In this Pro Tools Expert Interview James talks to composer, arranger and Pro Tools demonstrator Sonny Williamson about his early musical training, his first jobs in the industry and his approach to writing for TV and Radio commercials. He also reveals that it’s not all about expensive plugs-ins and virtual instruments when it comes to making a catchy track.
Audient have announced that Windows drivers are now available for their ID22 hi-end desk top audio interface
The drivers are compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8.
This follows their recent announcement of iD22’s compatibility with Apple’s OS X Mavericks software, together with its brand new pricing.
Check out our review of the Audient ID22 here
More information on the ID22 Windows drivers can be found on the Audient web site.
Some excellent advice from Neil as an update:
I was talking to a friend of mine last night who runs one of these on Windows and he was finding it very difficult to get any smooth performance from it without throwing up errors or popping and clicking at even a 1024 buffer size. Until i asked him if it was plugged into a USB 3.0 port.
Community member, Ceri Thomas is at the Avid event in Las Vegas and we asked him to give us his view of today’s announcements…
Launched this morning at Avid’s Connect event in Las Vegas, Avid Everywhere is Avid’s new vision for how media is generated, transferred and consumed across audio, video and broadcast. The platform is founded around the MediaCentral platform which provides a suite of services and APIs that are ties together the Avid suite of media generators and third party applications and tools.
Avid Everywhere MediaCentral Connectivity Tool
The foundation tools in particular the Connectivity Tool are to be made freely available to consumers and competitors of Avid to tie together their services and solutions into the MediaCentral platform. This in turn will also tie together the existing Avid tools and make them more ‘thin-client’ tools than they previously have been. The existing tools have been fat clients with their own methods to translate and distribute external media sources and products, eg AAF translation into Pro Tools from outside sources. The connectivity tool, it seems, will split this out and unify the experience to enable tighter integration between Avid’s and third party tools.
Pro Tools Goes To The Cloud With MediaCentral
In addition to the MediaCentral platform and their associated tools, Pro Tools is gaining Cloud functionality. This functionality is similar to the Rocket Networks system that tried to enable remote collaboration with Pro Tools in the 90’s and also with the functionality in Nuendo to update tracks offline and promote changes to the timeline in real time.
Avid Everywhere Marketplace
The more intriguing part of the cloud services for me was the public and private marketplaces that Avid have implemented within the ecosystem. To focus on the public marketplace, essentially they are providing the ability for artists to publish either finished products or elements for anyone, video editors, audio editors, composers etc to grab that material and use them in their products. The licensing, payment and distribution functionality and support is provided by Avid’s MediaCentral system. It’s essentially a combination of SoundCloud and iTunes with YouSendIt or Gobbler. From a sound editing point of view you could create a sound effect that you could then make available for others to use, sound libraries could be built or distributed via the public marketplace for example. Similarly the private marketplace is being designed for collaboration and distribution between individuals.
Avid Everywhere Marketplace Monetisation
This is a developing product concept and certainly there will be a lot of features and concepts that will change dramatically. It is certainly intriguing and I am reserving judgement on it until I’ve had a chance to play with it further but Avid has taken the initiative to try and change the way that our industries think about content generation and monetization. I’m looking forward to seeing more over this weekend and during NAB next week.
What are your views? We are especially interested in hearing from you if you are in Las Vegas for the Avid Event, let us know what you think…
At their pre-NAB event, Avid spoke about the future of Pro Tools. Here are the highlights.
Pro Tools As Part Of The Avid Artist Suite
Avid are making Pro Tools part of the Avid Artist Suite of products. This is an umbrella term for the products that are available for audio and video professionals and not a box of products. In essence the Artist Suite comprises of the Pro Tools family of products currently Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools and Pro Tools Express and the Media Composer Suite of Products, Notation, pro mixing, live sound and graphics creation.
Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration
At last! With built-in “community” features, Pro Tools users will be able to create groups of collaborators, then see who’s online and available, and send invites for one or more people to contribute to a Pro Tools session. Avid aim to offer the chance to find collaborators through a Pro Tools directory. Avid hope that with track-based collaboration, you’ll be able to:
- Post sessions to cloud storage and invite others to collaborate
- Work on the same session at the same time or offline and share updates directly within Pro Tools
- Record, edit, and mix tracks that will be pushed to all other collaborators upon completion
- Automatically keep track of all contributions and changes, as files are automatically tagged with rich metadata
- Stream mixes to a mobile device for real-time review and approval
- Communicate with collaborators through text or video chat directly from within Pro Tools
Archive Your Pro Tools Sessions In Future Proof Formats
Avid are working on a new audio archival service that will enable you to store content and track it using encapsulated metadata. This technology is being designed so that assets can be accessed and played further down the line, even if technologies change or are unavailable—no matter how far out in the future you resurrect them.
You’ll be able to archive a simple stereo mix, the full session, individual stems, or even flatten all tracks so that the original plug-ins used to create them aren’t required.
In addition, we’re developing a new cloud storage service that will enable you to house archived sessions and files, plus all of the sessions, stems, and stereo mixes you make available to sell in the marketplace, making your files easily accessible from everywhere.
At Avid Connect an event which Avid claim has drawn almost 1,100 people from 43 countries, Avid CEO Louis Hernandez Jr unveiled Avid Everywhere, their version of the digital media future. Ironically the event was not broadcast via video or even audio, so users has to settle for a simply live web text updates.
In a preamble where he said “Every aspect of our life is changing and being digitized — from digital music downloads, to smart phones, tablets, video chat, digital wallets, analytics – our world is undergoing tremendous change.” and then he turned to content creation “And our industry is changing as well - digital editing, digital distribution, HD, 3D, 4K, 8K.” LHJ then went on to show how he believes Avid would be a major player in connecting digital asset creation with digital consumers.
What Is Avid Everywhere?
Avid Everywhere is essentially a content sharing and distribution platform down to the lowest level of the creation process. In other words it covers everything from collaboration during the creation process by connecting users of Pro Tools and Media Composer and the other Avid creation product work flows, right through to the storage, distribution, monetization and archiving of assets.
The centre of the system is Avid MediaCentral Platform (previously Avid Interplay Pulse), then there’s the Artist Suite - Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, etc. - are all in this application and sit upon the platform. LHJ said “Artist Suite delivers unparalleled fluid collaboration with anyone on the platform, wherever they are, on premise or in the cloud.” In his words “Another application, the Media Suite includes modules for media management for each phase of the value chain, spanning content creation through distribution and monetization, all in a secure environment.” and then finally leading to Avid Storage Suite which he said “Imagine you can connect to any third-party storage or the Avid storage all in one place. This is what we’re talking about, this is the Storage Suite, You’ll be able to search for all assets on the platform as if they are in the same place”
What does all this mean to the humble Pro Tools user? Here are the top line points from Avid Everywhere…
Avid Everywhere - Flexible Software Licences
During his presentation LHJ said “No assets actually go in the cloud only the tools; we also provide complete choice in how you acquire the tools, whether you purchase them outright or take advantage of one of our flexible licensing options.” As part of the Avid Artist Suite flexible purchase and licence options should be coming to Pro Tools. This was what many on Twitter thought was meant as they tweeted from the event.
Avid Everywhere - Cloud Collaboration
Cloud based collaboration will be coming to Pro Tools, offering Pro Tools users both text and video based chat and ways to share content with one another as part of the creation process.
Avid Everywhere - Metadata Content In Pro Tools
Avid have made metadata a core part of Avid Everywhere and have gone for an open metadata system, with the ability to pick up metadata from a range of existing metadata formats, so that users can keep track of their content.
So there it is, the big reveal Avid have been working up to for the last few months. We’ll start to fill in the details in the next few days and let you know of the response from the industry. In the meantime let us know what you think of Avid’s vision of the media future.
There’s over 500 vidoes in our members only premium content section, but watch this Pro Tools video tutorial for free - the Saurday Freebie.
About Pro Tools Power Filter Tutorial Transform Synths And Loops
In this free Pro Tools video tutorial Russ shows what can be achieved by using filters on synths and loops to transform tracks.
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You may have noticed that more and more authors are contributing to articles on Pro Tools Expert, we’ve got some excellent contributions from people like Julian and Denis. This is exciting as this has always been the vision, Pro Tools experts from around the world sharing their tips, tricks and opinions with one another, helping all of us to be better at what we do… that’s what the name is about.
Perhaps you read articles and think ‘I could do this’ or ‘I could do better’, if that’s the case then why not join the growing list of fantastic contributors? Why not step up to the plate? Remember we do this in our spare time so we could do with all the help we could get.
Simply submit an idea for an article and we’ll take a look at it and hopefully before you know it you’ll be sharing your ideas with the worldwide Pro Tools community. We look forward to hearing from you.
My name is Dan Cooper and I have been using Pro Tools for music production since 2002 and recently realized I have never used Pro Tools without a control surface.
This led me to think why I use one and why I believe it is so integral to my Pro Tools workflow. I also wonder that because of my dependency on control surfaces if I could ever use Pro Tools without one and run sessions using just a keyboard and mouse.
In this article I want to share my past educational and present professional experiences using Pro Tools control surfaces and hopefully find out by sharing my story with other people their views, experiences and workflows using control surfaces.
My Education In Pro Tools With A Control Surface
As I said at the start, I have been using Pro Tools since 2002. Back then I was a student at The BRIT School of Performing Arts keen to learn studio recording. It was good timing for me and my fellow students as The BRIT School had just installed a new Pro Tools TDM system with a Control 24 control surface in their main control room.
At the time they had two very different control rooms that shared one live room. One was all analogue and was kitted out with a Soundcraft Sapphyre console, tape machine and an array of outboard gear wired to a colossal patch bay, all very daunting for a newbie. The other studio was a digital studio with the Control 24 as the “console” with a much more simplistic layout. My prior experience of recording back then was with Cubase on my home PC pushing faders with a mouse.
My first experience of recording at The BRIT School was in the analogue studio through the Soundcraft console to tape. Everything was patched with every operation being undertaken by our hands and ears. It was an experience I’ll never forget. It took weeks to understand all the routing but we were always told that we were learning skills that can then be applied to any recording environment or system. In other words, once we had learnt the analogue workflow the digital workflow would be an easy transition.
When using Pro Tools we were encouraged to use the Control 24 to operate Pro Tools as much as possible. We were taught compression, noise gating, equalization, effect sends… you name it… by turning the rotary knobs on the Control 24 and by feeling the faders by pushing and pulling them. Plug-ins in Pro Tools 5 back then were nothing special to look at so we would rely on our ears to hear the changes we would be making with our hands on the control surface as we did with the gear in the analogue control room. The benefits being that we were taught to use our ears and hands in harmony. This is a skill that I use today in my profession using my Avid C24.
After finishing my two years at The BRIT School I went to university to further my education in Music Production. I had a great working knowledge of Pro Tools using the Control 24 and the skill sets relating to Music Production. Unfortunately for me the university I attended only had Logic with no control surfaces. I had no problem transferring my software understandings from Pro Tools to Logic but I always felt that when I was tracking and mixing I was missing a very important instrument under my hands… the control surface.
I remember the feeling when mixing with a mouse for the first time with my new skills. I could never be completely confident with the mix choices I made.
- I struggled to get automation correct when drawing lines over waveforms,
- I missed having the ability to put my fingers across multiple faders so that I could pull a fader down at the same time as pushing another up for balancing volumes, AKA riding the faders.
- It felt counter intuitive adjusting plug-in settings without rotary knobs
- I missed visually seeing my tracks under my hands for instant access.
It felt my mixing intuition that was developed using a control surface was gone when I mixed with a mouse. I soon got a bank loan and purchased a Digi 002 Factory, the baby brother of the Control 24. It was great. I used it to pick up from where I left off with my skills using the Control 24. I continued to develop my skills in Pro Tools always feeling connected to the music when using the 002 8-fader surface. From the 002 I moved onto a M-Audio Project Mix then to the Digi 003 Factory. All those baby control surfaces offered very good integration into Pro Tools with similar features.
Eight Years after being taught on the Control 24 with Pro Tools at The BRIT School I launched my own recording studio business in South London called Rodel Sound Ltd. I started with a modest setup with my Digi 003 surface at the heart of it all. Within 6 months my client base grew rapidly and the projects I was working on became larger and more complex. I found the limitation of an 8 fader bankable control surface pretty quickly. I needed more feedback and control from my Digi 003 to handle my sessions. The solution was to upgrade the control surface. I used my past experiences of the Control 24 and invested in the successor… the C24. I have used it heavily ever since I took delivery of it in 2011.
Source-Connect Now Beta 4 New Features
- Record files up to 5 minutes in duration and download as WAVs.
- Multiple connections - You can have up to 2 other people as well as yourself in a session.
- Network status - Monitor your Internet bandwidth while connected, with real-time graphs.
- Set your own quality - you and your guest choose what quality you send, for better bandwidth management.
- General connectivity improvements - As with any beta test there are always tweaks and improvements going on under the hood.
- Talkback button option to help with feedback
- Documentation with real user guides
Source-Connect Now Beta Still completely Free
Its still completely free during the beta testing phases. Sign up now at Source-Connect Now ad try it for yourself.
Check out our sneak peak video to see how it works.
What’s New For Source-Connect Now?
Now that multiple connections are ready, they are working on add-ons, and mobile support. Android is already fully functional however you can only use your built-in mic or analog headset.
In self shot documentaries the sound is often the thing that suffers, as the crew have too many other things to think about. In this example all Mike had was the camera mic and it was too far away from the presenter in a reverbant space. See how he was able to improve this clip using the Dereverb plug-in in Pro Tools.
They have released what they are calling “public Alpha” versions of Lexicon PCM Native Reverb and Effects Plug-ins that are 64-bit AAX for Pro Tools 11compatible.
It seems strange that they are public and yet alpha versions, because alpha versions are normally just for in house testing. Then it goes to beta testing with approved testers and finally some developers release a public beta. However which ever way they come, for Lexicon users it should be good news that they are on the way.
- PCM Total Bundle
- PCM Native Reverb Bundle
- PCM Native Effects Bundle
Lexicon ask that you use their Support portal for all feedback regarding the plug-ins.
In this video review James takes a look at the new Session Keys Grand S and Grand Y from e-instruments, two grand pianos from the team that brought us Session Strings and Session Horns.
James discovers that the new Session Keys are far more than just another set of sampled pianos.
This is an extended video review that shows all the features of these virtual instrument libraries.
Our friends at HHB Scrub have been busy supplying a full Dante networking solution to Clearcut Sound Studios’ audio post production facilities. The recent upgrade to Clearcut Sound Studios included the installation of a Dante audio networking system, providing real-time audio routing between four mix rooms and studio computers.
Dante, an IP based audio transmission format, is capable of supporting 100s of digital audio channels at resolutions up to 24-bit uncompressed, and sample rates up to 96kHz.
Scrub also supplied Clearcut with HP computers with Yamaha AIC128-D Dante Accelerator PCI Express audio interface cards, and Yamaha MY-16-AUD Dante expansion cards fitted to the DM2000 mixing consoles. All of the Dante interfaces are connected to a Gigabit Ethernet switch with standard network cabling, creating a network that allows almost unlimited audio routing between the four studio systems. The upgrade also included the Waves Platinum plug-in bundle.
Clearcut Sound Studios’ Managing Director Chris Wrigglesworth told us…
The upgrades Scrub provided give us ultra-fast speed and flexibility and a cutting edge networking architecture that we can rely on. This was part of a major upgrade to the studio as a whole, which results in more spacious mixing environments with the fastest, state-of-the-art digital audio mixing infrastructure available. Our clients have noted the benefits of the new facilities and we are very pleased with the support and services that Scrub provided throughout the process.
It is interesting to see another audio over IP network solution. We should expect to see more and more of these and lets hope we can adopt a standard so that all the different brands can talk to each other and enable us to run different brands together on one system.
Our friends at Sounds In Sync offer a range of very clever and powerful applications to assist in the post production workflow. They have recognised that for some people they only need these applications occasionally and so have made them available on a rental basis for 31 days. We at Pro Tools Expert are pleased to be able to offer rental options on these applications at a special launch discount of 30%.
You have only until the end of April to buy these vouchers with the 30% discount but you don’t need to redeem them straight away, so you could choose to buy some now to take advantage of the special offer and then redeem them when the next job come in. From the beginning of May you will still be able to rent these apps but you willl need to pay the full price.
EdiCue 31 day Rental License 30% Discount
EdiCue enables sound editors to create ADR Cues and Department Notes within Pro Tools. It can create PDF scripts in various formats and generate files that trigger audio beeps or vision wipes to assist the recording process.
EdiPrompt 31 day Rental License 30% Discount
EdiPrompt reads MIDI commands sent from any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and uses them to display a variety of on-screen prompts. It can also automate the ADR and foley recording process when using Pro Tools by locating to each cue and renaming the record track.
EdiLoad 31 day Rental License 30% Discount
EdiLoad is the Sound Editor’s Edit List Toolkit. It conforms location audio, re-conforms Pro Tools sessions, imports edit data from Pro Tools sessions and exports a variety of files to aid the sound post-production process. EdiLoad v3 contains a new ‘Compare’ window which allows users to find the difference between vision lists and create a list of picture changes. This was previously performed using the EdiTrace website, however this new feature contains advanced VFX tracing controls to match updated visual fx shots.
EdiChart 31 day Rental License 30% Discount
EdiChart automates the process of creating dubbing charts for mixers. It can load edit information from Pro Tools and create a chart in the form of a pdf file.
Sounds In Sync Rental Discounts End 30th April 2014
Remember these discount prices for rental vouchers are only valid until the end of April 2014.
Softube has released version 2.1.6 of the Console 1 software. The release includes CPU optimizations and bug fixes.
Current owners of Softube plug-ins, in particular Console 1 owners, are advised by Softube to download and install the new software version - 2.1.6. The update includes improvements and bug fixes, mainly for Console 1 but also slight CPU improvements to the entire Softube product line.
- Optimized CPU usage when channel sections are bypassed
- Bug fixes to the graphical user interface
- Compare function in Pro Tools behaves properly with Console 1
- Improved help texts
- Curve display implemented for Summit Audio EQF-100 Full Range Equalizer
The 2.1.6 installer can be found on the Softube Download page and a detailed list of changes can be found in the Plug-ins Change Log.
Mr ‘RX It’ here, our friends at Time+Space in assocation with iZotope are offering the iZotope RX3 range at some great discounts, so if you haven’t got it yet then do check out their iZotope RX3 page. RX3 is over 30% off and RX3 Advanced is 40% off making it a great opportunity to get the Avanced version with the brilliant Dialog Denoiser and Dereverb modules that only come in RX3 Advanced.
Time+Space are also offering my Groove 3 RX3 Explained video tutorial course on special offer too.
Used everywhere from Hollywood post production studios to leading sound editing facilities, the award-winning RX 3 transforms troubled recordings into professional-grade material. Built for the toughest audio repair tasks, RX 3 will remove noise, clipping, hum, buzz, crackles, unwanted reverb and more with unprecedented power and precision.
We got a sneak peek of these new Session Keys Pianos from e-instruments, check out our full review of Session Keys, these are two amazing pianos from the team that brought us Session Horns and Session Strings and as you would expect they are very special.
Two Grand Pianos
Sessions Keys features two of the most exquisite concert grand pianos any aficionado could dream of and each one comes with two different characters to choose from: concert and studio. Session Keys Grand S delivers the rich harmonic structure, warm tone, and full resonances of the Steinway D4, while Session Keys Grand Y captures the clear, transparent and dynamic sound of a Yamaha CFIIIS. Rich overtones, sparkling high end, and a powerful bass range make this outstanding instrument the perfect complement to the Grand S. Both Session Keys instruments offer unique sound design and music creation functionality that sets a new standard for intelligent instrument technology. Imagine New Textures
The Pentamorph controller allows users to easily adjust the grand pianos acoustics from standard characteristic sounds to atmospheres that go far beyond the obvious as well as create movement on the fly using just one knob. Session
Animation Inspiration Guaranteed
The Animator is designed to generate truly musical piano performances in the most flexible way. The ultimate source of musical inspiration, the Animator offers an intuitive way to create flexible piano phrases that follow your harmonies.
Harmonic Power with Smart Chords - The Freedom To Play Your Way
For instant piano chords at your fingertips, Session Keys Smart Chord Mode provides a completely new and inventive way to add depth of musical expression to your production. Full chords or Animator riffs can be played via either the pad controller or single keys: just set the key of your song and let Smart Chord Mode create the harmonies.
Effects and Detailed Editing - Individual Sounds For Your Music
Great tone comes from the unique resonances and noises that shape an instruments sonic character. In addition to the Pentamorph controls, every parameter of the Session Keys grand pianos can be accessed and edited in detail to strengthen the individuality and expressiveness of the instrument or to take it far beyond its standard sonic signature. EQ, Compression, Convolution Reverb and Delay Effects can all be adjusted for creative sound design without boundaries.
Pricing and Availability for Session Keys
Session Keys Grand S and Session Keys Grand Y are available online at the e-instruments website (www.e-instruments.com), for $99 / 99 each or as a bundle for $159 / 159. Technical requirements:
Free Native Instruments KONTAKT Player Version 5.2.1 or higher Further product information and videos on Session Keys Additional information on Session Keys Grand S and Grand Y is available at their web site
After writing Pro Tools Session Navigation In Five Shortcuts I wondered whether there could be an equivalent list written for the Mix window. In short I decided not. Basic operation of the mix window is largely intuitive but I still think there are a few valuable timesavers worthy of a mention. Some of these are very well known but still worth listing for the benefit of the less experienced user. Others are less well known.
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 1. Use of Option/Alt and its variants
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 2. Close all floating windows
CMD+Opt+Cntrl+W or Cntrl+Alt+Start+W is useful if you have a cluttered screen. This is reversible and if you want your floating windows back just repeat the keystroke. There is a variant of this. By using CMD+Option you can close all plugin windows but leave all other floating windows visible (e.g. transport, automation, memory locations etc.). The PC version would be Cntrl+Alt. This however is not a reversible action.
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 3. The “Shift + something” shortcuts for bypassing plug-ins
- Shift+ A - Bypass all Inserts
- Shift+ 1 - Bypass Inserts A-E
- Shift+ 2 - Bypass Inserts F-J
- Shift+ E - Bypass EQ
- Shift+ C - Bypass Dynamics
- Shift+ D - Bypass Delay
- Shift+ W - Bypass Modulation
- Shift+ V - Bypass Reverb
- Shift+ Q - Mute all sends
- Shift+ 3 - Mute Sends A-E
- Shift+ 4 - Mute Sends F-J
A favourite technique is to set up alternative processing on Insert slots A-E and F-J and use Shift+1 and Shift+2 to AB between them. Handy!
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 4. Clear Clips
I’ve been lucky enough to work a lot on Icon surfaces. Both the D Control and D Command have a way of affecting your workflow and often I have been prompted to find ways of reproducing things which are very obvious on an Icon using just keyboard and mouse. Both the D Control and D Command have a bright red clear clips button. Like many I’ve become a bit compulsive about clearing clips straight away and for all of us who don’t have an Icon surface this can be achieved using Option/Alt+C. Ahh, thats better…
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 5. Deselecting All Tracks
A final use for Option/Alt which I have found many new users need is to deselect when all tracks are selected. This usually happens when all the tracks for a session are created simultaneously using the new track dialogue. Newly created tracks are selected by default and there appears to be nowhere else to click to deselect the already selected tracks. Option/Alt clicking will deselect all.
Making a living from doing what you love sounds like a dream, running a studio with no boss to worry about, work the hours you like and make as much money as you like - well that’s the dream.
Being self employed may be the best decision you make, but before you take the plunge here are 5 things you need to know;
Those People Who Promise To Give You Work When You Go It Alone… Won’t
A sensible thing when considering going freelance is to ask around to see who may give you work, it seems that everyone you tell about your new venture is going to give you work, most of them won’t. They are not liars, it’s just a combination of politeness, a desire to encourage you, a wish not to discourage you. Whatever the motivation it creates a false impression of having a future with limitless work. At best you’ll get 10% of the work you are promised before you make the jump.
You Need To Learn To Do A Lot Of Things… Quick
Make sure you know your trade like the back of your hand, mixing or editing or playing your instrument that’s going to be the easy bit. The hard bit is learning to be a sales person, marketing expert, social media specialist, web designer, book-keeper, tax specialist and all the other skills you’ll need to keep your business running and you’ll need to learn them quick. Just this week I got a ‘VAT EC Sales List’ form to complete from the Inland Revenue, tuning the vocal performed by a cat with its nuts attached to electrodes would be an easier job. This is just one of many things that will start to be part of your life if you work freelance.
40 Hour Weeks.. Those Are Short Ones
When people ask me what I do for a living I often say I’m freelance which means I work three days a week. If my wife is in earshot she will jump in and say, ‘rubbish! it’s more like 70 hours a week!’ Whilst the idea of working freelance can suggests afternoons on the beach or down the pub, the reality is that to make a real living and to keep your clients happy it often means working very long hours, weekends and few holidays. Yesterday I started at 7:00am and eventually stopped on projects around 11pm, of course I stopped for lunch and took the dog for a walk, but if you go freelance then 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday is a thing of the past.
It Can Be Lonely…Really
Perhaps the hardest thing about working for yourself is the possible sense of isolation. Not just the inevitable physical isolation but the fact that when you need to come up with ideas, writing plans, dealing with negotiations or working out what to do about a difficult situation, it is often down to you. It is therefore essential to surround yourself with people you can trust, business mentors and those you can share creative ideas with who can tell you when they stink and when they shine. Having these people will ensure you continue to be a great creative and also make sure you don’t send emails or make phone calls that you shouldn’t. Mike is one of my mine, he helps me figure stuff out and stops me from making some really stupid mistakes.
It’s Not For Everyone… Honestly
I remember a few years ago I was working in a production company and one of my colleagues got to produce a motivational series, it was called ‘How To Retire In A Year.’ My first question when I saw what he was doing was to ask why the guy selling the idea was still working. You’ll find plenty of people willing to take your money with their amazing ‘How To Be A Millionare’ or ‘You Can Sh*t Gold’ course that promises to turn anyone into the next Steve Jobs or Pharrell Williams. There are no shortcuts, it takes a very special type of person to create and run their own business and some people are just not cut out for it, or it’s not your time yet, you are not ready now but you may be later. I tried to run a business when I was 23 but it failed, mainly because of me, I was just not mature enough to deal with the challenges it presented. I tried again in my early 40s and this time it’s been a success. You might not be ready now, but give it a decade and a few thousand mistakes that teach you wisdom and you might be perfect for the job. For some the idea of working for yourself is a red light, for others it’s an amber one.
Should I Work For Myself?
Want to work for yourself? After reading all of this you might think, working for yourself sounds like a really bad idea. For the right people it’s the thing that could change their lives for the better.
It’s hard running your own business but it’s the best career decision I ever made… however it’s just after 9am so I’m off down the pub in my Ferrari (as if!)
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