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focus on starting a fulltime band or engineering career?

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Anonymous
July 30, 2004 1:53:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I am 23 yo living in nyc. I have a bachelor's in electrical
engineering, amateur pro-tools experience, and band experience. I
consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
fascinated with the recording process. I am just starting to contact
studios for internships and look for band members. The thing is,
these are both full time projects and I will probably end up doing
both, but I feel like I need a better idea of the pros and cons of
these two fields, performer/musician vs engineer/producer.

I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
but I can see myself becoming involved in another musician's/band's
recording process, provided i have respect for that artist. I have
always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I listen to
just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as long as its
sincere. I have tremendous appreciation for the textures and mood
that are nessessary for a recording. I am not, however, an audiophile
who can hear the difference between one type of microphone or another,
or is obsessed with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
differences between certain microphones or preamps. Nor do I want to.
Most of that side does not interest me. I would rather hear an
interesting band play with awful equipment than hear a uninteresting
band play with the best gear out there.

Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is easier
to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer? which one do
you think is a better way to push the envelope and make history? i
keep thinking of people like brian eno, phil spector, and alan
parsons. thats kind of the level i'd be aiming for. but if i want
to, say, make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
I guess thats my dilemma, in order to make that landmark album that I
am itching to make, should I do it by becoming an engineer/producer or
by starting a band with people who I see eye to eye with?

also, considering one is moderately successful, is it equally as easy
to cross over into the other field, ie which is easier to accomplish:
being a good engineer/producer with some clout finding the right
musicians to play out and generate a buzz and get signed OR being in a
moderately successful band with a decent following and signed to an
indie label and getting into engineering//producing from that point?

I have tried using my engineering education to work for stomp box
companies and just found myself way over my head. I have very little
interest in op amps, darlington transistor configurations or the
schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
wonder that I managed to get a BSEE, but I did learn a few things,
especially regarding filters and feedback.

If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
who I respect. I want to experiment with recording, for example try
combining strange instruments and just focus on the texture of the
music. I would not enjoy recording a top 40 hit or some uninteresting
band. for example I would enjoy a band coming up to me and asking "we
want this certain type of feeling for this song, how can we get that
feeling?" or "we want this song to sound like phil spector's wall of
sound". I am afraid that in reality, studio engineering is not like
this and is in fact a by-the-rules, uncreative process that will leave
me feeling unfulfilled. please say it ain't so.

does anyone identify with this or has some insight into my dilemma?

thanks
phil
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 10:31:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I
>consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
>fascinated with the recording process. The thing is,
>these are both full time projects and I will probably end up doing
>both, but I feel like I need a better idea of the pros and cons of
>these two fields

you are 23. Be a musician. Bang hot chicks, play outrageous music, travel,
get funky with yo' bad self If you have an EE then you have been fairly
serious about life so far Bust a move!

In the process you will end up in studios and can observe the inner workings of
same... there are a number of jobs in the field, ranging from producer, who is
responible for vibe and feel and all that fru-fru stuff <g>, to the technician
that figures out grounding schemes, fixes equipment etc. , to the engineer who
is somewhere in between in the "classical" studio paradigm.

But now... dude... you are 23!! (see below). Unless you are just focused like
a laser beam on a particular career, and it sounds like you ain't, then play
music if you have that gift. It does not get much better than to be an
intelligent musician in his/her 20's. You'll have serious fun and grow in ways
you can't imagine yet. Bastard.

(from my younger sister's recent college graduation, keynote speaker was the
guy who basically created Earth Day, I forget his name: "... there is not a
70-year-old billionaire on the planet who wouldn't trade everything he has for
what you have... as you stand there in your college poverty, you are rich
beyond your wildest dreams..." (or words to that effect)

Go, man, go!

-jeff
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 10:32:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"still roasting" <stillroasting@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b4d2289c.0407292053.57101491@posting.google.com...
> I am 23 yo living in nyc. I have a bachelor's in electrical
> engineering, amateur pro-tools experience, and band experience. I
> consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
> fascinated with the recording process. I am just starting to contact
> studios for internships and look for band members. The thing is,
> these are both full time projects and I will probably end up doing
> both, but I feel like I need a better idea of the pros and cons of
> these two fields, performer/musician vs engineer/producer.
>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
> but I can see myself becoming involved in another musician's/band's
> recording process, provided i have respect for that artist. I have
> always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I listen to
> just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as long as its
> sincere. I have tremendous appreciation for the textures and mood
> that are nessessary for a recording. I am not, however, an audiophile
> who can hear the difference between one type of microphone or another,
> or is obsessed with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
> differences between certain microphones or preamps. Nor do I want to.
> Most of that side does not interest me. I would rather hear an
> interesting band play with awful equipment than hear a uninteresting
> band play with the best gear out there.

Sounds like you've answered your own question. You can't hear the
differences between microphones, and don't want to. That doesn't interest
you. Okay, that rules you out as an engineer/producer; most of the job of an
engineer, and a lot of the job of a producer, is to sit and listen to
subtle -- very subtle -- differences between things like microphones,
preamps, EQs, etc., and make tiny technical adjustments. That ain't your
thing. Fine; there's no disgrace in that, but it means being an
engineer/producer is something you would neither enjoy nor be any good at.
It's precisely the equivalent of trying to be a great musician, but not
being able to hear the difference between G, G7 and Gdim chords, and not
being interested in the difference. 'Twouldn't work.

Rupert Neve tells a story about an engineer he worked with as a client. The
engineer took delivery on a new console, called back in a few days, very
unhappy. "It doesn't sound right, Rupert. Just doesn't sound right." After
Neve sent a technician out to check, he discovered two out of the channels
in the board (it has 32 or 48, I forget which) had had the termination
resistors accidentally left off one particular transformer. This created
about a 2dB peak in the response up around 40kHz, and maybe an 0.3dB rise in
the 15kHz-20kHz region, rather than a smooth response and rolloff. It also
messed up the transient and phase responses just a little. The guy's ears
told him something was wrong, and something was. He has good ears. Oh, the
engineer is a fella named Geoff Emerick. That's what you need to be a
top-drawer engineer.

> Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is easier
> to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer?

No.

> which one do
> you think is a better way to push the envelope and make history? i
> keep thinking of people like brian eno, phil spector, and alan
> parsons. thats kind of the level i'd be aiming for. but if i want
> to, say, make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
> not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
> I guess thats my dilemma, in order to make that landmark album that I
> am itching to make, should I do it by becoming an engineer/producer or
> by starting a band with people who I see eye to eye with?

Here's a suggestion: find some folks you *mostly* see eye-to-eye with, start
a band, and see if you can make some good music. That comes first; history
comes later. And the "mostly" is because if you see perfectly eye-to-eye
with them, you'll have a boring band. To a certain extent, it's the give and
take, and the differences in life experience, that make good bands.

> also, considering one is moderately successful, is it equally as easy
> to cross over into the other field, ie which is easier to accomplish:
> being a good engineer/producer with some clout finding the right
> musicians to play out and generate a buzz and get signed OR being in a
> moderately successful band with a decent following and signed to an
> indie label and getting into engineering//producing from that point?

Both are nearly impossible.

> I have tried using my engineering education to work for stomp box
> companies and just found myself way over my head. I have very little
> interest in op amps, darlington transistor configurations or the
> schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
> wonder that I managed to get a BSEE, but I did learn a few things,
> especially regarding filters and feedback.

Okay, that's another field -- equipment design -- that you're not interested
in. Good; Thomas Edison once said that half of the invention process is
figuring out what won't work.

> If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
> point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
> who I respect. I want to experiment with recording, for example try
> combining strange instruments and just focus on the texture of the
> music. I would not enjoy recording a top 40 hit or some uninteresting
> band. for example I would enjoy a band coming up to me and asking "we
> want this certain type of feeling for this song, how can we get that
> feeling?" or "we want this song to sound like phil spector's wall of
> sound". I am afraid that in reality, studio engineering is not like
> this and is in fact a by-the-rules, uncreative process that will leave
> me feeling unfulfilled. please say it ain't so.

It ain't so. It's a highly creative process where rules are often broken.
But the people who succeed at it are people who are interested in the
technique (e.g., listening to different microphones, knowing something about
how their gear works, etc.) and understand how to use their technical
expertise to create esthetic effects. Not your thing, as you said.

You're basically saying you'd like to be a really great painter, as long as
you don't need to learn how to handle a brush and palette.

Oh, and for the first several years you don't really get to pick your
clients unless you've got a well-paying day job, or a trust fund.

If music is your thing, and you can overcome your aversion to technical
stuff at least enough to hear the difference between different guitars and
amps, go start a band. When you get good enough, and there's enough money in
the band kitty, hire somebody else to record it.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 10:32:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<jYlOc.154093$OB3.100949@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>...

> Sounds like you've answered your own question. You can't hear the
> differences between microphones, and don't want to. That doesn't interest
> you. Okay, that rules you out as an engineer/producer; most of the job of an
> engineer, and a lot of the job of a producer, is to sit and listen to
> subtle -- very subtle -- differences between things like microphones,
> preamps, EQs, etc., and make tiny technical adjustments. That ain't your
> thing. Fine; there's no disgrace in that, but it means being an
> engineer/producer is something you would neither enjoy nor be any good at.


I'll humbly point out that while the OP indeed does not seem cut out
to be an engineer, he has not ruled out being a producer.

There's an extensive litany of successful producers who focus
primarily on musical arranging & performance issues, & leave the
engineering details to a trusted co-worker. (Quincy Jones, with Bruce
Swedien, comes to mind as just one example.) They're more from the Big
Picture school of producing...and again, no disgrace in that, and no
one can rightly claim that one production style is "better" than the
other. And with the ascent of bedroom studio R&B production, there's
also a growing population of folks for whom "producer" means they're
the songwriter/track builder...i.e., they're the MPC60 operator.
Again, not a disgrace, arguably a perfectly valid and rewarding career
path, you get to call yourself a producer and still not need to care
whether a U-87 sounds better than a C414.

It does however go to show how the word "producer" has evolved to the
point where it's been practically stripped of all useful meaning!
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 12:03:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<<You can't hear the
differences between microphones, and don't want to. That doesn't interest
you. Okay, that rules you out as an engineer/producer; >>
"Paul Stamler"

No more than it rules out an architect who isn't aware of the advances in
nail gun technology. On topic, there's a brilliant producer in my studio at
the moment who knows squat about mics, pre's, etc. and has heard of
compression. That's about it.But, when it sounds wrong, he opens his mouth.
Wrong to him could be musical(tuning, phrasing, groove, blend, voicing etc.)
or technical(strident, harsh, thin or whatever). He's able to rectify the
musical side and trusts that we'll do the same on the nuts and bolts. Does
that rule him out as a producer? I think not! The original poster reminds me
of him in that, he's passionate about creating mood and textures in the
studio, and has a great ear. These are the qualities many artists are
looking for in a producer.

regards

Rick Hollett
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 12:38:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

stillroasting@hotmail.com (still roasting) wrote in message news:<b4d2289c.0407292053.57101491@posting.google.com>...
> I am 23 yo living in nyc. I have a bachelor's in electrical
> engineering, amateur pro-tools experience, and band experience. I
> consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
> fascinated with the recording process. I am just starting to contact
> studios for internships and look for band members. The thing is,
> these are both full time projects and I will probably end up doing
> both, but I feel like I need a better idea of the pros and cons of
> these two fields, performer/musician vs engineer/producer.
>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
> but I can see myself becoming involved in another musician's/band's
> recording process, provided i have respect for that artist. I have
> always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I listen to
> just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as long as its
> sincere. I have tremendous appreciation for the textures and mood
> that are nessessary for a recording. I am not, however, an audiophile
> who can hear the difference between one type of microphone or another,
> or is obsessed with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
> differences between certain microphones or preamps. Nor do I want to.
> Most of that side does not interest me. I would rather hear an
> interesting band play with awful equipment than hear a uninteresting
> band play with the best gear out there.
>
> Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is easier
> to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer? which one do
> you think is a better way to push the envelope and make history? i
> keep thinking of people like brian eno, phil spector, and alan
> parsons. thats kind of the level i'd be aiming for. but if i want
> to, say, make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
> not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
> I guess thats my dilemma, in order to make that landmark album that I
> am itching to make, should I do it by becoming an engineer/producer or
> by starting a band with people who I see eye to eye with?
>
> also, considering one is moderately successful, is it equally as easy
> to cross over into the other field, ie which is easier to accomplish:
> being a good engineer/producer with some clout finding the right
> musicians to play out and generate a buzz and get signed OR being in a
> moderately successful band with a decent following and signed to an
> indie label and getting into engineering//producing from that point?
>
> I have tried using my engineering education to work for stomp box
> companies and just found myself way over my head. I have very little
> interest in op amps, darlington transistor configurations or the
> schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
> wonder that I managed to get a BSEE, but I did learn a few things,
> especially regarding filters and feedback.
>
> If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
> point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
> who I respect. I want to experiment with recording, for example try
> combining strange instruments and just focus on the texture of the
> music. I would not enjoy recording a top 40 hit or some uninteresting
> band. for example I would enjoy a band coming up to me and asking "we
> want this certain type of feeling for this song, how can we get that
> feeling?" or "we want this song to sound like phil spector's wall of
> sound". I am afraid that in reality, studio engineering is not like
> this and is in fact a by-the-rules, uncreative process that will leave
> me feeling unfulfilled. please say it ain't so.
>
> does anyone identify with this or has some insight into my dilemma?
>
> thanks
> phil


I have had the same problem. I am also in NYC, I am 27 and I have
tried to do both band/songwriting and enginneering/producing. The
result has been a mediocre band, some half-assed studio experience and
a pseudo home studio. I have foudn it very difficult to manage both
band and studio time and have either pay off enough to support myself.
So, in going along with the rest of advice I have read here, stick
with the band for now and pick up what you can about
engineering/producing from the client side. It will be easier to move
into producing from playing than it will be the other way.
The other reason to do the band thing now is that you are fast
approaching the "too old" mark. That may sound ridiculous and there
are certainly exceptions(a topic covered here before) but even at 27
the idea of major label deal is pretty much out. Get going on that.
Hey and if you need any help getting gigs in nyc, let me know
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 4:44:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for all of your responses. I am definitely more into the
producing side of things than the engineering side of things.

My point of view is just that if two different trustworthy engineers
come to me with two different bass drum mics and both of them tell me
that their mic is a great bass drum mic, I'd take their word for it.
If one of the mics was tube and the other was not, I'd probably opt
for the tube one, just because I like retro. But to me, I'd be much
more interested in where that mic would be placed to get the best
sound. That seems much more important. I'd be more into whether or
not I should maybe use both mics and have one up close and one farther
back and just experiment with that aspect of it. I might even sit
there for a little while and find out which one sounds better, but I
wouldn't go crazy about trying every bass drum mic in existence. I
wouldn't do a bunch of freq response charts trying to see which one
has the most eye-pleasing curve. And most likely, two different good
bass drum mics would sound about the same to me. What I was trying to
get at originally was that I do care about sound quality, but a good
mic is a good mic and thats all I need. For example, 57s sound fine
to me for most applications and I use them for vocals, guitars, and
pianos, but if someone suggested another mic to use, i'd give it a
shot. Does this sound like an engineer or a producer?

Also, how would I get into becoming a producer, not in the Dr. Dre
sense, but more in the alan parsons, brian eno sense? I always
thought that those british producers started out as engineers. That
seems to be the best way to get in. Would you all agree that the best
way to become a producer is to first be an engineer?

I recently finished a recording project and people who are into the
sound engineering side of things told me it was really well done,
considering I used ProTools Free 16bit with 8 tracks. The overall
sound was rather muddy, but I attribute that to the 16bit. But maybe
its the 57s that are doing that?

I am interested in at least interning in a studio for a short time, if
for no other reason than to get a little extra knowledge, and maybe
get a few connections.

if you guys would like to hear my recordings, go to
www.rivative.net/wildlife

lemme know what you think....
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 7:50:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< No more than it rules out an architect who isn't aware of the advances in
nail gun technology. >>

No, it's more like an architect who doesn't know the tensile strength of the
materials he's designing structures with.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
July 30, 2004 10:31:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <b4d2289c.0407301144.f0920ba@posting.google.com> stillroasting@hotmail.com writes:

> I am definitely more into the
> producing side of things than the engineering side of things.

> My point of view is just that if two different trustworthy engineers
> come to me with two different bass drum mics and both of them tell me
> that their mic is a great bass drum mic, I'd take their word for it.
> If one of the mics was tube and the other was not, I'd probably opt
> for the tube one, just because I like retro. But to me, I'd be much
> more interested in where that mic would be placed to get the best
> sound. That seems much more important.

OK, go join a band. You just flunked your first test as a producer.
What you should say is "OK, go set one up and let's listen to it." It
doesn't matter if it has a tube or if it's pointed at the trombone
player, if the engineer gets the sound that you hear as fitting with
the song, that's the way to do it. But if you don't like what you
hear, you need to be able to give him some guidance in how you want
the sound to change (not "I think you need to move the mic closer to
the bass drum." - that's the engineer's job to figure out)

> I might even sit
> there for a little while and find out which one sounds better, but I
> wouldn't go crazy about trying every bass drum mic in existence.

Now you're getting the idea. Try, listen, zero in on a sound that will
work, and move on.

> Also, how would I get into becoming a producer, not in the Dr. Dre
> sense, but more in the alan parsons, brian eno sense?

Find a band that you like, and that you get along with, and produce
them. For free. Then take the great CD you made around to another band
and say "Listen to this band. I can make you sound just as good. Call
me when you're ready to go into the studio." Eventually you'll find
someone who will pay for your time. When they pay you as much for your
time as they'd pay Alan Parsons, then you've made your goal.

> I always
> thought that those british producers started out as engineers. That
> seems to be the best way to get in. Would you all agree that the best
> way to become a producer is to first be an engineer?

Not necessarily, but it doesn't hurt to have some engineering
experience.

> I recently finished a recording project and people who are into the
> sound engineering side of things told me it was really well done,
> considering I used ProTools Free 16bit with 8 tracks. The overall
> sound was rather muddy, but I attribute that to the 16bit. But maybe
> its the 57s that are doing that?

Well, if you were producing, you would have been aware of that when
you were tracking, and wouldn't let it happen. Things don't sound
muddy because they're 16-bit, or because they were recorded with
SM57s, they get muddy because the acoustics (that's room + placement)
weren't right, or more significantly, that the arrangement isn't right
and you have things competing for the same audio space.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 1:04:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<<No, it's more like an architect who doesn't know the tensile strength of
the
materials he's designing structures with.>>

That's just what it's like, Scott(not)! Would be producers and highly
talented musicians, NOW HEAR THIS. Stay away from producing anything until
you know every subtle difference between mics, pres, comps, tubes, bits
etc., because there's no help forthcoming from any engineer. They're usually
a difficult bunch to work with, no peoople skills, and for god sake, don't
ask him to write a bridge.


Rick Hollett
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 7:50:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"still roasting" wrote:
> Thanks for all of your responses. I am definitely more into the
> producing side of things than the engineering side of things.
<snip>

They often have very little to with each other.

> Also, how would I get into becoming a producer, not in the Dr. Dre
> sense, but more in the alan parsons, brian eno sense? I always
> thought that those british producers started out as engineers. That
> seems to be the best way to get in. Would you all agree that the best
> way to become a producer is to first be an engineer?

No. Some engineers can make the transition, but many can't (and probably
shouldn't).


> I recently finished a recording project and people who are into the
> sound engineering side of things told me it was really well done,
> considering I used ProTools Free 16bit with 8 tracks. The overall
> sound was rather muddy, but I attribute that to the 16bit. But maybe
> its the 57s that are doing that?

Maybe. It's probably a combination of things.

>
> I am interested in at least interning in a studio for a short time, if
> for no other reason than to get a little extra knowledge, and maybe
> get a few connections.

Interning can be a good thing just for being exposed to different people's
processes. But don't expect to spend much time actually in the room where
the recording is happening.

Since you write songs and perform, the most direct path to producing is
probably to work on your demos until they're lathered with brillance and
work it from there.

Good luck.

-jw
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 8:09:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< That's just what it's like, Scott(not)! Would be producers and highly
talented musicians, NOW HEAR THIS. Stay away from producing anything until
you know every subtle difference between mics, pres, comps, tubes, bits
etc., because there's no help forthcoming from any engineer. They're usually
a difficult bunch to work with, no peoople skills, and for god sake, don't
ask him to write a bridge. >>


You want to bring ignorance to the table & call it an asset, that's fine with
me. I believe knowing what causes what it is you're hearing is valuable. If you
don't like what you're hearing, but can't tell if it's an overly distant
miking, excessive compression, wrong polar pattern, leakage from another
source, or whatever else, well, what good are you to the project?

Of course, it all depends on what you call "producing". I've worked with Grammy
awarded producers who are there just to make sure every note is in tune & on
the beat, & I've worked with producers who work on the nuts & bolts level of
bringing an abstract idea to fruition for an artist.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 8:09:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<<Of course, it all depends on what you call "producing".>>

It can be different things, as you pointed out

<<I've worked with Grammy
awarded producers who are there just to make sure every note is in tune & on
the beat, & I've worked with producers who work on the nuts & bolts level of
bringing an abstract idea to fruition for an artist.>>

So they're both producers, right?

<<If you don't like what you're hearing, but can't tell if it's an overly
distant miking, excessive compression, wrong polar pattern, leakage from
another source, or whatever else, well, what good are you to the project?>>

"Hey, could we try a different mic?", he queried the engineer. The engineer
may indeed have something to bring to the table, or are most of them just
cloth eared button pushers in your estimation? Early on, the would-be
producer will rely on an engineers knowledge to get his musical points
across, gaining knowledge about useful mic techniques, etc. as he goes, all
the time realizing his own vision of the composition he's working on. If you
know of a better way, I'd love to hear it(and I'm sure I will)

Rick Hollett
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 8:46:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"still roasting" <stillroasting@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b4d2289c.0407292053.57101491@posting.google.com...
>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
>
<snip>
>
> but if i want to, say,
> make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
> not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
> schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
> wonder that I managed to get a BSEE


Seems to me you've answered your own question more than once, just while
asking it.

Don't make your decision based on calculated analysis of possible
outcomes. Follow your gut.

In my case, I didn't choose a career in audio. I never had any choice.
It was all I could ever imagine doing. Even as a kid I was always
screwing around with recording and reproducing sound. Audio is more
than my vocation, it's my passion.

Find your passion and pursue it.

(BTW, for better or worse, there is a significant technical side to
being an audio geek. That's not *all* there is to it, but you gotta be
willing and able to do that left-brain stuff to be successful at it.)

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 10:58:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Early on, the would-be
producer will rely on an engineers knowledge to get his musical points
across, gaining knowledge about useful mic techniques, etc. as he goes, all
the time realizing his own vision of the composition he's working on. >>

No producer I'm aware of started in a vacuum. They started as session
musicians, engineers, composers, etc. They already had a wealth of studio
experience prior to taking responsibility for someone else's record project.
But that's just the people I know. Maybe there are other producers who don't
really know how to make a record, but get good results anyway.

<< If you
know of a better way, I'd love to hear it(and I'm sure I will) >>

Yeah. Learn about how recordings are made. You have to know what it is you're
hearing.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 11:01:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< The overall
> sound was rather muddy, but I attribute that to the 16bit. >>

No, the fact that there have been non-muddy 16bit recordings argues against
that conclusion.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 12:57:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I am 23 yo living in nyc. I have a bachelor's in electrical
> engineering, amateur pro-tools experience, and band experience. I
> consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
> fascinated with the recording process...

It does sound like you are answering your own questions

The business is overflowing with talented people with vision yet
nowhere to take that vision... you are not alone there are many, many
people with the same problems.

Look, I agree with many of the postings here on many issues except for
a few. I don't believe that you have to know the subtle differences
between microphone and other tools to be successful. All it takes is a
great ear for what sounds good and a willingness just to read up on
the equipment you are working with and how it can help you. Whenever I
ran into sound problems I sought out help, read books and the like.
You do have a degree so that is good.

When I was twenty three, I was out there playing, touring and MEETING
AS MANY PEOPLE AS I CAN.

Build a team that will help you get where you are. Get advice. With
hard work and dedication you can at least find the area you want to be
and give it a shot. Not to reiterate but you are only twenty three.
Unless you are Ashley Simpson or partaking in some other nepitism, it
is very hard to be a SUCCESSFUL recording artist these days.


Anyway, listen, hang out in clubs, talk to people, get a feel for what
you want, get inspired, write music for yourself... don't be afraid of
failure. Hell, record for the sake of recording!


There are people that safely guard this business to all newcomers to
some degree because of the influx of "producers" and "composers" and
the like. And while there are millions of people with Pro Tools LE, a
mac and fingers, there aren't too many people without a clue how to
use them. Thus, the crowded market and millions of "Producers" and
"Composers". There should be a forum for people to figure out how to
be successful.

There sure as hell aint no sure things here.

good luck :) 

dan powers
real brave audio







>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
> but I can see myself becoming involved in another musician's/band's
> recording process, provided i have respect for that artist. I have
> always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I listen to
> just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as long as its
> sincere. I have tremendous appreciation for the textures and mood
> that are nessessary for a recording. I am not, however, an audiophile
> who can hear the difference between one type of microphone or another,
> or is obsessed with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
> differences between certain microphones or preamps. Nor do I want to.
> Most of that side does not interest me. I would rather hear an
> interesting band play with awful equipment than hear a uninteresting
> band play with the best gear out there.
>
> Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is easier
> to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer? which one do
> you think is a better way to push the envelope and make history? i
> keep thinking of people like brian eno, phil spector, and alan
> parsons. thats kind of the level i'd be aiming for. but if i want
> to, say, make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
> not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
> I guess thats my dilemma, in order to make that landmark album that I
> am itching to make, should I do it by becoming an engineer/producer or
> by starting a band with people who I see eye to eye with?
>
> also, considering one is moderately successful, is it equally as easy
> to cross over into the other field, ie which is easier to accomplish:
> being a good engineer/producer with some clout finding the right
> musicians to play out and generate a buzz and get signed OR being in a
> moderately successful band with a decent following and signed to an
> indie label and getting into engineering//producing from that point?
>
> I have tried using my engineering education to work for stomp box
> companies and just found myself way over my head. I have very little
> interest in op amps, darlington transistor configurations or the
> schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
> wonder that I managed to get a BSEE, but I did learn a few things,
> especially regarding filters and feedback.
>
> If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
> point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
> who I respect. I want to experiment with recording, for example try
> combining strange instruments and just focus on the texture of the
> music. I would not enjoy recording a top 40 hit or some uninteresting
> band. for example I would enjoy a band coming up to me and asking "we
> want this certain type of feeling for this song, how can we get that
> feeling?" or "we want this song to sound like phil spector's wall of
> sound". I am afraid that in reality, studio engineering is not like
> this and is in fact a by-the-rules, uncreative process that will leave
> me feeling unfulfilled. please say it ain't so.
>
> does anyone identify with this or has some insight into my dilemma?
>
> thanks
> phil
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 7:02:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

OK, this is going to sting a little. You ready?

"still roasting" <stillroasting@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b4d2289c.0407292053.57101491@posting.google.com...
>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own
> material

Just like everyone else on the planet, whether they openly admit it or not.


> always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I
> listen to just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as
> long as its sincere.

Again, just like everyone else.

> I am not, however, an audiophile who can hear the difference
> between one type of microphone or another, or is obsessed
> with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
> differences between certain microphones or preamps.
> Nor do I want to. Most of that side does not interest me.

That's fine, but so far, you haven't given me anything that sets you apart
from anyone else.

> I would rather hear an interesting band play with awful
> equipment than hear a uninteresting band play with the
> best gear out there.

Again, who doesn't?

> Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is
> easier to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer?

Odds are, the less sexy option will be the more lucrative one. Because
you're doing something other people would rather not be doing. So they'll
pay YOU to do it.

The engineer will make more money in the short and medium term than a
songwriter ever will. The songwriter is playing the lotto. He *can* strike
it rich - no one says he can't. But look at the odds.

Your question is which is "easier to earn a living" from.

The answer is engineer.

But if you have no interest in the technical side, why even ask the
question? It's like someone who hates math asking if he should become a
mathematician.

> If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
> point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
> who I respect.

No offense, Phil, but as a musician with money to spend, I would never hire
you. Re-read what you wrote. You YOURSELF are surprised that you managed to
earn that degree. And we're all just as surprised as you are if even half of
what you claim to not be interested in knowing about is true.

The bottom line that nobody wants to hear is that everyone - even people who
never touched an instrument - thinks they'd make great songwriters. A rare
few actually will be... but you'll agree with me that a vast majority
aren't.

In my experience, 95% of the people you will find at EVERY LEVEL of the
music industry -- from the A&R guy looking for talent, to the studio
engineer twisting the knobs, to the people working at the radio station that
will end up playing you -- they all used to play guitar and wanted to be
Bono or David Gilmore.

Naturally, that is a gross generalization, but you get the idea. They were
all in bands of somekind and all entertained the very sexy idea of being a
rock star. Your description of yourself is hardly anything special or
unique. A very rare few get into the less sexy parts of the music industry
WITHOUT having first failed as songwriters or musicians. They just love
music, and need to make a living.

Almost all of them would trade their engineering hat for a songwriter's pen
if it promised to pay them the same wage.

Sorry for the reality check, but you need to realize that there are almost
as many people who want to become Bono and David Gilmore as there are people
who want to be rich.

How many people do you know who want to be rich?

That's who you're competing with. All those people. And there's only room
for a couple of you.

Engineering isn't always fun. But there's a reason people will pay them
money to do what they do.

It's that so they, themselves, won't have to.
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 8:30:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Erich" <littlegreenman68@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e61b1bc2.0408030721.4f9c7f4f@posting.google.com...

> I'm thinking Zevo is right. Based on what you've written-you'll make
> more money in Karaoke contests than in performing/engineering. If you
> say you don't have a knack for writing-- forget producing.

Not so; I have a good ear for an arrangement, know what balances right, know
good lyrics when I hear 'em. Just can't write 'em. So I work with people who
can and do, or who sing old songs, and when I perform I sing other people's
songs, including my favorite composer, Trad., and occasionally play one of
my instrumental pieces.

Hey, George Martin never wrote a lyric that I'm aware of, and he's a pretty
good producer.

> Zookeeper maybe?

How is that different from being a producer?

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 4:16:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> No offense, Phil, but as a musician with money to spend, I would never hire
> you. Re-read what you wrote. You YOURSELF are surprised that you managed to
> earn that degree. And we're all just as surprised as you are if even half of
> what you claim to not be interested in knowing about is true.

I was exagerating a little too much. 90% of the classes I took as an
engineering student were absolutely useless. This has no meaning.
The only people who do well in EE school are not people who make a
career in music anyway. Nobody likes professors telling you how to
live your life.

> rock star. Your description of yourself is hardly anything special or
> unique. A very rare few get into the less sexy parts of the music industry
> WITHOUT having first failed as songwriters or musicians. They just love
> music, and need to make a living.

Am I supposed to tell you that I'd make a great engineer or musician
because I was born in the jungle and raised by baboons who knew a
magic spell to make things sound good?

How does anyone sound unique or special? I was not trying to impress.
I was not posting my resume. I know enough about me to know what I
am capable of.

> Sorry for the reality check, but you need to realize that there are almost
> as many people who want to become Bono and David Gilmore as there are people
> who want to be rich.

Y-Y-You mean I can't just become a rock star and wear spandex on stage
and become rich? I thought that was all there was to it. This is a
real downer, man. I thought I could be a slacker AND a rock star at
the same time! Thanks for bursting my bubble...

I appreciate your advice, but you seem to think I posted this message
to advertise myself. I think I can write and produce pretty good
music, but I'd like to get better at it.

I have some mp3s at
www.rivative.net/wildlife
this would be a good example of my production engineering skills since
it was strictly a solo project.

maybe someone can tell me why it sounds a bit muddy or has some
suggestions for it.

But you all seem to imply that there is some way to sidestep being an
engineer and go straight to producing. How can I do this via a studio
internship? How can I let them know that I want to produce for them
and not engineer?


Thanks,
Phil
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 4:16:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> No offense, Phil, but as a musician with money to spend, I would never hire
> you. Re-read what you wrote. You YOURSELF are surprised that you managed to
> earn that degree. And we're all just as surprised as you are if even half of
> what you claim to not be interested in knowing about is true.

I was exagerating a little too much. 90% of the classes I took as an
engineering student were absolutely useless. This has no meaning.
The only people who do well in EE school are not people who make a
career in music anyway. Nobody likes professors telling you how to
live your life.

> rock star. Your description of yourself is hardly anything special or
> unique. A very rare few get into the less sexy parts of the music industry
> WITHOUT having first failed as songwriters or musicians. They just love
> music, and need to make a living.

Am I supposed to tell you that I'd make a great engineer or musician
because I was born in the jungle and raised by baboons who knew a
magic spell to make things sound good?

How does anyone sound unique or special? I was not trying to impress.
I was not posting my resume. I know enough about me to know what I
am capable of.

> Sorry for the reality check, but you need to realize that there are almost
> as many people who want to become Bono and David Gilmore as there are people
> who want to be rich.

Y-Y-You mean I can't just become a rock star and wear spandex on stage
and become rich? I thought that was all there was to it. This is a
real downer, man. I thought I could be a slacker AND a rock star at
the same time! Thanks for bursting my bubble...

I appreciate your advice, but you seem to think I posted this message
to advertise myself. I think I can write and produce pretty good
music, but I'd like to get better at it.

I have some mp3s at
www.rivative.net/wildlife
this would be a good example of my production engineering skills since
it was strictly a solo project.

maybe someone can tell me why it sounds a bit muddy or has some
suggestions for it.

But you all seem to imply that there is some way to sidestep being an
engineer and go straight to producing. How can I do this via a studio
internship? How can I let them know that I want to produce for them
and not engineer?


Thanks,
Phil
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 6:20:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>
> I'll humbly point out that while the OP indeed does not seem cut out
> to be an engineer, he has not ruled out being a producer.

Assuming I have an internship in a studio, how do I show them that I'd
make a much better producer than engineer? I have a feeling I will
get pigeonholed due to my EE degree, like they will say "oh you are an
EE, you will be engineering for us." And I'll have no chance to dig
myself out of that.
August 4, 2004 11:54:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Your description of yourself is hardly anything special or
> > unique. A very rare few get into the less sexy parts of the music industry
> > WITHOUT having first failed as songwriters or musicians. They just love
> > music, and need to make a living.
>
Sorry for not following this thread
but this statment is complete hogwash
I know hundreds of industy techs, engineers, truck drivers, squints and
very few of them ever pursued a performing or writing career
many of us have playing music as a hobby but that is not why we beacame
sound people
George
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 1:05:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <b4d2289c.0408041320.5c02f416@posting.google.com> stillroasting@hotmail.com writes:

> Assuming I have an internship in a studio, how do I show them that I'd
> make a much better producer than engineer? I have a feeling I will
> get pigeonholed due to my EE degree, like they will say "oh you are an
> EE, you will be engineering for us." And I'll have no chance to dig
> myself out of that.


Actually, having an EE degree might get you a job doing maintenance,
but it won't help you to get a job, even an internship, as a studio
enginer. That takes an interest in the technology, some basic
knowledge of signal flow so that when the engineer asks you to patch a
compressor into a channel you'll be able to figure it out. But mostly
it takes a wilingness to learn without getting in the way.

The way you get to be a producer is not be interning in a studio,
because studios don't usually provide producers. You find a band you
like that wants to record and you offer to produce them. If you want
to learn how to be a REALLY GOOD producer, you find a band who
deserves to record but has no money and you find the money to get them
into a studio.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 3:07:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"still roasting" <stillroasting@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b4d2289c.0407292053.57101491@posting.google.com...
> I am 23 yo living in nyc. I have a bachelor's in electrical
> engineering, amateur pro-tools experience, and band

<snip>

I have a really quick response. Find something that you are not confused
about. Pick the thing you are really enthusiastic about and hold on by the
skin of your teeth. Don't think so much.

jb




experience. I
> consider myself a songwriter/performer but at the same time, I am
> fascinated with the recording process. I am just starting to contact
> studios for internships and look for band members. The thing is,
> these are both full time projects and I will probably end up doing
> both, but I feel like I need a better idea of the pros and cons of
> these two fields, performer/musician vs engineer/producer.
>
> I have always been more into the creative side of music than the
> technical side. I much prefer writing and recording my own material,
> but I can see myself becoming involved in another musician's/band's
> recording process, provided i have respect for that artist. I have
> always felt that i have an exceptional ear for music and I listen to
> just about every genre of music, dead or alive, as long as its
> sincere. I have tremendous appreciation for the textures and mood
> that are nessessary for a recording. I am not, however, an audiophile
> who can hear the difference between one type of microphone or another,
> or is obsessed with perfect tone. Most of the time, I cannot hear the
> differences between certain microphones or preamps. Nor do I want to.
> Most of that side does not interest me. I would rather hear an
> interesting band play with awful equipment than hear a uninteresting
> band play with the best gear out there.
>
> Some questions I have are, do all of you out there think it is easier
> to earn a living as a band/musician or as an engineer? which one do
> you think is a better way to push the envelope and make history? i
> keep thinking of people like brian eno, phil spector, and alan
> parsons. thats kind of the level i'd be aiming for. but if i want
> to, say, make a dark side of the moon, i suppose i would go about that
> not by becoming an alan parsons, but rather by becoming a pink floyd.
> I guess thats my dilemma, in order to make that landmark album that I
> am itching to make, should I do it by becoming an engineer/producer or
> by starting a band with people who I see eye to eye with?
>
> also, considering one is moderately successful, is it equally as easy
> to cross over into the other field, ie which is easier to accomplish:
> being a good engineer/producer with some clout finding the right
> musicians to play out and generate a buzz and get signed OR being in a
> moderately successful band with a decent following and signed to an
> indie label and getting into engineering//producing from that point?
>
> I have tried using my engineering education to work for stomp box
> companies and just found myself way over my head. I have very little
> interest in op amps, darlington transistor configurations or the
> schematics of fender amps. I am not a very technical person and its a
> wonder that I managed to get a BSEE, but I did learn a few things,
> especially regarding filters and feedback.
>
> If I was going to go full force into recording, I'd want to get to a
> point where I could pick my clients and work with bands and musicians
> who I respect. I want to experiment with recording, for example try
> combining strange instruments and just focus on the texture of the
> music. I would not enjoy recording a top 40 hit or some uninteresting
> band. for example I would enjoy a band coming up to me and asking "we
> want this certain type of feeling for this song, how can we get that
> feeling?" or "we want this song to sound like phil spector's wall of
> sound". I am afraid that in reality, studio engineering is not like
> this and is in fact a by-the-rules, uncreative process that will leave
> me feeling unfulfilled. please say it ain't so.
>
> does anyone identify with this or has some insight into my dilemma?
>
> thanks
> phil
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 6:58:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-08-04 mrivers@d-and-d.com said:
>without getting in the way. The way you get to be a producer is not
>be interning in a studio, because studios don't usually provide
>producers. You find a band you like that wants to record and you
>offer to produce them. If you want to learn how to be a REALLY GOOD
>producer, you find a band who deserves to record but has no money
>and you find the money to get them into a studio.
THat means doing your legwork. Maybe if you've got a small project
studio you work on demos for them using your gear. wHen you've raised
a little money to go to a better facility be talking with the engineer
about the vision that you and the musicians see or hear in your mind
when it's finished. Have samples of similar material.

wHen living in Eastern Iowa I had my own small project facility and
two better equipped facilities to take folks. MOney was about the
same at the other two and I could communicate with both house
engineers fine and actually take control of the sessions. HOwever
I've known of some producers that will bring their favorite engineer
to any studio they work at because they already have the communication
thing down.

YOu get to be a producer by doing some legwork, sniff around for bands
that might be able to work with you. Attend rehearsals and work with
them on the arrangements and record a couple of demos yourself.

GOod luck.



Richard Webb,
Electric SPider Productions, New Orleans, La.
REplace anything before the @ symbol with elspider for real email

--
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 10:56:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Assuming I have an internship in a studio, how do I show them that I'd
make a much better producer than engineer? >>




Assuming you get an internship in a studio (and that can be tough enough by
itself), the best you can usually hope for is a staff engineering position.
The only studios I know of who have producers on stafff are commercial
production houses. If you want to produce radio spots, that might be the tack
to take.

If you want to produce music you need to build a reputation for being able to
realize a song's potential in a recording environment. You need to earn the
trust and respect of those people who could potentially hire you. A good
engineer who consistantly offers good production suggestions can win the
respect and admiration of the bands he works with. Sometimes this can lead to
a production credit on the album. Word of mouth and album credits are really
the best way to push a carreer in producing. Figure out how to get a good
reputation and the rest will follow. Liking music and having a discerning ear
merely suggest that you have the desire to produce. It doesn't qualify you
to much other than listen to and critique music. And everyone knows the value
of a music critic.




Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
August 6, 2004 7:29:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Assuming I have an internship in a studio, how do I show them that I'd
make a much better producer than engineer?>>

It's the artist who needs to be aware of your producing abilities. Studios
don't hire producers.

<< I have a feeling I will
get pigeonholed due to my EE degree, like they will say "oh you are an
EE, you will be engineering for us." And I'll have no chance to dig
myself out of that. >>

No, an EE degree is largely irrelevant to the recording engineer job
description. You don't need to be able to design equipment to make recordings.
Where you might get pigeonholed with an EE is in the maintenance dept.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 1:17:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"still roasting" <stillroasting@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b4d2289c.0408041320.5c02f416@posting.google.com...
> Assuming I have an internship in a studio, how do I show them that I'd
> make a much better producer than engineer?

By working your way up to first engineer, working with enough established
producers and engineering enough hit records that labels become interested
in you! Another, probably faster route is getting a job as an established
producer's assistant. A producer is hired to bring extensive production
experience to a project. There are numerous ways to get experience.

--
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
!