Career crisis. Please help my sorry ass.

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joelpatterson
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Post by joelpatterson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:08 am

Not ranty at all, very insightful actually.

The major problem is the "intangibility" of everything related to audio and sound and recording and bands playing music. You can't stretch a song out on a board like you can a rattlesnake hide and assess its quality, like you could a rattlesnake hide or a raccoon skin or a skein of fabric or anything else that's a "product" in the modern world.

It's all completely about the impression that your recording of the song generates in people, and this is vagueness vagueness's vague finale, times a factor of vagary. And lots of times this is inseparable from the personal emotional aura that gets associated with it, good bad or indifferent. There is no objectivity here-- that's why your output needs to be utterly astonishingly super-consistently amazing (musicians and/or studios) and THEN MAYBE you get some respect and/or benefits of doubts, but don't count on it.

And ontop of all this-- speaking from personal experience-- many of the people you work for and deal with are IDIOTS! Talented and entertaining and with some undeniable engagingness, but woefully ill-equipped to make decisions relating to what they're after.... which is just a grim fact of life that we all need to accept.

Now-- THERE is what I call a proper rant!
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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:40 am

I gotta say to Greg, why not rant a little, I liked you rant-ette. Just a small rant.
Joel, you nailed ranting at the tail, it does have to have some kind of remark about certain customers being distasteful to officially be a rant. You nailed it.

Most music for most artists are just time fillers and practice. They won't admit it usually, the greats know and know you know, the amateurs insist that every note is as good as Beethoven and just as worthy.

The trick is, when you first hear a group's stuff, did it have something great in it and can you make that come out without stepping all over it? If so, CHARGE the money. If not, take it to someone who can and intern during the sessions, this is a scenario where you might also get paid, when you bring in paying clients. When the project is done, you have money and the knowledge of how to engineer that type of project. Keep doing this and you get a staff position, and move up to assistant (paid), and then to staff engineer (paid), then you freelance.

I'm looking for someone who can do that in Memphis instead of someone who wants to buy a shitload of gear (making them self poorer) and start their own impediment (destroying the market), and not learn a damn thing (harming the customers who can't use the recording any further), and then selling their gear at a discount and leaving the biz with a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

There really is a set way of doing things and standards of how and t what quality etc. which although you don't have to use hem every single time with every single track, they provide a solid basis so that the recordings are usable beyond your contemporary uses. Those are ways that have to be taught, you won't stumble upon them properly. They are well though out and designed to work. I use them all he time but, not when I can't.
A million billion cognizant choices involved and you have to know what the baseline is before you can faithfully make them. If you don't feel like you have that level, you're not ready to strike out there. That's perfectly fine, the aforementioned scenario is a great one for you or anyone who can make that happen and it ensures that you ARE building your career and creating a community of solid relationships that will definitely benefit everyone in your career along the way, you will be supremely well thought of.

There I just gave you THE secret. Run with it.
Harumph!

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:41 am

Is that ranty enough?
Harumph!

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joelpatterson
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Post by joelpatterson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:59 am

Rantalicious.
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T-rex
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Post by T-rex » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:35 am

trodden wrote: Just wait til your close to 40 and all your close friends have family, kids, careers and your still going to punk rock shows and hanging out with people 15 years younger, and still living pay check to pay check, and those Monday night headlining shows are almost impossible.. Now that'll make you wonder where you went wrong while making you feel lucky at the same time....head fuck.
You should write my biography, its like you are living inside my head!!!

leastward
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Post by leastward » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:08 pm

Just to help clarify, there certainly isn?t anything wrong with making money with music, or earning a living from it. That wasn?t my point and if you can earn a living wage then that?s great if you can get it. But the original poster sounded as if he was wanting to jump into the game and was wondering if school was a good way to get started and the term career was mentioned. Personally, I feel that a better way is to just make music, record music, be around music as much as you can every chance you get to learn the ropes and get experience. Money and a ?career? will follow if you have the skills and talent to make that happen. But you can?t just hang a sign on your front door that says ?recording studio? and expect much to happen. And you certainly can?t walk out of a school with a degree and expect to easily walk into a paying gig. I feel that a better route to making music is TO MAKE MUSIC. Get out and meet musicians, meet bands, record bands, intern, read this forum, etc, etc?. If you have skills, knowledge and talent that people want then by all means charge what you can get, but if money?s the main goal there?s much easier and stable ways to do that than the music business, or at least there was when the economy wasn?t in the toilet.

I mean all this with respect and am not trying to trash anyone?s way of doing things?..

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:09 pm

leastward wrote:Just to help clarify, there certainly isn?t anything wrong with making money with music, or earning a living from it. That wasn?t my point and if you can earn a living wage then that?s great if you can get it. But the original poster sounded as if he was wanting to jump into the game and was wondering if school was a good way to get started and the term career was mentioned. Personally, I feel that a better way is to just make music, record music, be around music as much as you can every chance you get to learn the ropes and get experience. Money and a ?career? will follow if you have the skills and talent to make that happen. But you can?t just hang a sign on your front door that says ?recording studio? and expect much to happen. And you certainly can?t walk out of a school with a degree and expect to easily walk into a paying gig. I feel that a better route to making music is TO MAKE MUSIC. Get out and meet musicians, meet bands, record bands, intern, read this forum, etc, etc?. If you have skills, knowledge and talent that people want then by all means charge what you can get, but if money?s the main goal there?s much easier and stable ways to do that than the music business, or at least there was when the economy wasn?t in the toilet.

I mean all this with respect and am not trying to trash anyone?s way of doing things?..
I TOTALLY get what you are saying and it's as valid as can be.
I was just giving a different perspective.
When I got into the business of music as a full time thing, I was very young, but, I knew what I was doing, wanted to do it full time and be able to eat, because no one was paying my bills but me at that point due to circumstances beyond my control as a minor, so, I just thought about it and through working at it for someone else, I devised a way to make money for them and me with their equipment.
I think like that.
It was good to note that studios also think like that when I got my first internship at a real studio. I think a person who knows what they want to do for a living if possible should pursue doing the work and making the living doing it at the same time. It would be really good if both aspects matured together and it's possible especially if it really is the music at the heart of it.
That doesn't equate to "doing it for the money" as a sole purpose or "money as the main goal" even if he is just trying to jump into the game. A guy's gotta eat even at the beginning of the game. If he can make that money in music, even better.
I think the difference in our point of view is maybe background. I was lucky to love music at an early age, but, unlucky that I had to also go to work at an early age. I chose to find work doing what I loved and it's worked out however it has, but, maybe he's in the same position, maybe not. I wouldn't think many people would be in the situation I was in but, maybe they are, I don't know. I give em the benefit of the doubt.
I guess I could shorten my whole post to this:
Be a benefit to someone doing what you want to be doing with the agreement that you'll learn from them and work for them, and under any and all circumstances, do you very best and transcend all circumstances to create miraculous outcomes consistently, even a percentage of the money generated from operating like that will be plenty.
Harumph!

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slowcentury
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Post by slowcentury » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:23 pm

Scodiddly wrote:If you go to a trade school for anything audio-related, go for electronics instead of recording or live sound. A solid footing in electronics (maybe they've got classes for building electrical too?) will be worth way more than any recording class.
Totally solid advice!
I played music fairly seriously for 10 years and I kinda reached a point when I was 27 that you are at. The "what the fuck am I doing, Im almost 30" point. I decided to go get a trade that is somewhat tied into my music interests. I became an electrician, which has helped me out on the studio/recording/music front on quite a few occasions. It's a career I don't hate, actually I would stay I enjoy it far far more than my years spend in record stores and instrument retail.

I have 5 friends who went to recording school and only one of them works in the field, the other 4 accumulated too much debt from school to ever be able to build up a solid amount of gear after school to really peruse recording beyond a hobby. If you have a good set of ears and like to read you should be fine without school.

Also keep in mind that a career in recording isn't always going to be recording bands that you love and music you are passionate about (though its always the dream). If you want to make a legitimate go at recording you will have to take on projects that you loath to make ends meat and really who wants to spend 10 hrs a day listening to music you hate.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:49 am

slowcentury wrote:
Scodiddly wrote:If you go to a trade school for anything audio-related, go for electronics instead of recording or live sound. A solid footing in electronics (maybe they've got classes for building electrical too?) will be worth way more than any recording class.
Totally solid advice!
I played music fairly seriously for 10 years and I kinda reached a point when I was 27 that you are at. The "what the fuck am I doing, Im almost 30" point. I decided to go get a trade that is somewhat tied into my music interests. I became an electrician, which has helped me out on the studio/recording/music front on quite a few occasions. It's a career I don't hate, actually I would stay I enjoy it far far more than my years spend in record stores and instrument retail.

I have 5 friends who went to recording school and only one of them works in the field, the other 4 accumulated too much debt from school to ever be able to build up a solid amount of gear after school to really peruse recording beyond a hobby. If you have a good set of ears and like to read you should be fine without school.
Totally solid up to here. Solid as can be. The part about having ears is very important to the following part.
Also keep in mind that a career in recording isn't always going to be recording bands that you love and music you are passionate about (though its always the dream). If you want to make a legitimate go at recording you will have to take on projects that you loath to make ends meat and really who wants to spend 10 hrs a day listening to music you hate.
Depending on where you are and if you have the "nads" to turn down work if you smell a funny smell, you may not experience any of this. If you're in a small town, haven't built a rep in a larger town or in the "industry at large" you may record bands you won't like, or not, or, you could work on commercials, or , films. If you don't want to do any of that stuff, you don't have to, but, you'll likely have to travel a lot for work. It's fun, do it.
Harumph!

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slowcentury
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Post by slowcentury » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:09 am

Brian wrote:
Also keep in mind that a career in recording isn't always going to be recording bands that you love and music you are passionate about (though its always the dream). If you want to make a legitimate go at recording you will have to take on projects that you loath to make ends meat and really who wants to spend 10 hrs a day listening to music you hate.
Depending on where you are and if you have the "nads" to turn down work if you smell a funny smell, you may not experience any of this. If you're in a small town, haven't built a rep in a larger town or in the "industry at large" you may record bands you won't like, or not, or, you could work on commercials, or , films. If you don't want to do any of that stuff, you don't have to, but, you'll likely have to travel a lot for work. It's fun, do it.
Yeah, but some times you have to pay the bills and that band you hate needs a record. It happens until you get well established.

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Beat Poet
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Post by Beat Poet » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:45 pm

I had a positive experience by going to music college, but it was focused more on performance, songwriting and theory. As for the recording side, we didn't really spend enough time in the studio to really learn something. I had only been playing for two years when I started the course, so it was excellent being able to get into bands and stuff. The thing with Uni/college though is that you go there expecting to learn and actually be taught things, but what they really teach you are the processes by which you can do things, so you can better evaluate and apply what you've learned. All the learning you have to do by yourself.

I finished a New Media Production Technology course at Uni eighteen months ago and while I came away feeling I'd learned nothing, I now realise that I couldn't have set up my business without it.
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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:58 am

slowcentury wrote:
Brian wrote:
Also keep in mind that a career in recording isn't always going to be recording bands that you love and music you are passionate about (though its always the dream). If you want to make a legitimate go at recording you will have to take on projects that you loath to make ends meat and really who wants to spend 10 hrs a day listening to music you hate.
Depending on where you are and if you have the "nads" to turn down work if you smell a funny smell, you may not experience any of this. If you're in a small town, haven't built a rep in a larger town or in the "industry at large" you may record bands you won't like, or not, or, you could work on commercials, or , films. If you don't want to do any of that stuff, you don't have to, but, you'll likely have to travel a lot for work. It's fun, do it.
Yeah, but some times you have to pay the bills and that band you hate needs a record. It happens until you get well established.
Yeah, I totally understand that, but, should your first experiences be that of fixing? I don't think it's mandatory or necessarily good or bad that a person starting out experience the hell of a shite band. Everyone has the power to say "NO" and my advice is to use that power with authority from the start. NEVER drop your standards or forget what YOUR goal is. The minute you do it's a slippery slope of very unappreciated and un-appreciateable work (for damn good reason).
Harumph!

Cyan421
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Post by Cyan421 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:28 pm

I have my certificate of completion from CRAS, cert in pro tools, took extra tests to get certs in waves and Logic and I work at a convenience store.

Most of what you get out of life comes from the drive and energy you have to put into it.
"What a wonerful smell you've discovered"

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gavintheaudioengineer
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Post by gavintheaudioengineer » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:35 pm

I dunno, I found simply subscribing to Tape Op improved everything to do with my career in music.

That and a Tascam 388.
"When you can't find the solution, you can always admire the problem."

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Post by donny » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:16 pm

Nick Sevilla: "3.- Figure out Exactly what it is you want to do in this career field."
MichaelAlan: "3. That's the hard part I guess.... "

This is the root of your problem. This is the first step. Once you figure this one out, let it guide what follows.

Once I figured out exactly what I wanted to do in music, I realized there is very little chance to make much money at it. So I decided to maintain integrity in my music and make my money elsewhere.

I'm not saying figuring out where you really want to be will automatically get you there, but you'll never be where you want to be if you don't know where that is.

Check out Napoleon Hill's 'Keys to Success'.
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your life is beautiful / a seed becomes a tree / a mountain into a sky / this life is meant to be

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