Integrate - New Ambitions - New User

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Integrate - New Ambitions - New User

Postby Mickstape » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:37 am

Hello fellow forum goers.

My name is Michael (Mick) Shaw and this is my first post.

I'll try and keep this to a minimal text based saga as most of the time I hit forums I tend to ramble and it turns into a 600 word epic on how i usually do 600 word intros.

So moving right along, I'm currently in my first year of studies of Audio. I refrained from using the "Three letter acronym" as it seems its discouraged here, for what reasons I'm unsure of but I'll keep to the tradition of not naming names so I don't get trodden on.

In regards to the title of the post, Integrate - New Ambitions - New User, the three sections shall go as such.

Yesterday i went to Integrate in between classes, i was quite astounded at the technology and the <drool> hardware that was on display. In fact with my very limited knowledge of the lingo and "in-speak" i felt like a kid on his first day at high school. AGAIN!

Saying that i did have some very interesting conversations with a few people, notably Rick Hutcheson of NorWest (who has offered some paid work as a packhorse/tech btw, this was a bonus) about various industry tools and applications. These convos were at times a little over my head especially when i was speaking to one the guys from the Mixmasters stand, he saw me drooling over the hardware on display and then proceeded to absolutely bend my mind and astound me at the same time while talking about the specs of the joe meek eq's, the compressors and just about every other goodie there. Unfortunately as my brain was in overload at the time i can now not remember his name but i do remember that he looked like Kurt Pengilly from INXS. he'd probably hate that comparison i'm sure. I'm also assuming that if he ever gets word that some brat student says he looks like that guy he'll find my card and send me some hate mail.

What i mainly want to ask is whether, in your infinite collective audio engineering knowledge, is if its worth going to see Mike Stavrou this morning at 11. I've read a few of his articles on various topics, i do confess i don't own his book/s (should i buy it/them. recommendations anyone?) but from what i hear he knows his stuff. The price isnt the issue, its just whether i should risk the peace between my fiance and i to go to the city for a 1hr session.

As for ambitions, i do a lot of electronic music production as a hobby, mainly urban/ambient/sound-scape styles. I also play guitar and drums in the blues/jazz/rock styles which keeps me sane. I'd really like to come out of "three letter acronym omitted" with a wealth of knowledge that will give me the confidence to track and live mix the genres that appeal to me most, these being jazz/swing/blues/lounge-cabaret/big band styles. As these are niche genres i know it will be hard to find work as an engineer but i have had limited success so far in tracking and mixing having landed a semi permanent gig being the engineer for a jazz trio on the central coast, who i have also recorded at the "three letter acronym" studios.

I might as well give a plug now, i'm an amateur recording & mixing engineer at best, but i have the desire to change careers and take the hobby to a new level.

Anyway back to the plug.

I have some gear, mics, leads, mixing desk <Peavey> keeness (i have heaps of this) and i'd really like to see if there are Studio owners/managers or Engineers, Live or otherwise, who would give a bloke a go and perhaps get him onboard for a bit of work experience or assistant engineer slots over the next 18 months. I have the rudimentary skills, i know the difference between a send and return, what a standing waveform can do to your mix and how to mic up a cabinet, baffle and enclose a vocalist or horn without losing the development of the sound envelope and various other tricks that the staff have been willing to pass on to me.

Oh i should mention i am located on the central coast of NSW, so Sydney or Newcastle is an easy trip for me. I'm available Wed and Fri ALL day, mondays from open business hours till 1pm then from 4pm, and wednesdays from open till 5pm. Unfortunately this is all my timetable allows for, i work as a roof tiler <trade> most days off but have been trying to get work elsewhere so i don't have to endure the suckness of being a mug in a mugs game.

Anyway its turning into an epic so i will finish up there.

Comments are appreciated.

Mick
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Re: Integrate - New Ambitions - New User

Postby TimS » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:29 am

Mickstape wrote:Hello fellow forum goers.

Welcome to the forum!!

I have some gear, mics, leads, mixing desk <Peavey> keeness (i have heaps of this) and i'd really like to see if there are Studio owners/managers or Engineers, Live or otherwise, who would give a bloke a go and perhaps get him onboard for a bit of work experience or assistant engineer slots over the next 18 months. I have the rudimentary skills, i know the difference between a send and return, what a standing waveform can do to your mix and how to mic up a cabinet, baffle and enclose a vocalist or horn without losing the development of the sound envelope and various other tricks that the staff have been willing to pass on to me.

Hop in line bro.. everyones trying to get a foot in the door.
Good luck!!

Oh i should mention i am located on the central coast of NSW, so Sydney or Newcastle is an easy trip for me. I'm available Wed and Fri ALL day, mondays from open business hours till 1pm then from 4pm, and wednesdays from open till 5pm. Unfortunately this is all my timetable allows for, i work as a roof tiler <trade> most days off but have been trying to get work elsewhere so i don't have to endure the suckness of being a mug in a mugs game.

You'll make more money tiling - trust me!!
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Postby heathen » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:57 am

Studio assistant is probably a 25 hour a day job.
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Postby Mickstape » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:23 pm

arrrgh!

@Tim, yeh i get ya when you say hop in line. probably a bit foolish of me to even bother with that paticular request but mehh thems the breaks. and yes i've no doubt the money is infinitely better at times, but that said i have done some film work over the past three months and thats pretty easy cash for holding a boom and nodding when the AD goes was that good? cheers for the welcome man.

@Heathen, dude seriously i would rather a 25 hour day in an air conned studio, messin with gear i like than 9 hours on the roof 6 days a week cursing at the ineptitude of architects,carpenters,fascia and gutter guys and the freakin apprentices. im getting old (30) and my knees are already screwed from rugby,surfing and moto x, its gettin hard for me in winter haha.

so really i just want a career change so i can have some grizzly old engineer cussing me out cause his coffee wasnt sweet enough or that the iced vovos were two days past their use by date.

i guess i'm just jaded.

or stupid.....

which one i'm still trying to figure out

hmmmm
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Postby TimS » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:39 pm

haha no worries Mick - its all good..
T..
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Postby Sheer Noise » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:45 pm

My 2c?

Buy Stav's book!!! To quote a well respected writer in a well respected audio publication, "you gotta start somewhere".... "Mixing With Your Mind" is a great spot to start!

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Postby jkhuri44 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:48 pm

u can chase Stavs flame, if your cool with a massive rock singer chasing your skull with his fist...
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Postby heathen » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:48 pm

Mick that's the way to look at it, heh. :)
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Postby HA_DA_JA » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:57 pm

I've done some tiling. It aint a fun job.
Those tiles are sharp and your are always cutting yourself.
Get a new job or charge double for laying those tiles.
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Postby mfdu » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:22 pm

at least with a tiling job you can get food on the table and indulge your hobbies at the end of the day.

there's nothing wrong with being a 'recording enthusiast'

there's nothing wrong with being a 'recording enthusiast'

there's nothing wrong with being a 'recording enthusiast'

i keep telling myself that while i'm stuck at my desk 9>5 working for local government - once i get home i take off my tie and become mfdu-man of mystery.
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not always concurrently.
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Postby Chinagraf » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:25 pm

I wish I could tile..my kitchen has one wall missing the tiles from a renno and I still haven't attempted fixing it.
And with all that tiling experience think of the reverb chamber you could build...
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Postby HA_DA_JA » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:39 pm

correct me if I am wrong but I think there might be a big difference between roof and kitchen tiling.
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Postby Bent my VU » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:08 pm

jkhuri44 wrote:u can chase Stavs flame, if your cool with a massive rock singer chasing your skull with his fist...


and i thought i was the only one......
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Postby jkhuri44 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:15 pm

"u move that shit again, ill kill you"

i just had a laugh reading that technique in the last AT.
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Postby rick » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:35 pm

i have to have a word to stav about a few things that happened at the show - it wont be pretty
so if you want to jump into my timemachine where the original question is valid , "should i go to his thing and risk earning a day of grief from my girl"


no -
stick to the good things in life
Last edited by rick on Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jkhuri44 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:50 pm

lol
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Postby Martin » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:25 am

thought about a writing career? it's still a creative endeavour and you seem to have no problem with word count!

please understand with our comments we're honestly not trying to 'protect our honey pot'

cause it looks more like the vegemite jar when you've only got a tiny bit left and are scraping it with the knife going 'c'mooon, one more album.. err. bit of toast'





that said - you gotta chase what you want to do or what's the point in it all, right?
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Postby jkhuri44 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:44 am

i dont think writing is under attack here?

ive read heaps of articles by audio engineers, that have been mighty helpful.

there's a difference between writing, and (what) you're writing.
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Postby Chinagraf » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:18 pm

[quote="HA_DA_JA"]correct me if I am wrong but I think there might be a big difference between roof and kitchen tiling.[/quote]

Well you see my point...now I have a white porcelain roof and terra cotta walls in my kitchen.
My advice would be if you truly love music...choose another career. Keep the things you love as just that - the things you love.
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Postby jkhuri44 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:31 pm

apologies for my above post...i shouldnt reply to forums in the morning, my brain just does not work!!!!
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Postby Mickstape » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:30 pm

Martin wrote:thought about a writing career? it's still a creative endeavour and you seem to have no problem with word count!

please understand with our comments we're honestly not trying to 'protect our honey pot'

cause it looks more like the vegemite jar when you've only got a tiny bit left and are scraping it with the knife going 'c'mooon, one more album.. err. bit of toast'

that said - you gotta chase what you want to do or what's the point in it all, right?
.

Hi Martin, thanks for your reply to my post. I appreciate your encouraging words and it seems that the more i pursue work in this industry (on the studio engineering side of it) the more cut-throat and insular i find it. Its a shame that when one chooses to pursue a different career path, one i might add is quite drastically away from my chosen profession, only to find that unfortunately, in this industry, the adage "Its not what you know, its who you know" is so close to the truth that it is, IMO, really quite sad.

I mean don't get me wrong, i may be a roof tiler, but don't make the mistake of pigeonholing roof tilers as dumb hammers. even though i'm persuaded to agree with my apt description of said roof tilers, most of the ones i know are really only that.

BUT

The fact that established engineers feel threatened by new "talent" (or "meat for the grinder" as i overheard one fellow put it) coming from educational institutions really drives home to me how small and cliquey the industry really is. I mean in Sydney alone there is an over-abundance of studios, most of them of the smaller variety i'm sure, so one would think that finding work as an assistant would be fairly easy. WRONG! After ringing, emailing and turning up at studio after studio i am yet to pick up any work as an assistant. That said i'm not easily discouraged by snide remarks, looks of disdain and in most cases promises of "we'll call you, don't call us".

Look, i realise that your post was in no way a personal attack so my apologies if this response seems a little on the defensive side. Or of the sarcastic and ironic persuasion for that matter. Its just a shame that there is most definitely opportunities out there for assistant engineer work b ut to get the work you have to know someone, be married to the boss's daughter or to quote Quan from the 'Gurge - suck a lotta @#$% to get where you want to be.

That last one is not an option so i guess i'll just keep taking film and tv work when it comes to me and see how i go with sydney showboats as their PA monkey.

@ Rick - Thanks for the reply man, i have spoken to a few people re: Stavs session and the consensus seems to be that i didnt really miss anything good. Although i will say i'm a little bummed that i missed your seminar.

@China - I was just wondering if having the terras in your kitchen has eliminated the problem of pests and birds getting inside your roof or do you now have sparrows, possums and rats nesting in your kitchen? Also as you have that brilliant ceramic roof now, do you think we should point fingers at you for climate change. I mean there would have to be some serious heat reflection coming off that roof wouldn't there?

@JKhuri - Dude my heads the same of a morning so don't worry, you ain't alone.

@MFDU - Dude, if you have a government job then you are set man. All the benefits plus you get to laugh at all us other saps that are grovelling in the mud. Well with the exception of the studio managers/owners of course. And the fact that you get to go home and actually make music, well thats a bonus. i have to fully beg and plead for a few hours to make a track or record some stuff.
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Postby Martin » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:42 pm

you're right mate, about all of it - good luck with the job hunting!


is it still a 'job' if no one pays you?
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Postby Mickstape » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:52 pm

@Martin - Shit dude....you know i never thought about that.

I'm frequently being used for freebies, i guess when the paid work comes its worth having to have done the few gratis jobs for people. Plus i figure if i make the "right" people happy for doing a job for nothing they remember me down the track when paid work comes along. And that has happened for me so far so yeh i dunno if its "wrok" per se, but its experience and time on site counts in my experience.
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Postby Martin » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:53 pm

I only lasted a couple of days working for no pay, maybe if i'd stuck it out it would have paid off? no way of knowing but you gotta do what feels right!
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Postby Mickstape » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:05 pm

Well i guess that will be one of those great unknowns hey. I don't particularly like working for nothing, but like i said, its that one job you do that can really make life easier in the future.

That said, i would never, EVER tile a roof for nothing, unless it was my own or a family member. Well maybe i would consider tiling Rick O'Neil's roof for some serious learning time under his tutorage....hint hint...

Now that i've sucked up the big mans ass i'm gonna go before the locals start throwing iced vovos at me.
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Postby TimS » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:41 am

Mickstape wrote:Well maybe i would consider tiling Rick O'Neil's roof for some serious learning time under his tutorage....hint hint...

I've seen Rick's roof - its fine already! ;-)
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Postby 13thbeach » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:43 pm

Now that i've sucked up the big mans ass i'm gonna go before the locals start throwing iced vovos at me.


You know every time someone uses the iced vovo / Macgyver comments on this forum, I should make a dollar. Its not easy to revamp has beens you know.
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Postby heathen » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:08 pm

My girlfriend loves McGyver. Dunno about iced vovos though.
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Postby anj » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:23 am

Try to get more work in the film industry....less stress, more money and probably more fun.
I am so loving delivering groceries now that i come home and play guitar once again. Working in a studio has the ability to sap out all your musical energy.
The other bonus is now im not surrounded by radioactive emitting equipment....... maybe thats why im feeling so much better!
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Postby qiktune » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:04 am

Hey Mick, I'm a newbie here too so I don't know that my opinion counts for much. But if I can offer you any advice it would be "don't give up!". There are studios out there looking for someone like you. Just be persistent.

I'm pretty lucky ( blessed is probably a better word ) in that the Producer/Engineer that took me on as an assistant can't seem to do enough to teach, help and guide me. He places zero demands on me or my time and as willing as I am to do whatever is asked of me he often opts to do some of the menial tasks himself as he considers them a "shitty job" and couldn't possibly ask someone else to do it. Yes, I do change the water bottle in the foyer, toilet paper, take out the garbage, tidy up etc without being asked to and then mostly first thing in the morning before he arrives ( I don't want to miss out on any of his time if I can help it - I place a high value on it ). Basically, I just try to make his life easier through the day which allows him to stay in that creative place in his head.

I've made myself available 24/7 and never refuse to do anything. My trip to "work" can sometimes take over 2 hours each way and costs me a fortune in fuel/tolls but that cost when weighed against the education I'm getting is pretty damn trivial.

Yes, I did sit in the corner shutting the f@#$ up for quite a long time just taking notes etc, then going home and practicing those techniques all night long.

Last week, less than six months after starting there I was asked by him to try mixing a couple of songs by a current client....and then a couple more the following day ( I'm floating on cloud 9 :-) ) all of which got two thumbs up!!!!!

There are some things that I'd really like to do eg, bringing new projects in to the studio but I know this may take a little time as I have zero reputation to back me up when prospecting clients.....I'm working hard learning how to talk.

Man, I didn't mean to write that much - all I wanted to do was say, make a decision to do it and then go out and do it and don't ever give up. There are some awesome people around here some of whom I met at Integrate and would love to spend some time with.

I read a post by Chris Vallejo from Linear a little while back where someone was unsure about staying in the music side of things and considering going to film. I'm paraphrasing but he basically said "If you want to do music then do music" - which I thought was kinda cool....just do it!

Good luck :-)
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