El Paso, TX
Not only does learning as an extern give you access to other professionals in the industry, but as Recording Connection student Orlando Gomez found out, it can also get you in the door of a ground-floor opportunity with an up-and-coming studio.
When Orlando enrolled in the Recording Connection, his primary purpose was to get hired—so much so that from the moment he started his externing at Beacon Hill Recording Studio in El Paso, TX, he thought of it as a job.
“I didn’t see it so much as a school,” he says. “When I got into Beacon Hill, I just had to do my best to keep the work there… keep my job…It felt just like any job where you always have to learn something new.”
Beacon Hill, as it turns out, was a fairly new studio in the El Paso area, just trying to build its reputation—but the people working there were certainly not novices. The studio was staffed with engineers who had worked with major players like John Legend, Shakira, Sting and others. By externing there, Orlando was definitely in good company—particularly with his mentor, Alfredo Gonzalez.
“I wanted to be both an engineer and producer,” says Orlando. “The good thing is that Alfredo himself is both of them as well… He specializes in music production and engineering, so it was a really good choice for me to get him as a mentor.”
During his externship/externship, not only did Orlando learn the ins and outs of engineering and producing, but he also got to help out with some session work with key like Latin Christian artists Evan Craft and Marcela Gandara. And because he was “in the door” at the beginning stages, he was there to participate in the landmark moment when Beacon Hill landed its first major label client—namely, hip-hop icon B.o.B.!
“When B.o.B came in, we were all pretty excited,” he says. “We’d only been open for a little more than a year, and B.o.B was our first big artist coming in….But once you are in the session, once you get focused on your work…you forget that you are working with famous people.”
Orlando’s work ethic paid off as well. By treating his externship/externship like a job, he literally worked his way into one. Today, he’s a full-time staff engineer at Beacon Hill, playing an integral role at a growing recording studio with a promising future.
“I love being at Beacon Hill…I love all the people there,” he says. “I just feel we have a good chance of being a really great production company.”