Where are all the ladies?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
pennylane1230
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Where are all the ladies?

Post by pennylane1230 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:00 pm

Hi! I'm new and my name is Andra. I'm writing a (massive) paper for my college english class. My topic is why do males dominate audio? I've been to many,many shows and I'm studying audio at art school. As a woman in the world of audio, I'm very interested in people comments, questions, opinions,etc... anything that I might be able to use for my paper. Thanks!

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by frank » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:22 pm

yeah...I've thought about it a lot. I don't know what's up, considering that, while still under represented, there seem to be more women active in all other art forms: music(performance anyway), film, dance, visual art, etc.

shit. it was a girl(my first band's drummer) who introduced me to the cassette four track. she changed my relationship with music forever.

I donno... :cry:
Last edited by frank on Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by brian beattie » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:01 pm

As a certified girlie-man, I overcame all of MY fears of wires and knobs and such. (well, most of them anyways.... some of them, at least...) I've always had wonderful experiences working with engineers who are women, but it's only happened twice in my long, long, long life. They brought a whole different vibe to the experience. I guess it's an "it's a man's world" kinda thing, making it less appealing for any women who have the tendencies to be engineers to be willing to deal with the crap they get from being drug into "boy's town". Not a very enlightening observation, I know, but all I can come up with at the moment.
I wish there WERE more women engineers and producers out there. It's the women who ARE engineers and producers that you want to hear from. (why am I here?) They have the answers. Good luck. I'd love to understand it better, myself. There's probably a microcosm of it represented in the "folkie singer songwriter" vs. the "rocker" dichotomy. "folkies" allow for women, while rocker women have to prove themselves, like women soldiers or something...
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inverseroom
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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by inverseroom » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:59 pm

Hey Andra--I think rock and roll has a cultural reputation as an expression of male aggression, and audio engineering is rooted in the lab-coated geeks at the BBC. But as in everything else, I think that's changing. TapeOp covers lots of female engineers and musicians--still a minority to be sure, but it's no longer surprising to hear a woman holding forth about compressors. It's just that it takes a generation or so for a transformation like that to take place. There are swarms of 15-year-old rock chicks now who in 10 years will be taking music production very seriously. Hope so anyway.

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by jajjguy » Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:03 pm

Fortunately, men no longer dominate music. They do still seem to dominate the techie stuff of audio engineering. For whatever reason, men seem to be more drawn to gadgets than women. Why is that? Damned if I know. But I really like gadgets, always have. I especially like the ones that do cool things to sounds, but i'll take pretty much anything. Maybe more women will get involved when they see the technology as part of the art. Maybe not. Andra, what do you think?

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by drumsound » Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:03 pm

I worked with a female act a few years ago. The woman playing bass has a music degree. She plays horn and piano and when they decided to by more of a band than a duo she learned to play bass. When we were mixing it was really interesting to se how she directed certain things. I was really hoping she would want to be more involved in the production and engineering end of music. She is working on a music education masters degree, but I was hoping she'd become an engineer.

Women's attention to detail really intrigues me and I'd like to see more of them engineer. When I still played classical music I always noticed a difference when under the baton of a woman. It's a tangible but hard to define phenomena.

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by psychicoctopus » Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:41 pm

I think sound engineering is within the grasp of anybody who is interested in it and willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get a career started. When I was out on the road touring last month, I met three female FOH engineers. All three were young and totally had the skills, more so than half of the male engineers I ran into. One chick had been a touring sound engineer for 12 years and has recently begun managing tours as well. The cool thing is that her husband was hired as a merch guy, so they're able to go on the road together. I should have asked her what she thought about the gender imbalance in the audio biz...

maybe the gender balance is different in live sound vs. recording?
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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by joel hamilton » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:56 am

Maybe you could contact Emily Lazar at The Lodge (here in NYC).
She is an amazing engineer, now specializing in mastering. The new Lodge is a great place, and Emily is a great person and very talented engineer that has worked with a myriad of people, from David Bowie to Pokemon...

There are a lot of talented women in this business.

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by brew » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:32 am

http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=21433

in addition, Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound comes to mind, and TapeOp's own Hillary Johnson, and Jenny Toomey, Trina Shoemaker, etc etc

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by TomS » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:53 am

Sexism. Given the choice between a man and a woman for the job, how often has the woman been given it? Present low participation rates are the product of a legacy effect of past sexist practices in the industry plus continued, although less wide spread, attitudes about women's artistic ability. It exactly parallels similar problems in other fields. Actually, it surprises me that in a context in which talent is so important things haven't advanced more quickly - the demand for talent in other fields has tended to outweigh irrational prejudices - albeit such change is a slow process - perhaps that means the talent is not the main thing in an audio career?

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by ubertar » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:10 am

While I haven't met many female studio engineers, there seem to be a lot in live sound, probably close to 50% in my experience.
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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by Red Rockets Glare » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:34 am

I have a friend that is learning the ropes that comes in to help me on sessions now & then and she sets clients SO at ease when she is there.
She is going to Full Sail next year and will be making a LOT of money one of these days working with awesome musicians.

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lee
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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by lee » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:20 am

males have a bigger brain, and therefor a greater ability for absract thought.

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by inverseroom » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:46 am

ubertar wrote:While I haven't met many female studio engineers, there seem to be a lot in live sound, probably close to 50% in my experience.
Shit, you're right--I've encountered quite a few myself, and I hardly ever play out. Wonder why that is?

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Re: Where are all the ladies?

Post by brew » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:49 am

Red Rockets Glare wrote:I have a friend that is learning the ropes that comes in to help me on sessions now & then and she sets clients SO at ease when she is there.
She is going to Full Sail next year and will be making a LOT of money one of these days working with awesome musicians.
After she's spent a LOT of money for a schooling she probably doesn't need. If I were her friend, I'd steer her away from going to a school in podunk FL when it seems like she has everything she needs for success in LA, the music industry center. Seems a little funny eh?

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