In the second half of his original post, Alberto Vargas, a Spring 2012 intern and a Music Production & Engineering / Contemporary Writing and Production Major tells us what he learned from his internship experience and time at Mix One Studios, a recording studio in Boston specializing in voice-overs as well as post-production for film and television.
In the beginning of my internship, I set up a couple of goals I wanted to achieve. I wanted to have the opportunity to work in a professional environment, be able to use the equipment and be a part of the projects and sessions. Those goals came true. I only wish I could have gained more experience in the company and have been able to earn the trust to conduct a session of my own. But I also realized that with the little time I was there, it was not possible.
This internship definitely gave me great experience for my career and it will help me further develop my career and goals. I learned the value of being professional and patient with clients, to have a great work ethic and know it is about the team and not just yourself, and, most importantly, to not be scared to take risks. Obviously know when is the proper time to do so, but nonetheless to take it. I learned to believe in my talent and to know that I have a lot to offer. I can’t say enough how important this is.
Spring 2012 intern and Music Production & Engineering / Contemporary Writing and Production Major Alberto Vargas looks back on his internship at Mix One Studios, a recording studio in Boston specializing in voice-overs as well as post-production for film and television . In part one of a two part series, Alberto describes what it was like getting started at Mix One.
This semester, I had the opportunity to work as an intern/assistant engineer at Mix One Studios in Boston. I have always been interested in this company, thanks to collaboration with Berklee and the Contemporary Writing and Production (CWP) program. Furthermore, one of the owners is Ted Paduck, a professor in the Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) department. Mix One is a great studio with many different rooms and purposes. It has two main recording rooms (Studio A and Studio B) for large tracking sessions and three post-production studios for smaller projects. Their work varies from large music sessions for artists, university projects, media production, commercials, and much more. They have amazing equipment and spaces to generate the best sounding recordings possible and the people to make it work. The company has a large variety of clients, from media companies, sports networks, and other media related organizations, to artists, universities and more.
I got the opportunity to work under David Porter, an amazing mix engineer and producer. In the time I was there he worked mostly doing voiceovers and overdub sessions for commercials and TV ads, but he also organized many of the large sessions and supervised them. I was very lucky to have David as a supervisor because he believes in the interns that come and work at the studio and encouraged me to help out. I remember the first day I came into the studio for an interview and David explained to me the typical chores of an intern, taking out the trash, serving coffee, etc; but then he told me that it was up to me to show what I could do, and that little by little, I would be able to assist more on the sessions.
Scott Horton ’10 started his online service The Virtual Mix Engineer and explains how to make a living using the Internet.
Once upon a time it was common practice for an engineer to begin his career in a large studio starting as a runner and slowly work his way up the engineering ladder. As the number of large studios in existence dwindles and more and more home studios emerge, I decided to jump headfirst into my ideal career by starting an online mixing service offering recording artists a way to achieve their sonic goals regardless of where they recorded.
The importance of creating a career that fits a given personality should not be overlooked. For me, this involved working from my interesting location, daily variation collaborating with a wide range of styles of music, creatively contributing to records, and complimenting my introverted personality by having the freedom to mix alone.
Setting up an online business has it’s advantages such as reaching clients from all over the world, not dealing with real estate or liability insurance, creating a unique work schedule, and utilizing the best in music and communication technologies. The downsides include competing in a global market, battling with search engine optimization and social media, and time zone conflicts. To begin it was merely a matter of registering a domain, purchasing hosting, hiring a web designer, writing content, creating merchant accounts, and obtaining business licenses. However, as this is not a field of dreams, building a site does not translate into clients. As with all businesses, marketing to potential clients and generating referrals from past clients takes time and effort whether it be online or in the ‘real world’.
The Constant Pursuit of Knowledge
Engineers are always on the quest for new gear and are experimenting with new methods and techniques as each production presents a new situation. As a freelancer, one not only has to handle their core skill set, but must effectively act as marketing, PR, sales, social media guru, accounting, and customer service representatives. Thus, it is vital to keep up with current trends in your field as well as continue to educate yourself in all of the others areas of business. I never cared for reading until I discovered the wealth of knowledge within books and how this knowledge will have a direct impact on business. Now, digesting books, podcasts, blog reading and forum participation is part of my daily routine.
State of The Union Internet
Business is going as expected with the typical ups and downs of a startup. With time I am getting to work on more and more interesting projects and also raise my fees every so often as my experience and reputation grew. I am enjoying wearing the various hats of business and welcome the variation that each day brings.
There are plenty of other opportunities for musicians to earn income online such as:
-Being an Online Session Musician
-Composing and arranging for film
-Social media marketing for other artists
-Voice over and promotional spot creation
-Reviewing music, gear, and songs
-Creating an online course
Scott Horton ’10, an MP&E/Music Business graduate currently based in Prague, helps artists achieve the “sound in their head” with superior creative and technical sound processing. Download his free PDF “After The Mix: An Artists Guide to Promoting & Exposing Your Recorded Music”. Visit his online mixing service at http://www.VirtualMixEngineer.com