Singer, songwriter, husband, father and RV driver Ben Honeycutt recently added Studio One Professional to his workflow, and let’s just say he’s having some fun! We partnered with him for his social series “Lyrical Content in the Comments,” and it was awesome.
We thought it would be cool to hear how one of the newest Studio One users is doing with the DAW and more about Ben’s career. Read all about it here.
Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?
Well, I was born in the south (Tennessee), was raised in the south (Alabama), and lived in the south (Georgia) until recently. Thought I was gonna grow up and pitch for the Atlanta Braves, but that didn’t quite work out. I come from a pretty musical family, so I’ve always been around music in some way and had an interest in it, as well. Started playing guitar and singing when I was 13ish, and I was in a band for about 10 years after that. Currently, I live and travel full-time in an RV with my wife, Ashley, and our 3 kiddos, Trinity (9), Rhodes (7), and Canaan (2)!
How’s that RV life treating you?
It’s been an experience, to say the least! We started traveling at the start of 2020, and I think we were just starting to get the hang of it when we had to press pause for a minute due to the current pandemic. It was obviously a big decision for our family to sell everything and hit the road, but we were all ready for a change from the “norm,” while being more intentional about the time we have together and how we spend it. It’s had its challenges like anything else, but we’re really enjoying it so far!
How has the music industry changed since your early days?
Oh man. I remember when the be-all and end-all was to get a record deal if you wanted to make a career out of music. And that was definitely a goal of ours in the early days. It almost happened, but in hindsight, I’m glad it didn’t. Today, with the advance of technology and the rise of social media, you can basically distribute your own music everywhere with a click of a button. Of course, that’s over-simplified a bit, but you get the idea. No better time than now to be a self-employed creative/artist!
Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?
Was anybody’s first song good? Haha! Mine definitely wasn’t. The first “real” song I remember writing was called, “Little Seed.” The melody wasn’t great, and I just took the lyrics almost verbatim from a story in the Bible. It even had the word epilepsy in it. Sooooo, we never recorded that one…
Who has been a musical influence in your life?
As I mentioned earlier, I grew up around music. Both my mom and dad have influenced me in my own musical journey. My dad played the fiddle and the banjo, and my mom had a beautiful singing voice. Unfortunately, they have both passed away now, but I’d like to say there’s still a little bit of them in my music and who I am today. As far as established artists as influences, it’s a pretty long list. But a few would be Ryan Tedder, U2, Ed Sheeran, and Jason Mraz.
Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going?
I can’t recall a time where I flat out wanted to give up, but I’ve definitely hit some “walls” and seasons where I didn’t find as much joy in it. Like I said earlier, I grew up playing and singing in church, and as a Christian, I believe music is a gift from God. So when I hit those walls sometimes, I just have to take a step back and remember the reason I started.
When was the first time you heard of PreSonus?
I grew up and even honed my talent in the church world. So I remember being introduced to the live audio side of PreSonus products first, primarily the mixers/consoles. I probably know just enough about live mixing to be dangerous, so I left that to the more experienced. But even back then, I remember PreSonus being one of our go-to brands.
So you’re new to Studio One. When did you first hear about it?
Yeah, pretty much brand new! Again, I knew PreSonus more for the live audio equipment, but I wasn’t as in tune with the recording and production side of things. I think I just stumbled across some Studio One videos on YouTube as I was searching home studio tips and tutorials. Found a guy named Joe Gilder, who had some really good content on stuff I needed to learn and get better at. And it just so happened he used Studio One as his DAW of choice.
What DAW were you using?
I was actually just using Garageband. Which was pretty great, especially for the price of “free.” It helped me learn the basics of tracking and editing audio. But it was a bit limited in features, so eventually, I knew I needed to upgrade to something more professional to be able to achieve a better quality audio recording.
What features are you most impressed with the DAW?
So far, I really like the Auto Punch feature, as well as the Loop Record feature. Neither of which I could do in Garageband. Since I’m recording myself most of the time, it’s made tracking multiple takes and comping vocals much more time and energy-efficient.
How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn?
Well, I’m still learning, and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of all it can do. But for me, it was really easy to get started. The layout and aesthetic is pleasing to the eye, and it’s also pretty intuitive. I’m also taking advantage of the custom keyboard shortcuts. I do a lot of video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, so it’s been nice to be able to match up some of those that I’m already used to with the similar functions used in audio editing, too.
Any other thoughts on Studio One or PreSonus gear?
Nothin’ but good stuff so far! I also use the dual-channel Studio 26c interface, and it’s performed like a champ. Customer service and resources online are top-notch, as well. I appreciate what you guys do!
Can you give us a rundown of your live stream set up?
That’s another thing that I (as many others during this time) have been trying to level up a bit, my setup has been a little different for the past few I’ve done. But in a nutshell, here’s my setup:
Rode NT1-A microphone > Bose ToneMatch Mixer (compression, eq, and reverb) > Studio 26c audio interface + iPhone 7+ > OBS (streaming software)
I also just recently added a Shure SM7B and a Canon M50 that I hope to be able to integrate soon to up the quality even more.
What’s next for you?
We’re looking forward to getting back out on the road and making some memories in the RV for sure! And musically, I can’t wait to play live gigs again. I’m also close to launching a custom song-writing service, which will include jingles for businesses/brands, as well as personal songs for people who want their own story in a well-written and produced song. Perfect for weddings and anniversaries!
WATCH Ben’s latest viral video here:
What’s the best advice you would give to yourself 10 years ago?
Tough one. But maybe something along the lines of, “Don’t obsess so much about what other people think about you or what you do.” That’s still something I struggle with today. I just want everybody to like me! But I’m learning that if you live for the applause of other people, you’ll also die from their criticism.