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Author Topic: How did you learn audio engineering?  (Read 18049 times)

zmix

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How did you learn audio engineering?
« on: July 09, 2005, 12:39:58 pm »

After reading the article "Open the Box, you're in the game" by Steven St Croix in the July 2005 Mix magazine, I wanted to get a profile of the users of this forum....

TotalSonic

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2005, 02:28:00 pm »

Unfortunately your poll doesn't cover my background - it kind of is a "some but none of the above".  In the early 90's I worked for a number of years at a smaller commercial studio (it had a Tascam board - not a Neve! - but it was one of the first to embrace digital editing as a niche with one of the first Sound Designer II workstations in the area).  For a number of years I ran a small DAW based project studio of my own.  And then I studied the art of vinyl cutting with Jim Shelton at the mastering studio I work at currently.  

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danickstr

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2005, 02:31:00 pm »

ya i would include the "worked at a mid-level studio" option, since this is not self-taught, but may have had a boutique board,like api custom or something.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2005, 10:56:58 pm »

self taught over the last 40 years... still learning !

studied "electronic music" back in college in the 70's ...lotsa tape loops !
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Brian Roth

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2005, 10:59:44 pm »

Yes, no choice applies to me!  Started with "garage bands" in the late 60's while in high school both as tech and gear builder.  In college, worked in service at a music store, then moved to a 16 track MCI room doing local/regional acts.

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Curve Dominant

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2005, 01:27:27 am »

I won a PT rig in a contest, and now I'm a "producer."

Which tells you that there is no end to ways one can fall ass-backwards into this industry.

sdevino

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2005, 06:32:40 am »

Took 4 years of electronics in High School, 4 more years in the Navy. Was recruited to operate a sound system in a 3000 seat theatre (High School) in 9th grade. This theatre was used for school shows but also for The NYC Metropolitan Opera, The Eglevsky Ballet, The LI Philarmonic Orchestra and many many mid sized touring acts. Since my friend and I were the house sound techs we got to help all the traveling sound engineers that visited with these groups.

Then taking recording classes using 8 track 1 inch, and getting to hang because I could fix the Fairchild board they had AND understood the new and emerging digital technology.

College was all about Computer Science, EE and Physics so I could earn a real living when I got married, Followed by 10 years of running my own small studio and continueing to design and run sound for local and theatre and small clubs.

Other than that I just read about shit here
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Steve Devino

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covert

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2005, 07:04:43 am »

started out playing with my father's 1/4" rtr home units, went on from there.
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wwittman

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2005, 03:38:21 pm »

I was in a band, we got signed, the label let us use the studio in any off hours we liked.
I was the one who was interested in what was going on in the control room.
So I kind of slipped into it... watching, starting to record us, then other friends.
Soon I was producing or engineering lots of bands... and then eventually i got a job in a studio.
But my first real studio job was editing classical music (because I could read a score as well as edit fairly well)... I like it but I naturally wanted to make rock records... AND I was still trying to make my band happen.

Not long after that the band called it quits and I got another job as a balance engineer; with the deal that i could still record myslef or my friends in my off hours.

I SAW lots of good people and worked sometimes sharing sessions with terrific engineers but I managed to bypass the whole second engineer/assistant thing somehow.

so i learned IN major studios but not in an organised formal way.

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William Wittman
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J.J. Blair

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2005, 05:57:15 pm »

Didn't we already cover this back in Terry's forum?
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zmix

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2005, 08:39:02 pm »

J.J. Blair wrote on Sun, 10 July 2005 17:57

Didn't we already cover this back in Terry's forum?


We covered the biographical data, sure. I wanted to get a profile of who we're dealing with here. In the article I cited, Mr St. Croix laments the lack of mentoring and the overabundance of people who, simply by virtue of purchasing a DAW, are de facto recording engineers. I've noticed a real shift in the client interactions I've had in the past few years.

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jfrigo

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2005, 09:59:50 pm »

How about all of the above?

I started as a musician, playing professionally beginning in high school. Being interested in the technical and having been a young tinkerer with basic electronics, radio, and audio, I paid special attention to both the live sound crews I came in contact with and ultimately the engineers in the various studios when we started recording. Later, while attending music school, I decided to major in audio. Also around that time, I and a friend started an 8 track analog studio where I satisfied a lot of the "self taught" part of the equation. After that I interned in an SSL studio and later in a mastering studio. I'd have to say that "all of the above" best describes my foundation, and I think the well-rounded picture one gets from such varied experience early in one's career is quite beneficial.

There seems to be a big debate about school vs. internship (and I don't mean just the month or two they make you do at the end of a many school programs). However, I believe neither alone is truly sufficient given the modern dynamics of the biz. You should have both these days to really get the complete picture and to be best prepared for the highly competitive and quickly changing marketplace. My advice to young, aspiring engineers is to get a college degree studying relevant subjects (music, audio, electronics etc.), and then spend some real time working in a serious studio, applying yourself, soaking up knowledge, both technical and business (including client relations), and networking. This is good advice for not only a career in audio, but life in general.
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wwittman

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2005, 11:45:38 pm »

I totally agree about mentoring.
My mentors weren't OFFICIALLY such early on but I still got to SEE a lot of terrific engineers and producers both up close and in action.

I'm certainly a much better producer for having engineered for terrific producers.

The best way to learn to mic a piano is to watch and listen as someone good mics a piano... then next time you get to try it and over time perfect it or change it as you experiment.

but learning in a total vacuum is much more hit or miss.
Sadly, now the norm.

you can't buy experience
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William Wittman
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(Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx, The Outfield, Hooters...)

zmix

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2005, 09:56:43 am »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 10 July 2005 23:45


you can't buy experience


William,

Exactly. And somewhat paradoxically,that's what we sell!

-CZ


eightyeightkeys

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Re: How did you learn audio engineering?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2005, 11:15:48 am »

Working as a session player, arranger, co-writer for many, many and varied artists from all over. I worked with and learned from quite a few excellent engineers and producers (some not so good-but you learn that way too) and worked in some terrific studios.
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Dave T.
D&D Music
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