2 minute read

RECORDING

Office Manager • Studio Manager

JOB OVERVIEW

These managers are responsible for scheduling sessions, booking sessions for staff engineers, overseeing the production schedule, accounting, payroll, and other administrative duties.

PREREQUISITES

Marketing skills, an understanding of the recording process, and a college education are assets, but not required. “You need to be a people person, friendly and outgoing. I'm organized and able to multi-task. My experience as an administrative assistant helped.”

CAREER TIPS

“Do your job to the best of your ability and other doors will open up for you.” Once you are working in the industry, most advancement opportunities come by referral from someone you previously worked with.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

“The first thing I do in the morning is check to see that everything on the production schedule was done last night,” says Lee. “When somebody comes in and masters an album, they usually need some type of part the next morning. I check through all of those requests and make sure that all of it is done. Then I usually confirm sessions for the next day or two. I do the accounting, recording checks and paying bills. Throughout the day people call me to schedule sessions or to approve a mix so parts can be sent to the manufacturing plants. I make sure those parts are going out on time to meet the deadline. I make sure that all the tapes that come in to us for a session—it may be one DAT or six boxes of tapes—are returned to the right person.”

POINTERS FOR THE JOB SEARCH

“You almost need to have a connection in the music business. Many positions are filled by word of mouth; someone recommends someone they know.”

SANDY LEE, STUDIO MANAGER, MASTER MIX

Sandy Lee's inability to sing, or even hum on key, precluded any childhood aspiration for a career in music. After doing administrative work in an orthodontist's office for seven years, she quit to get married. When her husband lost his job unexpectedly in 1995, she needed to find work in a hurry. Through a friend who worked at Benson Records, Lee heard that the label's president was looking for an office administrator. She got an interview and was hired, but after just six months on the job, the label president was fired. Lee found a position as assistant to the president of Warner Alliance Records, but two years later she was laid off during label restructuring.

THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS JOB:

“I love everything about my job except when we make a human error and I have a manufacturing plant or an artist calling me to say there is a dropout in the production tape. Consequently, the plant can't manufacture the CD and we're up against a deadline. One of the bad things is record labels wait to the last minute to master an album and they've got a deadline of when CDs have to be duplicated, and they don't allow themselves enough time for any type of error, whether it's ours or theirs.”

Lee heard about an opening at Jeff Roberts and Associates booking agency, and was hired as office manager to handle scheduling and contracts. A year later, Hank Williams, whom she had met while working at Warner Alliance, asked if she would manage his recording studio. After checking out the position, Lee was hired as studio manager in 1999. www.mastermix.com

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in the Music BusinessRECORDING - Production: Producer • Record Producer, Recording Engineer And Mixer, Engineer • Second Engineer, Mastering Engineer