Assistant Studio Manager

  • Assistant Studio Manager

The assistant studio manager works under the direction of the studio manager to ensure the efficient day-to-day operation of the facility. This person is delegated supervisory responsibility over the general staff, and is charged with overseeing the studio in the manager’s absence.


Duties

The specific duties of an assistant studio manager will vary greatly from one recording facility to the next, but typical activities would be attending to clients while in the studio, acting as a liaison between staff and the manager, and tracking billable studio time and employee hours. Additional responsibilities could include stocking the kitchen and client lounges, monitoring equipment maintenance and the cleaning schedule, or simple accounting and bill paying. An assistant who is knowledgeable about recording equipment may be called upon to help the manager research new purchases and request proposals from vendors. This person will also have input during the interview and hiring process for general administrative staff.

The assistant studio manager may have the opportunity to participate in marketing strategies to draw prospective clients to the studio, to help establish an online social networking presence for the company, and to attend promotional and professional events. It is important to understand that the assistant manager is most likely to be the person who arrives first in the morning and leaves last at night—or the following morning. As the general manager tends to higher-level duties, the assistant is most often left behind to take care of everything else, whether that’s solving an issue with a double-booked studio, appeasing a client, calling for emergency repairs to the plumbing, or the like. The assistant keeps the trivial matters out of the manager’s hair and mitigates problems with authority before a significant catastrophe occurs. 

Skills & Education

A college degree in recording arts or music business is recommended for this job; the assistant studio manager should be knowledgeable about the technical work within a studio, but also have a good mind for running a business in the music industry. An assistant manager is not required to be a proficient recording engineer, but the more you know about the consoles, instruments, and outboard gear, the better equipped you’ll be to cooperate with clients and lead the staff. Courses in accounting, business administration, marketing, and similar areas are beneficial. Of course, a passion for music is crucial.

What to Expect

Employment as an assistant studio manager is the natural last step toward a career as a recording studio manager. Be aware, however, that promotion is not guaranteed. An assistant could grow old waiting for the sitting manager to retire, and they often find opportunities with newly formed studios. That said, working under a veteran manager is the best possible way to learn the ins and outs of running a studio, and your future employment prospects may be greatly influenced by the reputation of your mentor. In order to make your way to the assistant manager role, any administrative or entry-level job at a studio is applicable. Even if you get your foot in the door as a setup worker or intern, impressing the management with hard work and displaying your passion could land you a promotion.

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