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In The Studio: Eight Simple Steps To Becoming A Better Engineer
Quick tips to help your hearing, your career -- and even your blood pressure...
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Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
An even temperament goes a long way. Mistakes and frustrations happen in all jobs, and in the long run, so what?

A good engineer keeps the session at ease, especially during stressful times. Do you want clients and co-workers to remember you as the engineer who blows up, or the engineer who is a pro and can work around anything?

Make It Look Good
Some engineers go through their careers simply putting up a microphone and pressing the record button. Engineering is an art. Much like cooking and sex, presentation is part of the package.

If you want loyalty in the music business, get a dog. Don’t get too attached to a project. They will say they love you, love your engineering, are definitely going to use you next time, you’re in the club, the sounds are awesome.

Next week you hear they are using another engineer. Well don’t let it bug you. Do your job, take pride in it, and at the end of the day, realize that no matter what they promise, you don’t have the gig until you’re in the chair.

Long Hours Benefit No One
If the client expects you to work 18 hours a day, explain that you really aren’t at your best after ten or twelve hours. Some engineers state before the project that there must be certain limitations on the length of sessions.

Engineering can be draining, and the eighteenth hour is when mistakes happen. You want clients to remember you for your skills as an engineer, not for erasing the kick drum due to fatigue. And once you start working long hours, the client expects it.

Rule of Thumb
When deciding which instrument takes precedence, make the guy who signs your check sound best.

Be the Heavy
Sometimes the engineer must also be the heavy, doing the unpleasant tasks when sessions get out of hand. State firmly and professionally “You can’t smoke in the control room.” “Don’t set your drink on the console.” “You girls put your clothes on this instant!”

From the book “Recording Tips for Engineers” by Tim Crich. Get it here.


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