I was recently listening to a podcast with an interview with a sound engineer called Robert Scovill. Scovill is the engineer for bands such as Def Leppard. One of the people interviewing Scovill described him as learning all he can and giving away all he knows. I though this statement was quite powerful and one that not many big engineers would probably want to do.
A while ago whilst working on a conference I was talking to the sound engineer. He was saying how he found many techs would not help others techs. For him he found this very much when he was learning to use a Yamaha LS9. He found that many engineers would not help him or answers his questions on how to do something. As sad as it sounds I have met many engineers whom have the attitude ‘why should I show you what to do and help you’.
The interview with Scovill touched on the fact that engineers / techs who don’t have this idea of sharing and learning can actually be quite insecure. These techs don’t like training others, they dislike new volunteers, and they are the ‘team’! I am sure many of you have come across one of those people at some point.
Learn all you can
How do you prefer to learn? For some people its reading the manual from front to back, for others it’s having someone show them, personally I prefer the idea of ‘learning by doing’. The thing is it doesn’t matter how many courses you go, how many times you watch some one do something, you are always learning. I quite like seeing how other engineers work, not to steal their mix but to see how they work. No matter how good you are, how highly skilled you maybe, we can always learn something from someone else. Even myself with all my amazing knowledge, or maybe not, still need to learn things and watch videos, experiment with ideas, attend tech conferences, listen to podcasts, and much more.
Give it all away
The bible talks about giving things away, not storing up our treasures. For some people their tech gifts might be a treasure they store up. They are scared to give up their knowledge to others who may end up being better than them. The truth is what we know would at some point would have been taught or shown to us by someone else.
Giving it all away does not mean holding a formal training day, it could be letting another tech shadow you, or offering advice in a conversation.It is often seen that old techs often are the ones who have the knowledge to give which can be true but young techs will tend to have different knowledge.
The reason CTUK have a Facebook group is very much for techs to help each other and share knowledge and advice. Groups like these are becoming much more common and popular for techs to find answers to questions or issues they may have.
It might not work for you
As great as it is to have a brain full of information and knowledge some of it may not work for you. The way one-person eq’s a kick drum might not give the same effect and sound for you. The workflow one person uses to create moving backgrounds might takes too long for you. The great thing with learning and sharing is we can find stuff that works and does not work. It can also be helpful to share these ways that never work for you as it might be what someone else needs to hear or solve an issue they have.
As I finish this post I was actually sat in a conference today where someone spoke about lifelong learning. Whether you think you’re too old to learn, gain new skills, or adjust old ones, your not. Life is one big learning adventure.
Learn all you can and give away all you know!