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  #1  
Old 08-21-2006, 11:17 AM
Dallas002 Dallas002 is offline
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Default Career Advice

Hey everybody,


This post is for those who work in the music production industry. I'm thinking about begining a career in music production. I play drums in a band, and we got some pro tools gear to record our stuff with. I've gotten really into the mixing and production side of it, and am now thinking about making a career out of it. It's not something i just think is cool and fun or whatever, it's something that i've developed a real passion for, something that i love to learn about and get better at. Right now i do information tech and it really bums me out. Pretty stable career though. What does it take to be a successful mix engineer/producer? How risky of a career move is it? I am considering doing the digidesign pro tools certification classes as a start, are those worth it? I'm sure the knowledge is good, but does the certificate mean anything to anybody? Any advice or warnings? I'm 26 and live in Boston MA by the way.

Thanks!
-Dallas
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2006, 12:22 PM
superpenguin79 superpenguin79 is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

man... honestly no offense, but keep your day job. You are correct and dead on when you say its "fun" and all that stuff. Being an engineer is a dying breed for the most part for those who do it full time out there and do not work another job in the mean time. If you are serious about it, I would suggest to keep your day gig, find some bands that will let you record them for free (they get a good demo, you get some material for your demo reel for your studio) and see if you can't solicit some business from there for your setup. It might take a very long time to become financially stable and break a profit if at all, but this is where your IT gig comes in to pay the bills while you attempt to build your business. You have to be ready to work any and every available hour as well, so honestly don't intend to have much of a social life outside of work and your studio man. It really is dog eat dog out there now days and competition is stiff which is why you see a lot of the major rooms going out of business and which is why Digidesign is in business for the most part caus of all the users like you and I that love Protools and record our own tunes.

As for taking certification courses, no offense to Digi, you, or anyone involved, but save your money and put it into a good pre-amp or something instead caus you can learn much better from hands on experience than you ever could in any classroom, unless you're sitting in with someone like Rupert Neve to learn how stuff works..

goodluck in your adventures though man. peace
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2006, 03:24 PM
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ejwells ejwells is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice *DELETED*

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  #4  
Old 08-22-2006, 05:13 PM
georgia georgia is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

It's a complete crapshoot with loaded dice that are NOT in your favor. Making a living with a studio is nothing but tough. If you have:
1. the financial capability of working for 5 years without any income
2. the basic abilities and a good ear
3. business & client management capability
4. money to invest in the basic to start up
5. have a complete knowledge of the local music and studio scene including all your competition and their rates and booking levels
6. have a couple of clients on the hook for a startup
then you stand a small chance of success.

Otherwise don't quit your day job. Keep doing the music for fun...
oh. and DO NOT GO TO ANY AUDIO SCHOOLS !!!!!!!!! PERIOD !!!!!!

spend the $30K to $60K as follows instead of going to school and getting a worthless piece of paper.
1. Order a ton of reading material about audio technology, troubleshooting, maintenance, audio recording and mixing, audio anything and read your eyes out.
2. Find a really good professional facility and intern there for 6 months to 1 year.
3. Pay off a really good tracking and mixing engineer to spend one-on-one time with
4. buy a basic but good rig to practice on.

You'll get WAY more for your money than you will at some audio school...

Exceptions: Colleges that actually teach you and give you a degree that has value after you've given up on audio engineering as a way to make money.
A course or 2 on some audio tools like protools if you have zero knowledge of the gear.


cheers
geo
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2006, 12:17 AM
Kryst Kryst is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

My best friend has gone to college for at least one year to learn music production. He was already good, but his band's new mixes sound so much cleaner and louder. The things they accomplish now make me sit in awe. I'd say, if you got the extra cash, why not go to college and learn? Even if it doesn't lead you straight into a job you want, you'll be that much more educated in how to make better mixes and that would look better and better throughout your portfolio.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2006, 08:06 AM
bigbadhenchman bigbadhenchman is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

Don't expect to make any money the first 5 years, minimum.
You won't be able to go on nice vacations, buy a nice car, buy recording gear or music gear, etc.
You'll be spending all your time in the studio, so forget a personal life.

And even then, if you're lucky, you might start to make some money, and be able
to pay your bills.

Most likely, you'll be in debt, on the verge of bamkrupcy and working back at your old job, excpet you'll be 5 years behind everyone else, promotion wise.

I started in music production, and 15 years ago rolled into audio post, by chance.
I'm happy I did, because I see a ton of music guys my age, trying to get into post because there's no money in music prodcution.

Seriously. Keep your day job. Music production and Audio engineering may seem like a wonderfull thing. But keep it as a hobby. That's what I do now, and I am very happy about they way things turned out.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2006, 11:55 AM
robstaman robstaman is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

I agree. 5 years minimum and keep at least one second job or marry someone with a good career that has benefits.
Educate as you go.
Build relationships and realize that almost anyone could be a future potential client.

When I launched out on my own about 6yrs ago all I had was a Mackie and a d24 system.
I've built up a room and respectable gear now but thousands, 10's of thousands of dollars later, I still feel I need more to compete.
I now have HD2 Accel, 192, Procontrol, good mics and pres good monitors etc.
My studio is in my home in a remodeled section of the house, that alone cost 30k.

When I began I was undercutting (at least I felt I was) at $50 per hr. which included myself.
I now charge $65 per hour.
I'm getting busier and more referrals all the time. I mostly do radio and post.
I was just talking to one of my return clients that will be using me now on a regular basis for national radio spots.

But what chaps me now a little is that I wanted to get the tv spots too.
They are using a guy, who used to be in-house who now works at a studio and freelances out of his house.
$25 per hour.

The client told me they love my work they want to use me for the radio but how can they pass that up at that rate?

There is a thread on gearslutz where guys are charging $10-$30 per hour.

People will end up seeking you out. You need the gear but it will be you they want.
It's hard if you go on your own and you can't do it without building relationships and sticking to it.
Regardless of your passion.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2006, 05:21 PM
georgia georgia is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

Ain't that just the case.... I knew that I had arrived when, I was undercut in price by a high-end posthouse for a low-end feature...


cheers
geo
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Film Doctors http://www.filmdoctors.com
Me... http://georgiahilton.webs.com/
Stage 32 http://www.stage32.com/profile/6569/georgia-hilton
My Production Company http://www.hiltonmm.com

CREDITS (partial) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0385255/resume
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2006, 11:30 PM
SHREDDER SHREDDER is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

Quote:
Don't expect to make any money the first 5 years, minimum.
You won't be able to go on nice vacations, buy a nice car, buy recording gear or music gear, etc.
You'll be spending all your time in the studio, so forget a personal life.

And even then, if you're lucky, you might start to make some money, and be able
to pay your bills.

Most likely, you'll be in debt, on the verge of bamkrupcy and working back at your old job, excpet you'll be 5 years behind everyone else, promotion wise.

I started in music production, and 15 years ago rolled into audio post, by chance.
I'm happy I did, because I see a ton of music guys my age, trying to get into post because there's no money in music prodcution.

Seriously. Keep your day job. Music production and Audio engineering may seem like a wonderfull thing. But keep it as a hobby. That's what I do now, and I am very happy about they way things turned out.

I beg to differ.My studio has been open for only 10 month's now and I make more $$$ on the weekends in my studio then my 60 hr per week,$48,000 a year day job.I never even advertise unless it's on the web.If you are good at what you do people will come.Within a few more month's my day job of 13 years will be history and my studio will be my total income.My day job actually hurt's me because I lose out on all the client's that want booking's during the mon-fri work week.Like I said............if you are good then the word will spread and people will come.Don't give up on your dreams.

http://www.alpinesound.net/
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2006, 11:49 PM
bigbadhenchman bigbadhenchman is offline
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Default Re: Career Advice

Quote:


I beg to differ.My studio has been open for only 10 month's now and I make more $$$ on the weekends in my studio then my 60 hr per week,$48,000 a year day job.I never even advertise unless it's on the web.If you are good at what you do people will come.Within a few more month's my day job of 13 years will be history and my studio will be my total income.My day job actually hurt's me because I lose out on all the client's that want booking's during the mon-fri work week.Like I said............if you are good then the word will spread and people will come.Don't give up on your dreams.

You forgot to mention that you've been involved with the music industry for over 22years, and thus have a base of contacts you can draw upon.
This is not the case for someon getting into fresh.
So, your situation is not a proper comparison.

And not to be pissy, but you say you make more on the weekend than you do at your dayjob. Except you say a 12 hour booking is $400,-.
If you work every weekend, the that's still only$41.600 per year.
So, your math is a bit off.


So, the reality is, that for someone starting out fresh, the scenario described, is pretty much what they're going to face.

BTW, checked your website.
Just for fun, try replacing the 57 on the guitar amp with a large diaphragm condenser, on axis, and have the 421 pointing straight at the speaker instead.
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