kind of day, and I’m very excited to see where it takes me from here”

Learn by doing

"This week, the official third week in the Recording connection program, which was a very interesting lesson for me, where I got to learn about all the different types and applications of microphones, which was a lot of very new information to me. And learning the signal flow off of my mentors’ professional recording studio was also such a cool lesson to learn. Going off of the assigned reading alone, the concept of the differences in makeup between dynamic and condenser microphones was difficult to grasp; However, once my mentor actually took me into the mic locker and explained everything further, it all came together. My externship day this week was spent hovering over the Console in awe watching the art that my mentor is mixing for a clients’ album. I was unbelievable to see how much work goes into an album when the artist is not present. I am without a doubt most interested in the mixing part of the recording process. Seeing my mentor run every different instrument and vocal track through different compressors and EQ’s to make each track on the album totally unique was out of this world."

March 17, 2012 Student Quotes

Learn all there is to know about the Console.

“I have now entered into my 5th week in the Recording Connection, Introduction to The Console. Fortunately I have a lot of time behind a Console but when I come to a huge desk like the 64 channel SSL that my mentor has, well that changes everything! Even though I feel confident working with the SSL, the toughest part is still signal flow. There are probably a million different routing options that you can do in the studio with this Console and it can be a bit overwhelming. My mentor really took the time and walked me through the SSL and how everything gets routed to it. I am just amazed with the complexity, and the connectivity his Console has. I have had the great opportunity to work on all deferent types of consoles digital, analogue, and control surfaces, however the opportunity to work with a Console like the SSL is just an awesome experience!!!”

Work hands-on while enrolled in the Recording Connection.

“Today my mentor had a local artist bring in his friends as a band to record some tracks in the studio. He had us interns run the entire session! We had to set up all of the musician’s equipment and use the proper microphones, placing them in the best places in order to get the best sound. We hooked everything up and patched everything through to the sound board into the Pro Tools. My mentor helped us a little with the signal flow and patching through to the proper inputs in the computer. We got everything up and running and were ready to track and start recording. We ran the whole session and fixed any problems along the way. This was such a great hand-on opportunity from start to finish recording a live band. The more I do it the more confident I get in my abilities to run a session the way true professionals do it. Every time I record live at my mentors’ studio I get the experience in for when I am completely on my own. Today, following yesterday’s session, my mentor had me and another extern take a little quiz he had drawn out on a piece of paper in which he drew out a map of the “A” room. The quiz was about getting to know and be familiar with what and where everything is in the live room. We all did well! Next my mentor had us run through how we set up everything during yesterday’s session. We ran through the signal flow patching all the way through to Pro Tools. He then had us set up two different Microphones and turned on a small radio so we could mic them in the “A” room. We learned how to get the signal flow in through two different ways. Then we went into the digital main board on the Mackie control board in the “B” room. We are getting more familiar with the “B” room first and the digital board in that room so that we can first get everything down. Then we will move up to the bigger “A” control room. Very fun and exciting sessions going on and coming up as well! I am really gaining a lot of experiences with live music recording!”

Make important contacts while enrolled in the Recording Connection.

“In this studio lesson I learned all about digital sampling and bit rates. My mentor showed me everything I needed to know about these topics. He went on to explain how he chooses his sampling and bit rates when he goes into a session. He told me to look at two things in order to determine the rates of recording. First being what you are recording, whether it is a rock band or just a voice over for a book reading, and the second being the computer and system you will be using. The second is important because some computers cannot handle higher processing rates. After the lesson, I stuck around for a recording session that he had scheduled that night. The artist was Michael Jackson’s cousin! He knew how to groove. I guess that’s why they call him Michael Smooth. Mr. Smooth also brought in his son who rapped in the song. Once I let them know that their engineer was my mentor, Smooth JR. and I exchanged contact information for the future. Only my second day and I am already gaining contacts? Who would’ve thought?!!”

Network with the professionals.

“My mentor has continued to tutor me about midi, automation and synchronization. I took a large amount of time needed to recognize all the useful hot keys and functions in Pro Tools more efficiently. Moreover, my mentors partner in the studio was there recording my mentor and I learned about several of the midi programs and 3rd party midi/usb devices. I looked closely at his steps in engineering, such as checking the headphone mixes, making sure the guitars are in tune, and reducing headphone leakage by turning down the click output for the performers. My mentor also was nice to come over to my actual house and listen to my setup and help me out recording and mixing, and giving me tips!! One of my monitors has been distorting and he helped me figure out what was the cause of it. We switched interfaces, cables, and speakers to see that it was defiantly my monitor making the noise. It’s quite disappointing, but my mentor helped me out by giving me a good reference who can maybe find and fix the problem with the speakers cone and get it repaired. I am really thankful for that. I basically meet somebody new every time I go over there and get really great advice.”

Work one-on-one with the professionals.

“Today at the recording studio my mentor and I learned how to set up a new audio file and make a folder for a track my mentor and I had made together. I got the opportunity to recording one-on-one with my mentor playing the bass guitar to one of the clients’ original songs. In the Recording Connection I am learning so much about the recording process, as well as the details alike how to set up the folder to have all of the audio files saved, always ensuring I write detailed notes with instruction on the different steps to do this, as well so I can look over them when I’m not in the studio and working on my studies at home. Having a great time in the Recording Connection!”

Learn by doing.

“My mentor and I have been focusing on time-based effects such as reverb and delay. I already had a pretty good understanding of these effects from my years using them while playing guitar. These lessons with my mentor showed me how to use them to make my mixes fit together better. By using the same reverb plug in on a few different instruments, vocal, acoustic, and guitar, you could make multiple tracks sound like they are “in the same room”. I used reverb on my acoustic guitar tracks that I recorded at home to give them a fuller sound and make up for the small room that they were recorded in. Reverb can also be used effectively by moving a certain track into the background by making it seem farther away. This is another trick I used to help my amateur mixes sound a so much better! Next my mentor moved on to an overview of the previous lessons in order to see if there was anything we needed to go over again. We focused on signal flow, using the Patch Bay, setting up a session in Pro Tools, and using plug ins effectively. Everything went smoothly as far as both parties were concerned! I also got the chance to have a great conversation with my mentor about his personal journey and the music industry as a whole. This has been one of my favorite parts of this whole experience in the Recording Connection. The skills and knowledge that I have gained from my conversations with my mentor will definitely serve me well down the road!”

March 3, 2012 Student Quotes

Work with professional recording equipment.

“I could not ask for a better mentor to work with. He is the best and I have learned and gained an incredible amount of experience. It’s amazing, working on a SSL console along with the Neve Console just rules!”

Learn something new every day in the Recording Connection.

“On today’s lesson my mentor and I covered a couple of chapters from the past few classes. I am very excited to now have earned my credits and have moved onto working with the MBox and Pro Tools. My mentor shows me a lot of different steps to approach when we are working on a project and I have also even started to use some Midi tracks in the studio, and I must say, the Midi Interface is amazing! It allows a person to use so many options at one time. While still learning to use the analog, it is just a ton of fun to learn something new every day in the Recording Connection.”

Learn about different types of musical genres.

“Today I went in to the studio to help organize everything! And guess what, I got to work on organizing all the studios vinyl records. We organized them by genre and then alphabetized them. I love it! When I was organizing the vinyls I took down names of new Artists I wanted to hear. Then I looked them up on YouTube and bought some of the music! I’ve found new genres of music I like now too! I love the diversity of the music I hear while working in the studio. I also helped with answering phones, keeping the front of the house secured, as well as my book work assigned to me by the Recording Connection program. Next I sat in on an editing and mixing session, learning much more about Compressors and the final mix. I learned more about the compressor and mixing programs, not only the rules to remember to edit the most efficiently and still get the best sound you can.”

Achieve your goals with the help of professional engineers.

“The studio I extern for is truly an inspiring and amazing facility to work with through the Recording Connection program. Each studio in the facility has its own vibe and certain feel to it to grasp ideas, new methods, and techniques of recording. Meeting my mentor and seeing what he has done career-wise, I must say, I was really truly impressed. My mentor and I have a really good vibe towards grasping the fundamentals of what we’re going over for the lesson for that day in question. This week we started with physics, and electronics, going over the first reading section of the both books assigned to me by the Recording Connection. After our in-depth review my mentor showed me current projects that he, as well as his staff engineers’ in the studio have been currently working on and I was very impressed with those as well. I look very much forward to next week and to continue the on-going process of achieving my dreams.”

Work hand-in-hand with your mentor.

“This week in my lesson with my mentor I was once again allowed to audit a class preceding my own and went in at noon. I had the opportunity to audit another class in which the students had just received their MBox and Pro Tools, where they were beginning to edit and mix several songs. Having done this several times prior, I’m starting to be able to answer the questions that my mentor presents on my own, making my confidence rise for when my time comes to do the same. Afterwards, my lesson began and I had the opportunity to pair-up with another extern who was only a few lessons behind where I currently am. For most of the lesson, we focused on the other students’ lesson, which turned out to be a great review of the Patch Bay. Towards the end of the scheduled lesson we moved on to my lesson plan, providing me with a quick run-down of what I had a firm grasp of, and what I needed to review more. The following day I had another great opportunity to audit more classes, and arrived at bright and early that morning. As I entered the studio my mentor first some questions I had in regard to the lesson the day before. We ended up waiting for the scheduled student for about a half-hour to no avail, so Rick offered up the opportunity to grab another lesson until the next class began. While I was caught a bit off-guard, I’m fortunate and happy that he gave me the opportunity to do so. We reviewed the things I had gotten incorrect in the first lesson, and actually moved on the lesson 7, which is completed, but will be sent in next week. Since lesson 7 is microphone placement, I actually asked my mentor if during our lesson next week I could bring in a guitar and amplifier and we could actually practice microphone placement and techniques. He agreed, and next week I’ll be bringing a guitar and amplifier to the studio in order to play and hear the differences in microphone placement sound! Another lesson began at noon that I audited, in which even more students were working on mixing and editing their assigned songs. I had the opportunity to observe at least 4 people working on the songs, and it’s exciting to think that’ll I’ll be doing the same in just a few short weeks. Thank you Recording Connection! I really do appreciate all the hard work you do for me, as well as the encouragement, which is awesome.”

Work with the famous engineers in the music industry.

“This lesson was pretty short but nonetheless, very interesting as well. It was all about MIDI and how it works. I learned that MIDI cables have five prongs in the end of them, and apparently they can be used for MIDI and Roland. Some pins are used for MIDI and some of them are used for Roland when they need to be. This is very interesting how MIDI works with Pro Tools because if you hook up a keyboard to it with MIDI, Pro Tools doesn’t record it as audio, it records it as MIDI files so you can basically make the keyboard any instrument and every note you can imagine. My mentor was telling me that when he worked with Madonna, they used to daisy chain a bunch of different keyboards together to get these very diverse sounds because you can choose which keyboards are used for the input, output, or thru. I also learned that the Logic program works a lot better with MIDI than Pro Tools does but Pro Tools is better with recording audio and has better editing tools as well. I have worked with MIDI before with my friend’s rig before so I’m pretty familiar with how it works. So that was a pretty cool lesson with my mentor! After that, my mentor was doing some bass tracking and then he was going to record some vocals and he actually let me run the recording session all by myself. I think I did a pretty good job and also made a composite vocal track from all of the different takes that we recorded and found the best parts from all of them. So that was a really cool experience and I can’t wait for next week for my next lesson with the Recording Connection.”

February 25, 2012 Student Quotes

Learn all there is to know about recording equipment.

“On lesson four this week with my mentor I was able to learn about patch bays, TT cables, and how to daisy chain the patch bay to other compressors. Patch panels, or patch bays, are useful for a number of reasons, one being that it helps a lot with cable management, as it allows for interconnecting in a flexible manner; and, two being that patch bays facilitate the connection of different devices, such as microphones, amplifiers, and other recording gear. Also, I learned about inserts and auxiliary sends. The benefit of using an auxiliary send is that it enables the signals from multiple channels on a mixing Console to be simultaneously routed to a single outboard device. The audio output of the outboard unit is connected to the auxiliary return input on the mixing console, or as an alternative it can be connected to one of the input channels on the mixing Console. Moreover, an insert is an access point built into the mixing console, allowing the user to add external line level devices into the signal flow between the preamp and the mix bus. Afterwards, I learned how to bus an effect in Pro Tools. For example, I learned how to run all the vocal tracks into a reverb bus instead of applying that reverb to each track. I did this by creating an AUX channel, and then set the send to the corresponding bus. Lastly, I was also able to learn that with equalization settings there is no rule or lesson in finding an EQ that works well. It takes experimentation until you find a setting that is good. Overall, the lesson with my mentor went very well. I enjoy working with a first-class mentor, who knows what he is doing, and is willing to have a good time while giving me the lessons.”

Learn all there is to know about recording equipment.

“My first session this week was a long one, and a very productive day at that. There was a band that came in to do an entire-day tracking session, starting from scratch. There were 3 guitarists, a bass player, and a vocalist. They recorded all the instruments in the sound stage with a mic on each instrument and then 3 room mics to pick up the overall sound. I helped set up all the mics and then watched as the other engineer positioned them. I now have an idea of where the mic needs to be when recording a guitar and bass. They recorded 5 songs that day and they all sounded pretty good. They recorded the acoustic guitars in the sound stage but recorded their electric guitars and bass in the control room through the use of a DI. It was an interesting day and I learned a lot. A few days later I went in for my second session with my mentor, which was quite similar to the first, however it was only a tracking session for keyboard and guitar. There were 4 tracks that were recorded at an earlier time which needed keyboard and guitar parts to bring more life to them. I enjoyed watching the session because the keyboard player was really good and I liked what he was playing on the tracks. The guitar player only played on 2 of them but what he added just made the songs better. They just did a bunch of different takes and tried different things and it turned out to be a great session because the songs sounded great. The next day I went in for my third lesson of the week, which turned out to be a very easy one. There wasn’t really anything going on but I went to the studio so my mentor and I took that time to my homework assigned to me from the Recording Connection program.”

Work in a professional recording studio.

“In this week in the Recording Connection program I learned much more about the fundamentals of editing and midi. What each pin is used for the In/Out/Thu ports as well as what they send or receive. Midi is extremely easy to edit and configure because it uses a piano score-like layout where you can add, shape, adjust velocity, as well as place notes wherever you want on the grid without having to hit the record button! I have really begun to learn a lot of the hotkeys or shortcuts in Pro Tools and it has really sped up my recording and mixing. I’ve been sitting in a lot of my mentors recording sessions as well lately, meeting very cool musicians and having great conversations with them in regards to music and/or recording. I’ve also even been keeping in touch with one that I got play piano for in my mentors’ studio, he has been giving me great advice musically.”

Work hands-on during live recording sessions.

“Today was the start of week five in the Recording Connection. Everything is moving smoothly and I am starting to get the hang of a lot of the equipment and other processes in my mentors’ studio. In today’s lesson my mentor was showing me his mixing board. I have been looking forward to learning about the board since the beginning because I always thought that it was such a big step in the recording process. Come to find out it’s not even a step haha! The board is mainly used to adjust sound the quality at which it is played, but u can also do this digitally on the your cpu or laptop. All in all it was a great lesson in order to now understand what I am looking at is important and is now slowly becoming more and more easy as each session with my mentor passes. The next day I also went into the studio, where my mentor and I got more in-depth with the Console and its inner workings. I also got to work with an artist that continues to come in and record with my mentor. He is a very talented up and coming hip-hop artist that my mentor works with quite a bit. He is a nice guy and very easy going, also never minding constructive criticism, which is always a good thing in my opinion. When you can work with someone who can take that and turn it into positive work is truly a real joy to see. My mentor let me use the console to help this artist with recording one of his songs. It took me a few takes to actually get down what I was doing, but once I was able to get the hang of it things started to move along very smoothly. It was really exciting sitting in the driver’s seat and actually working with an artist as I now begin to get my hands dirty…. now that’s rewarding.”

Learn by doing.

“At the beginning of the week I started out by going into the studio first thing Monday morning, immediately starting by helping everyone set up for a recording session in the Live “A” room, which was going to be tracked in the “B” room. This is a session among friends and my mentor will be playing bass along with the band. A local artist and friends are in to record some practice tracks. The engineer asked me to pull up a brand new session on the Console in the “B” room and I also set up all the inputs and outputs in Pro Tools. Once set up, my mentor and I started the session and I was behind the board tracking the entire session. Awesome learning how to get a session up and running on my own! The next day in the studio I spent with a local artist. She is a vocalist and will be laying down vocals overdubbed on a two track instrumental beat. She is a professional and has done this many times before. As an extern got to practice recording her tracking her takes as I started to get used to being behind the Console and practicing my keyboard commands on Pro Tools. Once the song was finished tracking I learned all about different plug-ins, as well as what they do and how they work. Auto tune, reverb, and equalizer are just a few I was messing with to see what kind a difference it would make to the sound. I ended up giving the artist a raw unmixed track to take home while I keep a copy and use it to learn how to mix. This was a very good hands-on opportunity on how to track vocals with stacking and learning Pro Tools plug ins! Two days later I went in to see my mentor again. We started out that morning in a session going on in the “A” room, as a horn player was in the studio doing some overdubbing on tracks. I sat in session for a little while, watching and learning as the head studio engineer tracked the session. My mentor even asked me to come out and help the newest extern in the Recording Connection with one of his lesson assignments. He asked me to come out to the patch board and explain and show the difference between open and normaled patch bays. After that he had me power up the “B” room, trace signal flow, and set up a session on my own following the signal flow from all the mics and direct inputs into the Console and Pro Tools. I messed around with recording and tracking in Pro tools and finally was able to run my own session!”

February 18, 2012 Student Quotes

Work in a professional recording studio.

“My first session this week in the Recording Connection was a long one, as well as very productive. There was a band that came in to do a whole day tracking session, starting from scratch. There were 3 guitarists, a bass player, and a vocalist. They recorded all the instruments in the sound stage with a mic on each instrument and then 3 room mics to pick up the overall sound. I helped set up all the mics and then watched as the other engineer positioned them to teach me how to do this for sessions to come. I now have an idea of where the mic needs to be when recording a guitar and bass. They recorded 5 songs that day and they all sounded pretty good. They recorded the acoustic guitars in the sound stage but recorded their electric guitars and bass in the control room through the use of a DI. It was an interesting day and I learned a lot!”

Find out all the answers from the professionals in your field.

"I got great hands-on experience this week with my mentor, where we worked on plug-ins that come with Pro Tools. First, I got a lot of hands-on experience just from the tutorials in the textbook the Recording Connection provided me with, plus hands-on experience watching my mentor actually insert plug-ins into channels, showing me how the plug-ins make a difference in the overall sound of the particular signal. We went over the questions as usual, getting into a brief discussion on why you would want to bypass a plug in during the recording/mix down process. We went over the Compressor, Limiter, and Delay plug-ins, all in very good detail. The compression tutorial in the Recording Connection textbook also helped me to develop a few questions from the experience I had working with it in Pro Tools. I had a few questions for my mentor, for example, if the Audio EQ, Peaking Filter, Shelving Filter, High Pass/Low Pass Filter were all stand alone plug ins or attributes within the Parametric EQ, Selectable Free EQ, Graphic EQ, etc. Basically, everything is a parameter within the Audio EQ. I had questions regarding why you would set up an additional aux track to send a vocal/instrument to reverb, rather than just adding reverb to that particular channel strip. We discussed the Key Input feature, which is an attribute on most plug-ins, and what its actual purpose was. We really went over several topics in such great detail, even going over what an Oscillator does, which it generates a standard tone, which is usually used for the Synthesizer plug in. My last question we went over was in regards to the Octave. I didn’t really understand exactly what an Octave was, but now that is cleared up thanks to my Recording Connection mentor. Throughout asking all these questions, my mentor was demonstrating a more hands-on look and feel in answering the questions I was asking. This was a big help for me and it definitely helped me to understand and grasp more of the concept of what these plug-ins, as well as features within plug ins did, as well as were actually used for. I had a good hands-on experience in regards to Pro Tools this week with my mentor, and the plug-ins that were involved as well. I can’t wait to continue to get my hands dirty once I receive my credits to a certain point and earn my very own Pro Tools hardware/software, and really dive into the Pro Tools experience even more."

Receive a deeper understanding of how to work with Pro Tools.

“Time based reverb, echo and delay for signal processing was not a difficult subject to compute with my mentor this week during our training session. As I am currently a dance club DJ, I like to use a lot of effects that are built in to my software, as well as my digital mixer. Having the experience and understanding of what these effects sound like, as well as how they can enhance a mix, is something I’m already knowledgeable of. It’s great to have an even deeper understanding of what is happening to the signal during this process, as well as how time, pitch and tone all play their part. Class was cut short this week because of harsh weather conditions and power outages. However, I was able to get Pro Tools up and running on my computer and I was able to spend my day away from the studio still learning the software on my own. Even though the weather interrupted my class schedule I feel I still obtained my fair share of knowledge, by being able to use Pro Tools on my own time and in my own setting!”

Ensure you establish a solid foundation for your continued success is the music industry.

“This past week my mentor and I went over a number of important topics involved in the music industry. I have a bad habit of trying to relate these new subjects to things I already know that aren’t always related to the new material I am learning in the Recording Connection. I was doing too much of guessing, instead of sitting back and analyzing the current subject for what it was. So, my mentor and I went over Sampling rates, Distortion, quantization, binary code, different types of formatting for audio files, phase, The Nyquist Theorem, and other things pertaining to the physics of sound from the prior lesson to make sure I had a firm foundation for the upcoming lessons. All in all, a great lesson!”

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