What’s your biggest suggestion for aspiring recording industry pros?
Oh my gosh, there are so many. Let’s focus on skill development. First, get a good education in the subject, whether it is at an actual school or the “school of hard knocks.” There is a lot of technical information to learn and it’s hard to pick up bits on the Internet and then really understand what’s going on.
For most, I would recommend an actual school to start, and then additional practical experience with others at a working facility. A good school will give you the correct overview and context for all the necessary information you need. It will get you in the game at a higher level fairly quickly. Do your research; they are not all created equal.
Then, practical experience with professionals will show you how it’s really done. Even the best school will not make you a ‘pro,’ but now you can ask intelligent questions, be useful, and really accelerate your development.
There is the odd person who can come out of nowhere and be a brilliant self-taught Producer, but it just isn’t that common. Could it be you?
What advice do you have for people who want to break into the recording business?
As a Recording Engineer? Gain experience. I know of very few naturally gifted Engineers — practically none. Listening at that level of detail seems to be a learned skill acquired over time.
Having taught Juno and Grammy-winning Engineers, I saw their “ears” were not much better than that of the average person when they were starting out. The most significant gifts they had in common were dedication, hard work, perseverance, and (especially) personality. They stuck with it long enough to figure out the audio part and then became world class.