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Author Topic: Young Engineer's Future  (Read 1991 times)

Cameron Stuckey

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Young Engineer's Future
« on: July 29, 2007, 06:00:12 pm »

I'm in high school and have found a passion for sound mixing and recording, in all forms and shapes.  Since it is the only thing really on my radar for a career, I was wondering if anyone had advice of what to do academically and post high school?
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Adam Whetham

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2007, 06:17:27 pm »

Cameron wrote on Sun, 29 July 2007 17:00

I'm in high school and have found a passion for sound mixing and recording, in all forms and shapes.  Since it is the only thing really on my radar for a career, I was wondering if anyone had advice of what to do academically and post high school?


This isn't a career. Its a way of life. If you aren't ready for that, don't even try. You won't get off the clock at 5pm. Estimated work days will be twice as long as you were told. I'm on call most weekends, and have left party's at a moments notice of my job needing something for a gig, or if they're short stage hands.

If i were to do it over again, and not waste two years of messing around. I would look at an Electronics Degree. Learn how all this equipment works. I'm just picking that up now, looking at signal path's/flow charts of the equipment I use.

Business Classes are never a bad choice either.

Lastly, read up on this board, as this was recently discussed. Find a local production company, start stage handing. Climb the ladder. Read Jon Martin's post? I think it was him.

This isn't something that school will prepare you for. It will show you some rules. But when you get out to the gig, throw half of those rules away.

Practice your patience, Self control, customer service, People skills, Learn when to be a Yes man, Learn when to be the man. Trouble shoot, be ready to blow something up. Be ready to never do it again. Be ready to work 12 hours and still work another 6. Learn to be humble, learn when to talk, and when to listen, Learn to love living out of the limelight. Learn to respect, and earn respect. Learn to trust your co-workers, Learn to trust customers, then learn to learn it all over again when it goes south.

Network with people, Always take the shitty job/be the first to volunteer, People will notice when you volunteer to pull that feeder from out under the stage decks when everyone else will try and hide. Bring the big guy a water when he's run out, someday he may do the same to you.

Carry a lighter even if you don't smoke, its one of the best networking tools I keep in my pocket, better than those business cards you should keep in your wallet.

I'm sure other people will chime in, but this is what I've learned in the 22 years I've lived so far.
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Mac Kerr

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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 07:53:18 pm »

Cameron, please go to your profile and change your alias to your real full name as required by the posting rules clearly displayed at the top of the page.

One of the first things you will have to learn in any career is how to follow directions. so far you are not starting out well.

Mac
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Dave Barto

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2007, 11:47:32 pm »

Adam Whetham wrote on Sun, 29 July 2007 17:17

Practice your patience, Self control, customer service, People skills, Learn when to be a Yes man, Learn when to be the man. Trouble shoot, be ready to blow something up. Be ready to never do it again. Be ready to work 12 hours and still work another 6. Learn to be humble, learn when to talk, and when to listen, Learn to love living out of the limelight. Learn to respect, and earn respect. Learn to trust your co-workers, Learn to trust customers, then learn to learn it all over again when it goes south.

Network with people, Always take the shitty job/be the first to volunteer, People will notice when you volunteer to pull that feeder from out under the stage decks when everyone else will try and hide. Bring the big guy a water when he's run out, someday he may do the same to you.


I couldn't have said it any better myself.  

I did go to a music school for sound and I learned the basics: signal flow, impedance matching, yada yada yada.  But most of what I learned I learned from on the job experienced.  

I volunteered a lot the first few years and if I got paid it was usually diner or gas money.  I did what ever I could to learn from the people I was working with.  I never complained, worked my hardest, was the first one there and the last one to leave.  And networking.  I can't stress that one enough.  I have gotten gigs because I was the stage hand who put in the extra effort at a show over 2 years ago.
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Dave Barto
Playing with cool knobs and buttons and colored lights all day long, and getting paid for it.
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Loren Aguey

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 04:20:00 am »

this thread should give you some good insight on the possibility of attending an audio engineering school.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/24424/18010/
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Randy Pence

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007, 05:42:13 am »

Get in the habit of wearing ear plugs.  Maybe not for critical listening, but these moments will be few at the start.  Given a typical work day/night/shift, your ears will probably accumulate more wear than you realize.  One of the greatest gifts given to me was the advice of an older party dude to pop in plugs.  No matter how hard the gig, this will keep you a lot more fresh.
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James Henriksen

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007, 03:18:39 pm »

"Practice your patience, Self control, customer service, People skills, Learn when to be a Yes man, Learn when to be the man. Trouble shoot, be ready to blow something up. Be ready to never do it again. Be ready to work 12 hours and still work another 6. Learn to be humble, learn when to talk, and when to listen, Learn to love living out of the limelight. Learn to respect, and earn respect. Learn to trust your co-workers, Learn to trust customers, then learn to learn it all over again when it goes south."

Is this the missing sixth verse to the Vitamin C Graduation Song? Very Happy
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James
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Adam Whetham

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2007, 04:36:44 pm »

James Henriksen wrote on Tue, 31 July 2007 14:18

"Practice your patience, Self control, customer service, People skills, Learn when to be a Yes man, Learn when to be the man. Trouble shoot, be ready to blow something up. Be ready to never do it again. Be ready to work 12 hours and still work another 6. Learn to be humble, learn when to talk, and when to listen, Learn to love living out of the limelight. Learn to respect, and earn respect. Learn to trust your co-workers, Learn to trust customers, then learn to learn it all over again when it goes south."

Is this the missing sixth verse to the Vitamin C Graduation Song? Very Happy


heh, no. Its just a compilation of things That I tell the younger/new guys that start working for our company. So far, I've found it to hold true Embarassed
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-I practice safe excursion on the weekends.

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -Paul Neal "Red" Adair

Miguel Castro Rios

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2007, 05:11:45 pm »

One thing tho, if you don't know much about music, like playing an instrument, it's going to be hard to train your ear. Well I take that back, it's not hard it just takes longer. You don't HAVE to play an instrument, but when you learn to play one, it helps a lot when you mix.

In this ''sound engineering'' thing you have to know it all. Seriously, look;

Business; Most of the time you will have to learn how to talk to your customers, how to behave with stress and stuff. How to control your people (that comes with years) and if you start as a freelance, you have to find a way to get hired from companies, talk about $ and stuff. IT'S A BUSINESS!

Electronics; It will sure help you just like Adam told you.

Physics and math; Talk about comb filtering.

Rigging; It sure helps when you are looking for a job. But That can come with time, for now worry about all the other stuff.

Electricity; You will need to know about that to be able to hook up your distro and other equipment. Sometimes you will have to do it your self when no electrician is around. And yea, this can come with time to.

Music; When you are mixing several musical instruments, your ear needs to be trained to be able to do it right. Your ears are your best weapon. You don't want an unhappy band telling you that their instruments don't sound the way they wanted to (this will happen very often, so get used to it).

Truck driver; well you don't have to be one, but it sure helps to get a job. Most companies will hire you just because you have that license, even if you aren't all that good as a sound engineer.

Computers; the sound industry is evolving really fast, all the analog tools are fading away, most of todays equipment is now digital.
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good luck, Start with electronics/communications and music. Time will tell.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Young Engineer's Future
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2007, 06:20:23 pm »

Cameron,

I'm on the other side, the dark side. My experience and training came from a day when the school of sound was what you learned on the job. I did tour at one time, still have a band, and on occasion still mix for a name or two. It's only the love of music and SR that keeps me involved, and the enjoyment of learning something new every day, which leads to my point.

School is a good start, and after high school I suggest that you find a college that offers at least an associates degree in the field. During that 4 year period of time I expect you to "intern" during the summers and your off time with a local provider or venue. Be an open book, listen intently, be polite and practice your people skills. Keep in mind that for as much as you know there is ALWAYS someone who knows more.

Travel the local scene and larger cities listening to the mix, not the music and if possible, politely approach the BE if he/she is not busy during a break and state. "Excuse me, I don't want to bother you, I'm new to sound, am amazed at the job your doing, could you answer a quick question or two?" If the answer is no, then be thankful and walk away. If yes, ask your question, be thankful, then walk away unless invited to stay.

Study each component of sound cable to speaker. Know what each component does, and never assume. Just because "Joe Blow" says it has to work a special way does not make it so. As a matter of fact NEVER say to a BE or other member of a sound crew "Well so and so doesn't do it like that, or use it like that."

And most of all, have fun.  Smile
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