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New sound Technicians

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New sound Technicians

Postby PapaGanush » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:13 pm

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read random topics from random people.

I am currently a certified sound technician from recording connections in live music program.

I apply here and there to get a position as a live music sound technician but they all say the same thing;

We are slowly now getting back into action as Covid restrictions are being lifted. For now, since events are still slow, our team is full, but we will definitely keep you in mind for future vacancies.

I am currently desperate that is why I'm opening a topic here in the most popular website for audio engineer. These are difficult times for the live music industry, I'm not here looking for a job actually I am in real life but I'm here to get inspired have some ideas what can I do as a sound technician in these times where can I apply and how can I start getting an income as a sound technician.

I'm the type of person who will learn from experience I cannot learn from routine and I cannot stay in one place with same people. That is why I chose the live music industry but right now I'm having a small tiny depression because I have no idea what should I do next. Patience is my only friend right now.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:34 am

Well, there's the bad news and then there's the REALLY bad news.

The Bad News - If times were normal, you would have a long, difficult, uphill battle.

The REALLY Bad News - As things are right now, experienced live sound techs are sitting at home and watching at the clock ticks ever-closer to the day where they are evictd from their homes for not paying the rent/mortgage - and the sme applies to everybody (almost) in the film industry.

Yes, the rich-and-famous can live off the fat of what they have done in the past, but the guys and gals on day-rates cannot.

In some places (e.g. LA and Germany) they are picking up gigs here and there and in those places, the various industries affected are getting ready to get back to normal next year (this year is a write-off). But in countries like France and Britain, where the governments, local and national, just were found asleep at the wheel, hopes of returning to normal in 2021 are fading steadily into a bleak, dark and distant future.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:59 am

As TRB says, it's not a good time for live music right now so you'll need to diversify. Look to build your skills around video, corporate and conference work, look at where music is being played and see what's needed there.
Basically live music work isn't going to come to you, so you need to go and look for where your skills might be transferable.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby PapaGanush » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:55 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:

The Bad News - If times wree normal, you would have a long, difficult, uphill battle.


I dont mind that battle plus I dont see it as a battle but an adventure! believe me I tried many studies many jobs and I have never felt closer to myself in live music industry so I am all ready for it if times were normal!

but the other really bad news is a Global issue, when this shit ends ill be ready people are sick tired we can no longer wait for a 'vaccin' I think the live industry will raise when people will be ready for festivals! after this crash sound technicians will have more opportunities later! I just have to maintain my skills somehow work in an audio shop or maybe weddings
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Mike Monte » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:52 am

All I can say is:
Diversify

If my son wanted to go into music production (engineering, recording, live sound) and we were going through THIS (Covid) I'd recommend that he take this time and:
1. learn an instrument and become very-proficient (not a 3-chord wonder); learn theory/harmony
2. go to trade school and to get an electrician's license

With #1 you can gig and talk musician "to musicians"

With #2 you are licensed to do installs but more importantly you'll know "proper electrical practices"
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Arpangel » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:16 pm

Unfortunately, we are living in a world right now, with COVID where the arts are considered "not necessary" they have retreated as a hobby done by solitary individuals, which rules out any live events. There are way too many issues to worry about, getting ill, health care, or lack of it, no salary, no house.
If I were a young person today I’d either join the armed forces, or go to sea, the Merchant Navy, what an amazing life, much more exciting than sitting in studios or doing live sound, which please believe me, can be EXTREMELY BORING most of the time, especially the bread and butter work.
I genuinely wish you the best of luck, and if you make a go of it, please get back to us and tell us your story, I’m sure lots of people would be interested in how you did it.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:43 pm

I'm reminded of the story of a scientist in WWII who had to constantly move to evade persecution. Her research involved fertilized eggs (don't know what kind) and, in the story told to me, she could be found huddled over her precious cargo on overcrowded trains filled with refugees, still doing her work. Still focused. She'd arrive somewhere, get chased out, find somewhere else, get chased out, still always doing her work in spite of it.

I can't recall where I heard this tale but she's always been a source of determination for me. Stick with it. Life is long and surprising, let it happen and keep an eye on your eggs!
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:54 pm

Arpangel wrote:If I were a young person today I’d either join the armed forces, or go to sea, the Merchant Navy, what an amazing life, much more exciting than sitting in studios or doing live sound, which please believe me, can be EXTREMELY BORING most of the time, especially the bread and butter work.

Having spent much of my life at sea, I much prefer being in a studio or doing live sound. To me, one bit of sea looks very much like any other unless you are lucky enough to reach the top or bottom of the world.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Dave Rowles » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:29 pm

Yeah, unfortunately, as far as live sound goes don't expect any job until late 2021. Festival season could possibly go ahead, but it's not looking great.

If you can afford to I highly agree with the recommendation of doing an electronics course. People who can actually diagnose and fix gear on the road are invaluable. I've been meaning to do a course myself for a while!

Then get a computer, decent studio headphones, load up the DAW, find some online multi-tracks and start practicing. Do whatever you can to survive, join live sound/tech forums and keep your ear to the ground. Wait for the time when it looks like it's about to start up again and fire off the emails, do the phone calls, and get in the door. Get training on PA systems, digital multi-core systems, networked audio, dante, smaart, etc. Get your knowledge and skills up. When we do return I reckon we're going to see even tighter budgets, so techs who can fill more rolls, or switch rolls when needed, are going to be more valuable.

It's an industry that I love working in, and I'll be holding out for the gigs to return, and will drop what I need to to get back in the game.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby CS70 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:22 pm

You could offer services for helping people live-stream their gig. With a band in a room, distancing is easy and a mask and antibac go a long way to ensure safety.

I'm planning a live stream gig with the band myself, and while I did one in March on my own (when here we couldn't even meet in the rehearsal room) it wasn't fun to do everything, and I'd be happy to have someone competent to help out for a reasonable fee - to get a better sound and ensure that the stream is up and running when it should.

Trick is, you have to be competent both in audio, and video taking and streaming, and have the kit. Plus of course your fee needs to be reasonable..
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby PapaGanush » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:02 am

Dave Rowles wrote:Yeah, unfortunately, as far as live sound goes don't expect any job until late 2021. Festival season could possibly go ahead, but it's not looking great.

If you can afford to I highly agree with the recommendation of doing an electronics course. People who can actually diagnose and fix gear on the road are invaluable. I've been meaning to do a course myself for a while!

Then get a computer, decent studio headphones, load up the DAW, find some online multi-tracks and start practicing. Do whatever you can to survive, join live sound/tech forums and keep your ear to the ground. Wait for the time when it looks like it's about to start up again and fire off the emails, do the phone calls, and get in the door. Get training on PA systems, digital multi-core systems, networked audio, dante, smaart, etc. Get your knowledge and skills up. When we do return I reckon we're going to see even tighter budgets, so techs who can fill more rolls, or switch rolls when needed, are going to be more valuable.

It's an industry that I love working in, and I'll be holding out for the gigs to return, and will drop what I need to to get back in the game.

I really appreciate the encouragement and that is what I am doing I have my pro tools license still up from school my own 2 JBL LSR 305 speaker and I always practice indoors!
Dynamic processing/EQ Mixing and all the basics of a live show

for those who suggested I should abandon my purpose because of a pandemic
here is a story I heard from a Master Shi heng Yi on TEDx Talks

A man was living close to a mountain and every day he was thinking how would it be to climb that mountain and what would I see on the peak, so finally the day came and the man went pn the journey arriving at the foot of the mountain he met the first traveller so he asked how did you get up the mountain and what did you see from the top and so the traveller shared his past and also the view that he had but then the man was thinking the way that this traveler described to me sounds very exhausting I need to find another way to climb so he continued to walk on the foot of the mountain until he met the next traveler so once again he asked how did you climb that mountain and what did you see from the top and so again the traveler shared his story - still not being determined on wich direction and wich way to go, the man asked 30 more people 30 more travelers when he finished talking to all of them he finally made up his mind: Now that so many people already shared with me their pasts and specially what they saw from the top; I dont need to climb there anymore.
it is very unfortunate this man never went on the journey

to conclude this story :
each individual needs to find the most suitable way to climb that mountain
there is information possible to be shared with words but it is impossible to share the experience of clarity when you are standing on that peak by yourself
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:11 am

You seem determined to miss the point - sound tech is no longer a skill people are prepared to pay for. Having some certificate and being optimistic is not enough.

There are two ways to the top in the music biz - find your rising star before they have risen and try to hitch your waggon to theirs - or make brilliant and original music yourself. As Quincy Jones said, "The money's in the music."
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Dave B » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:26 am

PapaGanush wrote:I'm here to get inspired have some ideas what can I do as a sound technician in these times where can I apply and how can I start getting an income as a sound technician.

Breaking this down, you are asking for 3 things?

1. Any ideas / inspiration for what you can do?
2. Any people / places you can apply to for work?
3. How to start earning from live work?

Taking them one at a time :

1. How about doing it yourself? If there is no live work around, then team up with a venue to provide music / poetry / theatre / etc - in a socially distanced way - and run it yourself. There's nothing like being the one responsible for ensuring you get it right! Run an open-mic night? Team up with a yoga / pilates / spin class / etc to help with any sound requirements that they may have?

2. see above really

3. Ah ... the big problem. At the moment, you are new and inexperienced, and, as others have pointed out, there are plenty of experienced people out there who would be a better choice for anyone prepared to pay. Hence my suggestion of looking for alternative ways to build a reputation. But, given the current crisis, I would be looking at an alternative way of earning money so that it could fund my passion.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:44 am

James Perrett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:If I were a young person today I’d either join the armed forces, or go to sea, the Merchant Navy, what an amazing life, much more exciting than sitting in studios or doing live sound, which please believe me, can be EXTREMELY BORING most of the time, especially the bread and butter work.

Having spent much of my life at sea, I much prefer being in a studio or doing live sound. To me, one bit of sea looks very much like any other unless you are lucky enough to reach the top or bottom of the world.

Ah! but it’s the people you meet along the way that make it interesting!
I love being at sea, before Covid we were always going on cruises, I love the sea at night, the sound.
Recording and engineering is a bit like your description of the sea, it’s mainly boring, unless to you get to the top in this case!
It’s satisfying when you do a good job though.
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Re: New sound Technicians

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:04 pm

Arpangel wrote:Recording and engineering is a bit like your description of the sea, it’s mainly boring, unless to you get to the top in this case!
It’s satisfying when you do a good job though.

My experience of working for a living for the best part of 50 years was that most 'decent' jobs are 90% mundane and 10% interesting (for a certain definition of 'interesting')*. Sound engineering is definitely one of these. The work is mostly mundane and physical**, loading in the rig and flying half a ton of line array, running a multicore and 50 or so XLR cables, setting up the backline, and the lights (I hate lights...), dealing with the overinflated ego's of the headliners*** all falls into the 90% mundane (or even, just plain c*@p). But when you're standing behind the desk having some great craic at the soundcheck with a great band and mixing them during a great show, that's the 10% (though, in reality, it's probably more like 2%) that sustains you through the poorly paid 18 hour days of hard physical work, 'difficult' performers and 'girl band' managers.****

And if I had to highlight one skill, above all others, that the jobbing sound guy needs in spades it's 'people skills'. Performers are often nervous and stressed and how you deal with them will affect the way they treat you in return and can make or ruin your day, and theirs.

* As Arpy says, it's usually the people you work with that make it enjoyably or otherwise.

** Unless you have reached to point of having a team of roadies and riggers to do the 'dirty work'.

*** Not all (or even most) headliners have overinflated egos and not all support bands are humble souls...

**** And I still enjoyed my time working at the 'grass roots' (or muddy field more often than not) end of the business.
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