Thought for the day- how much have you invested into yourself as an audio engineer? Some of you have studied at university or technical college, others just gave it a go one day. Wherever you’re at stay interested in your personal development. Look for opportunities to use bigger and better gear, try new techniques, and most beneficial is to hang out with pro’s. You might need to find opportunities to spend time around studios and pro techs and it may surprise you what is around if you look.
A few years ago I played some session guitar for a local jazz artist at Valley Sounds, a small studio up in the hills behind Coffs Harbour. It turns out the tech there Pete Dyball is the sound engineer and tour manager for world class country artist Kasey Chambers. I made friends with Pete and I was able to learn alot from him.
The next best way to glean from the greats is through magazines, Internet forums, and… well… Blogs (not that I’m that ‘great’ but I’m sure I have something to offer). You can find lots of technical and conceptual articles to get you thinking outside of your approach.
Formal tuition may not be an option for some but find ways to grow and increase in professionalism. Always keep in mind that when mixing a band (especially an accomplished group) you are the deciding factor in how well their years of dedication to their craft and investment into their equipment is conveyed. It’s a tragedy to see a great band sounding rubbish because the sound tech is no good. When you are watching a muso with 30 years experience and $20k worth of equipment and you can’t hear them, or the mix is flat out gross, it’s a major injustice caused by an ameture sound tech. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.
Don’t live in a dreamworld where you know everything and don’t need to keep learning. Stay humble and remember the weight of responsibility on your shoulders.
It also seems that every random in the crowd that thinks they know somethng about audio will offer you criticism in the hope you will validate their opinion, that’s why you need to be confident that you really are of high standard and stick to your guns.
In short- honour the musicians with a high standard of audio and musical production, and honour youself by being a highly saught after professional that can deliver the goods.