Matt H

April 11th – April 24th (11.6 hours) – I was able to come in to the studio four times. A majority of these visits were spent working with ProTools and the recording microphone I have typically been using. I believe that my proficiency in ProTools is improving every time I use it, as I have had new experience with panning (shifting sound left to right in headphones or speakers), reverb, delay (echos), and EQ (quality of sound). I also believe that the recordings themselves are improving with experience. When I was not working with ProTools, Chris enlightened me on some of the history of recording tape. I learned about different types of tape decks, hazards of tape, and historical use. We also discussed “tubing” of plug-ins on the effects board.

Question 23: Describe one habit you developed or honed over the course of your internship that directly and positively contributed to your success. Answer: Being able to learn from my mistakes and grow has impacted my experience at the internship immensely. As I’ve learned and analyzed my past experiences at the site, I become more comfortable and excited with each new visit. I also believe I have greatly improved my knowledge of the workings of ProTools and some of the recording equipment because I have made mistakes with it. Fortunately, Chris has been there every step of the way to ensure that I have the knowledge I need to complete each task. Under his tutelage and my self-reflection, I have successfully worked with musicians and recording equipment at WaveLab and hope to continue to become more successful.

Question 21: How will you use your internship experience in the future? How has this experience changed your view of learning? Answer: As I’ve mentioned before, many business and workplace skills can be used universally. For example, the ability to learn from your mistakes and interact with costumers and those of authority can be applied to any field. However, with regards to my specific internship at a recording studio, I hope to apply my newfound recording knowledge to future ventures I have in the field; for example, I’m writing a small album I plan to release and perform soon. I will need to record it. Also, I would like to work in a recording studio as a career, possibly WaveLab, if they’ll have me. I’d like to work there over summer before college and over summer during college. As far as changing my view of learning, I think the biggest impact this experience has had would be a heavier emphasis on reflection. Where at the beginning of the year I didn’t give the reflection logs much credit (I didn’t give myself much credit either), I have learned to put more emphasis on thinking about how to improve constantly. A growth mindset is the strongest mindset for learning.

March 28th – April 10th (hours) – For the most part, my time in the studio consisted of work with ProTools. I have become much more proficient in the program in the past two weeks. I’ve learned how to record on the program, how to apply effects to vocals, how to level volume on vocals, how to pan sounds (meaning controlling left and right headphone sound), and more. Effects I’ve used include delay (applying an echo to vocals), reverb (making it sound as if the vocals are resonating in a room), and EQ (changing the quality of sound). I’ve learned how to chop and mix vocals as well. The last time I went to the studio, I did not work on ProTools. Instead, I stood in on an informal “meeting,” during which two potential clients discussed options with Craig and Chris. Not only was this informative of the profession, but interesting; each participant had stories about recording that I was eager to hear.

Question 15: What is the most important thing this internship has taught you about yourself? Explain. Answer: The internship has taught me that I am determined to make work in the music industry. I believe I’ve mentioned before that I am not sure if recording, mixing, or mastering is for me. However, recently I’ve learned that I do very much enjoy each of these processes. I have had the opportunity to record and mix my own music primarily independently and with some guidance by Chris, which I am very grateful for. Not only does it give me control over my production, but I have learned about the program and process itself and found that I like to do it. I believe that even if I choose to focus primarily on my own music, and if I learned more from Craig and Chris about running a studio, I could run a studio not only for my use but also for the use of other artists (in order to make money) – and I would enjoy it.

Question 18: If you had this exact internship to do over again, what would you do differently? Answer: I would have involved myself more earlier on. I would have liked to know what I know now a few months ago, and be further ahead than I am. I think if I had applied myself sooner that I could have enjoyed the experience much more in the beginning, and been rewarded by it as well. What I can hope to do with the little time I have left is to continue to involve myself in experiences with WaveLab. I’d like to accompany Chris to one of his sound gigs, as he seems to have them relatively often and I don’t think I would get in the way too much. It seems that the most I learn is when something new happens, and I want to seek new experiences.

March 14th – March 27th (8.2 hours) – I was only able to come into the studio during the first week of spring break, as I was chaperoning a trip to Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Island Marine Institute program for middle school students. However, during the times I did go in, we focused on several activities. There was another group at the studio the first time I went in, and I helped with their session and cleaning up and re-organizing some equipment that was left over from recording. After that, I worked on my project, and completed the rough draft. The next time I came in we spent the day mixing, setting up more of the curtains/video system, and doing general work. We also organized times that I would next come in, which will be next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Question 17: Give three recommendations for incoming participants in the internship program. Answer: One: make a good first impression on your mentor. Dress well, speak well, bode well; make them believe that you will be an asset. Two: follow through with your first impression as best you can. Show dedication, determination, and drive. Three: don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unclear on a task or a concept. It is better to do a job well after clarifying instructions than to do a job poorly under an independent but confused mindset. Despite this, some level of independence is important. Push yourself to take the initiative when an opportunity presents itself.

Question 22: Based on your internship experience, do you have a stronger sense of self-worth and self-esteem? Answer: Yes. Of course, this does not stem solely from my experience under the internship. However, having some semi-professional experience has helped me to develop my sense of self. The biggest way this has developed is through my now-stronger ability to involve myself in projects around the studio. Early on, I am ashamed to admit that, in some cases, I was more of a drone to be directed than an independent entity. On a side note, it is important to remember that there is only so much independence that can be beneficial to an intern, so being able to await instructions is an important quality. However, if one wishes to advance in a field, one must be ambitious and willing to assert oneself. In my position, I have not become as “assertive” as an experienced individual might be, but I have learned at least a little bit about being an asset rather than dead weight. I believe that with a growth mindset I can continue to learn my place at the studio, and apply this developing ability to evaluate necessity of a concept of self-worth in any situation.

February 29th – March 13th (6.7 hours) – During both sessions I went in to the studio, I worked on my final project. As I have mentioned before, the project will be a song I recorded and mixed. So, I recorded it and am currently involved in the process of mixing it. The process is lengthy; I have, so far, searched out places in the audio at which the levels of sound are too high or harsh (such as puffs of air with a word that begins with ‘p’ or a too-harsh ‘c’ sound) and added an effect on some parts of the vocals that makes the track sound as if it is emitting from an old radio or telephone. This alone has taken a few hours. The recording beforehand did not take very long, but we took multiple tracks of the hook and one of the verses in order to get it sounding like it should. I hope to edit volume of vocals at a certain point in the song and add an extra sound effect between two lines before the song is finished.

Question 10: List two expectations you had for your internship. Were these expectations fulfilled? Why or why not? Answer: Going in to the internship, I expected to be able to work with artists and I expected to be able to learn to handle equipment. Naturally, through this line of work one meets and assists musicians, and this experience has been no exception. Although I have had limited influence or interaction with the artists, I have still been able to experience recording and mixing sessions involving the artists. I have been able to meet some interesting people this way. As far as equipment, I have learned more than I knew going in. Where I likely wouldn’t be able to effectively set up an entire session on my own yet, I know things like what machines work how and why we use them. I believe that I will continue to learn as the internship continues.

Question 14: Describe two networking connections you have established at your internship site. Who are they and why are they worth knowing? What have you done to be useful to them? What will you do to stay connected to them? Answer: The biggest connection I have made (besides with Chris) has been with Craig, the owner of the studio. I have engaged in work he asks me to do and helped him with projects. Craig suggested that I might apply to work at the studio after I graduate, and in this way I hope to keep in contact and continue to work with him. The next closest thing to a network connection I have made would be with The Dirty Bourbon River Show group, as I befriended the lead singer. I intend to support them on their musical career. Also, I worked with the band Calexico, helping with a recording session and with more mundane tasks around the studio. I hope to continue to interact with the pair of musicians at the studio and maybe outside of it as well.

February 15th – February 28th (7 hours) – I went into the studio three times. The first time, Tangerine was still working and finishing up their record at the studio, and I helped with that. I asked Chris when would be a good time to start the internship project, and he gave me a schedule for the next few weeks. The week after Tangerine finished up was construction week. The studio is building a curtain setup for catching sound and a video setup to make the space more versatile. So, the next two times I went in, I helped with that. Chris also told me that next week will be a good time to start recording my project.

Question 5: Describe a project or task where you collaborated with your mentor and/or coworkers? What did you enjoy? What was difficult? Answer: Any time there is a recording session at the studio, I sit in, listen to the band, listen to their suggestions and Chris’ advice, and watch the process of the recording unfold. Recently I’ve realized that Chris and Craig seem to invest more confidence in me than I had thought. After they gave me leave to change part of the mix that I was “babysitting” a few weeks ago, I have become more comfortable with the idea of actively involving myself with the creative process. So, just recently, I gave Tangerine a bit of advice on a song that they wanted to conclude their record with. Originally, they had a full ensemble of instruments on the first chorus of the song, making it very heavy, but just as heavy as the other two repetitions of the chorus later on. I don’t like this; memorable and powerful music follows a certain flow – the biggest point of the song should be apparent at some point, and should not repeat too many times. So, I suggested to one of the members of Tangerine that a few instruments be changed on the first chorus. We tried it out, and it sounded better, leading to a bigger impact on the later choruses and therefore a more powerful effect. I regret not having the personal motivation to attempt to involve myself sooner, and I intend to voice my opinions more from now on, and learn from which ones make a positive impact and which do not.

Question 13: Which specific skills have you developed at your internship site? How are these skills developing you into a better person and worker? How are the skills transferable? Answer: In addition to mechanical and equipment-related skills (such as a small level of ProTools proficiency and a greater understanding of musical leveling), I believe I have become a more sociable person around the studio. By this I mean that I am more comfortable around professionals and new personages. People skills are a universally applicable and useful set of skills to have, and I’ve mentioned before the stress that Chris puts on them. They make it easier to work with other people and produce a worthwhile product, and they make it easier to make connections and network, which I intend to do before my internship is over. I believe that I will continue to develop in all aspects of being a professional musician/engineer, and especially in people skills, which can be applied to any job.

February 1st – February 14th (10.8 hours) – During the past two weeks, I went into the studio three times. The first time, I let a project record and did a small amount of mixing while Chris and Craig had to run errands elsewhere. Although it was a very small job and I did not have much work to do, I was proud to have been trusted alone in the studio and given the liberty to change some aspects of the project if I felt it was necessary. We also went over some details for my final project; Chris requested that I have individual instrument tracks ready the next time I came in. Unfortunately, when I next came in, another client was occupying the studio time. This client, Tangerine, was working with the Tucson band Calexico to create a new studio album. I worked with them twice, and learned more about using tape during a recording session. I also worked at home, separating instrument tracks.

Question 3: How would you describe the culture of your organization and how does this fit with your ideal employer? Answer: Depending on the client, the exchange between the client and the expert can be professional on both sides or only one. I respect Chris’ ability to deal with clients of all forms; he is professional, and he is always a recording engineer first and deals with customers as recording artists. The clients, however, are not always the most professional or easy to work with. I have seen several that either push their own opinions too forcefully or express them in a passive-aggressive manner. Chris had warned me about the latter, as passive-aggressive behavior is apparently common among musicians. Most times, however, atmosphere in the studio is light and creative, and I enjoy this environment. I believe that keeping things light is crucial for productivity, and so does Chris.

Question 9: Describe a situation where you observed or worked with individuals from different demographic groups. What did and didn’t go well? Answer: Just this past week, I had the opportunity to work with the two Dutch brothers that make up the group “Tangerine.” I can see how working with individuals from a different demographic, even white European, could be difficult if I had an outdated, bigoted, xenophobic or racist employer. Fortunately, I do not. The experience actually turned slightly humorous when one of the brothers accidentally pronounced the word “this” as “dis” several times during recording and was half-chastising himself for it. We had a laugh, and I suggested that it could be a quirk. What I meant by this was that the Dutch authenticity could be used as a selling point; however, I believe Chris took it to mean it could be something that the Dutch do (which it is) and explained to me that since the foreign artists are physically able to correct themselves, Tucsonans tend to teach them how to speak. I shrugged it off and we kept recording. Another high point – the brothers’ wives made some delicious sandwiches…perks of being in the studio.

January 18th – January 31 (4 hours) – I worked at the studio once during this time period. After that, Chris left for a vacation in California. While at the studio, I assisted Chris in another editing and mixing session, this time working with multiple instrument tracks in order to sew the sound together. I used cuts and fades on the audio to make each track fit into the sound of the others. The editing took a few hours, and was still not complete when I left. Before I left, Chris suggested I record a song at the studio as my final project.

Question 8: What would you do differently in this organization if you were the boss/owner? Why? Answer: I’m going to answer this question as a hypothetical owner. First, I would expand my studio’s musical proficiency to all of the main genres: pop, hip-hop, rock, and country. I would also ensure that the engineers continue to profess and focus mainly on the original specialization of WaveLab (indie rock and alternative country, according to Chris). Beyond that, I would run WaveLab as it has been run; I appreciate and respect the ability of the current boss and audio engineer to work effectively with their clients. The coaching aspect of the job (described in the next reflection question) is used well here, and a professional sound has always been achieved – at least in my experience at WaveLab. Looking at the studio from a maintenance point of view, I would ensure that the presentation of WaveLab is professional, clean, orderly, and effective (as I do now). However, if the necessary funds were available, I would fix a few leaks that can be found in the studio.

Question 7: What is the most important thing your organization does? Answer: WaveLab is a recording studio. I’d say that there are three more specific categories of work: recording, mixing, and coaching. Recording is the act of recording audio from a musician to the computer or to tape. Mixing is editing this audio in order to make it clean and professional. Coaching is a more obscure duty of an audio engineer – it is to use recording knowledge and expertise to make sound suggestions to musicians and to ensure that the musicians have the morale and drive to record to their best abilities. Using these categories and definitions, recording is the obvious choice for an important service. However, a recording studio worth paying for will make sure the audio has a good sound – that’s the mixing aspect, and that’s where a studio becomes more than just a microphone and a computer. What really sets a studio apart, however, is the coaching aspect. Coaching will draw more costumers to the studio as well as ensure that every product is of high quality. So, although my official answer is recording, it is difficult to pinpoint a “most important thing” provided by my studio.

January 4th – January 17th (6.1 hours) – Since we’ve been on semester 2 schedule, I’ve been to the studio twice. The first time was a recording session with a group of musicians that was not officially a band. They were simply assisting one another in recording a project. That was a typical recording session, although I observed some aspects of the job that Chris had discussed with me before but that I had not yet seen (I will elaborate further on this experience while answering Reflection Question 6). When I came in to the studio the second time, I helped Chris to edit an audio mix from a group based in Uruguay. Here, I finally got to have some hands-on experience with the editing program, and got to learn more about the mixing process. We spent a total of about three hours finishing the mix, and when it was done it sounded different from the original in a way that I did not expect; by this I mean that the final product sounded fuller, stitched together expertly, and I am not quite sure how Chris makes that transition from rough to polished. I look forward to learning more about that.

Question 1: How do different people at your site dress and what conclusions do you draw from this? Does this impact personal interactions? Answer: I’ve mentioned before that the studio is pretty laid-back. This includes the “dress code” – or lack thereof. Chris, Craig, the clients and myself dress as we please. I believe this is because we are all involved in making art and do not wish to bother with formalities (keep in mind – this does not mean there is a lack of professionalism!). Personal interactions are effected in a way that makes them more intimate, or if not intimate easy-going. The atmosphere created by this opens up the air for more inspiration and creation.

Question 6: Describe a situation where you witnessed mentoring taking place within the organization. Who was helping who? What was the response? Answer: While at the studio for the most recent recording session, I saw Chris giving advice on something he believed should be changed in the song that had just been recorded. He had told me about this aspect of the business before; that being an audio engineer is more than just recording. It is giving professional opinion, whether the artist decides to accept it or not. So, Chris was mentoring the group. Two members of the group did not want to follow the advice, but eventually we got to a point at which everyone involved agreed that we should at least try what Chris had suggested. They did, and ended up keeping it.


 

November 23 – November 29th (5 hours) –

During this final piece of the first semester program, I was able to attend another session and assist in some mixes that Chris was working on for a client. During the session, I met the musicians and saw their specifications met. It was similar to other sessions I have attended, but the group had their own sound which was enjoyable to witness. Assisting with the mixes was purely ProTools work. Most of it was leveling tracks so that volume was at acceptable level and the mix sounded concise. I also saw some more business ends of the studio, as Chris and Craig were showing potential buyers a piano they are trying to sell.

Question 17: Write a summary of your performance from your supervisor’s point of view.

Answer: Matt has been comfortable to work with. Since he came to the studio, he has learned about the equipment we use here and the people we interact with. I have tried to teach him about the qualities that make an effective sound engineer as well as aspects of the job. He is interested in what I have to say and heeds my experience. I think he has interacted with people around the studio fine, but he could use more experience around the technology. There aren’t too many jobs he can take over, but he enjoys learning about them.

Question 21: What have you done that you didn’t think you would be able to do? How did the experience happen? How has the experience affected your confidence at your internship and your relationship with your mentor?

Answer: I have not had a single big experience. Rather, the extended experience of working at the studio has brought me a plethora of new experiences. For example, I was excited when I got the chance to interview Chris about his job duties, his past, and his feelings about his job. I believe that through learning what he had done to get where he is and learning about what he does every day have pushed me to have a new respect and liking for Chris. I am confident at my internship site, despite the fact that I am nowhere near a ProTools pro or a tech expert. I believe that I can do my job well, although I would like to learn more and perhaps become a ProTools or tech guy. I am looking forward to next semester.

November 9th – November 22nd (11.5 hours) –

During this period I sat in on several sessions. I was able to engage more in the sessions I sat in on, mostly with set up. I learned how to tune an instrument called a “Mellotron,” which provided sounds of synthesized flute, cello, and string choir. Also, I helped set up mics and pre-mics for a Rhodes piano and other instruments. A studio is not just technology, however. An important part of working at a studio is keeping it running smoothly, and that includes cleaning and organizing sessions, a few of which I attended.

Question 18: In light of your new internship experience, how have your personal goals evolved? Describe goals that have remained the same as well as goals that have changed.

Answer: When I first entered the studio, I had goals of running my own in the future. After working with both the Chief Engineer and the owner of the studio, I do not think I would want to own my own studio. This does not mean that I have not enjoyed my experience working at WaveLab so far. I have very much appreciated my time here and will continue to appreciate it. But I find the lives of the artists themselves much more intriguing. I have been interested in creating my own music from the beginning; this goal has not changed. I chose to intern at a recording studio to see if owning my own would make it more convenient for me to create my music. However, having seen a few professionals at work, I feel confident that I could trust my art in the hands of people like Chris and Craig.

Question 20: Are you still considering a career in this field? Why or why not?

Answer: I ended up answering this question in the previous one. Like I said, my goals of owning my own studio have changed. My dream is still to have a music-related career, but I want to create my own music, not someone else’s. The reason I wanted to run a recording studio is so that I could make my own sound the way I wanted. However, I do not believe owning a studio would be beneficial to me. It is a full-time career, and I would have to be absolutely committed to other peoples’ sounds as well as my own if I wanted my business to be successful at all. I feel naive for having thought that I could focus on my own sound while running a recording studio. However, the experience of getting to work with Chris, Craig, and all manners of artists is one I will take with me into the professional world. And who knows? Maybe I will end up working in a studio someday.

October 19th – November 8th (14.3 hours) –

I was able to come in five times during this time period. The first time I came in, I was able to discuss with Chris a little more about the job of being an audio recorder/engineer and learned more about the field itself. Later, I helped deep clean the studio. However, the most exciting part of this time was getting to work with the Dirty Bourbon River Show, a band on tour from New Orleans. They had several sessions, two of which I was able to attend. I got to meet the band as well as experience their sound, which was an experience I am grateful to have.

Question 16: Describe changes in your perception of your internship site during this experience. What original assumptions have been challenged? In what ways has your understanding deepened?

Answer: Originally I assumed I would be interacting with many people at my site, which is not necessarily the case. I usually work with Chris and Craig, although getting to interact with the bands has been fun as well. I also thought I would be jumping in to the recording and engineering of the sound fairly quickly, which is not the case. I believe this is because of both my schedule and the schedule of the studio (maybe this Wednesday when I have the day off I can come in for a whole day). I do know more about the field now for sure. Chris has explained all kinds of information about the job, including how he attained the position and what he has to do to maintain the position.

Question 19: Describe a new job or career you’ve discovered while at your internship? What is the job and what are your thoughts about it?

Answer: I did not necessarily discover a new job, but I’ve been able to learn more about it. That job is being a musician. The artists that I have been fortunate enough to work with have all brought with them individual sound that I can appreciate and relate to. I have always wanted to be a musician, but I believe an audio/recording engineer is a more realistic path. This may not necessarily be true, as both fields are difficult to profess in. I believe I would enjoy either one of these career paths.

October 5th – October 18th (2.8 hours) –

I went in to WaveLab to sit in on a session. It was my first recording session I had been to, so it was mostly observation. I saw how Chris, Craig (who actually played with the band), and the artists worked together to create the sound they wanted. A lot of it has to do with the way the instruments fit together within the song. For example, the crew spent about twenty minutes trying to figure out whether they wanted to use a tambourine on the hi-hat of the drum kit and which tambourine they would want to use. They also played with the snare and bass so that the drum fit better. When it had been fully tweaked, it sounded completely transformed and added much more to the song. I also managed to ask Chris about some reflection log questions later.

Question 3: If you wanted to follow in the career path of someone at your internship site, what would you need to do in order to make this happen? Include official title, daily duties, and experience.

Answer: Chris is an audio engineer and mixer. His daily duties include engineering and recording audio, setting up equipment, and repairing instruments and equipment. When he was in school, he studied theater not recording. But, he taught himself recording skills; he ran a studio out of his home, “winging it” as he went. Chris ended up interning for Craig, and took over as the audio engineer when the previous one wanted to focus more on personal goals. The recording industry does not have a surefire way of entry, or a specific path to follow. But it helps to know your stuff.

Question 14: In today’s global economy, learning new skills over the course of your career is essential. Observe the professionals around you. What are they doing to learn new skills? What characteristics and attitudes help make them successful professionals?

Answer: Diversifying into other areas of the job is important for being successful. Whereas before, Chris was focused mostly on audio engineering alone, he now does more repairs and business-end action as well. Refining skills and finding new ways to approach and apply your skills is how one gets ahead. For example, Chris uses different techniques for different clients and for different sounds. As far as successful characteristics, as Chris says, he “smiles a lot.” Being a motivator and people person, as he’s stressed to me time and again, is key to getting the right sound out of your clients. An engineer has to be able to observe the dynamics of a group, especially the leader, so that he knows how to go about coaching that group.

September 21st – October 4th (2 hours)-

Over the course of the previous couple of weeks, I have been able to check in once to the site. The final week of school I was able to come in on Wednesday, and I left for Utah immediately after. After returning home from Utah, there was a band competition and now I am in Casa Grande. However, during the 2 hours I was able to be at the studio, I learned more about some of our clients and the system used to file music. I personally filed music by the band “Hey Bucko”, and received the chance to finalize the raw files. This included trimming, making edits to sound, and making sure the music ran together and did not contain any skips or cuts. After editing the files, I transferred them to a backup location to be stored away.

Question 1: How many individuals do you work with either directly or indirectly at your internship site? How do you believe the size of the organization relates to their ability to succeed?

Answer: In a typical work day, I work directly with one individual: Chris. Occasionally, the owner and music editor (Craig) will come in and I will interact with him as well. I have been able to interact with musicians as well. I will receive more opportunities for this during upcoming recording sessions. A recording studio does not need many people to stay in operation. The only thing it really needs is someone who knows what they’re doing. If a studio has an experienced engineer, that one engineer can set up equipment, record the sound, edit the sound, and produce the final product. However, if there is help to assist with these tasks, or if they are split between two experts, the job can be done easier and with more efficiency. At WaveLab studios, I believe we have a good amount of staff, and we are successful with what we have.

Question 15: In what ways have you been able to apply what you have learned in your academic coursework (classes) to your internship? Describe a situation in which you applied academic knowledge to your duties at your internship site.

Answer: As far as academics, they have had only limited influence on my ability to perform in my field (so far). Band knowledge has been the most useful. Through band, I learned about percussion and other instruments, and I know how they are supposed to sound and play like. I had to use my knowledge of drum composition to put together a drum set, and even then I misplaced the cymbals (fortunately Chris corrected my mistakes and I know for next time). I doubt any high school class can prepare me to face the duties of a recording studio, and I will look to college for that knowledge, and to my internship.

September 7th – September 20th (3 hours) –

During this time period, I only got to check in to the studio once. While I was there, my mentor and I had a solid amount of time for projects. Unfortunately, it was a slow day. So, we took the opportunity to work on small things that needed to be done (such as cleaning up after the last session, assembling the drums for the next one, and moving the stage back into the main area) and then we set a schedule for the next couple of months. I now have some set dates in my calendar for sessions. I will come in during these sessions and learn more about working with clients. I also got to learn more about the patch bay. Chris walked me through the layout of the bay and functions of certain pieces.

Question 9: Describe a task or set of tasks you are discovering that you enjoy or excel at completing. Why?

Answer: At my studio, I am learning that I can set up the equipment more quickly each time I have to. At the site visit, I made a goal to completely set up a band session independently. I think the goal is developing well. I will have plenty of opportunities in the next few months to help with this. I believe that once I can do this quickly and effectively, I will enjoy the process, because it will be another step to learning how to run a studio. Next will be sound control (another one of my goals).

Question 10: Describe a task or set of tasks that are less attractive or fulfilling for you to complete. Why?

Answer: This one will be a stretch, because I have not had a wide enough experience to truly be disgruntled by having to do something. As far as tasks being less attractive, however, I am a little daunted by the patch bay. The concept of “normaling” (a process during which sounds are looped from output back into input) is confusing to me, and I am not yet sure how and when to use each piece of the bay. However, I know that I will become more comfortable with it as I learn to use it. With hands-on experience with each piece, I will start to get a feel for proper use. Nevertheless, the task will be a challenge and I do find myself considering it somewhat unattractive to attempt.

August 24th – September 6th (6 hours) –

I worked my first live show this week. It did go through well, unlike the last one which I had to leave. To set up for the show, I had to change the setup of the studio. First, I had to clear out the main space. Next, we set out speakers and a rug for the artists to perform on. We put out about 40 or so chairs for the audience (very packed together) and strung wires to the speakers. When the artists arrived, we had to test each mic and make sure the sound was what we wanted. The live show was a recording, so as the artists played, we recorded their sound. It was an interesting experience; the artists sometimes wanted to stop and re-do a take, and the audience didn’t seem to mind. I think the show went over well.

Question 11: Is your personality a fit for this organization? Why or why not? Do you notice particular personality types working in this industry?
Answer: I’ve got quite a bit to say on this subject…I might have to exceed the 8 sentence guideline on this one. Is my personality a fit? As far as studio time with just Chris and I, I would have to say no. We get along fine, and we get work done. But I need more than just my supervisor to work with in an actual career; I have to have that people interaction. During the live show, however, I think my personality made a great fit (perhaps just because I was so happy to have other people to work with at the site), and I got to meet the artists, an interesting group of people. So, when it comes to working with the clients, I think my personality fits well. I can work around artists’ often nit-picky attitudes and connect with them through music. And Chris tells me that that is a key in the recording industry – one can’t be rubbing clients the wrong way.

Question 13: Have you had the opportunity to use equipment and technology at your internship site? If so, please describe the tech and how you have utilized it.
Answer: I’ve worked with a lot of equipment…again, might exceed 8 sentences. I’ll cover speakers, cables, instruments, microphones and programs. Speakers are fairly easy; all one has to do is set them up in a way that the sound will play to the audience, and then connect a cable to them to give them power and give you control over the sound. Cables connect everything; they lead into what we call the “snake,” a master cable that extends across the ceiling and into our recording equipment. It has a box that the lesser cables plug into. Sometimes, the instruments get plugged directly into the snake, and sometimes we set up mics in front of them and the mics are plugged into the snake. Either way, we get the sound. The program we use is Pro Tools, and it allows us to change the input of the instruments and the speaker levels. It also allows us to record. I have gotten minimal interaction with Pro Tools and no live interaction with the Patch Bay (working effects and limiting, etc.) but I hope to soon.

August 10th – August 23rd (6 hours) –

My second section on the job led me to experience more of the responsibilities of the studio. Whereas the first section was more of an introduction, this one had more opportunities to participate in studio activity. For example, I helped put together a console desk. The desk would be used for a sub-studio that we are helping create. I also helped set up for a live show on Saturday the 22nd. I set up mics, speakers, and learned how to test a sound board. Unfortunately though, I did not get to stay and see it, due to other responsibilities at home.

Question 12: So far, what skills have you had to refine or develop in order to perform your internship well?
Answer: When I walked into the studio, I had almost no knowledge of how to run a real soundboard or how to route effects from a mic. I have had to develop skills in music engineering that I was not at all proficient in. In fact, I am still not proficient. My skills have to be developed much further. But, I am learning what is needed to complete my tasks, and developing my skills every day. I hope to continue to learn how each knob and button affects the music until I am adept at recording.

Question 2: Describe the physical make-up of your internship site. How does the physical space impact the day-to-day operation?
Answer: In a studio, the space has to be set up so that there is a place to play or perform, a place to record, a place to edit, and a place to refine. In our studio, a large part of the main room is dedicated to performance. There we have mics, drums, and places for musicians to stand or sit for performance. Next to this area is the recording engineer’s space. Here, the engineer will record the sound as it comes from the musician, and make simple edits as needed (for example, effects). In the back, through a small soundproofed hall, there is the place to refine. Here, we have computers that are used to mix and master the sound, making it sound professional. This is how each space is used in day-to-day operation.

July 24th – August 9th (5.8 hours) –

During this period, I was introduced to the business and taught how to use the equipment.  This includes equalizers, compressors, effect routers, and mics.  Equalizers are used to balance out bass sound, median sound, and treble sound.  Compressors are used to make sound more compact.  This allows the sound to be more round and filled-out; in other words, compressors are used for uniformity and fullness in an album.  Effect routers change the sound of the music.  Effects include echo, reverb, and filters.  Microphones capture the sound of the artist, and transfers it into the equipment.

Question 8: How structured/guided is your time?  How effective/ineffective does that make you?  If necessary, what could you do differently to improve the situation?

Answer: My time at the studio does not adhere to some strict schedule.  In fact, a recording studio by nature does not have a strict schedule.  The time I spend is used based on tasks that are necessary at the time.  This is usually setting up for a session or cleaning up afterward.  I enjoy this form of work, although it does mean that there is not always much to do, and this leads to wasting time.  However, when there is something to do, it usually has to be done quickly and effectively.  This is something I can learn to do at a studio.  I work well this way.

Question 7: What are the expectations for your character (how you conduct yourself and decisions you make) and personality (how you behave and interact with others) at your internship location?  Is this a natural fit for your character/personality or do you have to actively work to meet those expectations?  Why?

Answer: The studio is pretty laid-back.  Expectations of moral character are just like anywhere else.  Lack of integrity, deceitfulness, theft, lying, etc. will not be tolerated.  But, there is no code of conduct or requirement of formal attire or attitude in the studio.  This fits me well, because although I am capable of working effectively in a formal environment, I enjoy being able to “let my hair down”, metaphorically.  It fits my personality better to not have to dress up or act a certain way.