How to Get More Women in Recording Studios – Billboard

A lot of people ask me, “How can we get more women to work in recording studios?” The answer is simple: go get them! And the sooner the better.

Working in a studio can be intimidating. Producing, designing, mixing, mastering – none of this comes naturally. You have to learn them, and it’s not always clear how. That’s why only 2% of the producers of last year’s top 100 songs were women, and only six were women of color, according to USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. We must light the way, and we must do so from both a pedagogical and a practical point of view.

Some progress is underway. According to TuneCore and MIDiA Research’s just-released report “Be the Change: Women Making Music,” more than half of respondents said they saw more and more opportunities for women to become producers and leaders. industry over the past year. However, 17% said they saw no improvement. That’s why we need to educate women about the studio jobs available to them – from mixing engineers and recording engineers to producers, songwriters, session musicians, equipment technicians and administrative assistants. These roles can serve as a stepping stone to leadership roles for women in the studio world, creating equity and ensuring women’s concerns are heard and addressed.

What is your major?

In terms of education, it is important to teach women not only how to become a producer or an engineer, but also what specific courses and specializations they must take to obtain this training. The music industry is huge and has many different facets, and a music business program won’t necessarily give you the technical skills you need to record an artist or create a beat. We need to let young women know that audio engineering majors, certificates and courses are available to them – you just need to know what they’re called and where to enroll.

For those interested, 4U Recording’s home states of Tennessee and Georgia offer a variety of programs in the field, including a Bachelor of Science in Audio Production at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Audio Engineering Technology at Belmont. University, a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production at The Art Institute of Atlanta, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Audio at SAE Institute, and sound engineering and live studio programs at Black Bird Academy. Other possibilities include the Bachelor of Music in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music, the Bachelor of Science in Audio Production from Full Sail University, the Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts from the School of Music. ‘Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles Recording School Science’s Bachelor of Sound in Audio Production, Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Recording Arts from Media Tech Dallas, Certificate in Audio Production Techniques from the University of Washington and certificate in audio engineering from the Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music.

Respect the bustle
However, going to college is not an option for everyone. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a studio job – it just takes a bit of a hustle. Personally, I didn’t know what a compressor was when I came to 4U Recording, but I’ve been around enough people who did that I figured it out eventually. That’s the key – bringing young women into a studio environment. Many people interested in production or engineering assume they need to get a job as a producer or engineer right off the bat, and don’t even bother looking for studio positions until they feel their skills are up to par. This leads many women into a wormhole of self-doubt that ultimately takes them somewhere else entirely.

We can fix this by letting women know about other jobs in the studio that they can do without being a master tech. Every studio has administrative needs, and these positions are a great way to start. Once you’re in the studio space, you can attend sessions, talk to the producers and engineers who work there, and learn by doing. At 4U Recording, we also onboard many young women as interns and encourage them to get involved as much as they want. A few even joined us full-time after completing their internships. The bottom line is that while learning to be a producer or an engineer can be a bit technical, it’s not so complicated that you can’t learn it on the job. But if you don’t even know there are jobs available or you’re too intimidated to apply, you have no way of doing it.

Speaking of bullying, those a little unsure about jumping straight into the often male-dominated studio environment may want to check out female-owned or female-run studios like 4U Recording. in Memphis and Atlanta; the Memphis Slim Collaboratory in Memphis; Neato Mastering and Crybaby Audio in Nashville; San Francisco Women’s Audio Mission; Nitrosonic Studios in Lexington, KY; Gramercy Post, The Lodge Mastering, Funkadelic Studios and Jungle City Studios in New York; and Denk Studios in North Carolina. Nobody understands women like other women, and they’re all great places to work and learn. The bottom line is making sure women know about the opportunities available to them.

To be visible
Finally, for women and women of color like me who are in the studio business, it’s time to get out there! Visibility is important to launch young women on their way to the studio, so go speak at high schools and colleges, sit in the booth at career fairs, get involved in community organizations, and sign up. up to be a mentor. Something as simple as seeing a woman onstage at a concert setting up equipment, or assembling her own DJ booth and performing a set, can have a lasting impact on someone who hadn’t even thought to these things as a possibility. So don’t sit back and expect women to find their way to the studio. Go get them!

Crystal Carpenter is Studio Manager of 4U Recording, a state-of-the-art recording studio that is part of the Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME) family of companies. She joined the studio in February 2019 and has already built up a strong following, hosting the Recording Academy Writers Retreat in March 2019 and establishing relationships with major labels such as Interscope Records, Atlantic Records and Columbia. Records. In less than a year, she earned the studio its first gold plaque for rapper Moneybagg Yo’s album Time Served, as well as a platinum plaque for her single “All Dat (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)”. . 4U Recording also recorded portions of NLE Choppa’s album Top Shotta, which debuted in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Carpenter also DJs under the name DJ Crystal Mercedes and has performed for Chilli of flagship pop group TLC and on the TV series Single Ladies.