Category Archives: Promotion & Exposure

Tips for getting (& keeping) studio work experience or an internship

The number of students qualifying from music technology and music production degrees is increasing worldwide year on year. 

The goal of many of those students is to work in a professional recording facility, or work alongside a pro producer, but even as an unpaid intern, no facility or producer will want to touch you without experience. 

If you haven’t got a degree, you might have much more to learn still, but hey, you wont have an average of £41000 of debt straddled round your neck, so…. its swings and roundabouts. 

Emailing your CV to the studio will probably get you absolutely nowhere, as most other local students in your predicament will also have tried this route. 

What you actually need is a track record, as studios often only take on 
(a) Their friends that they trust
(b) Staff from other studios that they rate
(c) Their friends from other studios that they rate
(c) Whoever they flipping well want!!!! Have you seen the ratio of studios to music technology students???? 

The problem is that you need experience to be able to get experience. 

So what can you do? 

 

    1. Don’t be an idiot!
      This is the main factor that studios are worried about with an unknown quantity (i.e. you) and their customers. The studio world is hard enough to keep your head above water now, without having to worry about an intern annoying the talent, The higher profile their clients are, the more important this is. 
      Be humble, quiet, yet confident in your own abilities and just don’t think you know everything, just because you  have certificate. you don’t, you are just beginning to learn that the best engineers circuit-bend the “rules” somewhat to get amazing results. 
       
    2. Lower your overheads.
      Whether this is moving back in with your folks, house / dog sitting for someone that’s abroad or just plain tapping off your understanding significant other, you need to be prepared to live frugally for a bit. Hopefully you blew some of your student loan on a laptop so you can learn skills and programs while you look for an internship. 
       
    3. Get some cash behind you.
      Everything is easier when you aren’t wondering where your next meal is coming from. This isn’t necessarily about buying all the latest kit, this is about being able to take every opportunity presented to you. Being able to afford the train or taxi fare to be able to fill in for an engineer that’s ill, having a few pounds to be able to buy a drink for someone that might be able to help you you randomly meet when you are out.
      Just having a float so you can pick up some sandwiches on the way in (and then get reimbursed) means you are much more useful than someone who has to come in and then go out again. 
        
    4. Get a Job.
      …anything, its not forever! I’ll cover a few ideas for optimum jobs for musicians in the forthcoming weeks, but right now you just need cash. Consider working nights (as the pay is higher) and it will get your body clock in-tune with nocturnal activities, so you’ll be on top form if you go to local gigs or events to do a bit of impromptu networking or gig driving (see point 5).  You can always book time off, be ill or take holidays if you get something interesting come up. Its only there until you get your internship, but you will need to have some money to support you through it, so build up a pot. 
       
    5. Get a driving licence.
      The amount of DJ’s and performers that i see that need drivers is substantial. Even if they can drive themselves, its not exactly what you can or want to do if you’ve just played a four hour DJ set with the lure of a free bar! 
      You can always hire a car for the night if you don’t have one, or the performer themselves will often have a car that you can drive. You essentially get a private audience with a professional for a few hours, where you can listen, ask a few questions and learn! Don’t forget point one, be humble, be responsible, be reliable, don’t get caught up in the party! 
      Watch local artist’s social channels like a hawk for an “SOS” driver post, if you can step in at the last minute and save the day, it’ll go a long way in your favour and wont be forgotten. 
       
    6. Book a session. 
      With the money saved from your job, book a session in the studio that you want to intern in, If you make music yourself then this is fairly easy, but if you want to produce other bands you’ll have to find someone to work with. Go out and become your own A&R man on the local gig circuit, find a suitable local band that you would like to work with (and ideally have some ideas for) and offer to do a session with them at the studio that you want to work at (or build up to this in another studio and then book into the one you want to work at once you’ve got a bit more experience). If you’re paying for it, you should get some takers for sessions and they will be quite forgiving while you find your feet! Offer to drive / roadie / engineer small gigs, anything that gives you some experience of working with bands.
       
    7. Think outside of the box
      The best connections aren’t always where you think, don’t limit yourself to approaching or working with people in your immediate area or genre. 
      I once got the guitarist from a major US metal band to feature on a track through a guy who booked me to play a breakbeat DJ set in Tokyo.  
       
    8. Know Your Place 
      If you are lucky enough to get some work experience, there a few things to remember.  
      You aren’t the producer or the engineer, never offer your opinion on the clients music, this is a big no-no.
      Even if they ask you about it, try and say its not your place, this is one thing that REALLY annoys studio owners, as you are effectively representing their business.  
      You’re there to  help out, make some drinks (learn to do this properly before you turn up), and learn what keeps a professional operation running. 
       
    9. Make yourself indispensable.
      Offer to do the jobs that no-one else wants to, a surefire winner is to sort the cables out, cables are always in a mess. 
      Bring your cable tester in (what do you mean you haven’t got one??)  and give them an MOT.  There’s little chance you’ve completed a MT degree without learning to solder some wires, so put your skills to use. 
      If they don’t have a cleaner, go and tidy up without being asked. Try and think ahead about what might be needed later on in the day / session and get it ready in downtime. 
      If you are starting out at a practice room / studio type operation, they might not even have proper coffee (how middle class do i sound here now!), go and get a supermarket cafetiere and a bag of premium java, you might just make yourself some new friends.  
      You want there to be a void left when you finish, because that void is the reason for you to be paid to be there. 
      Watch and learn how they do sessions, at some point the engineer or producer will be late or cant come and you’ll have a chance to show what you really can do. 
    10. Seriously, Don’t be an idiot!  
      I can’t make enough of this point!
      Avoid badmouthing anyone, especially locally, even in different genres, as most studios know a good proportion of the musicians (especially friend of a friend type connections) in the area and you don’t want to get a bad rep. Keep your opinions about someone and their music to yourself, at least until you are Deadmau5 type of level of success and can make your public cussing mildly entertaining!
      I knew an American guy that constantly took digs at various British acts on various internet platforms. He then decided to try to get releases signed (that were actually pretty good) by some of the key British labels, but no-one would touch him with a bargepole, because they all knew he was a liability and publicly acted like an idiot, which wasn’t good for their brand to be associated with. 

Cover Page!

 Congratulations to our own Pete Gardner on reaching the cover page of the prestigious Sound on Sound magazine!
Pete has been a contributor for a while now, but this month, he has put together the definitive version of “What’s the best CPU for todays Audio Production software”.

Pete is one of the most informed guys in the country (probably Europe!) when it comes to attaching things to the innards of a PC, and in this issue he shows all the various benchtests he uses to measure the different CPU’s available.

Sound on Sound is probably the best Audio Production mag available, and if you’re serious about the world of Audio Recording, you should make sure of your subscription now.

Musical Geisha Nights : Manchester 27th April

Musical Geisha Nights : Manchester 27th April

 

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the unadulterated joy that is a Geisha Night, then be advised, the next one is coming very soon!

Following on 3 years of successful networking events, Scan are pleased to confirm the 3rd Manchester Musical  Geisha evening to be  held at Blueprint  studios in Salford on April 27th.

There’ll be a bar, and a chance to look around one of the top studios in the North West, (This is where Elbow make their home when they’re not touring…)

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For those of you in the know, these nights  are an exclusive ‘invitation only’ event that allows people from the Music industry to mix and network with others  with the aim of collaboration and education.

Rowena Morgan is the self-confessed ‘Musical Geisha’,  (She has a little black book full of incredibly important people’s  names and numbers)  and on Geisha nights she can be seen moving  effortlessly through the room, introducing writers to singers, and singers to managers, producers all in the spirit of collaboration. And it works. Very well in fact…..

If you feel you could benefit from an introduction to someone who could help move your career along, or indeed someone who could just answer your questions about the industry and how to get on, then why not contact Rowena at:

musicalgeisha@hotmail.com

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Let her know who you are, who you’d like to meet, and why you think you should be there, and then wait and see if you get an invite!

The Songwriting Academy…..

As regular readers will know, Scan have a long history of working in collaboration with selected partners. I’d like to take a little time to introduce another one of our Pro-Audio partners….

The Songwriting Academy | Songwriting & Production Courses

Their aim is to become the number one songwriting, production and music business training organisation in the world, delivering the best music education available.
They have a team of experts on hand ( that’s where we come in!) to help you create hit records and be part of one of the most exciting industries ever.
They have brought together a diverse and passionate team of experts with proven track records and decades of experience.

Their team includes Grammy and Ivor Novello winning writers and between them, they’ve written hits for Beyonce, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Kylie Minogue, LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Lopez, George Benson, Will Young, EMF, Kenny Rogers, The Saturdays, Lulu, Celine Dion, Seal, Leona Lewis and X-Factor/Idol winners worldwide.

BeyonceKylieCeline DionCherCorinne Bailey RaeDuncan JamesBoyzoneGeorge BensonJennifer LopezJordin Sparks

They’ve studied techniques from hit songwriters writing for the world’s charts through the decades, and have developed their unique SCOPE Song System. They will guide you through the entire process from the spark of creation to getting your songs out there.

The Songwriting Academy has everything you need to know about being a songwriter under one roof: workshops, retreats, seminars and resources to help you with writing, producing, publishing, record deals, management and understanding today’s music business.
The next course is called “How to make Money from your Music” and it is led by the Founder and Head Course Instructor Martin Sutton. It takes place on the 28th and 29th of March at
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9HD
Martin Sutton is the founder of The Songwriting Academy and multi platinum songwriter and producer. Starting as a young busker on the streets of Norwich, he spent years developing the craft of songwriting, travelling the world to work with other writers, learning about the music business and honing his production skills. He is now a successful songwriter/producer and has sold millions of records in nearly 50 countries around the world.

His work includes Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion, Gary Barlow, Pixie Lott, Mark Owen, Olivia Newton-John, Andrew Roachford, Brian McFadden, Lulu, Mike & The Mechanics, K-Pop superstars Super Junior and X-Factor/Idol winners worldwide.

His teaching methodology and ethos have been described as “life-changing” by many of his students and over the years he has shared his knowledge and experience with thousands, opening their eyes to the world of professional music making. His diverse programming and production skills are widely sought after, from orchestration for Celine Dion and Andrew Lloyd Webber to quirky programming and beat-making for K-Pop/J-Pop artists, and rich country productions for artists including LeAnn Rimes.
If you fancy yourself as a songwriter, and would like to know how to move it on, why not check out the courses on their website here…
http://thesongwritingacademy.co.uk/

Drumbeat 2014!!!

 

SORRY, BUT WE JUST HEARD THAT THIS EVENT HAS HAD TO BE CANCELLED UNTIL NEXT YEAR….

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve mentioned before that Scan does a lot of good work for charity, supporting different peoples endeavours and especially where it comes to musical efforts, so it’s great to be able to tell you that we are working with Drumbeat UK to try and achieve a phenomenal world record.
It’s happening at Event city on Friday the 21st of November, and we are going to be webcasting the whole event LIVE!!!!!!REGISTRATION Poster_FINAL_SMALL

Drummers!!! Come on down and be part of something very cool and worthwhile!!!

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SCAN/NVIDIA LOCK IN NIGHT!!!

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So, it would seem a little strange us Audio boyz blogging about the recent Scan/Nvidia Lock in Night featuring the launch of the new NVIDIA Shield, if it weren’t for the fact that the whole evening was supported by a riot of musical entertainment.18
Whenever we do this sort of thing, we never do it by halves, and last Friday evening/Saturday was no exception.12
From the Pro Audio side of things we had a blast featuring DJ sets from in-house Scan employee Penrar, our very own Tom Autobot and the Godfather of House, all the way from Chicago via Manchester, Mr Marshall Jefferson as well as a set from the Winners of our Velcocity 2014 competition rock section “Day Old Hate”.

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On the Saturday we had our old buddy, the freshly crowned UK DMC Champion Turntablist DJ Rasp with us, and in all, the whole weekend had a very cool and vibey feel to it.

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100 sleeps!!!

To the Manchester Music Show!!

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If you didn’t get a chance to join us last year, make sure you order your tickets early this year.

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The Manchester Music Show is a superb 2 day music extravaganza, where you can come and see and hear and play the latest from the music industry. With top Brands and demonstrators, as well as special guests and guest speakers, this year promises to be an exciting, event packed experience, and for those of you interested in buying equipment (especially with Xmas round the corner!) Scan Pro Audio will once again be offering a range of unbeatable offers not available on the High Street.

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Check out the web site as it comes live here:
And make sure it’s a date in your diary!

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BITWIG!!!! Very new and Very cool…….

So, this week has seen the launch of the first major new player in the world of Digital Audio Workstations in a long, long time.

To be fair, Bitwig launched their Beta quite a while ago, (and I blogged about the promises it offered in terms of collaboration with other users), but it’s been a rocky road for the guys and we’re pleased to be hosting the Shiny new finished product here at Scan Towers tonight as part of our ongoing Webcast series.

Bitwig are promising a fresh look at the DAW, and their heritage suggests that they have the capability to do this very well (ex- members of the original Ableton team remember).

They claim that every new feature in Bitwig was designed by Muscians and is therefore very useful, as opposed to features included by programmers just because they can…

 

WINDOWS, MAC OS X, LINUX

All for one, one for all.

The next generation of software for sound and music creation is available on all three major platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Produce, share, and collaborate from completely different machines. When it comes to which operating system you wish to use with Bitwig Studio, the choice is yours.

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INTEGRATED USER INTERFACE

Customized workflow to match any style.

Today it’s possible to make music with any DAW. What sets each one apart is workflow, how quickly you can realize your ideas, and the freedom to choose how you produce and perform. In Bitwig Studio, use the Clip Launcher alongside your arrangement to draft your song‘s layout on the fly, or use it exclusively as a performance tool. This is one of many features that demonstrates Bitwig Studio’s seamless integration of multiple views into your workflow as needed, the way you want it.

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PLUG-IN SANDBOXING

Damage control.

Never again will a single plugin take down your entire project. The “sandboxing” feature built-in to Bitwig Studio ensures plug-in crashes will not interrupt valuable production time, or better yet, your performance on stage. Choose 32-bit, 64-bit, or choose both. No third-party bridging is necessary to run your favorite plugins side-by-side. Bitwig Studio protects your workflow while efficiently running your VSTs for non-stop creativity. 

 

 

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UNIFIED MODULATION SYSTEM

Modulation redefined.

Modulating one parameter from the next often means losing hands-on control – until now. Bitwig Studio is hard-coded with a Unified Modulation System, allowing you to easily link any device parameter, including nested internal devices and VST plug-ins, without losing hands-on control. Never before has modulating virtually any parameter between devices been so simple. Nothing is locked, so you can manipulate on the fly to find the perfect range of modulation. Make your devices take on a life of their own, create dynamic relationships between sounds, and hear your music begin to breathe.

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OPEN MULTIPLE PROJECTS

Limited to one idea? Think again.

The bassline from your last session could be the missing piece of your current project. The rhythm section in your latest song carries perfectly over to the next. No need to close anything or dig through complex file structures. With Bitwig Studio, open multiple projects at the same time and drag-and-drop between them.

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OPEN CONTROLLER API

Your controller just became a lot smarter.

“Smart controller“ takes on a new meaning in Bitwig Studio. The Open Controller API is accessible not only to you, but also to third party manufacturers for complete integration of your favorite controllers like never before. This feature allows you to freely edit existing control maps direct from the companies that design your controllers, or to easily create your own. Get the most out of your gear with hands-on control of parameters that mean the most to you, and take full advantage of every pad, knob, button, and key at your fingertips.

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DETAIL EDITOR

Everything in its place.

Bitwig Studio is designed to offer unprecedented flexibility by eliminating boundaries at every step of music creation and performance to give you greater control over your workflow than ever before. The Detail Editor revolutionizes audio editing by allowing you to perform non-destructive editing within a clip, allowing you to stretch, split, pitch, pan, copy, reverse, add, move and re-arrange audio as you wish. Edit multiple tracks in the same view, edit notes using audio as a reference, isolate your view to one clip or expand it to see the everything in the entire track. Consider the Detail Editor your very own limitless creative space.

Go wild.

DYNAMIC OBJECT INSPECTOR

Build up your ideas, faster.

Start with a groove or motif, take the idea that inspires you from the start and quickly transform it into a complete composition. Bitwig Studio introduces new ways to keep up with your inspiration. Take the Dynamic Object Inspector, it allows you to select multiple notes or events and edit them together with an interactive histogram, easily adding variations as you go.

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Included Devices

Made in Berlin.

Each device in Bitwig Studio was designed in-house using a modular system integrated in the application. The modular system will be available to anyone using Bitwig Studio in the future. A simple click will allow you to modify any existing device, or create your own. Our selection of current devices demonstrate the power hidden beneath the hood of Bitwig Studio, where limits are defined by the scope of imagination.8

So Given all of this Wonderfulness, how is it going to be received?

Well, its worth taking a look at our webcast tonight, or looking at the archive on You Tube later, and judge for yourself.

Either way, we’re very excited to be in at the start of this and wish our Bitwig Buddies all the very best for the future.

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Just a little word about us……………….!!!!

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Why buy from Us?

Scan is a Family owned British company with over 160 staff and an annual Turnover of nearly £80m.

We pride ourselves on our unbeatable service, and we have the constant daily feedback from happy, satisfied customers to back this up.

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Our delivery system is flexible and easy to use. You choose when you want it delivered and we’ll get it there on time, and with 100% order tracking inc. Alerts via SMS, email & web.

Within the Pro Audio department, we employ specialist people with specialist knowledge. Working professionals who use this equipment on a daily basis, and whose expertise is called upon by some of the biggest names in the Music Industry.

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DJ’s, Sessions Musicians, Producers, and even a teacher go to make up our consulting staff.

Rest assured that when you buy from us you are dealing with experts in their particular field.

So, with the buying power to secure the best deals, Specialist staff, and incredible service…why wouldn’t  you buy from Scan?

DTKoO

 

BitCoin!!!

Bitcoin!  2

You may have noticed that Scan have become one of the first On-line Retailers to accept Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a REAL currency, used on-line to purchase items in just the way you would with Pounds, Dollars or Euro’s.

In the future, digital transactions like these will become the norm.

Think about the advantages….. These are Person to Person payments that don’t need a bank or clearing house, so no-one needs to earn any extra fee’s, you can use them across the world in different countries, and no-one gets to tell you whether or not you ‘qualify’ for a bank account nor can they ‘freeze’ your account.

In order to use them, you’ll need a Digital Wallet in which to keep your Bitcoins, and somewhere to buy them. (It is possible to generate your own by a process called ‘mining’ but we don’t recommend you get into that until you’ve made a few transactions of your own)

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How do I use my Bitcoin to Pay at Scan?

At the checkout simply select Bitcoin as your payment method, and then click the “Complete order with bitcoin” button. You will then be taken to BitPay to complete payment. BitPay will convert the GBP value of your order to bitcoin using the latest exchange rates. You have 15 minutes to pay the exact amount shown. You can either scan the QR code, or transfer the bitcoins to the wallet address shown. Once done you may need to press the refresh icon to see that your payment is complete. Note: Any under and over payments will prevent us from processing your order correctly. Please contact customer services in this case to ensure that your bitcoins are returned to you. Now your payment is complete, the Bitcoin network will confirm your transaction. Before your order is picked and despatched we require six confirmations, this may affect our ability to despatch your order on that day. Should your order not reach one confirmation within an hour of payment then your payment will be declined. In such case please contact our payments team for the next steps to rectify.

You can find out more about Bitcoin here……

http://www.weusecoins.com/en/getting-started

Either way, at least check it out so you know what everyone else is talking about……

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