There’s always something your studio could use to improve work flow and functionality. Gibson’s Craig Anderton fell in love with these six home studio accessories this year.
This post on home studio accessories originally appeared on Cakewalk’s blog. Reprinted with permission.
It was hard to narrow it down, but these goodies have stood out over the past year as essential for my own studio, and they can contribute to any studio makeover or holiday wish list.
Uninterruptible power supply
I first became aware of the power of the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with ADATs. My ADATs used to do weird things, but they stopped doing weird things after I bought a UPS. My friends with ADATs who didn’t have a UPS experienced weird things. Anecdotal evidence? Sure. But the first time a UPS keeps your project alive when some idiot drunk driver slams into a power pole and you lose your electricity, or you live where lightning is a frequent visitor, you’ll be glad you paid attention and got a UPS. Just make sure you find one with sufficient power for your super-duper multi-core computer (and your monitor) — a lot of UPS devices in office supply stores are for little old ladies who use Pentium 4 computers only on Sundays to cruise the Internet for recipes.
Pauly Ton Superscreen pop filter
Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s worth it. I do a lot of narration and close-mic my vocals, and it always seemed that no matter what pop filter I used – or how many I doubled up – nothing could keep those nasty plosives out of the picture. I’m not quite sure what mojo these guys use to get such exceptional results, but the Pauly Ton Superscreen really works. Did I mention it’s expensive? Well, I realized about two months into owning it I had saved enough time from not editing plosives that it had already paid for itself.
Planet Waves guitar dock
This cheap ’n cheerful accessory clamps on to the edge of your table and holds your guitar neck in place while the strap pin sits on the floor. If you’ve ever leaned a guitar up against a table “just for a second” and seen it slide to the ground as you recoiled in horror, you’ll appreciate what this clever little guitar dock can do. I have it attached right next to where I sit when I’m recording, so my guitar is only a few inches away at all times. Which is as it should be.
Primacoustic recoil stabilizers
Improved imaging! Better transient response! Audible improvement! Most products that claim miracle powers are snake oil. Given that “recoil” even has the word “oil” in it, I feared the worst. But anyone who’s tried these will agree that that the improvement is obvious and significant. Basically, what it does is stabilize the speaker so it doesn’t move when you pass significant amounts of audio through it. Yes, it gives much better imaging, a more consistent sound field, and while a recoil stabilizer doesn’t improve the speaker’s transient response, it does improve how those transients reach your ears.
I’m a fanatic about backing up, because my only real product is data. Losing that data would be like having a warehouse burn down if you’re a manufacturer. Sure, I save to hard drives and they’re quite reliable, but Blu-Ray discs hold a lot of data and they’re more robust than CDs or DVDs. In fact accelerated life tests indicate they’ll last longer than I will, which I suppose is comforting. Sort of. Anyway, make sure you get a device that can actually burn Blu-Ray discs, like LG’s BE14NU40 or Disc Makers ReflexBlu XS Blu-ray duplicator (there are a lot of cheapo models that will play back BD, but only burn CD and DVD). You also want a fast drive that can accommodate multi-layer discs.
Gibson Memory Cable
While I’m at it, I have to mention the Gibson Memory Cable (even if it seems self-serving). It happens all the time: you’re playing guitar and come up with an amazing song idea – then it’s gone, and you can’t get it back. The Memory Cable’s built-in, super-compact recorder (designed by TASCAM) saves up to 13 hours of your playing to a micro SD card. And with CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit resolution, the audio is easily transferred to your multitrack recorder.
Author, musician, and Executive Vice President at Gibson, Craig Anderton has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major-label releases, authored dozens of books, and lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages. Check out his latest music videos at www.youtube.com/thecraiganderton.
Cakewalk is the leading developer of powerful and thoughtfully designed products for the modern musician. These products include award-winning digital audio workstations and innovative virtual instruments. Millions of musicians worldwide – including Grammy® and Emmy®-winning producers, composers, sound designers, and engineers – use Cakewalk products daily to produce audio for the professional music, film, broadcast, and video game industries. The Cakewalk blog offers technical tips, tutorials, and news relating to their products and audio recording.
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6 thoughts on “My six favorite home studio accessories (this year)”
I have the LG bluray burner but the lack of software packaged WITH it to burn blurays stinks. Question then for Craig is, what software do you use and/or suggest for that? I’d like to actually get some use out of the thing……
Mine are just “an iPhone” with Garageband installed and then iRig stuffs.
Of course for serious production I will move on to the actual “home studio” equipment. 😀
I honestly start all of my recent projects on iMaschine then when I have a cool 3 tracks down I port it over to my PC and finish it within Maschine.
When I sale a beat that I started on the ipad I think to myself I never imagined I would be selling beats made on a tablet, when I could never sale the beats I made with my MPC 2k back in the day