Continuing coverage on surviving the making of your record. This week, intrepid space explorer and sonic smith Liam Hindahl.
What are your session survival tips?
Come prepared. The better prepared you are (both engineer and artist), the smoother your session will go and the more you’ll be able to accomplish. It seems that more and more often musicians come to a studio session without fully knowing what they want to record. A lot of the time this can be great, if you aren’t worried about time– creative collaboration in the studio can be the means for on-the-spot magic, and there’s a whole lot to be said for that. However, if your a musician who’s paying to rent a studio and an engineer, coming prepared can mean the difference between getting one song recorded vs. an album, for the same price. If your under real time constraints, coming prepared rules. Also, bringing a jovial attitude can be really nice.
What do you eat during sessions?
Tasty stuff that won’t slow you down too much. Like vegetables and nuts and cheese and crackers. You might want to avoid eating an entire ham before your flaming drum solo or drinking two pints of cow milk before tracking vocals.
What helps you keep your focus over a long studio session?
Do you experience ear fatigue?
What do you do to combat it? – I feel like this answers this and the last question: TAKE BREAKS. Sessions can be monotonous, as soon as you or your client begins to get tired or frustrated, go soak up some sunshine if there is any. If not, eat some nuts and drink some water, chat about how the sun will hopefully be here soon. More specifically in regards to ear fatigue- if you play really loud music, wear some flippin’ ear plugs! Tinnitus really sucks. I can attest to how wearing plugs isn’t the greatest, especially if you’re singing in your band- you can barely hear anything and what you can hear sounds weird. And yeah, a lot of people might give you crap for being a wuss and that you can’t handle the rock, but down the road you’ll be the one that’s able to hear your own laugh at them when they are driven mad by the constant ring pillaging their brains from years of ear damage. A few different companies make ‘musicians’ ear plugs that I have found to work pretty well, but, if your in a pinch go to the water closet and grab some toilet paper. It works. Trust me.
Stay tuned for more installments of Session Survival Tips. Have a question you want to ask? Let us know.