The Chronicles of Me

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#1
So after the 'Worth Documenting' thread I have decided to keep track of my musical progress in New York. How I got here and how I am progressing. It's not for narcissistic reasons, but hopefully so people can learn from what I am doing - any questions at all just ask and I shall answer my best :) ... so here it is:


New York

"On September the 13th of 2012 I got on a one-way flight to New York and I have been living there ever since. So how did I get here?
In the summer of 2010 I went to work a summer camp in the USA as the head of their music programme. I applied though a company (do not use Camp America! They will rip you off!) and it’s a pretty common occurrence that American summer camps hire people from all over the world.
So, I went to camp and on the first night of camp I met a very nice lady named Alysia, on the third night of camp I kissed this very nice lady named Alysia and as of October 19th 2012 this lovely lady now has the last name ‘Peach’. So, yes I took the path of getting married to an American. I really have no other advice to anyone looking of a way of getting in the USA. There are basically four ways; get married, be/have your parents born there/ have a member of your close family who lives in the US, be famous or get a job that can sponsor a visa – the later is incredibly hard as a musician as it’s only the big companies that can afford this, and they have no need for a guitarist to play at board meetings.
Anyway continuing, I am now in New York and how did I get where I am right now – my job at a music composition company?
Ok, so when I landed I knew a few people in the music world, but nothing serious. So I was working up from nothing, basically – there was no magic door into the music world. What do you do in that situation? Make phone calls and lots of them. I just started looking up music production companies in New York and if I liked the looks of one I would call them and ask them if they any room for an intern. I had a few that were the ‘thanks, but no thanks situation’. I then called one company called ‘BANG!’ – and just to give you a bit of time scale, I had been in the country for two weeks at this point.
When I called, the guy that picked up was the partner for the whole company (which I know realise that I am very lucky as he never answers the phone) and he asked me to send over my resume. Now this is how I got the job… I made sure my covering letter/e-mail was perfect! All the spelling was correct, all the grammar was spot on at it flowed nicely and I made sure I ended with ‘sincerely’. I just made it as formal and professional as possible and it turns out people like that, as I got called in for an interview, and my boss has told me more than once that I got the job for those reasons. He has said that it is very common that they get e-mails that just say ‘yo do you have space for an intern. I love music’ and that will be it! Don’t do it kids."


- the next post will be expanding on what I do at my job and what I am lining up to do after my intern-ship ends :)
 

JamesNewmarch

Spacecat - Defender of the universe!
#6
Doing the american camp counsellor thing is definitely on my to do list. My mate Will also did it and said the same thing about Camp America!

But yeah, mainly for the reason that american girls love british accents... and yeah... that... He told me some pretty awesome stories from when he did it!

EDIT: Just wondering, were you 21 or over when you did this? Did you guys party much there?
 

Sam Mj

Well-Known Member
#7
Great story :) Can't wait to hear more!

Very good point about being professional. Do you think you could either post the letter that you sent? (If you remember it/have it saved)
or PM if you don't want it on the thread,

I'd be really interested to see how you wrote it and what bits of information you included. I'm sure I'll have to send such a letter in the future!

(I can haz intern? I do muziks! :p)
 

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#8
Great story :) Can't wait to hear more!

Very good point about being professional. Do you think you could either post the letter that you sent? (If you remember it/have it saved)
or PM if you don't want it on the thread,

I'd be really interested to see how you wrote it and what bits of information you included. I'm sure I'll have to send such a letter in the future!

(I can haz intern? I do muziks! :p)
Sent you a PM :)
 
#10
I remember when you went to the Summer camp. Can't believe how things have escalated -I'm delighted for you, man!

Keep in touch dude, fire me over a Facebook message at some point :)
 

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#14
Post #2

If you want to know more about something just ask :)

My work

"To expand on what I said last time about my job and how I got it, as well as what it is. To summarize: I landed in New York, made phone calls around music houses asking about internships, sent over my resume and kick ass letter to one house that had a space, got an interview, got the job. Bish-bash-bosh.

So now you know that I am a musical intern (woo!) what does that involve? When I started at my company in September 2012 the first big project I had to deal with was the archive and musical library. This was just a piece of software similar to iTunes, in way, but with a lot of features aimed to label audio files and keeping them in a database.
I would like to point out at this point that I am not a 'computer geek'. I have no idea how to install a graphics card and I can not tell how good a computer is by just look at it's specs - I am not one to really get excited over a computer. Sure, I would say I have a good amount of computer knowledge, but there is no way I'm an I.T. guy
Anyway, so I had to go through this database, which was just like looking at un-named tracks in an iTunes library, listen to them, come up with an appropriate name for them, determine the genre, mood, tempo and label the instrumentation for all the tracks. For anyone that has done a 'Music Tech.' A level exam, it was very much like that. It was important that I was as specific as possible with all the fields as if a client approached my company and says 'I really want an up-beat track with a cello solo' it's important that you could just search 'cello' and 'up-beat' and find what you're looking for.
There were hundreds of tracks and it took a good two weeks, but it helped me get good at analyzing music quickly. It also helped to hear professional compositions for music licensing. It also broadened my knowledge of digital audio and why certain sample rates and things are used, etc.

Congratulations if you made it though that extremely boring paragraph, but hopefully you now have an insight into the 'monkey work' of a music company. NEXT!

Spotify!
My company is hired to record all of Spotify's exclusive sessions - theses are similar to the Radio One Live Sessions, if you're not familiar. This is defiantly one of the cooler things I get to do and I still get all giddy walking through Manhattan to the Google tower, where the Spotify office is. But one thing that I was surprised at is how… 'simple' everything is.
Basically if I was to tell you that I 'went to the Spotify HQ to record the Drop Kick Murphies' you would think high-end recording studio, right? (Or at least I would). The truth is that we record in one of their conference rooms, which is a 25x12 feet glass room (which gets really small really quickly when you have 7 band members, 3 audio engineers and 20 people to watch in there). There is a mixing desk that we bring out to put on one of the tables and then just run a few mic's around. So it's really simple. Most people could get together the equipment that we use. But here is the art of it - the on the day recording is just for the capture, just to get a decent signal, so you don't really need that much equipment. The stems from the day are sent away with one of our engineers who then works his magic, and they always sound AWESOME! So it's not botch job, all the hard work is just done in the mixing stage. I was lucky enough to do a base mix for 'Tightrope' by Walk the Moon for one of the engineers.
Spotify has been great for just getting some good recording experience, as well as meeting people at Spotify - I have made a few musical connections. But the highlight has to be the day I was paid for two hours to drink beer and watch a comedian that we were recording. NEXT!

Music supervision!
I have helped out with researching the licenses and contract for music that is going to be featured on film. Films need music and if they want a track that is already written then they need to buy the right to use it - that means they need a 'Music Supervisor' (someone to find and research the music). There is a common misconception that the supervisor picks the sound track, they certainly can advise, but it's not their soul duty.
My degree really helped me out on this as I have studied copyright and licensing, and knowing the difference between the sync. rights and master rights came in handy.
Music supervision can be tedious as if you have to track down the rights for a track which is completely un-heard of there is a lot of chasing paper trails. For example, we had to find a Max Roach track - who isn't well know… not to mention dead. We ended up having to call his granddaughter and ask who has the rights to Max's music. I still enjoyed it though.
Music supervision was good for just broadening my knowledge of the behind the scenes workings of the music world, as well as another potential area I could work in. NEXT!

Composition!
This is defiantly the smallest part of my job, and when it does happen I'm pretty sure it's to appease me as I am constantly asking. Where I work there are three in-house composers. They write for film and television - if you're American there is a very good chance you have head their music.
When my company gets an ad to write for they basically throw in a load of tracks and the clients pick a winner. For example, if Macey's wants music for an ad. then each composer will write 3 or 4 tracks for it, and then when the dead line comes around they hold a screening where they show all the tracks that have been written - completely anonymously, so it's basically a musical lottery. My bosses have always said to me that if I write something they will listen, and if they like it enough they will put it into the pitch. The turn around on these tracks is so fast that it's hard to keep up. Where the composers have all day to write a few 15 second track I have to do it in the few hours I have at home. But I have just been writing just to keep me fresh.
I also occasionally get to play guitar on their tracks, which is cool! NEXT

Running!
No, not as in jogging, but as in running around to different offices delivering hard-drives and tracks. This is a big part of the job and possible the most important. Never, ever, underestimate the power of small talk with someone. If you deliver something to an office enough time people start to know your face, especially if you talk to them. This is basically how you build your network. I am familiar with the heads of a few post-production houses just though delivering items for my company. Not saying we are best friends, but they know me enough to at least say hi and shake my hand. Who knows, one day my music might come up in conversation and they might ask to hear it - and those are the types of situations you need to create.
This is where being English, tall and tattooed helps. Not only does it make me irresistible to da ladiez, but it makes me stand out. People wont necessarily remember me as 'Sam Peach - Extraordinaire' after our first encounter, half the time it's just 'that English guy'/'that guy with a funny accent'/'that tattooed guy'/'that hipster who wishes he was born in the 50's'. Either way, it helps me stick in people's minds."
 

Lydian2000

And then, he had kids.
#15
Great stuff(more entertaining than many documentaries on the subject), I can clearly picture everything. you should probably think of actually expand into a book form of some kind in the future! I would buy it.

Keep us posted!
 

JimothyBeed

The Fired Up Bassist.
#16
made phone calls around music houses asking about internships, sent over my resume and kick ass letter to one house that had a space, got an interview, got the job. Bish-bash-bosh.
Just figured i'd ask you as I often see internships and placements being one in the same thing almost.
Well I'm currently making a list of the emails and names of game development companies for my Degree Placement.
Would you say it's a good idea to still email/call companies that may take placement students even if their website doesn't state if they do or not?

Currently only found two not in london that do state they take placement students.

Hope it's cool me asking you just seems you had a similar situation but without the hesitation I have haha.
 

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#17
Would you say it's a good idea to still email/call companies that may take placement students even if their website doesn't state if they do or not?
Oh, absolutely dude!

The worst people can say is 'Sorry, we are all good for now', or if they are really an arse hole - 'No.' Where I work didn't say they were hiring at all, but here I am :)

You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. So absolutely! DO IT!

One thing that I found help when calling places, and this might just be me, is to rehearse what you are going to say. Either out loud or in your head. As soon as I am a little anxious the first thing that goes is my ability to talk in straight sentences. So I just sat down a minute before I called and said to myself 'Hi, my name is Sam Peach. I'm a recent graduate from England and just calling to enquire about any internships you may have.' I found it helped a lot.

If you need to know anything else, just ask :D
 

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#18
Great stuff(more entertaining than many documentaries on the subject), I can clearly picture everything. you should probably think of actually expand into a book form of some kind in the future! I would buy it.

Keep us posted!
Thanks, man!

It's great to know people are liking it :D
 

Sam Mj

Well-Known Member
#19
:) Great post Sam! It's really interesting to hear about the things you've been doing!

One thing though, recording in a glass room?! :confused: How did that work acoustically?

(I'm reading up on acoustics :p)
 

peachy901

Priest in the Church of Fender
#20
:) Great post Sam! It's really interesting to hear about the things you've been doing!

One thing though, recording in a glass room?! :confused: How did that work acoustically?

(I'm reading up on acoustics :p)
It's fucking awful! Everything is close mic'ed so it's not too bad. But it's not the best place by a long shot...

I am recording there today again, actually. Should be fun :)
 
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