Audio Engineers

How to Make and Produce an Audio Book

September 18th, 2016

The framework for making and producing an audio book occurs in six stages: 1) creative; 2) technical; 3) legal; 4) production; 5) distribution and marketing; and, 6) Big Celebration.

Stage 1: Creative

There’s more to this stage than pursuing the muse willy-nilly. It’s important to pay attention to your logical self to stay organized. It’s essential in order to communicate effectively with your audio engineer and any other professionals you’ll be working with. Not to mention saving time, money, and sanity.

During the creative stage you are planning, establishing the content for the CD, recording, and later in the editing phase, swapping files with your audio engineer. After the initial recording, you’ll be editing for clarity, completeness, and cohesion.

So how do you go about finding an audio engineer? You can find such folks through online research and personal networking. I found mine through an online friend. He was a joy to collaborate with because he was simpatico with my project. Because of his reputation, I knew that I could trust him.

I spent two days in my sound engineer’s home studio in Nashville recording all the poems. After I returned home to St. Louis, he sent MP3 files for my review and detailed response in order to complete his editing. In our project we were collaging 90 poems and hundreds of clips from songs, stories, and banter recorded in my father’s parlor. He understood the nature and purpose of my project so completely that with minimal direction, he made excellent initial choices, but these still had to be refined.

During the file-swapping phase, you call upon your highly analytical, critical listening skills. You’ll listen for quality of the audio, pause intervals, and finalizing the content. For example, in my project we listened especially for pause intervals between the poems and the song, a story, or the banter between us that framed it. When you finish your review of the MP3 files, you send notes (like a play director) back to your audio engineer who takes care of the rest.

Tip: Make a map to organize your recording work. Before our group recorded in Pop’s parlor, I wrote out the songs I associated with each of the book’s five sections so we wouldn’t waste time. After the four mini discs were completed, I listened to them and cataloged their contents according to running time. This catalog became a handily coded roadmap that he and I could refer to. It saved lots of time during the session, and time, trouble–even money–as he moved deeper into the editing process.

Tip: Practice before recording. Be present, alert, and open to your emotional response so that you can bring it into your reading. Think of your voice as instrument. Use inflection, pacing, and pitch to sustain listener engagement.

Stage 2: Technical

During the technical stage the audio engineer masters the disc, and you decide how the discs will span. This means, where will the tracks and the CDs themselves break if you are making more than one disc. In our project there were four discs, so this step was critical. Your engineer sends you the first complete work in CD format-your hard copy. You send back comments, including any technical glitches to clean up.

Stage 3: Legal

From this stage onward, the key word is “business.” You’ve established the content and done what most of us would consider the fun part. Now it’s all straight-ahead work.

A new term I learned during this phase was “mechanical licensing.” Basically it’s permission to use copyrighted musical materials that are being replicated for sale in recorded format. It ensures that artists receive the royalties they are due for creating their original works. As a creative person yourself, you can appreciate how important it is. This step also curtails your legal exposure so you won’t get sued.

So, with that definition under out belts, the first legal step is to secure mechanical licenses for any songs you did not compose yourself.

If you are recording original material you composed yourself, then it makes good sense to get it copyrighted. It also makes good sense to copyright the completed product to protect your entire work.

Royalties are computed on an elaborate equation of number of uses per CD and number of CDs. The mechanical licensing for our project to make 1,000 copies cost around $1,000, roughly $1 per audio book package with the four CDs. We also copyrighted seven original songs. I hired a specialist to do this work, and it sure paid off in hassle and money.

As you can see there are myriad details to take care of during this stage. You might want to designate a project manager. I didn’t want to do this myself, so my sound engineer also became my point person to guide us through the business matters. He gave me great advice throughout.

Stage 4: Production

At this point, you choose a company to physically produce your project. Production includes pressing and replicating the discs, making the insert, and packaging the entire product. You have to choose what services you want from among the various ones the company offers. For example, will you produce the artwork yourself or will they? How many copies do you want? In my case we chose a production company through online comparison shopping and decided to make 1,000 copies. That sounds like a lot, but 1,000 copies was where the price per copy started to make sense. Also, if you do another production run, the law require you to renew and redo all the mechanical licenses. Ack!

Stage 5: Distribution and Marketing

How you do this will depend on many factors such as the strength of your existing marketing platform and your available resources. You’ll price the product at this point. A minimum rule of thumb is to double the basic cost invested.

If you are doing it yourself, make a marketing and distribution plan just as you would for a self-published book. The plan helps you determine your audience and figure out the most effective channels for reaching these people.

For instance you can market the audio book from your website, but to sell it off Amazon. That way Amazon is responsible for fulfillment-taking the orders, packing the product, and sending it out.

Stage 6: Big Celebration

After all the work and months of waiting your product took, make sure you have some kind of party to celebrate the completion.

Top Tips on Choosing a Music Engineering School

September 18th, 2016

Deciding to become a music engineer can be exciting and very rewarding. But choosing the best music engineering school to attend can be very daunting. Music engineering is a recognised and respected field that can offer you vast opportunities in music, television and movies. There are many music courses available and the purpose of this guide is to help you choose the right one.

Often referred to as audio engineering or sound engineering music engineering involves editing, mixing, recording, copying and reproducing sounds electronically. This industry has grown immensely over the years especially as new technologies have been developed taking music and sound to new and higher levels.

As this industry has grown so to have the level of expertise, and the expectations of music engineers is higher than ever. However, if done right and you plan your career as a music engineer wisely you will be rewarded by working on some extremely exciting projects.

So where do you begin and what exactly should you look for when choosing a music engineering school?

If you are serious about a career in this industry it is expected that you have the right training and recognised qualifications. In some circumstances this is not always the case. The exception lies if you have had at least two years experience and have developed good working skills within the audio industry. However, without experience, training and qualifications at an accredited school will be the best way forward.

The normal way to receive training and qualifications in this field is by attending a recognised training institute, certified by an accreditation association like EURING and NORDING. As there are many institutions to choose from, there are certain criteria you must consider before you make your decision on which establishment will be best for you. Here are the top 5 things to consider:

1. The Reputation of The School/College – Once you gather your list of potential training establishments you are considering it is very important you verify the schools credibility. The way to do this is to see how many people are keen to attend and how hard or easy it is to get into. What are their entry criteria? What links do they have with other industries within the same field etc? If it’s just a case of having the funds I would maybe consider another recognised institution that offers that little bit more!

2. What Facilities Do They Offer – Things to consider include how modern are their training studios and equipment? Do they offer on the job work training? Do they offer work placements? Do they have up to date mixing boards and the newest technologies to work with etc.

3. Class Numbers – Find out how many students are enrolled on your course. The less there is statistics reveal the more attention you will receive hence the better your training will be.

4. Specialized Or Not Specialized – Will you choose a school which is specifically tailored for students who want a career in music engineering or will you choose a course that is run in a large establishment which runs other programs? Find out which works best for you weigh up the pros and cons.

5. Location – How far are you willing to travel to attend the right training establishment? Music engineering courses have become rather popular over the years so you many not have to travel too far. However, look at your commitments, time scale as well as travelling costs when deciding which audio engineering school is the best one for you.

Take your time and look at all the pros and cons when choosing which music engineering school you want to attend. Find a music school that offers you the right comprehensive skills and training and compare curriculums. Most will offer you the flexibility of 12 weeks or 14 week courses in music engineering, but remember to choose a course which is accredited and nationally recognised.

The Importance of an Internship in an Audio Recording Studio

September 18th, 2016

Apprenticeship is part of acquiring the knowledge base and skill-set needed to succeed in your field. Whether you’re learning to cut diamonds or using a digital audio workstation, nothing takes the place of experience, especially under the guidance of a pro.

An internship at a recording studio is an exciting way for a would-be engineer to learn the ropes. Hands-on experience is the best way to learn new techniques, especially in this rapidly advancing field. An internship is a valuable source of tips and tricks learned from studio professionals. A short stint as an intern exposes the student to crafty studio veterans on both ends of the microphone.

Recording Studio Opportunities

Unfortunately, internships at recording studios are a little tough to come by. Studios have a long waiting list of would-be engineers who would love to be an intern. The best chance for you to get on a short list is to attend an audio recording school which includes an internship component into their training.

Audio Recording Schools

Across the nation there are audio engineering schools that are training the audio producers of tomorrow. Audio recording schools not only help you get a hands-on internship, but they also include training using the same equipment that professionals use. You can get a great start on your audio recording career by learning how to use industry standard equipment while working hands-on

Find the Best Audio Recording School for You

Music production schools vary from location to location, so it is important to make sure that you get a program that fits your needs. You should definitely look for a school that offers current equipment as well as an internship component. These two factors play a huge role in getting your audio recording career started on the right foot.

If you find that the audio recording schools in your area are lacking, you should consider branching out into surrounding areas If you’re serious about working as an audio engineer, traveling a little to get the best education would be worth it.

Today’s Online Audio Engineering Program

September 18th, 2016

It’s a fact that a renewed interest in music recording is the primary impetus behind the resurgence of today’s online audio engineering programs. In spite of the recent economic downturn, there are still many career opportunities in the field. This especially holds true for those individuals who have completed a reputable audio engineering program.

More Than a Microphone and An Instrument

The recording of any type of music involves far more then merely the microphone and an instrument. In deed, a first class studio recording incorporates any number of highly advanced technologies, all controlled and operated by a qualified and professionally trained audio engineer.

Skilled Audio Engineers are Always In Demand

Skilled audio engineers will always be in demand. This is of course directly related to the fact that innumerable recording and CD’s are released to the buying public each and every month. Hence; a qualified person who has completed an audio engineering program can always find work in the business.

It’s a Fact Of the Business

Also, once a qualified audio engineer established a reputation in the industry, musicians will tend to seek them out, rather then the other way around. Thus one of the benefits to be had by a successful and well recognized audio engineer besides wealth is of course fame.

The Bottom Line

One of the most common misconceptions regarding the role of today’s audio engineer is that they spend a good deal of their recording time working with wires and electrical hardware. The truth is that with so much of today’s audio engineering technology having gone digital this it turns out is simply not he case any more.

8 Music Mixing Tips To Be An Awesome Audio Engineer!

September 18th, 2016

Today, anyone with a laptop and a few recording microphones has all the tools they need to record, produce, and mix music and create their own recording studio. The home recording studio revolution is here. But with the ever increasing (and often overwhelming) choices of EQs, compressors and load of other plugins, how do we put them together to make a great sounding mix? With increasing demands on sound quality, audio engineering is essential to get your track to stand out from the masses. Here are some tips to help you improve in your mixing process.

1) Are your ingredients fresh?

Making a fresh dish is impossible without fresh ingredients. Likewise, in audio engineering, if you start out with badly recorded tracks containing hiss, phasing problems, room reflections, you are going to have a harder time trying to make anything sound good. So rule of thumb, rather than pulling your hair out when it’s too late, record your audio well. Use a good recording microphone. Record in a soundproof room and do the relevant acoustic treatment if you can. Otherwise, record somewhere else if you need to. Turn off that noisy air-con. DO NOT fix things in the mix.

2) Use your ears, not your eyes

You are an audio engineer right? So stop using your eyes! Use your ears. Humans suffer from placebo effect from time to time. That is, our brains can make us think something sounds good just because we are getting cool visual feedback. Next time, try using that EQ plugin without the curve and listen. Very carefully. What REALLY needs to be boosted or cut? Did adding that compressor improve anything? Let our ears make the final call, not the user interface. The best mix engineers in the world rely mainly on a set of objective ears.

3) Do not be a sonic narcissist

Narcissus fell in love with his own image after staring at it for too long. Likewise, a mix engineer can fall in love with his own work and fail to realize serious mistakes after listening to it too much. Audio engineering is an art – art requires a clear mind to make critical aesthetic judgments. So take a break from time to time, and always keep a fresh ear when mixing. Successful audio engineering requires constant improvement.

4) Prioritize the elements

Some things are more important than others in a mix. For example, that shaker might sound really interesting, but are we mixing a shaker solo piece? If not, give priority to the most important elements. In most pop music, make sure that the kick drum, bass, snare and vocal are sitting well, muting all other elements. If you can get all of them to sound good together, you have basically mixed half the song. Bring in the other elements after that. If there are no drums, the vocals can afford to fill out more frequency space and sound bigger. Above all, the primary goal of an audio engineer is BALANCE.

5) It is not how expensive your tools are, it’s how you use it

We can have the most expensive plugin at our disposal, but it is how we use it that matters. We are doing audio engineering here, not running a music store. Stop acquiring gear or plugins while not having the time to learn what we already have. Focus on practicing a few effective tools well at any one time. Great mixes have been made with the simplest of gear. Study and use the plugins that come with your sequencer of choice, abuse them if you have to. Once you grow out of them, you will know their limitations and understand the reasons why you are buying that new EQ plugin or Tape Saturator. Also, as mentioned earlier, using a good recording microphone in an ideal environment at the tracking stage is always better than trying to fix it with plugins. In audio engineering, the best audio usually requires minimal treatment.

6) Listen to other people’s work

It is all too easy to get self-absorbed and start justifying our own work. Audio engineering depends heavily on context. We need to stop for a moment and listen to the big guys on the block. What makes their mix sonically effective, for that specific genre? Why did this mix engineer compress his snare in this manner? Form your own opinions and tastes, collect high quality records of great mix engineers and constantly compare your own work to theirs when mixing. Spend time getting your kick drum to sound in the same ballpark as theirs, your vocals sounding as full if not better. Ask yourself why if you fail, and learn ways to achieve similar or superior results. Use those tricks and turn them into your own. It’s a long road ahead, and there is no end to learning.

7) Learn how to bring things down

It’s all too easy to demand more, more and more, and boost anything and everything. Before you know it, every track is clipping and we have a fuzzed out mess. Instead of only boosting overall levels and EQ, try bringing everything to a lower volume, and be selective about boosting frequencies. Cut out the low end at 20 Hz or even 60 Hz for tracks that are not the kick drum or bass. Scoop out frequencies in the piano track to make space for the snare. Don’t forget to do everything in moderation. Balance is all about compromise. If every element takes up an ideal sonic space, it is easier for the whole track to be louder and have more impact, since there is less competition in the same frequency space. Play your mix at a lower volume as well. You may be surprised at what elements stick out too much. Precision is key to effective audio engineering, so keep training your ears.

8) Listen with different speakers

The mix might be rocking in your headphones, but putting it on laptop speakers could reveal a whole different truth. Likewise mixing with only reference monitors can smear out certain details that might show up when listening to headphones. Therefore, check your mixes on different speakers – on the stereo, portable Bluetooth speakers. Anything really. A huge part of audio engineering is really tweaking that piece of music to sound good anywhere. Pop in that CD the next time your buddy gives you a lift in his car.


Audio engineering and mixing itself is both a science and art in equal measure. There is no one perfect setting for every song – every mix is unique. Continue to improve your mixing skills, precision and the ability to listen critically – you’ll be on your way to making your next mix sounding better than your last.

Music Production and Audio Engineering Schools Guide

June 30th, 2016

Pursuing a career in music and ball is absolutely something exciting. With the advance of all the technology today, the music getting produced in the industry is something absolutely altered from the canicule of old. Now aggregate is fresher, of college quality, and is consistently aimed to be bigger than the endure creation. Because of this, professions in this acreage crave the a lot of accomplishment from any alone alive as an audio architect or in complete production, and allotment the academy to get the apprenticeship from is no joke. This adviser provides you with acumen on the top music assembly schools and audio recording schools about the country to added advice you with that critical, activity altering decision.

Nowadays, music and complete assembly is already a accustomed field. There are bags of career opportunities for those who are by itself absorbed and absorbed to creating and engineering music whether it be for musicians in their albums, array in a movie, or the soundtrack of a commercial. In this profession, it is all about creating something that can beat the others afore it and that all boils down to skill. But how absolutely does one accretion all that bare accomplishment and training? The acknowledgment is: the apprenticeship you receive.

So what absolutely are those schools that are note-worthy? Here is a few of the top music assembly schools accessible today:

1. Institute of Assembly and Recording

The Institute of Assembly and Recording started in 2002 with four founders: Terry Mhyre, Jack Robinson, Lance Sabin, and Tom Tucker, Sr. There are two amount programs in the school, namely the following: Associate in Applied Science Degree Affairs for Music and Ball Business and the Associate in Applied Science Degree Affairs in Audio Assembly and Engineering. IPR aswell offers acceptance courses and programs in Digidesign which are advised to physique accomplishment in application Pro Tools System, and an Apple Logic Pro Acceptance Training to get accomplished in Logic Pro.

2. Musicians Institute

The academy is a music assembly academy that offers acceptance programs that can advice physique careers in the able recording industry. MI incorporates its comprehensive, all-embracing apprenticeship with accompaniment of the art labs and studios. Aside from audio and music production, they aswell accouterment column assembly in blur and television. Studios at MI are updated, accompaniment of the art and use accessories such as Neve, SSL, DigiDesign, and Neumann.

3. The Los Angeles Recording Academy

The Los Angeles Recording Academy began in 1985 and was at aboriginal a job training academy for recording engineers. The academy aims to board its acceptance with the best training and apprenticeship on today’s industry’s consistently alteration accessories and techniques through a adroitness of accomplished engineers and music industry professionals. The LARS affairs concentrates on music production, agenda recording, and audio post-production for blur and television. The academy aswell allows acceptance to appear on either a abounding time or allotment time basis, with an boilerplate of 25 or 19 hours anniversary week, respectively.

4. Columbia Academy

Since 1967, Columbia Academy has been accouterment top superior apprenticeship to acceptance because a career in the music and ball industry. Columbia Academy provides courses that alternation acceptance in the fields of broadcasting arts, music recording, complete design, column assembly audio, and video and blur production. The academy accessories cover 3 recording studios to board the courses’ duke on training and applied applications. In the Columbia Academy program, acceptance may accept amid two streams, whichever apparel them best – either music recording or column assembly for blur and television. The Recording and Complete Architecture Affairs runs for 11 months (44 weeks), with administration from advisers who accept becoming years of acquaintance in complete design. The affairs is comprised of four modules that are fabricated up of 80 hours of accumulated classroom theories, applied instruction, and supervised duke on lab/studio time. Classes run 5 times a week, 4 hours a day.

Choosing who to board you with the best apprenticeship for your approaching career is no simple task, abnormally with all the audio assembly schools to accept from nowadays. For the austere apprentice searching to accompany a career as a music or audio engineer, or any clue in complete production, the a lot of important affair is to acquisition a academy that offers a absolute class and all-encompassing training to get you accomplished in all aspects of music production. And in this consistently evolving field, it is acute to attending amidst all the audio engineering schools for an academy with programs that can accumulate up with the alteration times.

The assignment of allotment your music bearing academy is no joke. It’s an important accommodation that will abundantly affect your approaching career. Read up, ask questions, alarm offices and accomplish the accommodation that’s appropriate for you.

A Career In Audio Engineering

June 16th, 2016

Audio engineering is a able career that offers immense befalling in film, video production, complete broadcasting and advertising. Audio engineers use a amount of recording accessories such as high-tech microphones that are appropriate to almanac even the aboriginal variations of sound.

The accepted abstraction of engineering relates to architecture bridges, buildings, anchorage and agnate affectionate of work. A lot of humans do not anticipate of audio engineering as a anatomy of acceptable engineering. However, it is one of the accomplished paying jobs and has abounding acknowledged humans alive in the field.

There are abounding areas; some are basal and simple to grasp, while others are time arresting and crave active apprenticeship to apprentice to accomplish the equipment. It is not a adult job, but already you alpha alive in this acreage of career you will get an befalling to plan on abounding agitative projects.

A lot of charge and absorption is appropriate in adjustment to excel in this field.

Areas of Work

Audio engineers may acquisition jobs in the afterward fields:

o Movies: In movies, complete engineers may be appropriate for articulation overs, complete advance and scenes.

o Television shows: Abounding television shows and commercials aswell crave audio engineers in assorted departments above-mentioned to the final airing.

o Music: They play a cogent role in the acreage of music; decidedly in reside concerts, recording studios, and video albums.

o Meetings: Big accumulated companies crave audio engineers for managing audio accessories in seminars, affairs and lectures.

o Sports: They handle reside telecasts, commentaries and abounding added functions.

o Schools: They may aswell acquisition jobs in schools while managing audio in sports functions, dances, apprentice gatherings and in lectures also, if the chic is big and requires added audio equipment.

Audio engineers alive for television, films and music recordings will acquisition their names a part of the credits. They can aswell be begin in the afterward places:

o Recording studios: Recording studios crave audio engineers mainly to accomplish microphones, software and mixers. It is one of the a lot of advantageous jobs; besides money, it aswell brings recognition.

o Auto stores: An audio architect may aswell acquisition a job in an auto locations abundance affairs stereo accessories and to abetment in installations.

o Home audio stores: Home audio food aswell charge audio engineers to accommodate barter with abetment in selecting the appropriate blazon of speakers and aswell advice in installing them.

Audio Engineering Schools

In adjustment to get the abilities appropriate for an audio engineering career, it is important to yield academic training from an audio engineering institute. There are amount of schools that action audio engineering lessons, but you charge to assay what blazon of plan you ambition to do in this acreage to baddest the appropriate affectionate of course.