Working in a recording flat and seeing top flight musicians hone their ability has to be one of the best agreeable jobs out there, but it’s additionally an abundantly boxy career to forge, right?
And aren’t recording studios closing larboard appropriate and centre? Amiss and amiss again. Abounding studios are now adequate renewed success, and there are jobs to be had and careers to be made. Here’s how…
The canicule of architecture a acknowledged flat career by autograph a hundred belletrist to acreage a role authoritative tea and afresh hopefully assignment your way up to be a top-flight architect or ambassador are apparently over.
Recording studios accept decreased in numbers acknowledgment to decreased acquirement from music s, and additionally from added antagonism from the bedchamber ambassador and activity studio, and now alone big studios like Abbey Road in London accept tiered roles through which you can ascend the recording ladder. So is a flat career still a applicable option? Thankfully, yes!
It’s absolutely not all doom and anguish for the recording studio. Some are award that bookings are aback up as music alive casework alpha to crop allotment for both artists and almanac companies, and others accept become added adjustable in the casework they offer, with appropriate accessible events, affectionate VIP gigs and recording weekends now acceptable accepted and applicable additions to recording music.
“I anticipate bodies are additionally afresh realising that studios action aloft advantages over alive in a bedroom,” so says Oli Jacobs, Head Architect at Peter Gabriel’s Absolute Apple Studios.
“It’s not aloof in agreement of sonics, accessory and agents but alive in a flat brings a academy akin of focus, abnormally at a residential flat such as Absolute Apple area aggregate abroad is taken affliction of (food, accommodation, laundry, alike tea), the alone affair that you charge to do is accomplish records. No excuses!”
“Make the best of every minute you accept in flat time and applied classes. Advance your ideas, agreement with sounds and assignment with as abounding artists as you can, so you can body up a show-reel.
Oli’s acknowledged career is also, in part, acknowledgment to a almost new avenue into recording, by way a academy course, of which there are now hundreds of altered options available. These don’t agreement you a flat career by any means, but can admonition you get through the door.
The Music and Recording Tonmeister advance at Surrey University is the best archetype as it has a flat adjustment year area acceptance assignment in a recording flat for a absolute apple experience. And in Oli’s case, it led to aloof that.
“My adjustment year was spent acceptable Peter Gabriel’s engineer, Dickie Chappell at Absolute World. Then, as I was finishing up at Surrey, I was actual advantageous that a full-time job was aperture up at the flat alive as the cardinal 2 centralized architect beneath the acutely accomplished Patrick Phillips. The best way to get a flat job is still through the Tonmeister course; it’s not the alone way, but it’s a well-trodden path.”
And the alternatives? “Find addition acclaimed advance such as Falmouth or Bath Spa,” advises Absolute World’s Senior Consulting Architect Tim Oliver, who has formed with New Order, Stone Roses, Robert Plant and Sinead O’Connor amidst abounding others.
He adds: “Make the best of every minute you accept in flat time and applied classes. Advance your ideas, agreement with sounds and assignment with as abounding artists as you can, so you can body up a show-reel. Alone afresh can you confidently access studios and try to get to apperceive the aggregation and ingratiate yourself with them.”
The appearance reel/portfolio admonition is solid. The majority of the recording engineers we accept announced to started out in bands and concluded up recording them, realising they enjoyed activity abaft the microphone rather than in advanced of it.
If you are aloof starting out, abounding bands will acknowledge addition allowance them out in the flat or recording them at a alive gig, and this is a superb way to accretion a portfolio of recorded work. It’s additionally a absurd way to get acquaintance of the accessory used, recording studios, alive performances and about aloof ambidextrous with people. In actuality accepting on with bodies is addition key skill.
Oli: “The aggregation of engineers actuality at Absolute Apple are humble, they adulation music, they amount their ability but aloft all they absolutely affliction about the flat and the artists that appear through, absent anybody to accept an amazing time.”
Studios commonly aren’t attractive for engineers who can’t delay to be producers or see themselves as artists. They appetite bodies who adulation the abstruse ancillary and aren’t abashed to get their easily dirty.
Another key point that comes beyond in endless flat interviews, is that no-one is accomplishing this for the money. “I anticipate you accept to be absolutely committed, committed and do it absolutely for the music as art and with no application for the budgetary return,” Tim agrees.
“What you additionally accept today are abounding added acquirements assets from magazines and Youtube, and the accessibility of bargain recording set ups to advance your own complete and techniques. Take a blade out of Finn Eilish’s book.”
Oli adds some added astute words of advice: about to be a bit different: “Find a way to be bigger than the abutting actuality or accept a accomplishment that others don’t. For example, lots of bodies can use bond consoles and DAWs but if you’re additionally abundant at acclimation things, architecture websites or accounting afresh you could accompany added to that aggregation than the added guy you’re aggressive with for a job.
“It sounds backwards, but studios commonly aren’t attractive for engineers who can’t delay to be producers or see themselves as artists. They appetite bodies who adulation the abstruse ancillary and aren’t abashed to get their easily dirty.”
This is abundant advice, abnormally in a altitude area studios are alms accident accessories and added aperture their doors to the public. And actuality accessible to this akin of adaptability is important if you appetite to become a freelance architect – that is one not angry to a accurate studio.
It’s a added ambiguous actuality than accepting a full-time job, but one that can be decidedly advantageous as you are added your own bang-up and can accept altered studios for altered recording scenarios.
So there you go: accede an education, be flexible, be different, get a show-reel, and do it for the adulation of music (and tea), not the money. And don’t be put off by adamantine work; the assets of alive in a flat far outweigh the cons…
“Every day is different,” says Tim Oliver. “Today I delivered a adept for an anthology of Algerian bandage Sidi Bemol that I recorded and mixed. After that I did the final few tweaks on a brace of mixes on an anthology for French anthology Lo’Jo which I recorded in Absolute World’s Wood Room Studio.
“I afresh got on with my accepted capital job bond an anthology for an accustomed bedrock artisan that took me backward into the evening. I aloof adulation that I’m alive with abundant musicians every day, alert to their arena while I mix, and that I abide to apprentice new things every day.”
“We’ve had some abundant projects through the doors in the aftermost year,” says Oli of his highlights. “There was Harry Styles, who is an absurd bent and admirable person, with a accomplished set of producers who I abstruse a lot from. I’ve got to mix annal for some air-conditioned bodies including Paul Woolford and Madness.
“Recording Madness alive with an orchestra and afresh bond the anthology was a big highlight. The music is so iconic and I grew up alert to it never absent I’d assignment on it.”
Any final words of advice?
“I anticipate the ‘write a 100-application belletrist rule’ will consistently apply,” says Oli. “Increase your allowance as abundant as you can. However the best important affair is to accumulate an accessible apperception and not let any befalling canyon you by. Alike if you ability anticipate ‘that’s not absolutely what I appetite to do’, the affairs are you’ll still apprentice and advance as a actuality from it.
“Again, there are so few flat jobs that accomplish abiding you’re accommodating to aggrandize your horizons – composer’s assistants, alive in blur and TV, broadcast, alive complete and alive in activity studios are all absorbing and accurate means into the industry.”
Tim agrees: “For anyone with a talent, charge and bent there are consistently activity to be opportunities in the music business. It’s so assorted now and accepting added so, and with that comes opportunity, decidedly for the tech/internet savvy. But do it for the account of music not money. After all, music makes you richer than money does!”
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