• Things I've been learning while at school

    So I currently attend an audio engineering school in Tempe AZ (I wont mention the name but yes its that school)
    And I have learned A few big tips that have opened my eyes to Audio Engineering and Producing in general thought I'd share ten eye opening experiences (not in any specific order). Also if you dont agree tell why or if its redundant just ignore it was intended for ppl just starting out

    10. You dont have a studio. Lol this is like day one at school. Technically a studio is the room where the band performs. The control room is where the engineer is at with the console and the iso booth is well just that an iso booth. Also studios are treated and have floating floors to help with rumble. Instead of wasting your money recording in an inferior room and letting you talent go to waste buy studio time in a pro studio. If you want afford that than save. There's not Walmart of audio. Also you should pay to mix your beats to maintain the highest quality of sound if you not good at it.

    9. You can make a shit load of money in live sound!!! I dont know why I never see ppl chatting about live sound but I think its where the money is!!! A year ago a former grad was interning with taylor swifts crew and he is now her in ear monitoring engineer. He makes 5k a month! Also since most ppl cry about the mixtape game and how artist go tour off mixtapes isnt it a good idea to learn live sound since concerts are still a great source of income for artist. I believe Rihanna made 90 Million last year of her tour.

    8. Learn to solder!!! Its a must in live sound. And also if you want to intern at studio. Patchbays are a pain in the A** and most have to be soldered. Also if you can solder you can make cables that are just a good as monster cables but 3 times cheaper!

    7. Stop buying crappy gear. Seriously this goes without saying. Ive answered a lot of questions about ppl asking is this okay or that...you know its not. When ppl say "I'm hear noise when I record" the common answer is check your cables but if all is well your just witnessing low inferior gear. (Its actually a good thing you realized it) now you know stop buying crap. Buy the best have it for life.

    6. Learn how to read transient response graphs and frequency response charts. I have found so many mics that have very similar frequency responses to u87's. A MXL v69 ME is a great mic for 299 and it has a similar response as a u87 the high end is a little sharp but if you tilt the mic 45 degrees of axis the highs roll off. (Illmind used this mic to record Skyzoo's mixtape) and it sounds great. Also you get to learn how do things compare in sound. Beats by Dre headphones are good but so are Sennheiser hd280 and cost one third of Dre's but sound just as good maybe even better

    5. Stop calling yourself a producer. I know this one seems a little disrespectful but the game of this forum is "future producer" not current producer. Ppl be like "I've been producing for ten yrs and want to finally step y game up what a good mic under 100 dollars?" WTF if you are a real producer you would know that. I've been guilty of it too but I have since stopped bc its disrespectful to Quincy Jones

    4. Read the Manual before buying the gear!!!! Please read it. Stop asking how to do something before reading the manual. Also I will let you know how it works and if it is suitable for you. I have been looking for a console for two months and I have read several manuals to see how they work. Most fall short bc of my price point and my needs. But at least I didn't buy the console that find out its not ideal. So read the manual before you buy!!!

    3. Watch Pensaco's place - Pensado's Place - ITL #31 - Hardware Compressors and EQs - YouTube its so informational and you get to see a great engineer work and it will show you little tricks and tips to improve your overall sound. Learn how to get your mix like "Johnny Juliano or Vybe Beatz" LMAO

    2. A.This is a two parter. There is a thing called "producer mode" lol. This is funny to me but its true. Inline consoles have a big and small fader and most usually have a flip or rev button that will switch which fader that is going to the mtr (tape or daw) it is useful because if your working with Madona and her daughter is in the control with you and she says I want to hear mommy's vocals louder and the most logical thing for her to do is reach for the large fader. Every one knows the large fader turns up the volume (it doesnt do that lol) but if you slap her hand away you get fired. So put it in producer mode and let her have at it. She doesnt mess up the tape and you dont get fired for slapping Madona's kid.

    B. Most "producers" in hip hop are not producers. They be in producer mode two and dont even know it...lol but my reason for this one is bc as I have become more aware of the music industry I have been let down by most ppl. Producers know everything about everything. I dont know how many times I watched interviews of producer's and they get asked a technical question and they cant answer it. But Dr. Dre gets slammed for not making every beat. But ask him why he tracks in his vocal chain. Diddy is another prime example of a producer who doesnt make beats. But he's more of the "I want her vocals to sound like shes wearing pink lipstick kinda producers lol if you get my drift) I love Diddy! LOL They're is two of the few real producers in Hip Hop. You gotta give thim all praise. I dont dis any one who makes beats bc I do too and you can still make a gang of money but just know the difference between the two.

    1.School is the best way to make it happen if you want to work in a studio!!! I know most will debate this but if you want to work in an elite studio you need to go to school. Oasis studio in LA only takes students from my school. Eddie Krammer assistant Engineer is also a former grad. We have some instructors that have worked with Stevie wonder, Michael Jackson , price, Paris Hilton (BIG MONEY) and so many more. The thing about school is that the intern dept and instructors have made the relationships and networking already. They go to bat for the their students and have travel to NYC to convince studio managers to give their students a job. 54 nominations at this yrs grammys. And 28 winners is a damn good look. Some have even worked on the watch the throne album. Also you get to see what standard gear is so you dont buy crap. You get to use it too. I'm pissed I cant afford a good pair of monitors but at least I know what they sound like so when I am able too I'm not wasting my money. Also you learn from pros that have tracked vocals with Stevie wonder (and had a session crash on him lol) those stories give you invaluable info that you cant find on forums. Learning Pro tools is cool but you need to really know it. like how to get passed a password protected file in pro tools with out the password. or how to get back a corrupted file when Stevie wonder is cussing you out (talk about pressure) Also you get to learn analog first!!! we get logic when we start but we dont dive into recording into a daw until 15 weeks in. The first 15 weeks are recording to analog tape.

    I just wanted to share some eye opening experiences I have had while on my journey...to the ones who are working in the industry share a few!!!

    Also I'm thinking of doing a weekly video of tips I learning while in school. Would any of you be interested and what topics in general would interest you. Keep in mind my school is super crazy about recording sessions or class time with a video camera. Thats the reason why you never see any sessions on youtube (and why I never mentioned the name lol). Its prohibited! but I may try to turn my laptop camera on during my next session. I'm recording to analog tape than gonna transfer to pro tools later. Full band!!!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Things I've been learning while at school started by epotts06 View original post
    Comments 109 Comments
    1. 888's Avatar
      888 -
      Also I'm thinking of doing a weekly video of tips I learning while in school.
      Great post! I'm interested in anything you have to share! Please let me know when you decide to begin putting up videos!
    1. Khanflict's Avatar
      Khanflict -
      Would love more posts like these, really helpful
    1. K Y M ▲ C's Avatar
      K Y M ▲ C -
      aweome post
    1. jhsquirrel's Avatar
      jhsquirrel -
      good advice!
    1. JmgWeb's Avatar
      JmgWeb -
      One topic I'm interested in the mixing area (which might be of general interest) is gain staging. Have been educating myself on how to get better mixes and things are improving significantly. One issue I've recently come across is that the level of the channel faders should always stay below the subgroup or master fader levels. So the master fader should always be higher than each of the channel faders. I think this may be the root cause of some fidelity problems I sometimes get in my mixes, especially when rendered out to MP3 after mastering. When I heard this "golden rule," I looked back at several of my mixes and saw that while I had not been following the rule, I had been compensating for it by lower levels of individual tracks through automation, because portions of a track might be fine at "full strength" but other parts needed to be turned down. So while the track fader might be higher than the group level, the actual volume was lower through automation. I see now that's a pretty convoluted way to do business and I'll avoid it in the future - but I'm also wondering how best to remix those projects where I broke the rule. I suppose one way might be that I could carve out the track portions that were OK at higher levels and put them on their own tracks, and then lower the overall level of the original track to be lower than the group and raise or eliminate the automation. Any ideas? Good mixing is certainly a learning curve, ain't it?
    1. Mint Mono's Avatar
      Mint Mono -
      loved the (BIG MONEY) part
    1. Calectic's Avatar
      Calectic -
      thank you
    1. atMusic's Avatar
      atMusic -
    1. extradeluxemfg's Avatar
      extradeluxemfg -
      There is definitely money in live sound. If you're doing arena shows it's around 5k a week not month. 5k a month would be for someone just starting out.