Pitched to the Twitter Sphere as #AskAnEngineer
, Sam was inundated with a host of questions ranging from what Sam’s average day as a Studio Engineer was, recommendations for specific recording gear through to the finer differences between mixing and mastering.
Selected Highlights from Tomorrow’s Engineers Q&A with Sam Wheat
Q. What’s the difference between mixing and mastering?
A. Mixing is combining a whole load of instruments together into a stereo mix. Mastering is optimising that stereo mix.
Q. What advice should I give my children about becoming an engineer?
A. My parents were just worried I had no direction so supported engineering, that was important that they saw beyond traditional occupations.
Q. What’s your favourite microphone for recording horns – and would you choose different for sax, cornet etc.?
A. Coles 4038 is my go to but ribbon mic ‘s are a good starting point, their freq response’s complement most horns.
Q. What is the first part of a track that gets recorded? The drum beat?
A. It varies but most songs start with melody and vocals, they will be rough and then a track is built around that.
About Sam Wheat – A Tomorrow Engineer
Sam is a recording and mix engineer, programmer and producer who has spent the last 5 years as Chief Engineer for Metropolis Studios. During this time Sam has worked on multiple number 1, top 10 and Platinum selling records.
Sam has also led the resurgence in the live-to-vinyl recording technique, where bands perform live and are recorded, mixed and mastered directly to an acetate disc – no overdubs, no edits, no recalls! Recently he has been mixing live tracks with Kelis for Ninja Tunes and The Rolling Stones for Eagle Rock.
Read Sam Wheat’s full profile and interview for Tomorrow’s Engineer 2014.
Engineering – Final Thoughts from Sam Wheat
Engineering is a vast field and by 2022 there is estimated to be over 2.5 million job openings. If you choose to pursue a career in audio / music engineering, there are a number of different positions you can choose to specialise in including Sound Engineering, Tracking Engineering, Mix Engineering and Mastering Engineering.
If you’re serious about pursuing one of these engineering avenues, here’s some advice from Sam:
Tracking Engineers – Learn your microphones.
Mix Engineers – Remember it’s all about the balance.
Mastering Engineers – Go easy on the limiters.
Metropolis Studios would like to thank Chief Studio Engineer Sam Wheat, for taking time out from his busy schedule to take part in 2014’s Tomorrow’s Engineers.
For more information about Tomorrow’s Engineers visit their website, following them on Facebook & Twitter or view more of the Twitter Q&A sessions via the hashtags #everydayengineeringhero, #AskAnEngineer and #TEWeek14.