Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Six Thoughts for Beginning Engineers

1. Try to narrow as much as possible what your goals are. As it's said, "If you have no target, you're certain to hit it."
2. I can't state enough that the future of recording will be mostly dominated by musician/writer engineers. Those who make a living solely by engineering will be rare. Already I compete with musicians who own home studios...some good studios, and some are decent engineers. You have to realize that the future of this biz is going to be run by multitaskers.
3. A good school is usually a good idea. A good school with links to the pro world is a good call, but NOT essential
4. If you can get into a studio as an assistant/runner that's the very best thing you can do. From there you learn, but more importantly, you make connections.
5. Practice, practice, practice! Learn from anywhere you can, whomever you you can and have a pleasing personality! (There's a blog I wrote on this called "Attitude." Read it and take it to heart)
6. Luck will have a huge factor in this. But as the great golfer Gary Player said, "The more I practice, the luckier I get."


  1. I totally agree with #1, but there is a chicken/egg problem when people first get started... how do you know what you want to do if you don't know what it's like to do it? The longer you are in the business the easier it becomes to focus your goals. Goals are key but flexibility and seizing opportunities may be just as important.

  2. i will totally go for being a runner -

  3. I get that Randy. The thing I'd advise when one asks that question would be to remain open to that narrow goal changing. But at least begin with a specific direction in mind.

  4. Pat, then go for it. Knock on as many studio doors as possible and get to know the manager. Have a resume in hand and try to get at least an interview, even if they don't need anyone then. If they don't, still show up once a week or so to just say hello. If it's a busy studio with lots of musicians there often, I'd suggest dropping by at 11:30 or so, say hello, then ask if anyone needs a lunch run! If they're really busy that day, you might just find yourself being asked to do that.

    And one thing if and when you make that lunch run...make sure you do it well. Make sure the food doesn't spill, and if the orders are paid separately, then have each order's change separated so there's no confusion as to who gets what change..and include the receipt with it. (Bring paper clips or envelopes) Also, make sure each food carton is labled as to what it is, and the name of the person who ordered it if you know it. That attention to details will not go unnoticed.