I have a confession to make. I was once techno-phobic and hated computers!
I first learned about computers by doing an NVQ in administration and then working as a secretary in Camden, north London. My boyfriend was a composer, writing dance music in his basement, and I then became fascinated with his recording software, synthesisers and samplers.
So I wrote to every recording studio in north London until one of them gave me a job!
Back then Eastcote Studios was a two-studio facility with MCI JH500 mixing desk, large live areas with isolation booths and a beautiful collection of vintage microphones and outboard. I managed the office, accounts and studio bookings for six years, and made cups of tea for the rich and famous! I was also able to pick up the basics of sound recording and music technology, thanks to some friendly in-house engineers (and my boyfriend!)
Eastcote Studios was built by engineer and producer Philip Bagenal, who ran the business for almost 40 years. Over the years clients at Eastcote have included Adele, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Estelle, KT Tunstall, Mumford & Sons, Paul Oakenfold and Tom Jones. When I worked there Arctic Monkeys, Elastica, Magic Numbers, Transglobal Underground, Tindersticks, All Saints, Sugarbabes, Suede and Paul Weller all recorded there.
I’ve complimented Grace Jones on her nail varnish (blue) and shown Robbie Williams around Studio Two. I’ve had a pint at the pub with Cornershop, and discussed Woodie Guthrie lyrics with Billy Bragg. I’ve chatted about organic veg with Beth Orton and made friends with Neneh Cherry. I even got the opportunity to sing lead vocals on a track for the Japanese composer Shiro Sagisu! All of these people had one thing in common.
Love What You Do
It’s a cliché but true, these artists showed me what happens if you follow your passion. They were all very focussed on their music and creativity. I guess they had to be, because if you (or the record company) are paying for studio time you can’t just chill-out and not work! But it’s inspiring to see creative people do what they love. The tape-ops, engineers and producers were just as dedicated, usually working very long hours and finishing late at night.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Ok, so it kind of is. When I see a huge mixing desk with infinite channels of knobs, and racks of compressors, EQ’s, samplers and effects units gathered all around, I’m as confused as anyone. But a commercial set-up like Eastcote is capable of making live music recordings to a very professional standard. If you’re not a live band there are simpler ways to make a recording.
Using studio ‘down-time’ and working with professional recording engineers I recorded my own songs, spoken word, and a poetry radio programme at Eastcote. I spent hours editing that radio programme on Pro Tools (digital audio software), so I guess I learned by doing.
I then retrained as a clinical hypnotherapist and was able to use my basic recording and editing skills to make professional hypnosis recordings for my clients, using only a laptop and a simple microphone.
So the one surprising thing I learned by working in a recording studio was that even a technophobic newbie can easily learn the basics of recording and editing with digital audio software. Back then a Pro Tools rig was the industry standard and cost thousands of pounds. I couldn’t have imagined how much more accessible technology would become. Now anyone can make a quality sound recording at home, using free recording software! In fact, you could even make a good quality recording using your smart phone.
If you want to leverage your time and make more money why not create an audio product to sell today? My free masterclass and challenge to create your first recording shows you how to create an audio product in just 60 minutes. It’s perfect for coaches, therapists, healers, creatives, artists, bloggers and writers.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What challenges are your customers facing that your audio download would help with? Do they need a mini meditation or a tiny tutorial? Could you offer a free audio download as an opt-in gift (Marie Forleo and Denise Duffield-Thomas both offer free audio downloads at the time of writing.) Leave me a comment below.