- in Book Excerpt , Gear , Production , Recording by Bobby Owsinski
Helpful Recording Accessories
There are a number of recording accessories that prove to come in handy almost every day you’re in the studio. In fact, a session can absolutely ground to a halt without a few of them. Here are some suggestions for some accessories that you’ll be so happy you have when the need arises.
Console tape – for marking everything from mic position to making notes. Get the real deal – Shurtape P724.
Sharpies – the best ones are the ultra-fine-point type that let you squeeze lots of info onto a small strip of console tape without blurring.
Flashlight – for looking into the many unlit spaces in the studio and around gear. I like the Outlight A100 or the very cool 9V Blocklite.
Gobos – for increasing the isolation between instruments. If you don’t want to build them yourself, the ATS Studio Stacker is a good place to start.
Throat Spray – a quick spray will help keep a vocalist’s sore throat at bay. Entertainer’s Secret or Vocal EZE work great.
Throat Coat – a nice herbal tea to sooth abused vocal chords. Tastes good too, even if your throat feels fine.
Etymotic ER20 ETY Earplugs – for finding the sweet spot when loud drummers or guitar players are playing. The best $13 you’ll ever spend.
Monoprice 108323 headphones – excellent sounding yet inexpensive headphones. If you’re constantly replacing your expensive phones, try these. You’ll be shocked how good they sound for 20 bucks.
Hue lighting – digital mood lighting from your smartphone. The starter pack is expensive, but you’ll be surprised at the effect they have on just about any session when you dial in the prefect color scheme.
Cable adapters – a variety of cable adapters for every occasion. The adapters from Seismic Audio or Monoprice are fairly inexpensive.
– 10 dB inline pad
– XLR Phase reverser
– XLR male to male
– XLR female to female
– 1/4” male to XLR female
– 1/4” male to XLR male
– 1/8” male to 1/4” female
– 1/4” female to female
Headphone extender cables – extend the life of your headphones cables with cable extenders. Once again, the cables from Seismic Audio are pretty good quality yet inexpensive.
8 to 16 channel drum snake – cut down on the clutter of mic cables around the drums. Once again, Seismic Audio beats everyone’s price.
Personal mixes for musicians (at least 4 stations for rhythm section). Hear Technologies is my favorite, but there are lots of alternatives these days.
Every studio, regardless of how large or small, can benefit from having these recording accessories readily available. Anyone else have an accessory that I missed or you find you can’t live without?
You can read more from The Recording Engineer’s Handbook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.