There’s nothing less inspiring than a vibe-less, awkward, impractical studio space. Here are 10 essentials to make yours more comfortable.
There’s nothing less inspiring than a vibe-less, uncomfortable, dysfunctional studio space. Sure, end results are what ultimately count in this realm, but the path to creative clarity can be found in pieces that enhance your workspace in a practical sense, while also generating an atmosphere that steers you and those you’re working with toward inspiration.
With studio workflow very much in the production zeitgeist, we thought it apt to explore these elements. They won’t affect the sonic quality of your mix but they will welcome you with a warm embrace every time you step into your space, helping you focus on what’s most important. Here’s our list of ten studio essentials to make your studio comfortable and functional.
A Headphone Hanger
Headphones are an integral element of just about every studio scenario, from monitoring to mixing, and throughout most sessions, you’ll find yourself taking them on and off more times than you can keep track of. Having somewhere to hang your headphones is an excellent idea. This helps reduce clutter at your workstation, ensures your cans are kept safe and secure, and means you know where they’ll be at all times.
Above is the Brainwavz Hengja headphone hanger, which is perfect if you’re after a place to put your cans that isn’t your desk, like if you’re listening to mixes on monitors and need your workspace clear. They are all-metal, super sturdy and can be configured to clamp on a horizontal surface (like a tabletop) or a vertical surface (like a table leg).
MWAVE have a wide range of headphone racks and hangers to suit just about any need, but it doesn’t get more deluxe than the Corsair ST100 headphone stand. Perfect if you’re tracking at your workstation and need to constantly be taking your cans on and off. You can completely customise the RGB lights underneath. It also features a built-in 3.5mm analog jack that opens up full-range stereo or 7.1 surround sound options – crucial if you’re working on film, TV and installation projects.
Your workstation is the centrepiece of your studio, the platform that everything revolves around. So having a desk that is both comfortable and practical is what you want.
The Output Platform is a great option. It’s designed specifically for musicians, with a bridge for your monitors, 9U of rack space, a handy cable management system to keep everything clean and organised, and an optional keyboard tray. It’s also a really beautiful piece of furniture and is made from sustainable timber, which is a plus. And it doesn’t cost a mint-like a lot of other studio-specific workstations.
Sounds Easy is an exclusive retailer of the Output Platform in Australia, so if you want to get your hands on one, check them out below.
When it comes to bringing some life and vibe to a studio, greenery is important. Greenery will give your space some soul and vibrancy. But let’s face it, studios aren’t the most hospitable environments for plants. Dark and humid, keeping greenery alive in your space will be an uphill battle. Our advice? Go fake.
Fake plants may have gotten a bad wrap the past, but these days you can buy quality replicas that look completely legit. Matt Blatt has a good selection of artificial plants that are super affordable.
Light is crucial. You can’t make magic in the dark (or maybe you can, don’t let us tell you how to work). Obviously, every room will have some sort of light source, but most standard overhead lights have absolutely zero vibe.
Buy some cool lights. It will infinitely boost the mood and ambience of your studio. Pendant lights with Edison bulbs look killer. So do classic festoon lights strung around a room. Or if you want to keep it simple, stick a lamp in the corner. Fat Shack Vintage have a wide range of options. Get creative with it.
Good quality racks units are indispensable for the functionality of a studio space. Even if you work mostly in-the-box, there is a good chance you will have a few pieces of rack gear or are planning to get some in the future.
Even if you just own say, a multi-channel preamp and a decent-sized interface, you will need somewhere to mount them. When it comes to choosing a rack unit, it really comes down to what you own, or rather how many units you own. There are plenty of budget options to choose from to suit just about any needs. But if you’re looking for something completely unique and awesome, we’d suggest Bamboom Cases.
Bamboom are a Melbourne-based company who make custom desks, gear cases and rack units. Everything is made to order to your exact requirements and built from one of three varieties of beautiful sustainable bamboo: caramel, carbonised or tiger.
This one’s a no-brainer: you’ll need something to sit on. But it’s something you should take a moment to consider. Your chair is your best friend in the studio. You will literally be attached at the hip most of the time you’re working on music. So you’ll want to make sure you’re sitting comfortably.
Chair choice will come down to personal preference. Do you spend a lot of time mixing? An executive style chair might suit you best. Do you record a lot of guitars or keys at your workstation? Something that swivels and doesn’t have armrests would be the best choice. Are you constantly moving to adjust a console or other hardware? Better make sure you’ve got wheels. IKEA has a great selection that will suit just about any studio setup.
Never disregard how disruptive disorganisation can be in the studio. The more gear that you amass, the more this will become a very real issue when it comes to workflow.
Everything from headphone hangers to cable management systems to storage for mics, pedals, percussion, tools, picks, power supplies or leads will help you reduce clutter and, most importantly, ensure you know where things are at all times. Bunnings has a mammoth selection, with about every storage solution imaginable.
Rugs are as important for practical reasons as they are for aesthetics. Yes, they will brighten up a space and give it character. But they are also handy for stopping drum kits from sliding around, and, most importantly, dampening sound reflections in a room. Have a look at the selection from Temple & Webster – they have rugs to suit just about any tastes.
Your studio walls are likely to be occupied by insulation panels, guitars, headphones, and cables, but where there’s space, why not put some art up? All Posters has an absolutely enormous range of rock ‘n’ roll posters, art prints, photography and framed pieces.