The never-released song
But hey, surely, after this the song is done, no??
Spoiler: I was grossly underpaid and it was incredible satisfying
I think this is something many engineers remembers as landmark in their audio early career. My story starts with me dabbling with recording and mixing audio, because it was fun. I recorded myself and my friends - sound technical wise it was pretty bad. But hey! You gotta start somewhere.
One day I was like; “Man, it would be awesome to record a full band and try to get money for it”. I reached out to a collective of bands I had been a part of and said, if anyone need to record an EP I was the guy. These, like myself was all beginner bands. I soon go a hit; a 5-guy indie band (weren’t we all indie bands in the beginning). I hadn’t required any payment from the band, as this was the first time I was going to record someone else than myself or my friends (and I was young).
I spend the entire weekend with them recording 4 songs. It was awesome! And tough. And Awesome! And tough. You get it. They were also young and hadn’t recorded anything before, so being in the studio was new and challenging for them. But, we got something on tape that we were happy with at the time - and I had gotten an immense amount of experience. When we packed up for the weekend, the guys had scrambled about 100 bucks to give me as payment for my work (again mind you, we were very young, so 100 bucks was a lot!). This was an amazing feel. The first time I ever got pay for doing work in audio. And not only that, they did it becaused they felt i earned it - I didn’t ask for it. It was a “safe kind of high” as Hendrix would say. Well, $100 for a weekend of work isn’t really viable, but you get it. This was breaking the barrier to getting paid for my work!
This feeling of someone valuing your freelance work - work as your own boss - is something I never forget.