A couple of weeks ago a regular to my studio told me that they had signed up for a music production course at the local college and said that before I knew it they would be showing me what to do.
I knew how it would play out, and you can read the punchline at the end of this story. I'm not saying this because I'm a particularly talented sound engineer or producer but because I've been doing this for over 30 years. In that time I've never stopped wanting to learn new things, new ideas, unlearn bad thinking and try new concepts.
I think I've learnt enough to be able to do a decent job, I've got a lot of clients who keep coming back because they think I do a good job and get plenty of praise from them too.
I'm Not Unique
I'm not unique - many of you reading this can tell the same story. You've spent a lot of time and money investing in your craft and honed your skills and built a reputation with those who use your services.
It Takes 20 Years To Become An Overnight Success
On yes the punchline to the earlier story. They came back to see me last week and said 'wow it's so hard we had to set up a compressor and there was things like ratio, attack and decay. It makes no sense to me... how do you know all this stuff?' I looked at them and smiled, they knew exactly what I was thinking. We then spent some time together, with me showing them what they wanted to know - just like other people showed me.
Modern recording is not as easy as some would have you believe. It's not as simple as buying the gear however cost effective it's become.
To develop the skill, and more importantly the experience, takes a lot of hard work and time and develops over many years - there are no shortcuts.
Never Forget The Skills You've Worked Hard To Master
If you've put in the hours, weeks, months and years you'll know this, but I want to remind you that what you have as a recording engineer, producer or mixer is valuable and you should never forget that.
And as my parting shot, I know much of what I do today because other people further down the road shared their knowledge and wisdom with me, so if like me you find yourself with someone new to it all then share it with them and pay it forward.