Recording studio

11 tips for anyone who wants a career in a recording studio

REGISTRATION WEEK 2022: It’s no secret that as more and more people have started recording at home, traditional recording studios have suffered, and the situation has been little helped by the pandemic.

However, there is still a place for the professional studio in the music industry – and there are still studio careers to be had. Here are 11 tips for anyone looking to find work in a professional studio environment…

1. Be realistic

Set your waiting levels to stun! If you think a career in a recording studio just means hanging out with famous pop stars, chewing the fat, then think again.

Working in a recording environment may not be as glamorous as expected. Long hours, low pay, and watching the same process over and over again can be the norm rather than the exception. Make sure you have realistic expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

2. Get an education

At school, music, mathematics and physics are good options to excel. Beyond school there is the obvious route of choosing a course in recording and music technology at university – the Tonmeister music and sound recording course at the University of Surrey is particularly well rated, with many sound engineers we interviewed having completed work through its studio placement program. But there are other great courses like Point Blank, SAE and many more.

Learn in a recording studio

(Image credit: Hinterhaus Productions)

3. Stand out from the crowd

Find different ways to be better than the next person. The studio career choice is a popular one and while many people choose to be good at the theory side or using studio gear, these are actually some of the less obvious skills, like website building. , accounting and general DIY which may well be more in demand. at your local recording studio.

Have some of these extra skills up your sleeve and it could pay dividends. And being able to make great tea isn’t just an optional skill, it’s an essential skill!

4. Be a People Person

An extension of your skills should be an ability to simply get along with people. Being polite, courteous, and friendly are traits that will prepare you well for life, not just working in a studio, but in the often stressful confines of a recording space. Having an unflappable nature and a constantly etched smile on your face will fill those around you with confidence and make every recording session that much better.

5. Attend studio events

You’d be surprised how many studios open their doors to the outside world so you can come, meet people, learn, and expand your contacts within the industry. A great career is often just a chance encounter…

6. Expect to work for free…

…At least at first. Internships and work experience are common practice in the recording world, as they increasingly are in many other careers.

The sad reality is that the more exciting the career, the longer it continues. But don’t be sad about it! Treat these internships as an education where you soak up the knowledge of those with more experience than you.

Getting paid in someone else’s life skills instead of cash might not seem like an ideal start when trying to get a mortgage, but those early experiences, absorbing knowledge, will pay you back with interest all the way.

Listen in a recording studio

(Image credit: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty)

7. Listen

And speaking of working with people far more experienced than you, a big phrase to remember when working in a recording studio is “listen more than talk”. This applies not only to the music – although that’s obviously a key part of the job – but also to that mentor who shares his knowledge in the studio with you.

A celebrity producer we interviewed also noted that his underlings should never turn their backs on him while he imparts his wisdom, or risk his wrath. Maybe just him, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind!

8. Be proactive

Work with as many artists as you can – record, mix, and capture any kind of sonic experience you can. Start with your family, friends or any acquaintances you have who make music and offer to help them improve the sound of their projects! Building a fantastic recording track record no matter where you start could lead to a great career.

9. Learn your process

It sounds obvious, but you should know more about the recording chain from microphone to monitor and how each component impacts sound. Understand the physics of recording and even the acoustics of the room in which the recording takes place.

Headphones on a mixing desk

(Image credit: Image source/Getty)

10. Learn Equipment

You’re probably already interested in recording hardware and software, but if you get to know more DAW shortcuts than the next person, it might end up making an impression down the line, so pull out those manuals.

11. Be persistent and flexible

The road to a studio career is not easy to trace. Expect to have periods where there may be no work, so have other careers and skills to lean on, but persistence pays. Go out, meet people, be friendly and make great tea. You never know where it might lead.