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Music enginering info help!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by peaveyman09, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. peaveyman09


    Nov 14, 2007
    Hey guys, I'm a junior in high school and i am required to write a research paper, 6 pages, on the outlook, salary etc. of the career i plan on pursuing. I want to be a Musical Engineer, ya know, the studio sound board guy. So i was wondering if you guys could post some links of places where i could find a lot of information on this job. It would be Very much appreciated!! -Thankyou
  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are many websites on recording if you just google for them. GearSlutz is a good starting point its like Talkbass or audio gear heads.

  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    If you are serious about this here are some things to consider.

    1.) Home digital recording has put a real hit on the smaller professional studios. Many demos and small projects that were the 'bread and butter' of studios are now done in basements and bedrooms.

    2.) Many professional recording engineers came from a music performing background. This counts for a lot in really understanding the music recording process.

    3.) If you intend to pay money for the training (like on the college level), research the schools you are considering VERY closely. Ask about what 'on the job training' is available and ask where their graduates are working.

    4.) Go to a local professional recording studio (not someones basement!) and ask if you can work as an intern. Be prepared to do this work for free so you can see first hand what the life of a recording engineer is like.

    When you read magazines like "Mix" you'll see unbelievable pictures of some of the finest studios in the world. They are not all like that... and unless the studio is wildly famous or in a large market area (big city) it may be several levels less than the image protrayed by the media.

    Recording sound for a living can be a very enjoyable career. Make sure you understand what you are going for.
  4. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Keep in mind that there are really no jobs available in this field. Yes the jobs exist, but there are less and less as time goes on (because of music industry decline and home recording), all the existing jobs are taken, and if a position does open up, there are hundreds of guys with 25 years experience and industry contacts waiting to take it.

    Just FYI, go on gearslutz or SOS or read some of the threads in Janek Gwizdala's forum on here. Every single time this kind of question is asked, people that are "in the biz" will tell you the same things. There are no jobs. There are still opportunities, but if you're expecting to get some kind of Recording Engineer job at any studio (not just a big one, ANY studio) after you graduate from a college recording program (no matter where it is or how much it costs), prepare for disappointment now. For average salary on your paper, you may as well put down $0. Yes there are a few engineers making the big bux, but when you factor in the many thousands of wannabes that graduate every year and can't get a job, it averages out to about $0.

    I have a Music Business degree btw. I work in IT currently. I also worked in IT before I went to college.
  5. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Wow, he badmouths Digital recording because it "doesn't work properly and is a destructive influence". Completely dismissing Digital because you don't know how to make a computer work is a pretty ignorant viewpoint.. Analog is great but to get the same quality from Analog it also costs about 100x more than Digital, which even quality Digital recording gear is out of price range for most musicians... His reasons for busting on Digital recording only get more ridiculous from there.. ie, because he makes "permanent recording of records that are intended to last forever" he MUST, MUST, use Analog tape. lol?

    He may be a bigshot but his reasoning is terrible.
  6. In 75 years do you expect to be able to find a machine running MAC OS X, a copy of pro tools, a working set of pro tools HD cards and the appropriate hardware dongle? This is assuming the physical media is still intact. You will be able to play back 2" tape. The problem is not with digital vs. analog per se but with the huge number of technologies, the short shelf life of each and the locking of data in to a format which requires a proprietary and not publicly documented system to decode.
  7. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    Albini is the cranky grandpa that poo poos on everything. Hes like the far right if your basic studio kid with an mbox is far left. Albini is very stuck in his ways, and has some strange views on the music industry, like not taking points on an album. If any engineer puts his sonic footprint on an album its albini, so I would say hes entitled to his share of the album. My friend is an assistant for one of Alibinis assistant so ive heard some interesting stories about him.

    Unforunately your picking a bad industry to get into. I have me degree, a few decent albums to my credit, and tons of experience and I basically have no hope of ever getting a job really. Out of the top 20 studios in the world, 10 or more have closed in the last year. The days of big budgets for recording and really neat esoteric recording studios are over.
  8. +1 Digital gear can affordably obtain 24-bit, 192 kHz audio sampling with signal to noise ratios pushing 120 dB and frequency responses down to DC. This guy is blowing out his shorts when he suggests that analog recording is superior. Analog has significantly higher noise level, a smaller frequency response and it's more difficult to manipulate without adding more noise.
  9. not that sound quality has anything to do with digital as an archival format, but have you heard a well maintained 2" studer deck with a 8 track headstack? Digital is cheaper, more flexible and in most cases competitive with analog, but if you want cost no option best sound you can get analog is still better.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Ah, the eternal question, digital or analog. Roger Nichols and George Massenburg might be able to have an intelligent debate but everyone else I'll take with a grain of salt. This thread will self destruct in 3..2..1..
  11. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I hope he uses that site so that in his bibliography he has to quote "gearslutz.com" :D
  12. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Actually getting the old 1" and 2" masters isn't easy either. I was a recording engineer for awhile and still do some mixing. It used to hurt so much because our tape library would fill up and we would call the record labels to come get their tapes. The common response was they would take the 2-track master and to dump the multitrack masters. So I'd have to take the tapes run them across a bulk eraser and toss them in the dumpster. Not just the studio I worked for but friends told me they'd have to do the same thing where they worked. A lot of the old masters are gone since they took up so much space for storage.

    Then analog tape needs maintenance too to stay good over the years. It should be rewound about once a year it get some air in-between. Otherwise it can bleed, and being magnetic it will lose signal strength over time and become brittle. So digital media can maintain the original sound better in general. Then the media its self issue with pinholes and tape stretch.

    Aw but there was nothing like the smell of opening up a fresh reel of tape. :hyper:
  13. The technology problem lies with the analog tape; not digital tools. 2" tape players probably won't exist in 75 years but computers definitely will. It is more likely that there will be software that can actually migrate today's Pro Tools project files than it is that 2" tape decks will exist but I wouldn't count on either.

    The Pro Tools comparison is a little unfair as the Pro Tools files contain much more information than what could be found on an analog tape. They have MIDI information, effects and sequencing -- some of it very sophisticated. These capabilities that are not found on the 2" tape are the only reasons we might have difficulty reading the file in 75 years. The reality is that there is no need to lock digital music in any proprietary format. If longevity is a concern, the tracks can be saved as common files (e.g. WAV, AIFF, etc.). The music can be perfectly preserved forever as perfect copies are made migrating from floppy disc to hard disc to CD-ROM to BD-ROM to flux-capacitor-ROM or whatever the next technology is.

    With a tape, you cannot make a perfect copy. Each generation reduces fidelity and increases noise (and the noise level is already a good bit higher than digital on the very first generation). Furthermore, tapes do not have an infinite lifetime. They degrade and are subject to deterioration.

    I'd have to say that the best analog system is in no way superior to the better digital systems.
  14. :eyebrow:
    Please know what you are talking about before you post.

    Analog tape has a SIGNIFICANTLY WIDER frequency response than digital could sample at the moment. It also has about 8 times more headroom, so you can record at higher levels. The noise level is higher, but not significant enough to be a menace. The only thing digital does better is gives the engineer the ability to edit in a DAW, which is a BIG plus.
  15. There's no question--top engineers agree: Analog = better sound quality, Digital = Easier to edit and manipulate.

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