The Many Hats Theory

The Many Hats Theory

The Many Hats Theory


In my work at BANTER, I’m quite often the guy who does all the little tech-related jobs. Important jobs, but often very different from one another and equally technical – just this morning, I was transferring an old VHS to our digital systems, whilst moving a WordPress site from one server to another, whilst setting up Codeigniter for another test site, and trying to optimise the company’s internet lines! Phew!

So, how does one go about doing all these things at once, without going completely bonkers and losing the plot? The honest answer is…. It’s tricky. But in my other role as Manager of Hop Pole Recording Studios, I’ve spent years devising a method to keep my head on my shoulders and deal with everything at once. The trick?
Don’t do everything at once.

I call it the “many hats” theory – I have many roles and job titles, and I imagine that I can only do one at once, and I wear the hat for that particular role as I do it. Even if this means passing information or jobs from one version of me to another, it means that at any given moment, I can clear my head and focus on the task at hand.

The studio is a great example of this, and I talk about it in depth in the video associated with this blog. In a modern studio, it’s often one man that runs the show, where traditionally it was several – the “Producer” (The man who talks to the band), the Recording Engineer (the one who puts microphones in front of people and gets a good recording), the Mixing Assistant (the guy who plugs all the cables in and fixes broken stuff), the Mixing engineer (the guy in the white lab coat who makes everything sound like it belongs together) and the Mastering Engineer (a guru who makes the song sound right on things like vinyl, CD, iTunes, cassette and so on).
The only way to cope with that, without everything becoming a confused mishmash, is to stop and say “Right! Now I’m the technical guy.” “Ok, now I’m the man-manager”. “I’ve done all I can on this part of the job, let’s leave it running and move on to being someone else”.

That’s not to say things are less productive or in any way slower, in fact quite the opposite. It allows me to act differently approaching different situations, and get jobs done in the most efficient way possible, whilst not ending up in a complete meltdown – have you ever been deep into a technical piece of work, only to have the phone ring and answer in a ball of rage (“YES!?!? WHAT?!?!?”)? If you employ the idea where you are many people, it’s perfectly ok to be deep in concentration when the tech job needs doing, but when the phone rings, you can take of the “tech” hat and put on the “Receptionist” hat.

“Hello, Banter Media?”

adam Camera and IT man for BANTER. Tech guru. Rock and Metal Producer at Hop Pole Studios. bass player, guitarist, drummer, singer, teacher, editor, and the rest