sound engineer

Rant during a sunny spring day

Hello everyone,
Periodically I look up for new opportunities and jobs on forums and websites like gumtree and I find often people offering their services for free or to an unfair low price.
You are killing the industry and the respectability of this profession. This is not a hobby or a amateurish activity. I take my job very seriously and I value my time. I can’t see any reason why if you spend hours and days mixing or mastering a song you should give away the product of your hard work for practically nothing.
It is partially ok if you’re a student and you want to find material to drastically improve your skills but in this case do not advertise yourself as professional and experienced.
This practice makes very difficult for us all to make a living doing what we love and, some of us, are good at.
I do not pretend to be the most skilled or talented engineer ever. My learning curve is still steep and I always find new stuff to learn everyday and that’s awesome. I love to find myself amazed by new techniques and concepts, I really do. However I’m well aware that right now I’m in a good position to provide to clients good results that not everyone can. I spent years studying and improving my skills and I will continue to do that. I saved money and I sold unused equipment in order to build a powerful and LEGIT system.
If you have just purchased a laptop and you installed a cracked copy of ableton or Logic you are not a “professional, skilled and experienced engineer”, you still have to do your homework so advertise yourself accordingly and since your time has a value you should get paid, even a little.
This practice is really unfair and it has nothing to do about competing against other engineers to emerge and get a nice client list. This practice just makes people used to get essential services for free and not value enough the qualities that a sound engineer can bring to the table.
E.G. few days ago I got contacted by a possible client and he wanted to pay me through free driving lessons. This guy approached the subject in a direct and respectful way, I really appreciated that, and he may even be the nicest person ever. However I know how to drive and driving lessons don’t pay for bills and rent so I had to respectfully decline. Kudos to this person that understood the matter and tried to find a compromise.
This is just one of the many circumstances I got contacted and asked to do a job for peanuts. Sometimes I got even angry answers when I pointed out that I value what I do because, like all other jobs, it’s not something everyone can do and it’s very time consuming.
Get paid for the services you provide accordingly to your skills.

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