1

Be humble. It's a great job if you can get it. You'll never know everything.

2

Attention to detail. It's the little things that make or break you.

3

Always admit a mistake and be willing to make it right no matter how much it hurts.

4

Before you begin a project make certain the artist understands your role and responsibility. All too often engineers cross the line into producing without knowing it. Before long you may be wishing you were "just" the engineer.

5

Be in command of your domain. The artist needs to feel confident that you can operate all this fancy equipment so they can concentrate on what they need to do.

6

Allocate responsibility when appropriate. No one expects you to do everything. If an assistant can do something for you so you can concentrate on more pressing matters that's okay. Don't ask an assistant to do a task you should be doing. Work as a team with your assistant. They'll watch your back for potential disasters, especially if you're getting tired.

7

Never talk politics with a recording artist. You never know where they're at on any certain issue and some may take it very seriously. Why go there? You have enough problems.

8

Never get stoned during a session even if the artist offers it to you. If you make a mistake later it was because you're a stoner. No a way to start a career.

9

Don't blame the equipment. Everyone understands that equipment can fail from time to time. An engineer who is always complaining is a downer for the performers. Shut up and work around it, you're a professional.

10

It's your job to make sure you get the proper credit in the liner notes. Don't leave it up to a band member or assume the record label will take care of you.

11

Never do a "spec" project unless you are willing to do it for free.

12

Learn to accept the word "no" and move on. You will hear it a lot when looking for a job. There is some luck involved but you can make your own luck.

13

In the beginning say yes to any job offered in the music business. You never know who you'll meet or opportunities that may come from it.

14

Never loose your cool. Someone has to keep it together in the studio.

15

Don't allow the artist to keep you in a session longer than you can handle. Long hours don't benefit anyone; you're likely to make a mistake.

16

If you don't play an instrument start now. It will help you relate to musicians and their equipment better.

17

If you get a job at a studio it's your obligation to protect their best interest, report any problems to the manager or owner and make the studio look good.

18

Keep the equipment and yourself clean at all times. Dirty equipment is a bad sign. A dirty engineer is even worse.

19

Performance is everything, sound is secondary. Spending time on headphone mixes is better time spent than listening to a kick drum for an hour.

20

When an artist is performing they may be reading your face through the glass for reaction. Always be conscious of what your face is saying.

 
 More Tutorials 
Barry Rudolph · May 15, 2002
The talkback mic is the usual way to communicate, one-way to your musicians out in the studio. But if you are recording all in one room a closely-mic'ed loud rock band, how do you hear them making...
Curtis Settino · July 15, 2006
The garbage can do what? All around your home are lots of great musical aids that you can't buy in a music store. The garbage can is one of my favorites, especially a large metal one. Be sure to...
Liz Brown, Sarah Murphy · March 15, 2009
For all of the benefits computers bring to the modern recording studio, wrist health isn't one of them. The repetitive motion typically required to operate music software using a mouse and keyboard -...
Chris Mara · Sept. 15, 2007
We all have theories about the best way to do things in the studio, whether it be how to mic up a snare drum, or how to pull a great performance out of a singer who's having a bit of an off day....
Garrett Haines · May 15, 2006
Every so often you might read about an engineer recording with "baffled stereo" mic placement. Some common examples are mannequin heads with microphones in the ears, or two PZM mics taped bottom to...
Garrett Haines · Nov. 15, 2004
Monitoring is arguably the most important link in the audio chain. A while back we examined some basic monitor set-up issues. We noted that most people have decent enough speakers, but they don't...
Scott Colburn · Nov. 15, 2000
Your ears are analog devices that convert sound waves into mechanical pulses the brain can understand. Your computer is a binary device, which means that it can only understand messages described in...
Anthony Collins · Jan. 15, 2005
There is an epidemic sweeping the music industry. No, it's not an STD or computer virus, but something just as bad: Studios are falling prey to equipment theft. Audio gear is being stolen from studios...
Larry Crane · Sept. 15, 2009
So Matt Frost turns in his fine article here on Jackson Analogue and then Jim Homes emails me to say, "We are doing a lot of remixing these days, but they are all recorded entirely again (keeping only...
  • Start A Discussion

Fri, Oct 24, 2014 - 12:59PM
Get a dialogue going below:
:
:
:
:
: