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Lord knows recording is expensive enough without falling into gear acquisition syndrome, and even outside of the core equipment we all need to be creative (instruments, interfaces, monitors, mics, etc.), there are plenty of whizbang gadgets out there that’ll dazzle you and make you think you can’t be productive without them; especially if you’re trying to stock your home studio space.
The truth is you can usually do without most of it. A twisty tie from the grocery store works just as well as a $30 cable tie, for example.
That said however, there are a few things you may want to consider grabbing that you’ll wonder how you ever did without. These are all things that might be at the bottom of your “home studio shopping list,” but they’ll make your life so much easier in meaningful ways.
Let’s look at five such studio accessories.
1. Quick Release Mic Clips
If your studio has many microphones and mic stands — say because you’re apt to record drums or whole bands — you may notice you spend an inordinate amount of time unscrewing mic clips. You may not even know how maddening this is until you’ve worked in a studio equipped with quick-release mic clips.
These little guys aren’t all that cheap, but they’re doable, and my oh my will they speed you up. On caveat though: if your studio is a one-mic situation, don’t bother. This is more for recordists with lots of change-outs going on.
2. An Ergonomic Chair
This is one of those things that does seem like a stupid indulgence, but when you sit all day, your back, neck, shoulders, and brain will eventually collapse; and you become a heap of pain and sorrow. Maybe that’s alright for goth emo-death metal artists — but then again, maybe its not worth the chiropractic bills?
Unfortunately, a proper ergo chair isn’t cheap either. But it is worth it, and if you’re feeling thrifty, try looking at your local used office furniture store. You can often get a great studio chair for pennies on the dollar.
3. Headphone Distribution Box
If you ever have a collaborator in the room or if you have a little vocal station more than two steps from the control desk, you’ll love yourself for grabbing a headphone distribution amplifier. You don’t need to go big and expensive here though. Even a little $25 guy like the Behringer MicroAMP can give you four stations, which really helps with efficiency.
Obviously you’ll need more sets of headphones — so this option isn’t as cheap as it seems — but again, worth it.
4. Extra Chargers and Adapters Out the Wazoo
This may seem superfluous as well, but boy is it inconvenient when you or your collaborators run out of phone juice. Or watch battery. Or GoPro power. Or ..anything. So, invest in extra USB to AC adapters and charger cables, especially USB-A to USB-C. Almost everything uses that cable to charge.
Everywhere there’s a power outlet, go ahead and put in a strip, and have at least one of the outlets equipped with a charger. You’ll feel so slick and fancy, and you’ll always be operational.
+ Read more on Flypaper: “3 Awesome DIY Soundproofing Hacks for Your Home Studio.”
5. Acoustic Treatment
This doesn’t really count as an accessory because it’s a super-duper necessity, but if you have yet to treat your studio space, do it. Do it now. If you think you can’t or that it’s too much for a small studio, it’s not — you can deal with acoustics.
This isn’t all the stuff you can buy; as mentioned, you can easily spend a year’s salary just getting knick-knack accessories to spice up your space. This isn’t even the sexiest list, but it’s five of the accessories that will make the most difference in your productivity, without completely breaking the bank.
Try ‘em out!
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