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badfingers93
post Jun 11 2011, 10:32 AM
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Hello good people of GMC biggrin.gif I have been studying for almost two years in a music course. Basically, i want to know more about how working in the industry really is. To make it easier, i have prepared several questions.

Hopefully any of you "industry practitioners" out there who have experience and knowledge of the music business would be willing enough to share some thoughts and insights. Thanks biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by badfingers93: Jun 17 2011, 11:08 AM
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 11 2011, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (badfingers93 @ Jun 11 2011, 10:32 AM) *
Hello good people of GMC biggrin.gif I have been studying for almost two years in a music and audio technology course. Basically, i want to know more about how the career of a "mix engineer" really is in the industry. To make it easier, i have prepared several questions.

a) Scope of work this area comprises


A mix engineer would ideally mix the indivdual tracks/stems together after tracking to produce the stereo main and subs prior to mastering. Ideally they will not track/record or do any mastering or post.

I say ideally as very often people refer to a mix engineer and assume that it includes other aspects of the process such as tracking/recording and mastering or even FoH live and post. It's also not helped as some mix engineers also get involved in or do tracking/recording and/or mastering.

QUOTE
cool.gif Any hierarchy or structure within this area

ranges from amateurs/project and home studios through to professional multi room.

QUOTE
c) Salary Range across this hierarchy/structure


Salary ranges from zero to in excess of 200k per annum. Most however are in the zero to 20k per annum range.

QUOTE
d) Education and Certifications Necessary


None. Whilst it certainly doesn't hurt to have some college or university sound engineering qualification or production certification it's worth realising that the vast majority of us in the businees who are pro engineers do not have those qualifications. What we have is experience and we got that by working first as trainees/interns - often unpaid - before being able to work as engineers/senior engineers in pro studios and/or owning our own independent studios. Frankly, you can do as many courses as you like on how to use something like a compressor but that doesn't translate in to having the experience to know which compressor and when and how to use it for a particular recording.

Once you finish your course I'd still suggest that you have several years as a trainee/intern ahead of you.

QUOTE
e) Any other related information


This is not an easy business to get in to. Having a qualification though can at least help you to possibly get an interview for an intern. There is a lot of competition though so it may take time before you get one. Even when you get a post don't expect to become an engineer over night - we leave our interns making the tea, answering the phone, maintaining cables and equipment etc for months before they do any actual mastering.

Don't expect to make a lot of money - very few of us make enough to be able to do this full time and quite a lot of pro studios have gone bust and shut down over the last few years. Also, expect to have to invest both time and money in to learning how to use, and possibly purchasing, both hardware and software. Initially you may well have to do a full time paid job in some other industry and intern part time for free. This could be for 2 years. Once you've finished as an intern initial salaries for an engineer are between 12-20k.

If you go independent you will spend the first five plus years reinvesing pretty much every penny you earn in equipment and the studio. To set up a basic single room pro studio (not a home project one) will cost over 50k, not including build cost.

Be aware that it's a service industry - you do what the client (usually the producer) wants within reason. Regardless of how people treat you you have to treat them politely and professionally. (Seriously at some point someone will be rude and abusive and you have to smile and take it without reacting.)

There are a lot of very big egos around and a lot of sharks - so it's very easy to get shafted.

QUOTE
Hopefully any of you "industry practitioners" out there who have experience and knowledge of the music business would be willing enough to share some thoughts and insights. Thanks biggrin.gif


Network and make contacts right across the range from localengineers, bands and producers to contacts in the major labels, media and so on.

Always act professionally - many of us know each other in the industry and people tend to have long memories.

Consider joining something like the AES (Audio Engineering Society) as a student.

Those of us who make a living at this work in the industry because we love what we do rather than as a means to make lots of money.


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badfingers93
post Jun 11 2011, 02:50 PM
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Thanks tony for the valuable input and advice. I knew that the path i'm going to take is going to be a very tough and rocky one. But i don't see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. I still have like about 1 and a half years in the course plus internship before i graduate. Till then, hopefully i get to build my contacts and learn as much as possible from friends, seniors and instructors in my school biggrin.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 11 2011, 10:32 PM
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Wow, Tony, I'll bookmark this man. Your posts are awesome, each one is an article to itself smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 12 2011, 09:31 AM
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QUOTE (badfingers93 @ Jun 11 2011, 02:50 PM) *
Thanks tony for the valuable input and advice. I knew that the path i'm going to take is going to be a very tough and rocky one. But i don't see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. I still have like about 1 and a half years in the course plus internship before i graduate. Till then, hopefully i get to build my contacts and learn as much as possible from friends, seniors and instructors in my school biggrin.gif


Best of luck - it's hard initially but if you enjoy it and perservere it's possible to make a go of it cool.gif . One more suggestion - when you apply for an intern make sure you have a proper CV and preferably also a portfolio that has some recorded examples of your mixes for them to listen to.

Thanks for the kind words Ivan smile.gif .



--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 12 2011, 06:52 PM
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I have to agree with Ivan! Tony, your posts are always so interesting and informative! It's so great that you are part of this community! biggrin.gif


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