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Proper Studio Etiquette

Proper Studio Etiquette

If you are interested in becoming an intern at a recording studio and learning the ways of the audio world, there are a few things that you must keep in mind in order to ensure a positive studio experience.

EDUCATION: First things first: get educated. Read audio-related books, attend recording courses and workshops, find a school with a good audio program, or even better, all of the above. Doing so will help you familiarize yourself with the different concepts, terminology, and equipment that are used in recording studios on a day-to-day basis. Having a good educational foundation will help you to understand what someone is asking you to do and will allow you to be as helpful as possible.

COMMUNICATION: Knowing when it is appropriate to communicate in the studio is perhaps one of the most important concepts to grasp. Studio equipment tends to be very expensive, so when dealing with it, you always want to make sure that you know what you are doing. If you don’t, then you should ask someone who does because you could potentially damage the gear. For example, when you’re about to disconnect a microphone that requires phantom power, make sure the phantom power is off. Otherwise, you might end up damaging a preamp, a speaker, or any other equipment in between.

On the other hand, knowing when to be silent is also very important. For example, when an engineer is in the middle of a recording or mixing session – even if he or she is listening back and not hands-on doing something — do not interrupt by asking questions, making comments, or any other unnecessary noise. Any of these actions might break the engineer’s concentration, and he or she will probably not be very pleased with you. Your best bet when you find yourself in a recording session is to be silent, observant, and readily available if your help is needed.