How many times have you done a little gig here or there and ended up with $100 that’s just burning a hole in your pocket? For me, this is almost a weekly event. And what better way to spend that money than on making your studio better? There are so many great products in that price range, it’s hard to narrow down the best way to get the most bang for your buck.
Obviously, any gear purchase is a good one (Gear Junkie Official Handbook chap. 7, sec. 13) but here are some suggestions on how to make your studio even more awesome for under $100:
1. Buy an amazing chair.
This may seem obvious, but many gear nuts who spend all their money on… well, you know, gear, don’t always think about these things. I spent the majority of my professional career in a cheapy office chair (I mean, a chair’s a chair, right?) and my back and shoulders have suffered for it. We put ourselves in horrible chairs that are not even close to being ergonomic and make life miserable. Back aches, shoulder strain, headaches… Adjustability and lumbar support are must-haves, and this is a good option. Trust me, buy a slightly-better-than-decent office chair that feels good to you, and you will be a much happier studio monkey.
2. Change your vibe with some new lighting.
You will quickly realize from reading my future blog posts that I am a sucker for vibe. Vibe can make a plain Jane studio the most creative space on the face of the planet. We all know that the secret to great recordings is getting a great performance of a killer song, and a band that is really inspired by your studio is way more likely to give fantastic, melt-your-face performances. Lighting can be a very subtle way of creating a mood or a vibe. I have some clients that want it to look like we’re in direct sunlight in July, and some that want nothing but one red lamp in the corner. Give your clients some options by expanding your collection of lighting.
Buy a few LED light bulbs (you can even get some with a remote) and see how quickly you can set the mood for session.
3. Get stable results with a new mic stand.
We all have ‘em, but invest in one Really. Good. Mic stand.
Regular stands do the job just fine, but you’ll really notice a difference in quality when you step up to a higher-end boom stand. They are very adjustable, easy to place and WON’T SAG ON YOUR SINGER. At least, not if you take care of them. Plus, if you get one in chrome, they look killer! For this particular purchase, I’d advise waiting until an even nicer one goes on sale for an even better deal.