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"I was wondering, to become an audio engineer, a successful one, what is the best path to take?"
- Posted by scotty17
This question was posted on the gearslutz forum a few days ago, and it's a question I get asked often by upcoming engineers, producers, bands, and artists... what is the best path to take to be successful in the recording or the music industry in general? Of all the answers I've given over the years, basing "success" solely on being able to do what you love for a living, I think what Greg from UBK/KushAudio said is bang on. Something worth reading a couple times a year. Sure raw talent has been removed from the equation but, it's grounding, honest, and motivating... and always nice to hear someone say out loud in the real world.
"so I'm a junior in high school, and I have both experience with pro tools and logic pro. I've been working on learning EQ, compression, and all the basics of engineering the last two years. I asked someone I know who went to one of those two year audio engineering schools, if it was a good career choice, he said it wasn't. he really isn't doing very much with his life right now. I was wondering, to become an audio engineer, a successful one, what is the best path to take? like self teaching yourself, going to an engineering college, etc. advice/feedback is much appreciated."
- Posted by scotty17
"This is kinda common sense to me, but I'm more than double your age and shit gets clearer as you get older so here's my 2 cents: the best path to take is the one you're able to take. It's that simple.
Is there anything in front of you that resembles a choice you can make, anything that gets you to a place that in some small, nearly impossible-to-recognize way, looks like it could maybe be one step closer to where you want to go? If so, make that choice and push forward.
If there doesn't seem to be any such choice in front of you, then there's no path at the moment, so there's nothing to think about or worry about. You can try to create something, make calls, get the word out, do favors, be of service, cozy up to local musicians, whatever. You'd be surprised what volunteering at a hospital can do for you. But mostly, keep your eyes open, because life has a way of cracking open doors so quietly and so far to your left that it's easy to miss if you're over focused on something that's actually a distraction or trying too hard to force a reality whose time isn't yet here.
Try to get out in the world, meet people, talk to people, and be generous with yourself, because other people are always the key to the next steps on your path. It's true now, it'll be true when you're 105. Relationships are everything, like-minded souls are worth their weight in gold. Never burn bridges, if you gotta walk away do so with peace and forgiveness in your heart, cuz we've all been the asshole and the liar too and we will be again so none of us are innocent, none of us can ever claim any moral high ground. How we end relationships and how we treat people we don't like says more about our character than anything else. Be humble but confident, stay focused on the greater good for everyone's benefit, and your reputation will be your currency as you navigate life.
And by all means, do what the fµck you need to do with your life. It's the only one you got, and despite what your mind would have you believe that energy flowing thru your veins is fragile and can get yanked away or deeply compromised at any moment without notice or mercy, so take none of it for granted.
The only difference between people who've made it and people who haven't is... there's no difference. They're all just people, same as me and you, so give it everything you've got. Playing it safe is actually the riskiest play to make; calculated risk is essential to manifesting anything worth manifesting.
Get ready to fail. Repeatedly. It's not just inevitable... it's essential to success.
Gregory Scott - ubk"
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!