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I have no idea, so any advice would be helpful. The research I've done shows that opinion is divided.

As an idea of my current situation, I have just graduated with an MMath from Oxford, and I'm likely to spend the next couple of years pursuing a part-time PhD in number theory, or tutoring in mathematics. This will be somewhere in between Oxford and London, or possibly in Canada.

As for how the music part fits in: I played in several bands during my undergraduate years (at one point, three at the same time) and been involved in producing demos for projects that I've done vocals for. For the past couple of years I've been very interested in the production side and concentrated on producing electro in FL Studio (and a little bit in Logic). I even took a term off my studies to go to Brighton to pursue a music course, but it was heavily performance- and theory-based. The lack of production was unsatisfying, and I left after about 8 weeks.

Question: I would really like to get part-time work in a studio, paid or unpaid. I don't mind doing oddjobs and drudgery so long as there is the chance of watching a producer at work and learning something along the way, and perhaps even the chance of a promotion at some point. Can anyone advise on this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The thing to do is research what studios are in your area, what their client base is like, what kind of music they specialise in and then contact them to propose an internship.

The thing to realise is that an intern is usually more of a burden than a boon for a studio owner, as early on they can't trust the intern to do anything significantly helpful, but they also can't just have them sit around staring at the wall. You need to be a good value proposition for the studio, and not necessarily in a production role, as the owner isn't going to be handing you production duties anyway.

Offer to do repairs, paint the walls, spruce up the studio website, setup and maintain a facebook profile for the studio and so forth. Identify something the studio business needs and offer to do it.

Offer to do the things the owner has no time to do himself, so that he can spend more time producing. Don't come at it from the angle of wanting to muscle-in on the production side of it as soon as you get in the door.

Having said that, a good portfolio of previous production work and a solid working knowledge of audio engineering will be essential. you need to be able to show that you know what you're doing.

best of luck in your search!

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+1 Great advice, thanks! Having a portfolio is something I can put together, but how would you go about getting a solid working knowledge of audio engineering? (I worry that my knowledge is scattered.) For example, I see you're a working producer, so how did you learn the ropes? –  Spütnik Jun 21 '11 at 17:50
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Two things: Do Research and Do Projects. Read some books on recording, mixing, mastering etc. take a course or watch some tutorial videos about your DAW of choice. Try to find information on how your favourite records were made, the places and people involved and the technology they used. Then put all that learning into practice, record a local band, record your own music. offer to mix a song for someone and so forth. I'd recommend "Mixing Audio" by Roey Izhaki as a great starting point. –  Shane Kilkelly Jun 21 '11 at 23:15
    
Dude, you are fantastic. This is much appreciated. I'll take a good look at that book! –  Spütnik Jun 22 '11 at 16:16

Unfortunately its all about connections and experience. My best advice would to try and score an unpaid internship at any local studio and learn as much as you can. Every studio does things differently so its important to understand how a studio that you are interested in does things. A CD of your work is good to have but I dont expect everyone to have access to the resources of a professional studio for their own personal portfolio. Hang around long enough and prove your worth and understanding of the concepts of audio engineering and you might make some progress.

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+1 Cheers, will take this onboard! –  Spütnik Jun 21 '11 at 17:51

Give really good answers to questions in audio.stackexchange.com and apply with your stackexchange account as a reference. ;) Seriously. This is a really good way to show them what you know.

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With all respect, no studio owner worth their salt is going to take an account on a website as a resume. It is more valuable to simply show the records he has produced as evidence of his skills. –  Shane Kilkelly Jun 20 '11 at 21:48
    
While the site does provide an answer history, I think it's far too small to be useful. And besides, he's looking to be hired on as an intern - not as a technician or engineer. –  Warrior Bob Jun 22 '11 at 16:13

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