How to be Successful in the Audio Industry – Part 1

During the months of September and October, we are going to feature a series of blog posts on “How To Be Successful in the Audio Industry”.

The first list we are sharing is from Cameell Hanna, Studio Manager from Serenity West Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Serenity West is an amazing facility and we appreciate the advice and opportunities that they allow our students.

If you haven’t seen this studio, check out their site here:

Top 10 Successful Traits as an Engineer Starting Out in the Audio Industry

  1. Patience – Everything in the music industry takes way longer than you want it to. Develop your patience muscles.
  2. Attentiveness – There are opportunities all around you, you need to be not only aware of the things happening around but how they affect everyone else.
  3. Excellent communication skills – Being able to communicate effectively will make your life and everyone in your life less stressful. Find simple, clear ways of articulating things.
  4. Good grooming and fashion sense – How you look matters in this industry. If you don’t dress and groom like you care about yourself, no one else will.
  5. Interesting social life – You are a result of your experiences, so make them rich. Got to the cool spots in town, kiss that mysterious stranger, know where to get a good scotch. Develop your taste.
  6. Know the web – You will always be surrounded by disinterested out of touch senior executive types. This is always a great way to get a working relationship with the upper floors.
  7. Find solutions – Most problems have solutions and you will run into lots of them on a daily basis. Your mind is a powerful resource, put it to work. If you see a leaking faucet, fix it.
  8. Learn who the leaders are and understand how they work – They are the gate keepers, you can learn a lot from them, utilize whatever time you have with them effectively.
  9. Read – There are galaxies of self-help and “tips of successful people” type books. They offer lots of different points of view that you should know about.
  10. Understand yourself and how other people view you – You may be surprised how your interpretation of yourself is different than those around you.  Be aware of how you affect people and keep that in mind when meeting with different personality types.

This is a great list, I find it to be very insightful and brings to light that moving forward in the industry is a lot about being perceptive and social. We preach to our students how networking is key to starting your career in the industry. It’s nice to see that some of these traits are listed here.

The traits that are about being aware of yourself and others emphasize the importance of being able to read situations and environments. It also enables you to practice the old adage of being “a fly on the wall” – observing what is happening in the session or meeting, while at the same time having a good awareness for what’s going on around you.

I respect that reading shows up on this list. Reading is a trait of every successful individual. I feel that while you are obtaining hands-on experience at a facility, you should be learning as much as you can.  Reading up on their equipment, their clients and the history of the building and the company shows that you care about the studio and that you really want to be there. Always be reading and learning. The more you know, the more valuable you can make yourself.

Your first step out into this amazing industry is about being open to learning and experiencing new things. It’s about showing your great character, your hard work ethic, your ability to think on your feet and how to become a team player. You’ll leave CRAS with a great foundation of audio engineering, but it’s up to you what you will do with it. My advice – print out Cameell’s list and keep it with you while you navigate through the industry!