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  #1  
Old 05-23-2005, 06:20 AM
Eric Heil Eric Heil is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

I have made the attempt to move this post here because this is a relavent topic and important to all of us currently in the field or just getting in!

I will post the original document that seemed to be causing such a ferver:

Keys to Success at a Studio
#826700 - 05/18/05 10:07 AM Edit Reply Quote



Keys to Success at a Studio
(Things every intern should know)

Please let me begin by telling you that everyone you will be working with at your studio has been through and done EVERYTHING you are about to do! Contrary to what you may have imagined or have been told, your job as an intern is to support the Senior Staff and represent the studio in the best possible and most professional light. It is not to “WOW” the staff, producers, or clients with your knowledge, expertise or “What you did in school” or elsewhere. Most times, the tasks you will be given will seem degrading or “Beneath you”. However, your role at the studio IS vital and I promise that if you approach every task eagerly and complete them quickly and to the very best of your ability, you WILL get what you came for!

This time in your career is extremely important to your success in every facility you go to (Even your own if you have one some day). Any production house such as the studio you will be working at is not just designed to provide the clients with great product. It is also to make the clients, engineers and producers feel comfortable and at home so that they can give their very best performance and want to come back for EVERY project they have. That means you need to help provide a safe, clean, friendly and professional environment so that everyone can feel “At Home”. To that end, here is a list of “Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Do dress business casual-Pants with no holes/patches/sayings/safety pins, etc., a golf shirt or long/short sleeve shirt with a collar and appropriate footwear.

2. Do be properly bathed and groomed.

3. Don’t EVER be late! That one will, at the very least, put you on the bottom of the list of people the Staff will invite into a session and, at worst, mean your termination from the studio.

4. Do memorize the studio’s inventory of equipment, how it operates and where/how each item must be placed when asked to retrieve or put back an item.

5. Do ask a Senior Staff member before touching ANY piece of equipment. You may inadvertently destroy someone’s “Setup” or the product they have been working on and have a deadline to complete.

6. Don’t offer suggestions to Senior Staff or clients no matter how brilliant you think it is or how wrong you believe they are. Everyone has their own way of doing things and if you wait long enough, the reason for their actions will become clear. If you would like to know why, ask ONLY the Senior Staff and ONLY when they are not working on a project and are not in front of the client.

7. Do assume that every closed door is a session in progress. You may enter only if “Invited” or a message needs to be delivered. (More on messages later).

8. Do use “Yes, Mr.______” or “Yes, Ms.______ to address ANYONE unless you are instructed by that individual to do otherwise.

9. Do speak only when spoken to.

10. Do respect and protect the privacy and intellectual property of ALL individuals at the studio. That means don’t name drop to your friends or persons on the phone and NEVER make unauthorized copies of ANY material for ANY reason.

11. Do keep all areas of the facility spotlessly clean and stocked. Make lists of items that are in short supply or gone and give that list to your coordinator ASAP. Clean all areas as if your absolute “Favorite artist in the whole world” will be using it because they just might!

12. Don’t interrupt ANY conversation. Wait until you are recognized or there is a break in the conversations and always say, “Pardon me Mr. or Ms. ______... “

13. Do keep a smile on your face no matter how bad your day I going. A positive attitude will make others around you want to help and teach you what they know (…and that’s what you’re there for isn’t it?)

14. Do keep your word. If you tell someone you will do something, DO IT! If you are in the middle of another task, properly weigh the priority of the second task or cordially ask the individual if you may complete the task you are currently working on first. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed and ALWAYS politely ask for help when you need it. You will garner more respect and it will help you to delegate responsibility when YOU are in a position of authority.

15. Do keep a small note pad in your pocket to take down important information (like the 25 different microphone model numbers the producer just asked you to retrieve).

More on messages and phone etiquette:

1. Never let the phone “Ring off the hook” if a receptionist is not on duty and a Staff member has not picked up by the 3rd ring, ANSWER IT!

2. The proper way to answer the phone is: “Thank you for calling "Big Time Studios", this is ________. How may I help you?”

3. Always put EVERY message into the phone log. Make sure you include: The callers first AND last name, who the caller would like to speak to, a “brief” message from the caller to the recipient (… in regard to…), the number where the caller can be reached, your name and (if possible) when the caller’s message can be returned by the recipient.

4. NEVER verify if the person the caller is trying to reach is or is not at the facility unless you KNOW they are expecting or want to take the call. (Sometimes the person they are trying to reach is too busy or has some other reason they are not available) You may say, “I’m not sure but I will take a message and make sure they get it.”

5. Always ask the caller to repeat any information you did not hear or did not understand and record it accurately in the phone log! You will appear genuinely concerned about the caller’s needs and ensure the recipient gets accurate information.

6. If the recipient is in a “Closed Door Session”, open the door slowly and quietly. DO NOT KNOCK!!! Wait for a Staff member to recognize your presence and place a copy of the message down in front of the Staff member, wait a few seconds to make sure they don’t have any questions for you and then silently exit the room.

These are just the “Basics”. Your coordinator will give you more complete instructions. Make sure you follow them “To the Letter”! The image in the eyes of the Senior Staff of you will be, “WOW! Now there’s a ‘Go Getter’! That’s who I need for my session with ‘Mr. Super Star’!” Then you will get what you came for!

Good Luck in all you do!


--------------------
"Make a sweet noise !"

theheilious
The Loft Recording Studio-Atlanta
Your Affordable Recording Solution !
www.TheLoftAtlanta.com
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2005, 12:09 AM
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Ryan Young Ryan Young is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

I'm going to be exactly in this situation, whether it's paid/non-paid internship or entry level job. Some of it is kind of common sense, be professional and don't be stupid. However, there are a lot of other great things that are good reminders. Thanks a lot for the post and wish me luck! (Pro Tools Certification in 3 weeks, then it's off to looking at studios)

Quick question about the certification and the digidesign website listing... Have you gotten any jobs/customers by listing yourself on the site? Has the certification helped you out any better than not having it? Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2005, 01:24 AM
fantompowr fantompowr is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Quote:

Quick question about the certification and the digidesign website listing... Have you gotten any jobs/customers by listing yourself on the site? Has the certification helped you out any better than not having it? Thanks!
Nope. I have operator level in music and post. Only one job I have applied for had requirements for 6.x certification, and that was because it was a brand new studio (I still found it strange that it was a requirement though). I've gotten zero jobs that were purely as a result of my listing on the digi site (as far as I know). When people want to hire an engineer, they usually don't go there to look for one.

Those exams are ridiculous. Most of the questions are completely impractical...like for example knowing how many playlists or memory locations you can have. Who gives a [bleep]? How does that make you a better operator? It won't help you much in your employment search. Then again, it doesn't hurt you either. Just get out there and meet people. Cheers.


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  #4  
Old 05-26-2005, 12:11 AM
Eric Heil Eric Heil is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Hi Ryan,

In answer to your question... Not Specifically. BUT... I consider it just one more stop on the Eric Heil "Shameless Self Promotion Tour" 2005... LOL! Put your name everywhere and anywhere as long as you are professional and courteous. One of the cornerstones to success is name recognition even if they have no idea WHY they recognize it! Think BIG! Dream BIG! BE BIG!!! Pluck lightly on the strings of Karma and they will surely play you a sweet song.

My best to all of you that are becoming "Real Engineers"!

PEACE!

Eric
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More Pro Tools rigs than I can shake a stick at...
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2005, 12:37 AM
Eric Heil Eric Heil is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Sorry Ryan,

I missed the second half of your question in regard to the value of certification. The answer to that one is a BIG FAT YES! ABSOLUTELY! Anybody with $449.00 can get Pro Tools. But... as I said before... "Just because you own a hammer doesn't mean you can build a house!" A certification tells people in and out of the industry that YOU KNOW YOUR STUFF! The reason the tests are so "rediculously" hard is, If you can know all those things and think on your feet quickly enough to figure out some "Odd Ball" situations then you REALLY DO "Know Your Stuff" and have a value above another canidate without the certification. If it were easy then it would no value and just be a nice picture on the wall!!!

The people that get to the top are the ones that can turn crap into gold in record time! (Pun intented). Or better than that, make it GREAT from the start and make it look like a "Walk in the Park"! I continue to work feverishly on that goal. I'll NEVER stop learning and niether should you!

Eric
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www.AngelicLive.com
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2005, 05:24 AM
IntelDoc IntelDoc is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Eric,
A little diversion from your topic, but is "Attina's Music" still open down there. I know that they were more band stuff oriented, but I worked there a long time ago, and had a cool vibe with the guys there. Figured you were close by to one of their stores. Had a great in house employee band called "Dirt Circus."

Later,

- Doc
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Old 05-26-2005, 12:30 PM
fantompowr fantompowr is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Quote:


A certification tells people in and out of the industry that YOU KNOW YOUR STUFF! The reason the tests are so "rediculously" hard is, If you can know all those things and think on your feet quickly enough to figure out some "Odd Ball" situations then you REALLY DO "Know Your Stuff" and have a value above another canidate without the certification.

Eric
I don't know if I can totally agree with you on this one, Eric. I've talked to studio owners that asked me how well I knew Pro Tools (or wanted to give me an editing exam to find out), knowing that I had certification. I'm not complaining, just stating facts. Most studios don't know what it takes to become certified, so they don't really put much value in it. You could still pass the exams without KNOWING it anyway. The exams don't involve working in Pro Tools- they're just multiple choice questions. You don't really know it until you work with it everyday for 10-12 hours a day and have to troubleshoot it (which may or may not be in school). THAT's where you learn "odd ball situations and thinking quickly on your feet." As I said before, certification doesn't hurt and can definitely push you over the top, but the important thing is making connections. And by the way, I didn't say the exams were "ridiculously hard" I said they were ridiculously impractical. Just sayin'... Have a good one.

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  #8  
Old 05-26-2005, 07:02 PM
Eric Heil Eric Heil is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

I guess the only fair thing to ask, is how extensive was your resume and references before certification? If we take two candidates with close to the same type, style and length of resume and refernces. Make all other variables equal except that one has been certified by the manufacturer of your equipment/software and the other has not and it is YOUR decision who to hire based on those criteria, which way are you more likely to lean? Remember that it's Your $200,000.00 + investment and carefully cultivated clientel that this person shall be in the hands of.

I'm not trying to put my own answers in your mouth. I would earnestly like to know.

As far as the "Multiple Guess" nature of the test goes, as I recall, there was always at least ONE wrong answer that was very close to correct and a limited amount of time per question to get it right. Which means you TRULEY had to know the answer and nobody gets certified unless they pass with 90% or better (I was 94% on the first try, by the way).

You are EXACTLY correct that a piece of paper compares nothing to "Real World" experience. I believe I stated the same thing at the end of this thread when it was still on the "Employment" board. Which brings us right back to the heart of the issue here, getting in the door to get that experience. I don't want to seem presumptuous. I can be fairly certain that you have worked your tail off to get where you are today. I was a "Tape" guy that left the game to get married and settle down then had to jump almost back to the begining to learn digital. Even my experience with ADATs during that "interim" time was not much help because their VU metering was so close to Analog and a "Plug-in" was whatever you patched into the back or into the mixer... LOL! It's because I left the game for so long and moved to a city where nobody ever heard of me and the work I did 12-20 years ago that I am UNIQUELY qualified to speak on the subject of Interning and the "Value" of Digidesign Certification.

I wish that your experience with the Certification Process had been more rewarding to you. I value your opinions here because there are always three sides to every story: Yours, Mine and the Truth that lies somewhere between.

God bless you all,

Eric
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2005, 07:47 PM
Eric Heil Eric Heil is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Hi DOC!

Although I've never been there, I looked it up and their site is active.

http://attinas.com/lines.htm

I may have to go check it out just for grins! ~(8- 0}-K

I'm usually at Atlanta Pro Audio or Comprehensive Technical Group unless I'm looking to get some "Backline" for The loft. That might be a good place for me to try. I'm a singer/bassist but I love to go into the Percussion Dept. and pick up some weird little noise maker for a buck or three... LOL! That kind of Cr_p just make me giggle!

Eric
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:41 AM
RobN RobN is offline
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Default Re:Keys to Success at a Studio (From \"Employment\")

Having intern experience in the '90s, I'll chime in:

1. Do dress business casual-Pants with no holes/patches/sayings/safety pins, etc., a golf shirt or long/short sleeve shirt with a collar and appropriate footwear.
- I agree. Leave the strange clothing to the artists. I would recommend something not too prep, though (people going to studios tend to think of everyone inside as a musician .

2. Do be properly bathed and groomed.
- Again, leave the sloppiness to the artists.

3. Don’t EVER be late! That one will, at the very least, put you on the bottom of the list of people the Staff will invite into a session and, at worst, mean your termination from the studio.
- This is the worst thing you can do next to being hesitant. Show up early and take ANY thing they throw at you.

4. Do memorize the studio’s inventory of equipment, how it operates and where/how each item must be placed when asked to retrieve or put back an item.
- This is a very helpful idea. Memorize the mics at least (as interns frequently get to set them up and the first will just yell "get the CAD") It will also pay to pay attention to what and where things are used frequently (i.e. mic choice and placement).

5. Do ask a Senior Staff member before touching ANY piece of equipment. You may inadvertently destroy someone’s “Setup” or the product they have been working on and have a deadline to complete.
- Don't touch unless asked or told! Mess up something the first was working on and your dead.

6. Don’t offer suggestions to Senior Staff or clients no matter how brilliant you think it is or how wrong you believe they are. Everyone has their own way of doing things and if you wait long enough, the reason for their actions will become clear. If you would like to know why, ask ONLY the Senior Staff and ONLY when they are not working on a project and are not in front of the client.
- My advice is to be a shadow until needed. Don't even chat with the client unless they pointedly talk to you.

7. Do assume that every closed door is a session in progress. You may enter only if “Invited” or a message needs to be delivered. (More on messages later).
- If your not in the room, your not needed.

8. Do use “Yes, Mr.______” or “Yes, Ms.______ to address ANYONE unless you are instructed by that individual to do otherwise.
- This I don't see as that big of a problem. Every studio I've ever worked in has been pretty much laid back. I have only met a handfull of clients that did not introduce themselves when I was an intern.

9. Do speak only when spoken to.
- Like I said; be a shadow.

10. Do respect and protect the privacy and intellectual property of ALL individuals at the studio. That means don’t name drop to your friends or persons on the phone and NEVER make unauthorized copies of ANY material for ANY reason.
- This is a no-brainer. The recordings aren't yours. If you are lucky (I was) the studio owner/manager may have some old recordings that are available for use as snippets (not whole songs) for a demo tape for yourself and practice on the equipment at odd hours. This opportunity should not be wasted.

11. Do keep all areas of the facility spotlessly clean and stocked. Make lists of items that are in short supply or gone and give that list to your coordinator ASAP. Clean all areas as if your absolute “Favorite artist in the whole world” will be using it because they just might!
- The main purpose of the intern: the dirty work. You will have to clean the bathroom, sweep the floors and pick up the engineer's lunch droppings (as well as his lunch), but that's the deal.

12. Don’t interrupt ANY conversation. Wait until you are recognized or there is a break in the conversations and always say, “Pardon me Mr. or Ms. ______... “
- Even if the message is urgent (except for "FIRE!" or "They're stealing the mics!")

13. Do keep a smile on your face no matter how bad your day I going. A positive attitude will make others around you want to help and teach you what they know (…and that’s what you’re there for isn’t it?)
- Do this even if the engineer sees you as a threat (which some will, trust me). Eventually everyone will like a pleasant person.

14. Do keep your word. If you tell someone you will do something, DO IT! If you are in the middle of another task, properly weigh the priority of the second task or cordially ask the individual if you may complete the task you are currently working on first. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed and ALWAYS politely ask for help when you need it. You will garner more respect and it will help you to delegate responsibility when YOU are in a position of authority.
- You are expected to ask for help. If it is warranted, it will be a good sign to the studio staff.

15. Do keep a small note pad in your pocket to take down important information (like the 25 different microphone model numbers the producer just asked you to retrieve).
- Great idea.

I will also put in to expect to wait for awhile to get into any kind of action. My first internship took 6 friggin' months before I was booked with a vocal. And they didn't even show up! Expect to sit through grueling overdubs of not-so-good singers. Expect to be around moody people. Expect to witness uncomfortable situations between bandmates. Expect to remind people again and again that they "can't smoke in here" and "watch the drinks, please". Most importantly, expect to mess up. Everyone does. Just try not to make a mistake that erases the masters.
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