The Next Level

The big question:  “How do I get to the next level in what I do?”  I’ve always loved audio engineering and mixing.  It’s something I’ve been passionate about for years.  Someone once told me that when you think you’ve arrived and you’ve got no more to learn, you’ve died as a creative and an innovator.  I want to consistently stride forward and improve in my field as and in new areas as well.

There are tons of great nerd books out there that I enjoy reading and learning from.  Hands on time with gear is critical in moving forward.  Mixing shows, tuning systems, training your ears…it’s all critical and I undertand that.  However, I want to take what I do to the next level.  There must be ways to learn more and I need to find them…  I have a few ideas already but still, I want to learn and grow.  I’d love to get some feedback and ideas for how I can do that.

Feel free to comment or shoot me an email at jdcastellente@gmail.com

2 Responses to “The Next Level”

  1. Tony Hersch December 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    Hope you are doing well.

    Try not to restrict yourself to just audio. Learn as much as possible about all aspects of a live production. Power distribution, lighting, video, staging, rigging, curtain systems, effects, control systems. They all play a part in making a live event successful. This will make you a good “production manager” that can step in and fill the shoes of any of these positions or be a leader in any of these fields. It will also move you forward into designing complete systems because you have a complete understanding of how all these systems integrate together. To learn everything about these other systems will easily take you the next 5 years.

    If all you want to do is mix, then that’s a different story. If live mixing is your passion, then take advantage of all the training that is out there and just keep doing what your doing. God has a plan for you and when it’s time, He will open other doors for you.

    However, even if audio is your passion, you should still make yourself aware of all others around you that are out to make the “production” the best it can be. Having an in-depth knowledge of their part is critical in making yourself a well rounded production engineer.

    Even after doing this for the past 33 years, I still learn new things every day because the technology is constantly changing. Be humble and patient. God has a plan.

  2. audioexmachina January 8, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    IMHO going to next level is as easy as changing the zoom factor when looking at things, in life as well at work.

    Zoom in all the way and became the ultimate specialist in a very narrow field (a device, a technique,..), zoom all the way out and mix techniques and gear from the present and past (and the future if you’re visionary enough) to produce things unheard before.

    when much younger I was very attracted by audio gear and after severe pratice I though I became a little guru. Well, I was wrong, I was just a “user” playing with “back boxes” whose insides where unknown to me… I later got my MS degree in engineering and started designing the kind of gear I used to play with. That was going to next level.
    A zoom in.

    I was later involved in software emulating hi-end vintage gear: that required a zoom out then a zoom in inside devices from the past. What an interesting journey!

    One of my future plans now is to zoom out all the way and release an album viewing my field of interest as a music player this time, instead of an engineer. This will mean redefining the role of those “back boxes” once more in my life: I looked inside them, now I’ll look at them one mile away.

    Still I would mix knowledge gathered from different zooming levels (that’s the key point).

    IMHO this is the recipe to keep your focus and motivation flowing and to artistically generate some really original material, at next level. Good luck Jason.

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