What recording studios do you know of in NYC?
April 23, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Help my son get an internship in a recording studio in NYC

My son's school has them do little tiny mini internships -- just 9AM to Noon on Fridays. Next year he'll be a senior and he's allowed to figure out his own internship, if the school approves. The internship runs from September through June.

He'd like to do his internship in a recording studio, BUT here's the catch: we've already found one that's a good possibility, but they only open at noon, and, as I said, the internship goes from 9AM to Noon. (there are classes in the afternoon so he has to get back to school for them).

We've done a teeny bit of research and it seems that recording studios just don't open in the morning --- except -- might there be some (or one) that does?

What I'd like is a LIST of recording studios within the 5 boroughs of NYC. We can call them all, but I'm not finding an organized way of doing this. Maybe there isn't. So I'm asking, in this rather longwinded way:

please tell me about any recording studios that YOU'VE heard of, and I'll look them up and we'll call them and ask them what hours they keep.

Thanks! OH -- just in case you have any leads for internships, I want to add that this would be NON-paying. He'd like to help set up equipment and maybe increase his knowledge of music recording software (eventually).
posted by DMelanogaster to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
You can look them up by category, no need to get the names of them first. I found lots just by plugging in "recording studio" to Google Local.
posted by reeddavid at 2:13 PM on April 23, 2010

If he is really interested in it, he might be able to do the 3 hours on Saturday instead or in the evenings. I assume a lot of studios are during the weekends, and it really shouldn't make a difference for the school.
posted by notnathan at 3:32 PM on April 23, 2010

Does your son have a preference of music genre? That can help narrow the search as some studios in NYC are known for certain types of music such as Jazz and Classical recording studios on one end of the spectrum and Hip Hop and Rock at the other end.
posted by cazoo at 3:39 PM on April 23, 2010

Thank you for the link to the list. His genre is rock but he'll be studying jazz (guitar) this summer.

He would not do the internship after school or on Saturdays because, and I can't really explain it, it's just Not Done, in the sense that it's not just the number of hours. It's the communality of their all doing this thing at the same time and then going back to school. I know it sounds a little strange, but it would make him feel too different in not a good way.

(it's a longer story than that which I don't feel really comfortable writing about here)
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:17 PM on April 23, 2010

Yeah, this is tough. I don't mean to be discouraging, but I've been through the whole recording studio internship thing, and there's tons of competition even for the stupidest unpaid internships in the music industry. First of all, your son is a senior in high school, correct? A lot of places will only allow unpaid interns if they will receive college credit for it. Does he have actual recording experience?

I think it would be tough to get any recording studio in NYC to entertain the idea of having a high school student come in at 9AM on Fridays to hang around for a couple hours. If you have any luck, it would probably be with little unknown studios who might like someone to fetch coffee and pick up lunch and wrap cables. Most places won't want to spend time teaching him how to use music recording software. If your son doesn't have much of a knowledge base, it'll be that much harder to convince a place to let him in. There's a lot of competition for recording internships, even among college students. Sorry, again, I don't mean to discourage, but I'm being realistic.

I also agree that it would be better if your son could help out in evenings or on a weekend, maybe hang out with a studio assistant for a couple hours. The recording industry tends to be a late-sleeping/late-working industry, so this 9AM-noon thing is pretty limiting. If his peers are working in other industries where this sort of thing works, your son is at a big disadvantage by trying to fit in to their schedule. Recording studios do not operate like your typical 9-5 business.
posted by wondermouse at 5:14 PM on April 23, 2010

You do understand that your son will be doing stuff like being in charge of a all facets of a complex coffee machine, xeroxing, filing (if he works his way up), and other menial tasks around the place?

There's so much competition in this field that he's not going to get the experience he is looking for till they want him as much as he wants the position.

If I were you, I'd just try to get him in anywhere that will allow him to use that as "experience" for another internship.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:18 PM on April 23, 2010

WNYC is a venerable institution, the best there is to be had in NYC for radio, and they seem to always be looking for volunteers to key things into databases and help with pledge drives, etc. Since it's listener-supported, they can always use the help -- that's the impression I get, at least.

It's a great way to support your local station and learn about the relevance WNYC has in the community with events programming, supporting the arts, etc., beyond just airplay.
posted by softsantear at 7:10 PM on April 23, 2010

I'd like to second that getting him a copy of Logic could be invaluable.
posted by ejfox at 8:12 AM on April 24, 2010

Yeah, to expand upon what softsantear said, he should explore other options. Radio stations, TV stations, etc.

Another option would be music rehearsal studios - check in Jersey and Long Island - but those are also likely to not be open in the mornings. Musicians are pretty much night people. Unless he finds a studio that deals with classical music a lot.

He could also try interning at a good music supply store. Either a place that sells guitars, etc., or a place that sells pro equipment to recording studios and musicians. He'd learn a lot at one of those, I think.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:13 AM on April 24, 2010

I don't know anything about the feasibility, but to help with the stated question. You should send him to the public library and have him ask the reference librarian to show him ReferenceUSA, which has a searchable database of 14 million US businesses.

You can do a custom search by business type (he's looking for NAICS 738947 - Recording Studios - other codes might apply as well) and limit by geography (metro area or zip code or radius, etc).

Looking at just that NAICS code and limiting to the greater NYC metro area (he might want to limit b/c of travel time), I get 677 listings. That's pared down to 305 if I drop metro area and pick city=new york, ny.

Good luck!
posted by clerestory at 8:51 AM on April 24, 2010

This has all been helpful. We've just had a discussion and I think he's not going to pursue this for all the reasons suggested.

We have Ableton at home, so that's not really the point. The point is they ALL do 3 hours on Friday mornings Somewhere. He can just take one of the placements the school gives, but it won't be in music. However, it might be the right thing to do anyway.

But we're still going to look around at some places like Guitar Center (retail outlet) and see what happens.

Thanks for all the thoughts.
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:29 PM on April 24, 2010

Guitar Center actually might not be such a bad idea. Not sure how they deal with internships but it's certainly worth a shot. Good luck.
posted by wondermouse at 8:35 PM on April 24, 2010

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