Interview Questions for Audio Engineers:
Tests organizational, time management, and problem-solving abilities.
Describe a time when you misunderstood a brief. What happened?
Demonstrates the level of accountability, as well as ability to follow instructions and remain professional.
What journey did you take to make it happen?
I tried sound mixing. I collected gear, and then I started my own business. I moved to Seattle in 1990. The timing was good. The music scene in Seattle was poised to boom.
The deeper I committed my life, time and money to recording, the more live sound I was asked to do. As soon as I quit my job, all I had to do was music. I was invited on the road with Soundgarden, and for three years, I was on the road about half the time. I met a lot of people, made connections and got to see how record companies work by watching their experience. But my personal overriding interest was recording rather than live sound, and I finally found a building in Seattle to rent. I handed in my regrets and stayed home after that.
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What’s the best thing you get to do on the job?
I like working with people, and I love music and technology. Theres an infinite number of music production possibilities. I have clients who I enjoy as friends, so thats great. As a gear-head, I enjoy all the tubes and knobs and lights and boxes too. Some bands I record dont go away 20 years later, and they become like family.
Is there any down side to the work?
The maintenance can be tough. I use a lot of vintage equipment, and finding parts and people who can deal with broken stuff gets harder all the time. Theres a certain amount of bookkeeping that doesnt have much to do with what I care about in music. In any area of the arts, if youre independent, you have to deal with some of those issues.
What’s a day in the studio like?
I arrive at the studio and take stock of where we are in the process of the record that were making. I talk to the band and find out what theyre ready to do and feel like doing. I work with the sounds in the music to make people happy with what theyre hearing and make sure were capturing it on tape the way everyone intends. I spend a few hours with tape rolling, making music. Hopefully, by the end of the day, weve made some progress.