Being an audio engineer is not an easy path to choose, and it's not for everyone. It requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to constantly learn and adapt. But for those who are passionate about music and technology, and who are willing to put in the time and effort, the rewards can be immeasurable.
In this article, we will take a look at the journey of one audio engineer who has started to carve out a successful career in the Bay Area, and how he found his way into the industry. Book your next studio studio session with Reggie today! As an accomplished audio engineer, he'll record, mix and master your song to the next level.
I’m not sure why I chose to be an engineer. It wasn’t the money. Certainly wasn’t for fame. Never was much of a people person. Maybe I chose it because I wanted to make better music and look cool posing next to our favorite artists. It could have been because I wanted to be a part of something exclusive or because it was something good I was doing and I needed something to pour all of my energy into. Yeah. I like that last one. Let’s roll with that!
I started engineering because I came to a turning point in my life as I was trying new things and figuring out what was and wasn’t going to work for me. I’d been a half-hearted musician, a decent DJ, and an inconsistent producer, but these just didn’t fulfill me. I had good people in my life to guide me and push me outside my comfort zones, and it was just what I needed. Because of that support, I landed at a church doing live sound. A few years later, I was in a formal training program at Ex’pression in Emeryville. A couple years would go by and I’d be in my field. I’d like to say I hoped it would go this way, but if I’m being honest, I never saw it coming.
There’s a little girl at this gym I go to who aspires to be an audio engineer. I don’t know how she came to that conclusion because it’s so specific. I’ll try to keep this concise, you can be an audio engineer in live settings like theaters, concert venues, churches, etc. You can go into film and television and do post-production work where you may do more sound creation, voice-over, or special effects. You may stick to studio work and do more recording, mixing, and mastering. Her mom always asks me for advice to help support her daughter’s dream.
My advice is always the same: expose her to the theater and get her to start playing an instrument.
I say this because I know there are times I’m only a good engineer because I know what it’s like to be a musician. I know what instruments feel and sound like, so when I hear them live or in the studio I know which treatments might be good fits for the song or performance we’re working through. Likewise, as a DJ I got an ear for a song that absolutely SLAPS, that the crowd goes crazy to, so when I mix songs, I know what I want to evoke and bring out of it. None of this by any means makes me the most knowledgeable or experienced but these experiences have shaped my ear in such a fashion that I have a sound that distinguishes me and a mental workflow that helps me to be creative.
One of the biggest blessings in my life has been my ambition, drive, and work ethic. If you’re not willing to do the work, don’t waste your time. It may look cool when the song is finished and the artist and their fan base loves the song, but everything up to that point can be draining. I took a proactive approach to my journey in part because I had already had experience with engineering for more than a year before I went to school. This made some of the concepts easier to comprehend and apply. While I was in school, I made the studio transition.
There are so many avenues to choose from and it’s impossible to learn everything about this industry as a whole. But wherever you go, the concepts and techniques stay the same, you just apply them differently. Having understood this at the beginning of my education because I was in two different realms, I spent more and more time in the school studio and in Bay Area studios trying to gain applicable experience. My professors and other mentors I gained along the way, took note of how my work was progressing and that’s what opened new doors for me. Without them and their network I wouldn’t be where I am today. But without my ambition and willingness to work for more, I would have come and gone without anything to show for my time.
I’ve worked in a lot of different studios and settings since graduating. I’ve done my own thing, I’ve worked with record labels, and held regular positions at popular studios in the Bay. Prolific Sound Solutions has by far been one of the best. The facility has the necessary resources conducive to growing a dynamic clientele. We don’t just work on one style of music, and are not limited to just making music. My pastor from church has been in to record podcast episodes; audio books come out of our studio; bands, rappers, and singers record film placements; our doors are even open for families to just enjoy themselves leisurely.
There is a team orientation to the infrastructure that alleviates the pressures of competitiveness and facilitates camaraderie. This being said, the quality standard is high because the support system is so strong, but it’s something you look forward to rather than run from. I’ve grown more in just a few months with PSS than I have in some of the other premiere name studios I’ve worked out of. You can’t match the culture established at PSS or the dedication to client satisfaction.
I used to feel so out of place having started in a church when so much of the talent I was working with took different approaches. It wasn’t until I really started working with industry professionals that I realized my path really wasn’t so different. A lot of other engineers were or are still DJs. A lot of other guys produce or are producers first but know how to use Pro Tools enough to record. There are also so many like myself who started Live and transitioned to studio work or continue to do both. Wherever you’re beginning, focus on your journey and what you can learn to apply to your next project.
Being an audio engineer is a challenging but rewarding career, and it's not for everyone. But for those who are passionate about music and technology, and who are willing to put in the time and effort to learn and grow, the rewards can be immeasurable!
For Bay Area musicians seeking to elevate their music, securing the right recording services is crucial. Prolific Sound Solutions is an ideal option for those in search of first-class equipment, seasoned engineers, and a inspiring and motivating environment. As a comprehensive recording business, we provide exceptional audio services that cater to every budget. Book your next studio studio session with Reggie today! As an accomplished audio engineer, he'll record, mix and master your song to the next level! Contact us at email@example.com or 510 - 506 - 7696