Session Survival Tips: Ben Hargett

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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Studio work can be rough. Long hours, constant intense focus, isolation. Most musicians and engineers I know develop strategies for coping. I’ve asked them to share some of their know-how  in our new recurring article, “Session Survival Tips”. First up, studio genius Ben Hargett.

What are your session survival tips?

Sleep! Start off your session well-rested, especially if it’s multi-day, and everything else will go easier. Other key considerations are having a loose schedule for the session and a bit of a plan for how to go about it. Enthusiasm and good attitudes are also vital.

What do you eat during sessions?

At least one external food break per day tends to be nice, especially if it includes a walk downtown… getting out of the studio helps reset your mind (and body) a bit. Studio cooking can be a lot of fun, too, and makes an excellent task for bored people during overdub periods. Oh, and I worked with one band that brought in a crock pot during a three day session, that was pretty genius. Veteran studio bands are very aware of the importance of food during sessions.

What helps you keep your focus over a long studio session?
Coffee/tea, being rested, not being hungry, interesting material, friendly and open-minded musicians, etc. Keeping musicians’ focuses can be a separate challenge, especially after a few days in the studio… but sometimes everyone just needs a break to keep their perspective.
Do you experience ear fatigue? What do you do to combat it?
Sometimes. I find the best solution to that is not listening to anything for a while, or at least stepping away from the session for a quick walk or something like that. Also, taking a break from the session material to listen to a record or the radio or the air conditioner, whatever, helps to keep your ears fresh.
Is there another question you want us to ask? Let us know!


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