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Author Topic: New Guy - Wants To Learn More!  (Read 14126 times)

Philip Roberts

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Re: Evan
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2009, 09:23:40 pm »

Greg Cameron wrote on Sun, 13 December 2009 19:31

You're right John, probably more like 5-6 years. He was in high school, very young and inspired. Reminded me a lot of myself at that age.


Evan joined the forum Nov 30 of 2004, so it's been 5 years.

The topic of his first post; "Subs on a budget", nothing has changed. Smile

Philip

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Philip Roberts
Director of Media Engineering
Pioneer Memorial Seventh Day Adventist Church
Berrien Springs MI

Phil_Michaels

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Re: New Guy - Wants To Learn More!
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2009, 09:33:43 pm »

Hey Ben and Phil. Didn't know there was any other youngsters on the forum!

A bit about my background:

I studied Music Tech at Uni - however nothing related to live sound on my particular course. Instead we covered things like Max/MSP Programming, surround-sound composition, the history of electro-acousique music + a bit of physics/theory.

Took a placement year out which involved doing some live sound. I didn't really enjoy it at first nor really know what i was doing. But as my year out involved doing it every week i kinda had to force myself to learn more about it.

I think it was only when i started doing some studio work that i realised i appreciated certain aspects of the live stuff.

From then to present day i have had three jobs engineering at small local venues building up my experience and list of happy clients.

////life story over


Ben, I think your pretty brave trying to do this as your only source of income. My Only advice would be try and have a few fingers in different pies - I don't think S.R. on it's own will provide enough income(yet).

Right now i work at a music shop 30hours a week, engineer at a music venue, do some demo recording, offer myself or myself+PA for hire and promote the odd gig (engineering lots of gigs lets me see who all the popular local bands are!). Fortunately both my music shop and venue job are fairly flexible with hours so i can pick and choose my schedule.

Seeing as your currently just serving the 100-250venue market i see no reason why you can't get another job on the side. It's not like you need to be at the venue before 5pm most weeknights. You could get that dream portable rig a heck of a lot quicker this way!

I really don't think putting your money into the 500+ venue market is worthwhile. The start-up costs for a small rig for a freelance engineer are just about do-able but anything more and costs+workload multiply tenfold.

If i was you i would still concentrate on the 100-500 venue market and get another job on the side. Use your extra income to upgrade your portable rig to something every customer is going to be impressed with and soon enough you'll be the go-to guy for every local band. Spend the rest on something that will be useful for your whole Live sound career (i.e. perhaps a selection of vocal mics to suit every voice and situation).

In the mean-time i would pester Sound-Reinforcement companies until something comes along.








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Brian Harden

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Re: New Guy - Wants To Learn More!
« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2009, 11:01:50 pm »

It was really interesting reading Phil's "life story" and how he got into sound.  I was a recording guy in my early twenties and got stuck doing sound for a musical for a community theater group in which my girlfriend was acting in.  I was hooked immediately with the SR bug!  I have now done 38 musicals (give or take) with various groups in the area.  Oddly enough, the work seems to just be flowing in.  Some of my sound friends are still out there banging gear around, slushing through the harsh winter load in-load outs, working until 3:00 to 4:00 in the morning, and making peanuts... while I'm sitting behind a Yamaha M7CL in a comfy sound booth from about 6:00 p.m. until about 10:00 p.m. making more money than they are.Laughing My clientele are mostly high schools, community theaters, semi-pro theater, and then the occasional bar/venue gig.

I guess what I'm getting at is that there are other gigs out there than just bar gigs... even at your level.  In fact, I've always thought that if you can learn to manage twenty wireless mics, three floor mics, four choir mics, and a fifteen piece orchestra (mic'd and piped in) while making untrained vocalist sound full and intelligible.... you'll have come a long way.  I've built a niche market for myself and am generally the first call for most theater shows that need a sound designer.  There aren't too many of us that specialize in theater sound!  As for gear... I've gotten used to working with a multitude of mixers, effects, compressors, EQs, DSP, etc... that I wouldn't have access to otherwise.  I've learned tons in the process!

Really, there is nothing wrong with wanting to build a rig and have nice gear, but it really does make sense to work for someone else (with their gear) so you can get better acquainted with what's out there.  You'll still make some money while learning the ropes!  As for building your own setup... reading reviews on gear is fun and rewarding, but until you actually play with something, you never really know if it's for you.  I've certainly made gear choices for myself based on someone else's gear that I've worked with (or was forced to work with).  

BTW- of all my gear choices (and there are many), I can say that the best ROI has been my 12 channel Audio Technica wireless set up and my $600 Mackie SDR hard disk recorder.  Of course, these were bought out of necessity and I didn't salivate over these like I do amps, speakers, monitors, and mixers.  Those two items are almost always out on rentals and make as much money as I make mixing.

Good luck and stay strong!
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