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Helpful tools to bring to any session

June 22, 2012

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I find you can never over-prepare for a session. Something at some point will go wrong and you’ll have to find a resolution to the problem, or even improvise to continue the session through to the end. I find that bringing some tools with you to sessions can make the session run a lot more smoothly. So here’s what I think you should take with you to any session:

Small tool box – there’s a lot of these from hardware shops, they contain a basic set of tools such as pliers, a screw driver with multiple fittings, wire cutters etc to help with small tasks. This can be a life-saver in recording sessions. Let’s say a guitar’s intonation is all over the place, one solution might be to make the notes that are being pressed on the fretboard at the time in tune, but doing this for every guitar part will soon get tiresome. It’d probably be a lot more beneficial to just take the time to intonate the guitar from the bridge with a screwdriver.

Torch – a torch is a really great thing to have around during a session, I use torches a lot to gauge where the speaker cone is located in a guitar or bass cab through the mesh, being able to see where the speaker is gives you a better idea of where to place the microphone(s).

Drum key – I would probably say this is the most essential tool, the drummer for one of my sessions in the past forgot his drum key, tuning of the drums is vitally important for getting a great recording, the same goes for any instrument. Luckily I had a key handy so that he could tune his drums.

Duct tape or insulation tape – having some form of tape during the session can be great. Let’s take drums for example, if the drums are resonating quite a lot, the next best thing if moon gel isn’t available will be tape. I’d say insulation tape here just because it won’t make a mess of the drum head when you peel it off. Another example is to use tape to hold things in place, my DIY subkick for example needs tape to surround the arms of a snare stand when mounted so that the speaker can rest on it.

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