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Never underestimate the importance of networking.
One day or another you will either benefit from it or you’ll be able to help others…and feel good about it.
Before I became a web designer, I was an IT manager. But long before all of that, my first job was working as a roadie for a young band. We all grew up together and this was in my teenage years.
Whilst my career went off in one direction, I’ve always kept in touch with the friends and contacts that I have made in the entertainment business.
Over the years, that network has grown. I love being able to connect people together to help them get to where they want to be.
One particular day, I had a phone call from my oldest friend,Craig Lees, who has now become a successful musician and lives in Berlin, Germany.
He was on holiday with his family in New York and he had decided to give me a call. I asked how the holiday was going, to which he replied “It’s great…but a little manic here…as New York always is”.
He then told me that he had finally found what he’d been searching for. I took this to mean only one thing. Back home in Berlin, he had been steadily building up his own recording studio. For the last two years, he had been trying to track down an elusive studio microphone. Not just any microphone mind. This thing was now out of production and very hard to find even on the second-hand market. It was manufactured by Sony and only had a limited run before Sony cancelled production. The reason was due to its ridiculously high price.
The Sony C800G Studio Microphone.
The Sony C800G is water-cooled and looks very much steampunk-like. But the sound it records is very high quality and is hard to match. And now Craig had found one in New York.
I asked him what the problem was if he had finally found what he’d been searching for?
His answer was obvious. He was worried that once he had paid a large sum of money for a second-hand microphone, he would get it back to Germany and find out that it was faulty.
I told him to get off the phone and that I would call him back within a few minutes.
He hung up and I made a call to a friend.
I called him back and told him to write down a phone number. If he decided to buy the microphone, he was to call that number. He wanted to know more. But I made my excuses, namely the cost of calling New York and hung up.
The following day, he went to go and look at the mic and decided to buy it. He called the number I had given him. During that call, he was told to get a cab to another part of New York. This he did and soon found himself being dropped off outside an anonymous-looking building on an anonymous street. He paid the cab driver and walked up to the door and pressed the buzzer.
A voice answered. He told them who he was and he was buzzed in. After a short, nervous wait in the very well-appointed reception area, a guy came down to greet him. “Hi, you’re the friend of Andy’s with the Sony mic for testing?”. “Err….yeah” said Craig.
“Ok, come on through, let’s get it checked out for you”. He was led into a recording studio and told to hand the mic over to a guy at the mixing desk. He in turn took it into the studio and started connecting it up. As Craig is very much into everything recording studio related, he was looking around feeling like a kid in a candy store.
The original guy asked him if he’d like to see the other recording suite? “Yes, please” came the quick reply. The next studio was far bigger and the mixing desk made Craig smile. When asked why he replied that it was the grand-daddy of his own mixing desk back in Berlin. They chatted away about all things recording studio related before heading back to the original recording suite. The guy there had completed his tests and said the C800G was in A1 condition. He then went on to give Craig advice on the best pre-amp to use with the microphone. Craig asked how much he owed them for testing the mic. They replied, “You’re a friend of Andy’s, so there’s no charge”. They said their goodbyes and Craig left to hail a cab back to his hotel.
A few months passed and I was visiting him in Berlin. In his studio, this weird-looking microphone stood and seemed very odd. We had a few laughs about it and he played me a track that he had recorded with it a few days previously. The sound was exquisite and worth every penny. But to this day, Craig still won’t tell me how much he paid for that microphone.
The moral of this story is to never underestimate the power of networking. One day or another you will either benefit from it or you’ll be able to help others…and feel good about it.
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