In this episode of Madsen's Musings, I discuss what to call yourself when first getting started as an audio professional.
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A transcript is provided below the video.
Okay, so this is a really quick mini-vlog, but I watched an interview with CLA today - Chris Lord-Alge. It was a really good interview for the most part, I enjoyed it: lots of really good quotes and tidbits of information in there, but here's one thing I did not enjoy - or one thing where I perhaps understand what CLA is saying but I don't totally buy into or agree to it, and that is the notion of... he was basically ranting about the fact that people call themselves mixing engineers, and he felt like he had to earn that.
He used the analogy of the military saying "you're not a General, you're a Private", you're just starting out, don't call yourself a mixing engineer, and I get the fact that he's talking about back in the day the way it worked is you had to work up different things: you're an assistant, you had to do this type of prep, and then you shut up, and you stood back, and you let the professionals do certain things that they were doing whether they are the engineer or the producer, or they're the mixing/mastering engineer, whatever it is - they had a very structured path or progression you went up through and you didn't just say "I'm a mixing engineer".
So I get what he's saying, and to a degree I agree with it, but I also feel like there's a danger to saying you have to reach a certain threshold before you can say you're X, Y, or Z. A perfect analogy is I play saxophone - I have two degrees in it, so can I say that I'm a saxophonist if I don't play at the same level as a Jeff Coffin, a Bob Reynolds, you know, a Joshua Redmond, a Branford Marsalis? I don't play on the same level as those guys, so does that make me not a saxophonist? I think it makes me a saxophonist in work in progress. A saxophonist working towards something.
So I don't ever want to have that mentality of you're not a composer if you have not reached X or Y. Maybe CLA, Chris Lord-Alge is trying to get at is if you haven't gone through and mastered all these other elements and you're just saying you're a mixer, then yeah, maybe pare back a little bit, but I also see that we're all works in progress, and I hope we're all continually advancing and growing, and learning and getting better.
So that's just a little short tidbit, I hope it's helpful and encouraging. Go out there, learn your stuff, always be a lifetime student, but at the same time don't be scared to say that you are X, Y and Z. I don't know, I mean, that doesn't make sense. I personally offer mixing as one of my services, but I also don't claim to be at the same level as a Chris Lord-Alge, or any of those people. I'm still intermediate - and it shows in my price point too - it shows on my credit list, so I don't know - I'm kind of rambling, but that's something to think about.