Need help finding work or intern opportunities

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Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Laggard »

Hello. Not sure if this is the right place for this but couldn’t find any place more appropriate.

I’m 57 and unemployed. Spent the last thirty years doing boring shit work. I live in Hollywood. Land of 200 studios and 10,000 20 year olds willing to work for free just to get in the door.

Just received some job retraining money. I know I’m told old to get into engineering. I would love to find some paid or part time unpaid ancillary job that would get me in or around the studio. I’ll run cable, answer the phone or take out the trash. I’ve called a couple smaller studios with no interest expressed.

Can anyone provide some guidance?

I have not worked in a studio since my college dj days. Did some live engineering and sound at a couple venues. Recorded a couple albums with my band. That’s about it.

Hope all are well. Thanks!
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Welcome to the SOS forums. I'm afraid I can't really help with your search for studio work, I'm afraid, but I really sympathise with your position and the difficulty of competing with young people willing to work for nothing.

I think this industry works on a who-you-know basis far more than what-you-know, so it might help if you can get to as many industry networking events as possible and build contacts and introductions.

For example you could join the AES and go along to their local chapter meetings... and there are other relevant organisations doing similar things.

Also, don't restrict yourself to music recording studios. There are a lot of audio for video facilities that might need runners, etc.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Arpangel »

Just a thought, maybe start thinking about how you can get into audio/recording on your own, not in a commercial studio.
All you have to do is wake up tomorrow morning and say "I’m an engineer"
I’m not joking around, I know a few people who have literally, done just that.
You have a few dollars from your training project, don’t know if it’s acceptable to use this for equipment if you don’t already have any, then, get your face around, go out to music venues, clubs, get cards printed, a website if that’s possible, and start to do live recordings, bands, choral groups, string quartets, local amateur musicians need recordings for various things, and they don’t want to do it themselves, they want something better than a phone recording.
If you do a good job, and you get known as someone who can deliver the goods, your reputation will grow, just do a bit of market research and see what ground is covered already in your area, that can be an issue as I found out, and you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, it’s always best in these circumstances to find a niche, and collaborate with those already there as much possible, you can end up bringing each other work this way.
Hope all this helps, and don’t forget SOS is a major resource for any technical help you may need, there are lots of people here who are more than willing to help you at any time.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by OneWorld »

Arpangel has just saved me a job, I would have written exactly the same. One has to be creative about getting a start in the creative industries, and think about every possible scenario that calls upon music making, and/or video production.

"....answer the phone or take out the trash........"

And I am looking forward to reading your success story "I once took out Beyonce's Trash" goodness me, there'd be a lot of it :bouncy:

Actually, I am a fan of Beyonce, she is a consummate professional and superb singer. I was just using her name as an exemplar
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Laggard »

I’ve no idea if my last post went through.

I’ve tried to think of everything. No money to buy gear. No space to setup a small studio and renting space here is not an option.

I’m going to keep working at it. I thank you all for your responses.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Arpangel »

Laggard wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 5:46 pm I’ve no idea if my last post went through.

I’ve tried to think of everything. No money to buy gear. No space to setup a small studio and renting space here is not an option.

I’m going to keep working at it. I thank you all for your responses.

Please keep us posted, and best of luck.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by The Red Bladder »

The brutal reality of today's studio market is very different to the dream of the big studio with windswept and groovy musicians doing great things there. It is a home studio run by the owner who only uses it for their own music.

The only music work being done in commercial studios is film/TV scores - and even many of those are happening in a home studio - some of these home studios are multi-million dollar projects! The down-side (for you) is that the seven or eight large rooms in LA get CVs through the mail, each day and every day and from really top-qualified students from some of the best music schools and music-tech courses on Earth. People who can read a score and read a circuit diagram and know the equipment and the software intimately from college.
Laggard wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:57 pmI’m 57 and unemployed. Spent the last thirty years doing boring shit work.

In the eyes of most, that makes you unemployable. Your age, your employment status (or lack thereof) and your possible perceived lack of career progress speaks against you.
Laggard wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:57 pmI live in Hollywood. Land of 200 studios and 10,000 20 year olds willing to work for free just to get in the door.

Their problem is that they (well, most of them) do not have the skills required in a modern studio either.
Laggard wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:57 pmI’ll run cable, answer the phone or take out the trash.

Not really tasks studios need.
Laggard wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:57 pmI have not worked in a studio since my college dj days.


That was over 30 years ago - sadly, the skills of those days are no longer required in a commercial studio. Successful musicians nearly all have their own studios and the unsuccessful ones can't afford realistic studio prices. Also the studio of today is completely different - at least those that are working are. Some (like mine) may still have a large analogue desk, but once the signal is in the box, everything is virtual.

The idea of live recording might work, but today, there are many boxes one can buy that patch straight into the FoH desk that do the work of a whole mobile recording truck. That would just leave you with the classical and small jazz combos - thin pickings!

What is working is A for V post production work - but the required knowhow takes a few years to acquire. It also requires some equipment, DPA 6061, Sennheiser MKH416, Neumann U87, screens, audio and video software, projector, workstation, mic pres and of course a room and a booth and a really fast internet connection. But that lot would see you OK for ADR and VO work - whether you get any is another matter!

I am very sorry to have to be a downer on this one, but that's how things are! Everyone and their mothers-in-law seem to want to be sound engineers and I cannot imagine why - it's a boring job most of the time!

My 30 cents worth would be to let playing with audio remain a hobby and use the money for learning a skill that interests you. Despite having a medium-sized studio (1,000 sq ft live room, 60 frame desk, bla, bla, bla) I now spend most of my time creating a film company. I also bought myself a sawmill and am churning out wooden structures all over the place - much more fun than sitting in front of a computer bar-beat editing some deathless drivel!
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Laggard »

Thank you for the kind reply. It’s kind of the conclusion I’ve come to also. There’s nothing else I can think of that really interests me that would not require years of training. I’ll just live out the rest of my life doing shit work.

I knew what my dream was 40 years ago but sadly life got in the way. Let that be a lesson to all you kids out there.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Aleks_O »

I guess you're probably not refering to mix engineer, but if you are interested in that area have you thought about advertising yourself on soundbetter.com ?

I won't divulge too much, but I interned for a guy who made nearly a million on there haha..

If you're very organised and focused you could probably make some good money on there although there's alot of competition, like everywhere of course.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by OneWorld »

I think one only needs spend a bit of time strolling around YouTube to see the endless numbers of people, generally young, but not always, turning out some fabulous music and vids to go with them. And I think to myself (What a Wonderful World LOL), it is and always was a young person's domain, they are not jaded, they have the enthusiasm, creativity, energy, positivity whatever to make great music.

I am not saying all those attributes are exclusive to the young, but as an older person, can one really say that music is an all consuming passion, as much as it was when we were younger? And one only needs listen to our contemporaries, that we have been listening to since our 20's, and being honest with oneself, they don't impress as much. Yes there may be some exceptions, but one swallow doesn't make a summer, and hey, look at Seasick Steve, he'll be rocking up in a zimmer frame before long, But I think it would be nigh impossible to get a start in a studio, or even a roadies job, you'd be an oddity, and the music industry likes oddities, but regular oddities, not the token oldie.

That said, could you connect with others in your locality and maybe get something going?

Make a thing about that difference, get a studio going between yourselves and make a speciality of the Senior Ears for those of Older Years........

The Sounds of the 60's and that's 60 years old, not sounds from the '60s LOL. There maybe those that want to do things as they used to be done? Just a thought
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Laggard »

OneWorld wrote: Wed Mar 22, 2023 4:49 pm I think one only needs spend a bit of time strolling around YouTube to see the endless numbers of people, generally young, but not always, turning out some fabulous music and vids to go with them. And I think to myself (What a Wonderful World LOL), it is and always was a young person's domain, they are not jaded, they have the enthusiasm, creativity, energy, positivity whatever to make great music.

I would argue that 90% of what they are producing is garbage.

Perhaps an unknown relative will die, leave me with 100k and I can buy some gear to record the dozens of local punk and underground artists that would kill to have free or dirt cheap recording.
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Re: Need help finding work or intern opportunities

Post by Arpangel »

OneWorld wrote: Wed Mar 22, 2023 4:49 pm I think one only needs spend a bit of time strolling around YouTube to see the endless numbers of people, generally young, but not always, turning out some fabulous music and vids to go with them.

Well, I’m not hearing it, this "fabulous music"
The young? they haven’t got the monopoly on anything that will potentially alter the course of musical history, or art in general, that’s because it’s already happened, and it’s a finite process.
The things that are interesting, have been, and are still being done by elderly men and women in anonymous rooms, quietly getting on with it, they don’t waste their time on social media.
The world according to Arpangel.
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