As of late, we’ve been keen on exposing our best recording studio secrets. So, on behalf of Bay Eight, a journalist went undercover to unearth what your favorite Engineers and A&R’s like least about their jobs.
Engineers are seldom seen and rarely heard. Though their names don’t typically earn much merit, the importance of their work is incomparable. Who else is gonna punch you in fifty-leven times until you get the cadence on that hook just right?
A&R’s were once considered essential personnel in the industry. Artists and Repertoire representatives were tasked with discovering new musicians and pairing those musicians with the right producers. These days, the job description has morphed into something that we can’t quite define, but sentiments remain the same, and A&R’s still exist in some capacity within major labels.
Being a go-to audio engineer or A&R requires skill, a solid ear, congeniality, and an endless amount of patience.
The Hard Truths
With that being said, we ventured behind the scenes to ask music’s most unsung heroes what makes them tick on the job.
To maintain the anonymity of those interviewed, all statements are listed without name.
Double Oh Eight
“What are some things you hate about your work as an Audio Engineer?”
“There’s not much that I hate, I love my job. ”
Double Oh Eight
“Ok, well what are some things that make you tick? Let’s call them pet peeves.”
“Beginner recording artists who think they know what they want when the truth is they don’t.”
Trust and believe that if you’re lucky enough to record at a studio as renowned as Bay Eight, the Engineer you’ve been paired with knows their stuff. If they hint that you’re not in key, or towards a change of delivery, don’t take it to heart. But definitely don’t ignore it! Engineers are placed to provide direction and ensure that your record sounds as good as you intend it to.
“Clients that arrive late and want a discount”
If you booked 6 PM to 12 PM and show up at 8 PM, you’ll still be expected to pay for the full six-hour block. The engineer was on time for the session and it’s unfair for artists to think that they can mosey their way out of paying people for their time.
“Studio etiquette, keeping clean, and home training.”
To some of us, the studio is a getaway. A place to make art, uninhibited. But to many engineers, the studio is home and the average engineer is in session more than they are at their own house. Respecting the space and keeping in mind that you’re not the first or last person to enter the building makes their jobs easier. That means you may not want to leave your cigar guts on the floor, or forget to throw that takeout box in the trash when you’re done with your 2 am snack.
When it came time to question the A&R’s, we didn’t have to beat the truth out of them. Their list of pet peeves were simple and valid.
“Partying more than utilizing studio time to your best ability”
Most studios cater to the client’s needs and comfort. That doesn’t mean you should take advantage and cut your own time short. Though many a musician has been known to enjoy a little smoke and drink in session, that shouldn’t be the main thing you’re doing while there. Time is money, and that time should be spent cranking out your latest bop!
If you take nothing else from this article, remember this, even if you aren’t the one funding it, studio time isn’t free, Engineers are there to make you look good, and no one appreciates a dirty house.
Keep up on all the latest tips and recording studio secrets Bay Eight is posting here.
Until next time, Double Oh Eight out!