How Do I Get A Job In The Melbourne Recording Industry?
Updated: Jun 25
So you are over your day job and you've always had a passion for recording and producing. If you want to make the move to having music recording as your full time job, then there's a few things you need to consider.
1/ Do I need a degree or take some music production courses?
The first thing you might be considering is if you need to take a music engineering / recording course like the ones on offer at RMIT, Box Hill or SAE. Well there are two chains of thought here. Some think that a course will give you knowledge, techniques and industry know-how to propel you into your first recording job in the Melbourne music industry. However for the amount of people who take these courses, there is no way near enough jobs out there to give everyone a position. The people running the courses will never tell the students this as they want their money. As a result many of the students come out of these courses with unrealistic expectations of the job market in the recording industry. Due to the shrinking size of commercial recording studios not only in Melbourne but over the whole world, there are less jobs and internships available then ever.
As you will see in the Vlog's below, is that many professionals in the music industry who have seen people who take courses and people who don't, is that you might be better off just spending the $80,000 you will spend on a music recording course and spend it on setting up your own studio. The other thing that has changed compared to 10 years back, is that you can pretty much learn anything you want in a combination of watching YouTube tutorials and taking online courses like Mix With The Masters and The Six Figure Home Recording Studio where you can not only learn recording techniques, but everything you need to know about the business side of setting up your own recording studio.
As a studio owner I probably get 2 people a week asking for work experience or an internship. Unfortunately there there is just not enough work or room for all of them and I have to reject 99% of them. Most of these people end up cold calling 20-25 studios with no luck getting a placement, let alone a job.
2/ Am I passionate enough or is this just a hobby?
Music is something that a lot of people love to make. It's great fun and a creative way to express yourself. But there is a very blurry line between the people who should keep it as a hobby, and the people who have what it takes to make a career out of it. It's take a lot of hard work, rejection and determination to get through the barriers facing you to make enough money to support yourself in this industry. Many people have to take on a part time job while setting up the studio or establishing their skillset that will allow them to work full time.
I learned everything I know about recording and studios by myself. I spent endless nights at my computer practicing my skills and learning how to use the gear. I was also playing in bands and learning a lot about the live scene and recording contracts as we were signed to a local record label in Melbourne. Still to this day I need to spend at least 8 hours a week learning new skills, updation my software or re-patching some gear in my studio.
Bottom line is that if you are not a very self-motivated person then I suggest you find another line of work and keep music as your hobby.
How much money do I need to set up my own recording studio?
If you decide to set up your own studio or work as a full time freelancer in the recording industry, you will need some gear to get set up. The good news is that you don't need as much money to set up a great studio these days as the price and quality of budget gear is so much better than it was 5-10 years ago.
If you are planning to set up a recording space where musicians can come in to the studio and have you produce and record their music, the first thing you need is a studio space. This can be tricky as renting a space is expensive and using a spare bedroom in your house is small an unprofessional. If you plan to record bands, then you need enough space for drums and amps, and also need more mics and an interface with more inputs.
If you just plan to freelance from home then your expenses come down quite a lot. See the video below about setting up a studio for $350!
I started my recording studio in Melbourne with some basic gear. then when I had a good job I would take some of the profits and buy a piece of gear. Remember to buy gear that you will use all the time, not things you might use once in a blue moon!
Working For Someone Else
If you think that starting up your own business in too much pressure and risk, then working for someone else is the way to go. Check out online resources like SEEK and Linkedin, Music Industry Inside Out and Jora. The best bet is to look for jobs and at the same time learn new skills and update you BIO as you go.
The recording industry in Melbourne is tough to get into but can also be very rewarding once you make it work. Recording studios are great places to work and to own. Just work out what you want to do and go for it!
Also check out out other blog articles about the Melbourne recording Studio history , the role of a record producer in a recording studio and how to get the most out of your recording sessions.