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Why do you want to be an engineer?

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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby Wlouch on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:11 pm

I was looking for a place to introduce myself as I have just signed up about 3.2 minutes ago, and thought this would be a nice section to say hello and explain a little about myself.

I am Will, I live in South England, and have been a huge music fan ever since I was born, my musical tastes range from classical to the many subgenres of rock, to hip hop, with all sorts inbetween.

I am very fussy with production, and seem to follow engineers/producers around (virtually mind you) to discover new artists with production I like, and favour a more raw, emphasis on mic choice, placement and techniques sort of recording.

The reasons I chose to become an engineer; A, I am obsessed with sound almost to an autistic level, B, I am sick of all this hypercompressed, digitised bollocks that seems to be everywhere nowadays and would like to do anything I can to keep music as art, not post-produced polished dross. and finally, C, I love being surrounded with microphones, a nice sounding room, musicians and ideas to articulate through the medium of sound.

So, yeah...Hello.

My favourite band in the universe is Oceansize. FYI. I just wish Steve recorded them :(
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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby bishopdante on Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:37 pm

As a musician and hifi nut with a background in physics, I was sick of these people getting a crap sound, especially live. Convinced I could do it better, so dedicated about 10 years of my life to cracking the nut.

After many years, I have learned a few things:

Nº1: price is meaningless, about 3/4 of all of the equipment out there sounds tinny, and that is just no good. Don't use tinny equipment. Neve is not tinny. If something sounds tinny, get rid of it. Especially any 20 bit yamaha / sony digital mixer, even if it cost as much as the space shuttle and looks like it could be used to fly it.

Nº2: phase is the music-killer. The more tracks or sound sources there are, the worse it'll sound.

Nº3: distortion turns bass into treble, a small amount of THD can be good, making a bassy sound "fatter". This can be good, but if you haven't got any bass, then it won't work, it'll get harsher.

Nº4: if the acoustic source doesn't sound good in the room, it won't sound good no matter the amount of "post-production magic dust" you put on it.

Nº5: out of time, out of tune, bad dynamics, no feeling... there is no equipment which fixes these problems.

Nº6: Reverb and other room artifacts are about 75% of the sound you hear indoors. Artificial reverb is not very good. Learning to hear reverb is very important, it's invisible to the untrained ear. No reverb or natural acoustic artifacts sounds very bizarre indeed, and most people don't like it, especially players. This is why headphone monitoring and everything DI sucks.

Nº7: Speakers are electronically actuated drums. Don't expect them to sound exactly like real life. They sound like speakers.
Last edited by bishopdante on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:12 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby ErikC on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:58 pm

I'm a hack but I have some of the basic principles down.

I want to do this for myself and maybe similar minded artists. I can't justify spending $x/hour for someone else to take one of my children and mold them as they might see fit. No thanks. I would use a facility, and of course I am very open to the experts input and advice on technical aspects...but when chasing the dragon, it's somewhat of a personal endeavor too.
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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby kevinhein on Tue May 10, 2011 4:11 pm

Not too long ago, I had an epiphany about my life which made me realize why I chose the path I did to become an audio engineer.
All my life, i've been a collector, archiver, as well as a builder. I have amassed a ton of shit in my short life, from countless Star Wars action figures and Lego kits as a child, to my now growing LP collection. My dad is an engineer who works in a car factory, and my mother is a historic preservationist, and works on restoring old homes. My career as an audio recording engineer seems to be a culmination of both my parent's interests. I also realize that I myself am obsessed with preservation, due to my inability to get rid of things (my action figures/legos still sitting in my parent's attic) and my drive to keep them stored and in good condition.
Ultimately, I think this all stems from a fear of leaving the planet and not leaving anything behind.
I feel a strong drive to use my time here on earth to document excellent music that other talented individuals are making, and pass these documents on to future generations.
I know that one day I will become a successful engineer, and can only hope that 100 years in the future, some of my recordings will still be around for people to enjoy. I will stop at nothing to get to the point where people will want to come to me to capture their music, and I will be more than happy to do it for them.
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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby shloonk on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:16 pm

(am I allowed to post here?)
I want to be an engineer so that I can record bands that are doing great things that (without my help) no one would hear. I have some friends that make some really really really awesome/weird/new-sounding music that very rarely gets recorded, and when it does, it sounds like shit because it's recorded on a laptop or it's recorded on a portastudio with 2 mics really really out of phase, and I want it to be listenable, so that maybe one day someone will find it and think "huh, that is something."
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Re: Why do you want to be an engineer?

Postby Frank R. on Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:51 am

My name is Frank and I began interning at Electrical Audio in June of 2011.

I don't know if I ever set out to be an engineer, proper. At least, not in the beginning. I never really spent much time pondering about the job title. The whole recording aspect was a sort of natural progression of events. My family was not very musically inclined when I was younger (as of this post, I'm 28). It wasn't until I was older that I was exposed to music in the proper fashion.

I decided I was going to play electric bass when I was 12. I thought the early Green Day records were the bees knees and I wanted to play bass like that. I played in a number of bands and played my fair share of shows. Everything was strictly DIY because there's little room in the budget for anything else. There's either time or money and we were short on money. When it came time to record, I decided that I was going to do it because I enjoyed the challenge and didn't want to pay someone else to do what I could do myself. It was an education rooted in trial and error methodology. My skills evolved through a series of mistakes and corrections until I began to grasp the basic concepts. I did a lot of reading and implemented some of the things I'd learned in Tape OP and through the various recording forums. When I was 25, I went to a 4-year university and majored in Audio Production.

After nearly 10 years of working with ever-evolving recording setups, I decided that I had enough gear that I was going to open up my own recording studio in 2009. Despite the many challenges that come with this line of work, I find it to be a rewarding occupation. I mean, I would be doing these things regardless of whether or not it was my primary job. The only downside is that it's hard to differentiate work from play when you've combined them.

That being said, I wanted to intern at Electrical Audio so that I could learn the ins and outs of tape. I mean, that's why the majority of us decided upon Electrical, right? Well, except for all of the die-hard Shellac fans... :) I am hoping to add a tape machine to my studio in the near future and had decided that before I committed to forking over the $$$ for a tape machine, I wanted to learn how to properly calibrate one. Thanks to Electrical, I now have a damn good idea.
Frank Reber | Recording Engineer
http://FrankReber.com | http://ReberRecording.com
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