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Author Topic: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)  (Read 3311 times)

typek

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doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« on: July 01, 2010, 05:28:12 pm »

I'm a recent Audio Engineering/Production grad... I found a niche in corporate AV (my day job) but still am hanging on to the idea of making my living tracking/mixing records. As of right now I have been focusing on freelance gigs that I find by word of mouth and networking... I work out of whatever studio we can get into based on the bands budget..usually in the Boston area..

How did you guys start your career working with music?

Thinking about moving out to Nashville (i have some fam out there) and hitting it hard... I know a couple of you guys are based out of TN...   How's the competition for hungry, hard working assistant engineer's? And what kind of pay rate are these guys getting?

Those of you who aren't in Nashville, I welcome your thoughts too.  
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grantis

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 06:11:17 pm »

typek wrote on Thu, 01 July 2010 16:28


How's the competition for hungry, hard working assistant engineer's? And what kind of pay rate are these guys getting?




It depends on what you want to do.  True "assistants" in the traditional sense can make between $8-11 an hour, and a lot of the work is watching/taking notes.

And those jobs are hard to find......

Maybe 'fierce' is the wrong way to describe the competition in the engineering field in Nashville, because most people act like professionals and treat others well in this town, but there is NOT much room the spare in the market for more engineers.  You may have a tough task getting started at first.

Personally for my gig...I took the assistant job as an 'internship' and worked (HARD) for free for a little while.  Then it turned into a LITTLE bit of pay to supplement my part time job, and once I was seen as a valuable cog in the wheel, I was asked to quit my part time job and join the team full time, for a wage that was enough for me to survive on.

Honestly, that'll be your best shot of getting solid gigs and building good relationships in this town.  Prove you're worth people's time by doing stuff for free, making yourself indispensable, and not complaining about it.  Also, always be learning from your superiors (in every sense of the word), and they will see the hunger in you to learn and get better at what you do, and very often, it will be interpreted as a genuine interest in your superiors' work.

Hope some of that helps!
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Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
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typek

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 07:06:26 pm »

yeah, that helps. It reaffirms what I already knew deep down...
Hard work, and making myself valuable are the most important things... and your right, complainers suck! I'm a manager at my AV gig, and I hate when my guys complain. Would much rather find someone with less experience who can keep their mouth shut.

Grant - was your education in this field?
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grantis

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 09:57:27 pm »

No problem man.

Well, I actually don't have an education, in anything.  Unless you count high school Smile.

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Grant Craig
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craig boychuk

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 12:04:46 pm »

typek wrote on Thu, 01 July 2010 16:28

 As of right now I have been focusing on freelance gigs that I find by word of mouth and networking... I work out of whatever studio we can get into based on the bands budget...  



In my opinion this is the best way to go about it.

Get out there, make as many records as you can. Experience is the name of the game, don't waste any time waiting for things to happen - make it happen yourself.

Play in bands, support the local scene.

I've found that one of the best ways to network is to make friends any play music. Just act natural, y'know? Everything else will fall into place if you're good at what you do and are involved in the community.


-craig-
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Capture the pasture rapture.
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typek

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 03:50:39 pm »

craig boychuk wrote on Fri, 02 July 2010 11:04


Play in bands, support the local scene.




That brings up another thought. Any non-musician engineer's out there? There doesn't seem to be many Smile  

Since I'm not a musician, I try to support the local scene just by going to shows, meeting people, etc. Of course I could do more of  that, always...

craig boychuk wrote on Fri, 02 July 2010 11:04


Experience is the name of the game, don't waste any time waiting for things to happen - make it happen yourself.



I believe this should be used in any endeavour. Helps to be reminded of, it....
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craig boychuk

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 12:28:59 pm »

...also, i didn't mean to gloss over the potential benefits of assistant gigs and the like - they can be very valuable educational experiences, for sure, and there is always the possibility to move up the ladder.

The situation Grantis mentioned could be ideal for a lot of people, though difficult to find.


-craig-
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Todd Robbins

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 12:08:31 pm »

grantis wrote on Thu, 01 July 2010 17:11

typek wrote on Thu, 01 July 2010 16:28


How's the competition for hungry, hard working assistant engineer's? And what kind of pay rate are these guys getting?




It depends on what you want to do.  True "assistants" in the traditional sense can make between $8-11 an hour, and a lot of the work is watching/taking notes.

And those jobs are hard to find......


I would agree that the jobs are hard to find.  Very hard to find.  But I see them paying twice that - more in the $20/hr range.  What [still] sucks is that this is what I made as an assistant when I moved to Nashville OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!  That will give you some idea as to the health of the industry!

I don't know that I would move to town without some good, strong connections in hopes of knocking around and finding some type of full time paid assistant job any time soon.  Most of the guys I know who have tried that ended up working at Circuit City.  Now they are out of business too...

Good luck with it.  If you come out this way, PM me and I will try to send in a good direction or two...

Cheers,



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Todd Robbins
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grantis

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 01:35:35 pm »

Todd Robbins wrote on Mon, 05 July 2010 11:08

Most of the guys I know who have tried that ended up working at Circuit City.  Now they are out of business too...




That is something to be prepared for definitely.  It's certainly not a negative thing to support yourself while you build a career.  One of the great things about this town is that not many people will 'judge' you for having a day job.  If you're talented and committed to what you want to do, somebody will notice.

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Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
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typek

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 09:31:26 am »

Yeah. Thankfully, even though it's not always dealing with music, I still get to play with gear and train my ears on a daily basis - as opposed to slangin' Latte's at Starbucks (which I did do for 6 years) haha
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nCole

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 12:52:24 am »

craig boychuk wrote on Fri, 02 July 2010 11:04



In my opinion this is the best way to go about it.

Get out there, make as many records as you can. Experience is the name of the game, don't waste any time waiting for things to happen - make it happen yourself.

Play in bands, support the local scene.

I've found that one of the best ways to network is to make friends any play music. Just act natural, y'know? Everything else will fall into place if you're good at what you do and are involved in the community.


-craig-



This is what I've doing for a few years now... just a little further north than you (typek). I'm making a comfortable living and I'm happy. What more can you ask for? But what I've learned and am still learning is: You've got to be resourceful. Don't put all your eggs in one stylistic basket ie I've found a nice niche recording college a capella on location (lazy college students). Now, recording a capella isn't for everyone. It takes a certain type of patience, but it is recording work and presents some interesting challenges. Another thing is I've found I like doing some live work. So I freelance and do one-offs. All this stuff makes me appreciate recording rock bands more! My 2(two)(too) cents. Hope it helps.
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j.hall

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Re: doin the things we love to do (and surviving too)
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 02:24:48 pm »

there are plenty of "day jobs" that actually keep you in your field.  it might now be ideal, or what your heart wants, but it's better then flipping burgers.

i've done commercial audio, home AV install, and worked as a consultant at an acoustic design consulting firm.  i've never worked outside audio since i "entered" this field (which was when i was 22 years old)

i can't say all those various jobs were awesome.  however, i've always worked, paid my bills, and made time to make records.  i think ultimately, being in a music market is the only way to truly forge a career in this biz.  my life has gotten SO much easier being in a music town.  LA wasn't for me, or my family, and my wife wasn't into the idea of raising a family in NYC, and i simply couldn't afford (and didn't have more then a few contacts in) London.  so nashville it was.  certainly helped that an established producer brought me here to engineer for him.  made the risk much more manageable.

if you're single with no kids, it's kind of a no brainer to me to move to a music market town.
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