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Please post stories of your assisting days.....would be fu..

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Anonymous
November 10, 2004 4:43:11 PM

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

Hey All,
I am just curious about other peoples beginnings in the studio
world, be it at a big name studio or just a small one. Whats your
best remembered story? most interesting thing that happened? Whats
the worst? Most embarrasing? How did you get your first shot at
engineering? Did you learn from a specific engineer? were you taken
under their wing so to speak? I am just researching this as a friend
of mine is thinking of writing a script that showcases the studio
world from the eyes of an assistant engineer, and shows their
beginnings, their troubles, their successes...etc....and would love to
be inspired by true stories from people in the business...want to keep
it as real as possible and provide a very accurate view of the studio
world. Try and give outsiders a view as to what this mostly difficult
lifestyle is made up of. As most people I speak to have no idea what
its like, and therefore never understood what I did for a living when
i was getting my start.....All stories are welcome, and if you provide
your name, I will of course give a special thanks to you should
anything come of it for inspiring us. I do thank you all in advance,
and hope to hear some great stories from people....both good and
bad...happy, sad, funny etc.....

-Seth

Feel free to e-mail your stories to Lamebirdy@hotmail.com or just
reply here....as many i am sure will be interested
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 12:39:22 AM

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

I forgot to put a tape in the tape machine when I was assisting with
Gregg Allman. Other than that, it went real well.

Jeremy Stephens
www.clearwavestudio.com
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 3:17:19 AM

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

Yes, my most interesting story... The time I got paid...
--
Steven Sena
XS Sound Recording
www.xssound.com

"Seth Mintz" <Lamebirdy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:8474206a.0411101343.12bb115d@posting.google.com...
> Hey All,
> I am just curious about other peoples beginnings in the studio
> world, be it at a big name studio or just a small one. Whats your
> best remembered story? most interesting thing that happened? Whats
> the worst? Most embarrasing? How did you get your first shot at
> engineering? Did you learn from a specific engineer? were you taken
> under their wing so to speak? I am just researching this as a friend
> of mine is thinking of writing a script that showcases the studio
> world from the eyes of an assistant engineer, and shows their
> beginnings, their troubles, their successes...etc....and would love to
> be inspired by true stories from people in the business...want to keep
> it as real as possible and provide a very accurate view of the studio
> world. Try and give outsiders a view as to what this mostly difficult
> lifestyle is made up of. As most people I speak to have no idea what
> its like, and therefore never understood what I did for a living when
> i was getting my start.....All stories are welcome, and if you provide
> your name, I will of course give a special thanks to you should
> anything come of it for inspiring us. I do thank you all in advance,
> and hope to hear some great stories from people....both good and
> bad...happy, sad, funny etc.....
>
> -Seth
>
> Feel free to e-mail your stories to Lamebirdy@hotmail.com or just
> reply here....as many i am sure will be interested
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Anonymous
November 11, 2004 11:03:01 AM

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

Lamebirdy@hotmail.com (Seth Mintz) wrote in message news:<8474206a.0411101343.12bb115d@posting.google.com>...
> Hey All,
> I am just curious about other peoples beginnings in the studio
> world, be it at a big name studio or just a small one. Whats your
> best remembered story? most interesting thing that happened?

Seth,

Here's a couple of stories...

After hunting around in LA for a couple of months hearing "OK, sounds
like you know what you're talking about, so we'll start you out at
$0.00 for the first six weeks. Then, if we like you, we'll put you on
hourly at $5.00..." I finally got a job as a runner at a major studio
for 5.00 per hour starting right out (thanks to a referral). Mostly, I
ran errands, parked cars, helped straighten up, etc. However, on one
of the first few days I was there, I was hooking up two 24 track
machines with the assistant engineer. He did one breakout and I did
the other one, 24 lines each. After we got it hooked up, the engineer
came in and checked it out, and discovered that two of the lines were
switched on one of the machines. The 2nd blamed me, even though it was
the machine he had hooked up. I lost the job.

A bit later, again through a referal, I got a job as an assistant at a
smaller studio, owned by a producer. On one session, I came in at 10am
for a 12pm start, and cleaned the place up, zero'd the SSL, got the
two 24 track machines synched up, etc. At noon, the mix session
started, and it was just the producer, artist (guy singer) and mixer.
Basically, I did what any assistant would do... document all the
cool-guy settings, patch things, make mix notes, etc. This went on
until about 2am, when the session broke. I drove home (about 30
minutes at that hour) and at about 7am, the phone rang and the studio
had someone coming in again, so they needed me. This was a vocal
tracking/comping session with just the engineer and vocalist (John
Wait of Bad English) and it started at about 10am and went to ??? and
of course I was pretty seriously tired, but soldiered on. First was
mic selection, and we ended up with (I think) an ELA-M251. Everything
seemed fine. I had another session booked for the next morning, so
instead of cleaning everything up that night, I planned on coming in
early again the next morning and get everything straight. On that next
morning, I called the studio to get the session start time, and I had
been fired. No explanation, nothing. Later, I heard several different
stories about why they had let me go, but I never got the 100%
straight scoop from the studio owner.

So then I found a job with a studio designer/installer and began
making wiring harnesses and patchbays... for $10 an hour! Steady work!

That was all back around 1991 when the LA studio world was beginning
the trend of rapid shrinkage. Not long after that (plus a few more odd
jobs, etc.) I got out of LA altogether, to tour as the FOH engineer
for the Air Force Jazz band out of DC. Definitely got my miking and
mixing chops together in a very different way.

Hope that's the kind of stuff you're interested in.

Regards,

Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 10:05:26 PM

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

"Karl Winkler" wrote
> Here's a couple of stories...
>
> After hunting around in LA for a couple of months hearing "OK, sounds
> like you know what you're talking about, so we'll start you out at
> $0.00 for the first six weeks. Then, if we like you, we'll put you on
> hourly at $5.00..." I finally got a job as a runner at a major studio
> for 5.00 per hour starting right out

<snip>

I lost the job.
>
> A bit later, again through a referal, I got a job as an assistant

<snip>

On that next
> morning, I called the studio to get the session start time, and I had
> been fired. No explanation, nothing. Later, I heard several different
> stories about why they had let me go, but I never got the 100%
> straight scoop from the studio owner.

Getting fired is clearly an important part of the career arc.

I only got fired once, and that was on the first day of a mix for a well
known classical composer. I was the assistant. I let an intern do the
multitrack alignment for me, and then didn't pay enough attention to what he
was doing. For some reason he felt the need to do the record alignment and
didn't think about what was after the long section of leader after the tones
and recorded over the beginning of the first piece on the reel.

The engineer freaked out and they fired me but not the intern because it was
on my watch.

-jw
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 10:05:27 PM

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

"John Washburn" <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<WJOkd.40$Vk6.28@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
> "Karl Winkler" wrote
> > Here's a couple of stories...
>
> Getting fired is clearly an important part of the career arc.
>

Absolutely!

Along those lines, I was working as a tech for a company in Burbank,
and things were going pretty poorly. In fact, it was becoming obvious
that this place was a dead end and had no industry credibility. So one
day I called one of my teaches, "Beno" may, who worked in the A&M
mastering studios back then (now he works for Bernie Grundman) and
cried the blues to him. His sage-like response was "every situation,
no matter how good or how bad, is an important learning environment".
I've never forgotten that (or at least I've tried not to!)

Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
November 12, 2004 1:30:03 AM

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

Seth Mintz wrote:

> Hey All,
> I am just curious about other peoples beginnings in the studio
> world, be it at a big name studio or just a small one. Whats your
> best remembered story? most interesting thing that happened? Whats
> the worst? Most embarrasing?

The worst, most embarrassing thing I did? I was interning at a small
studio south of Nashville. The studio was artist owned, but mostly a
commercial facility. On days that the studio was not booked, the owner
would work on his projects and let me engineer. Pretty great gig for an
intern! Anyway, we were working on ADAT's, doing guitar overdubs, the
owner/artist is a guitar player. We had been doing guitar overdubs for a
few hours. Now, guitar overdubs with this guy were crazy. He would have
me punching in on notes left and right. Not phrases, but notes. I gotta
say, he taught me a lot about how to take full advantage of ADATS and a
BRC. Auto-punch, offsets between machines, etc.

After a few hours one day, it came time to take a break. Now by break, I
mean he goes and takes a break while I continue to do work that he
doesn't need to be around for, like backing up the guitar overdubs we
had just worked on. I had done several sessions with this guy before,
and was quite familiar with how to do backups with adats. Being as the
studio was attached to his house, it was not unusual for members of his
family to stop in the studio when he was working. His wife, his teenage
sons, etc. Well on this particular day, his 3-4 year old son was hanging
around the control room while I was doing the backups. This kid was
asking a bunch of questions, trying to push buttons, this kid was
driving me crazy. Being that he is the owner's son, I can't tell him to
get lost. Well, somewhere between me finishing up a set of backups, and
explaining to the kid that he can't push the buttons until he grows up,
I got a few of the 30 some ADAT's tapes mixed up.

I wound up making a backup of the the last backup I had done. I just
recorded over all of the overdubs we had spent the last several hours
recording!! Son of a Bitch! Although, I would like to blame it on that
innocent little kid, I should have been able to keep my head straight,
and certainly should not have pressed record until I had triple checked
which tapes were where. Needless to say, I was scared shitless to go
tell the owner what I had just done. I gathered up my courage and
explained to him what I had just done. While he was not happy, he
realized that it was a simple mistake, and had in fact done it himself.
Although he would not tolerate it again, he was glad that as soon as I
knew that I had done wrong, I came to him immediately and told him what
I had done. He gave me another chance.

--
Eric

www.Raw-Tracks.com
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 1:44:20 PM

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

Yeah we've all been fired, I know I was fired from a major recording
studio here in NYC, for a rather unfair reason. I was put on a
session for a fairly mainstream artist, just a tracking day, nothing
special, drums, bass, guitar, basic tracks.....and everything went
great, did my usual assisting duties, and at the end of the day, the
engineer turned to me and said, "Listen I am working on a project in
this room tomorrow morning as well, Please come in and assist me." I
was thrilled with this, as I am always happy when an engineer requests
my assistance. Anyway so I go in the next morning (keep in mind at
this studio I was only a runner although i had assisted at another
studio for over a year prior but they went under and i had to start
again)Anyway, I set up for the session, just a mix date, and we get
rolling along, all was well. Halfway through the session, the manager
who assigns assistants to sessions walked in and wanted to pull me out
of the session....the other assist I was working with that day, said
that he needed me there and couldnt run the session on his own....the
manager then walked out...Ever since that day, I was no longer asked
to be on any session by the managment, in fact that manager no longer
wanted to speak to me....apparently he took personal offense to me
working that session....since he wanted to assign people himself...not
engineers. I later watched the person I was hired with get promoted,
and without warning, this same manager called me up to his office and
fired me, and escorted me out of the building.....when i asked for a
reason, he just stared blankly at me....giving me the silent
treatment.....But i managed to pull through, and am now working in
Television Post for 2 national award winning television shows....so I
know getting fired only makes you stronger....I do still miss the
studio world though....Anyway how about some funny stories,
interesting happenings by musicians engineers etc....Love to hear from
you all. Keep the stories coming!

-Seth
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 9:07:05 PM

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

On 2004-11-11, Karl Winkler <karlwinkler66@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hope that's the kind of stuff you're interested in.

I was hoping to get to the part where you got to turn away the guys
who got you fired after they came crawling to you, or didn't give them
spare change where they were begging on the street, or something.
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 10:33:46 PM

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

james of tucson <fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote in message news:<slrncpkgfm.bd6.fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com>...
> On 2004-11-11, Karl Winkler <karlwinkler66@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Hope that's the kind of stuff you're interested in.
>
> I was hoping to get to the part where you got to turn away the guys
> who got you fired after they came crawling to you, or didn't give them
> spare change where they were begging on the street, or something.

For some reason I didn't see your reply until tonight...

Well, it wasn't exactly like you put it, but there was a certain irony
to one of the steps in my career thus far. After leaving LA and
working for the Air Force for four years, I got a job opportunity with
Sennheiser US as the Neumann microphone product manager. Made sense,
because I was very familiar with microphones, and had used quite a few
of the Neumann models during my previous years. This was in 1996, and
I ended up becoming the brand manager for Neumann USA, heading up
their US operation in terms of marketing, sales, product development
(together with the Neumann engineering team of course), artist
relations, etc. Basically the perfect job, at least as far as I was
concerned at the time.

At that point (especially between 1997 and 2000, Neumann was really
hitting a high point because they were listening to the market, making
exceptional products, and really keeping their eye on the ball. Not
only that, of course, but Neumann is one of those classic brands with
decades of reverence from the recording world. Lots of great products
over a very, very long time. What it meant for me was that now, I had
carte blanche to visit any studio at just about any time. But instead
of grovelling for $5 an hour, I was a "guest of honor", bringing in
new products, asking questions about "how could Neumann be better" and
getting to meet the top people in the industry. I saw tons of great
sessions, such as some of Diana Krall's recordings, the orchestral
soundtrack for "The Matrix", some of the "Jazz @ Lincoln Center" live
recordings, etc. And the artists themselves. In fact, it was those
types of relationships that spawned products like the KMS 105 vocal
mic, for instance. So then at AES shows, studio owners and engineers
who wouldn't even have known me from Adam while I was striving to be
an engineer were all about talking up their latest projects, the mics
they had and wanted to get, etc. More peer to peer, you know?

Same person, different title. Amazing how that works. Not, mind you,
that it was bad at all or that I got "glee" from it, but that it
really gave me a different perspective on how the industry works. You
know what they say: be nice to people in the elevator on your way up,
because you're bound to see them again on the way down.

Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 10:56:00 PM

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

I think that most of the stories we former assistants render are tales
of woe and heroics, because those are the two key experiences of being
a second. Here is a tale of heroism that turned into a tale of woe;

I show up for a vocal overdub gig with "famous singer dude". I line up
the machines, set up the mic, and booth, route the mic thru "famous
engineer dude's" favorite chain, etc.. "Famous singer dude" shows up
on time, but "famous engineer dude" is nowhere to be found....so the
singer wants to get headphones figured out and all that jazz, so I
went ahead and got a mix on the console, got a headphone mix, got a
vocal sound thru the chain we would be using, etc.. Singer dude is
very happy.

One minute before the session was scheduled to start Engineer dude
shows up and we start working. Right away the sessions turns into
chaos...singer can't hear himself, vocal sound is miserable, everyone
is unhappy and so Famous Engineer Dude turns on me and makes me look
like an idiot...I ran around trying to troubleshoot what had happened,
and found that Famous Engineer Dude had turned the mic pre gain
wayyyyy down so that there was nothing driving the compressor,
virtually no level to tape, so no level back to console, so no level
to headphones and so on. Famous Engineer Dude derailed the session,
then blamed me. Nice, but par for the course.

Then Famous Engineer Dude says "I need you to run out and change the
length of the plate reverb", so I go to do that, then he freaks out
and in front of everyone says 'My God, what the hell are you doing!
we're about to record a take, you can't leave the room! You have to
run the tape machine'....now I thought that Famous Engineer Dude could
find PLAY-RECORD on a multitrack (track was already armed), but
apparently not. How I was supposed to change the plate AND run the
tape machine I have not yet figured out. What did he do during the day
to earn his fabulous pay? I still haven't figured it out.

Oh, and this is a mild story compared to some others I could share...
!