So you would like to help out around the studio/intern/assist/hangout/etc. I know how you feel, when i first walked into a studio i knew that was the only place i wanted to be and I wanted to do whatever I had to to make that happen. Well as much as Id love to help everyone out, the truth is that we get about 50-60 folks asking for the same thing every year and usually only take one or two. so here's what you can do to get yourself to the top of the heap:
Be proficient with and love Pro Tools. Yeah, i know Logic is awesome, and its cheaper! We use Pro Tools. For that matter, so does just about everyone else.
Have your own recording set-up (with Pro Tools) and worked on a good number of projects.
Have a good understanding of the recording process.
Be able to appreciate all styles of music. In here it's indie rock one day, christian ballads the next and hip hop the day after that.
You don't know stuff. Sorry, if you knew everything you'd have your own place and Id be out of business. We want to teach you, goodness knows I want you to take over for me and Ill just go eat tacos and make money as you work all night! Seriously, listen...learn, you might learn just as much of what you want to do as what you don't, but you will learn only if you are willing to put that ego down and help out.
Have positive social skills and an uplifting attitude even when things are stressful. You should be a guy the clients love and look forward to hanging around. One thing thats really important to me is that clients feel pampered here. Greet them when they come in, introduce yourself, let them know that you are there to help them out in any way possible. Bring them water, make sure they have pencils, ask if they need anything from time to time, keep listening to see what needs you can anticipate.
Be fluent with at least one musical instrument.
Lastly, and I can't emphasize this enough, once the session is rolling, be invisible. Don't suggest production ideas, don't chat up the client about their next tour, don't sing along with their songs, and if you have a question for me or whoever is engineering, write it down and ask later. The client shouldn't even know you are there, just that they have water, a pencil and things are working and rolling along well. If you hear a client throw out something simple like "hey, later lets do an acoustic guitar part on this" well thats your cue to hop up and set up an acoustic guitar mic, get a guitar stand, some headphones, a music stand, maybe a pencil, how about a tuner? That way, later, when that comes up again, you are a superhero who somehow saw deep into the future and fulfilled a need before it was even raised!!! Believe me, that's how you will succeed and ensure that you are not an assistant for long before moving up.
ok, this is actually the last thing - if you are on instagram or Facebook all day, sorry but Ill just have to let you go. Your chance in the studio will come when its not expected and if you have been tuned out of the session all day, then when I need to step out or leave, or something unexpected, you won't be ready to slide in and keep that session rolling right along. I know, Twitter is the best thing on earth, you love it so much, but really, sit on your phone all day here and it will just be one day here.
now, watch these videos: