5 Tips for Aspiring Audio Engineers

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2 Nov 2020




5 Tips for Aspiring Audio Engineers

2 Nov 2020

Meet GRAMMY® Award-Winning Producer, Engineer, Bassist and SAE Institute Instructor Matt Leigh. Here are his top 5 tips he says all aspiring Audio Engineers should consider

Attitude is everything

Your attitude is literally the only thing you can control in your life. Maintain a positive attitude at all times, even when life is tough!  

Say YES to opportunities 

My Dad, who has been wildly successful in his own career pursuits, has always told me that “Showing up is 90% of the battle.” Showing up early and being engaged in your work (aka TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!) are traits that clients and employers will recognize. Are you willing to work harder than everybody else? That’s what it takes. Say YES when an opportunity arises, and then say YES again when another opportunity arises. Be present. Do your Best.

Be patient, but be persistent

How badly do you want to work in the music industry? How badly do you want to be successful? How long are you willing to wait? Any endeavor worth pursuing will take time to learn the skills required to be successful. It will take time for people to notice what you are doing. You will face challenges moving forward. Life will be tough. It is not easy to be successful, especially in an industry where there are so few jobs available. There is an old Japanese Proverb that says: “Fall Down 7 Times - Stand Up 8.” There will be times that you will want to quit. There will be times that you will want to give up. When life knocks you down, stand back up; What matters is not the bad that happened, but how you responded after. Keep showing up and follow through with your promises. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Practice, practice, practice

The secret to overnight success is 20 years of dedicated hard work. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. He demonstrates over and over that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly be great at something. The world of audio is no exception. Work Hard. Make excellence a habit. You will eventually get your chance, but you must be ready for your opportunity. Practice is the only way for you to be prepared. When the time comes and you finally get your chance, make the most of it but don’t swing for the fences on the first pitch! 

Discover your passion

Passionate people are infectious and attractive. When people know you are devoted to your work they will want to keep hiring you and working with you. Become obsessed with what interests you. Find something you love and make it your life’s goal to master these interests. Follow your heart and your intuition. Use your instinct to inform your decisions. This is a hard business. You will find yourself spending more hours at work than you care to admit. Your relationships and social life may suffer as a result. If it is something you truly believe in, including yourself, you will find that there is no career path more rewarding. 

Bonus tip: always be kind

You never know who is going to have the power to say yes or no to you getting that next opportunity!


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