Ayuda a Músicos





    Paco Jimenez Garcia is a voiceover artist, musician, and songwriter. He talks about how Latin publishing works.


    Claudia Garcia, Manager of International Exploitations for Universal Music Group Latino, talks about the different ways publishing can be handled in an artists' career. She makes the point that it is in an artist's interest to sign with a major publisher because they are able to promote an artist's material than if the the artist was independent. Claudia also discusses how you can be your own publisher and get all the little money earned from your music or take a smaller percentage of a larger amount of money.
    Producer Sergio George talks about how he decides what audiences to target when producing and marketing a project, what tools are most effective in breaking a song, and the ways in which Latin music audiences have evolved in recent years. 

Do you know what makes a Recording Engineer?

You have touched on one of the touchiest points that any artist faces- when and what allows you to say that you are an artist, a film director, a musician, an engineer- whatever? Is it a degree that gives you that magical designation? Is it belonging to a professional organization such as NARAS? Is it because you call yourself an engineer? What is it?

Ultimately there is not a clear cut division between studying to be an artist and being one. Art, whether it is the art of music or painting or engineering, is a journey which will last much longer than any of us can hope to live. We are all, always, students in search of better skills, a clearer vision, more work. Please believe me, it never, ever ends.

As you have noted, some people who are “engineers” have taken a course of study and have entered the field that way. The more traditional way is to intern in a studio ( “studio rats”) and work your way up. Sadly, the intern way is slowly going away as studio go out of business as the recording industry moves to a project studio structure.

Ultimately your work and your status as an engineer will be judged in the marketplace- in other words- if you can make people sound good you will get more work. If you can’t, you will get less work. It really doesn’t matter what education you have (except to the extent that it gives you additional understanding and skills). Our industry is very results oriented- you can either do the job or you can’t do the job and it really doesn’t matter how many classes you’ve taken or how long you been doing it unless your client can hear the results of your efforts.

Think of a lead guitar player in a band. Does it really matter if he’s been playing for 15 years and studied at the Berklee School of Music and owns Jimi Hendrix’s personal guitar if he can’t really play. He can call himself a lead guitar player but it doesn’t really matter because no one will want to play with him.

Classes are great – they can be an organized shortcut to having a skill set that will help you be successful in this field, but ultimately you have to work to get better and get known. Musicians have always called this “paying your dues”.

To that end you can get a degree in audio engineering at many Universities such as SF state. You can get Pro Tools certified by taking classes at places such as Cutting Edge. This is all good stuff and it might help you get knowledge but no one ever got hired based on a degree. You might get an interview if someone advertises for an engineer ( A friend of mine broke in this way) but you will get hired based on results.

So, what makes a great engineer?

  • Great ears- the ability to hear in great detail and understand what you hear from a musical and technical point of view.
  • A deep understanding of the theoretical concepts that affect musical sound
  • A deep practical understanding of studio equipment and how it can be used to arrive at a sound that is what you and your client hear in your imagination.
  • The ability to work creatively with others
  • Musical sensitivity and imagination
  • A commitment to deadlines and cost projections

There are probably some things that I have left off, but the bottom line is if you are working as an engineer ( or a lead guitar player) you are an engineer- if you aren’t your are not- pretty simple huh?

Last thing- never expect that you will be satisfied with where you are in your career or your skill level is- it will never happen.

Hope this helps.

Wayne Organ
Music Educator