Nicole ThorpCentralia Recording Connection

Getting to the business Posted on 2016-05-18 by Nicole Thorp

When i meet someone at the studio I've noticed that one of the first things they ask me is "what made you want to get involved in recording?" I answer it the same way pretty much every time.. "i wanted to learn the skills it takes to record and i love music." Sure, i give different variations of that answer when I'm asked but the basis is always the same.. i love this medium, i really do. It's like a canvas or a movie, the art is what drives me. I enjoy hearing music in all styles and forms and i very much so enjoy the technical aspects that come along with recording, the gear, electronics, the industry.. all of it is so fascinating to me and i can't exactly pinpoint one reason why i chose this career path all i know is that a number of factors played a part in it and i feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. When i listen to an album like Nirvana's Nevermind or Prince's Purple Rain, i can't help but wonder "HOW DID THEY DO THAT?" "What mics were used?", "What were the tracks recorded on?", "What was the creative process like?", etc. It's all too exciting for me not to want to jump in. I guess what it comes down to is the love of conceptualization and the love of sound in general, being invested of the details of a song and wanting to capture the best performance possible. 

At this point in the program I've got all of this information in my head and all of these experiences under my belt. Along with my lessons I've done a lot of interning as well, learning the ropes, so to speak, when assisting with setting up for bands. I've also gotten to have a lot of "fly on the wall" experiences where i just sit in and soak in everything that's going on, those times are exciting because usually long conversations take place about music, audio, and the music industry. All of these experiences are adding up and I'm realizing that i can actually hold my own when it comes to working in this industry. Not only am i getting an education in audio but I'm also learning the business which is crucial. Everything is really starting to come together for me at this point and i couldn't be happier because I've put in so much time, effort, and energy into this and i just can't wait to see where it takes me. I've learned a lot and I've grown up a lot in the process. Even though the end of the program is approaching, it's just the beginning for me. 

This weeks lesson was on automation and it was probably the most fun I've had on ProTools so far just because the possibilities are endless with automation. The history of automation was interesting to learn about as well, I'm personally grateful that automation has advanced because it would be a time-consuming process to sit and write down every setting when getting ready to close a session and manually recalling every setting when pulling up a session, i couldn't imagine. Engineers back then were troopers that's for sure. Pierre demoed automation for me and he also did a tutorial on elastic audio, using a vocal, he showed me how it can be helpful in the editing process. After the lesson i stayed and sat in on a vocal tracking session with a client. The client just wanted to quickly lay down a hook for a reference so he could teach it, so the session didn't last long at all. What was awesome were the stories the client told, when on the subject about hip hop, he recalled the time where he went to the music store and bought a CD of an artist that almost no one had heard of yet, The Notorious BIG, and i could tell it was like he was going down memory lane, those moments are so awesome to see. 

That weekend i had the opportunity to come down early in the morning and help setup for an all day tracking session. A full band was coming in to record an EP. I've helped setup for sessions before but never had i been this organized and on point. Being the organized person that i am, i have developed a system when it comes to setting up for full band tracking sessions because it makes it easier and the flow is much more apparent when you follow a basic outline of what to do and when to do it. At one point Pierre told me that i was doing awesome and that recognition is so great to hear, it really makes me feel like I'm on the right track. 

At this stage, I'm starting to develop a brand for myself. It took me a while to find what it was i was looking for conceptually as a brand but i think i have a better understanding of it now. I'm working on the brand, finding clients, and then building a portfolio of work. Easier said than done, i know, but i feel like the business aspect will fall into place when the creative if figured out. All of this will take some time but I've developed the knowledge, know-how, understanding, and resources to really take my journey in audio to the next step. Execution is the key and with time, effort, and drive i can only imagine where I'll go. 


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