Having a home recording studio is a breath of fresh air for any musician. It opens up a world of possibilities for curating their talent and skill. However, keeping it organized can be a real challenge. How do you navigate the countless cables, MIDI controllers, virtual instruments, computer monitors, and the rest of the gear to keep things organized? That’s what this guide talks about today.
What is the secret of organizing a home recording studio? The biggest one is to manage your cables. You can do this by labeling them, tying them up with Velcro straps, using power bricks, and cable trays, and keeping them away from the floor. Other tips include de-cluttering the desk, keeping a logical order for items, using bins and stands, keeping things within reach, and establishing a cleaning routine.
Manage your cables
Cable management is a huge step when it comes to organizing a home recording studio. Once you learn how to hack this, you’ll be on your way home. Don’t know the first thing about managing your cable situation? Here are a few pointers that can help.
- Label them: if you don’t have a system for labeling your cables, you are setting yourself up for failure. Knowing what belongs where without marking them is virtually impossible. It is also a danger to your equipment as someone can accidentally plug in the wrong power cable ultimately damaging it. To be safe, get yourself a label marker (white and black) and mark each cable. You can also color code the cable tips using nail polish zip-ties, or electrician’s tape if you can’t get your hands on a label marker. Take your time here. Write the name, amperage, and voltage of each plug. This will save you a ton of time of guesswork in the future.
- Tie them up: in addition to labeling, keeping cables contained in ties is a sure way of containing the mess. Most cables are too long for average needs. Manufacturers keep them long to make them flexible for varied uses. To keep leftover cables from crowding your space, use Velcro straps to tie them up. They are cheap and very effective. All you have to do is bunch the extra length of cable together and wrap one strap around it. Do this for all your cables and experience the massive difference this makes in your room.
- Tuck them away: after tying cables up, you need to find a place to store them. If you have drawers or cabinets, you are absolutely in luck. Group power cables, mini cables, and TS cables in one group and neatly place them in one location. Label it up and enjoy a clutter-free space. Storage containers, totes, and baskets can also be used to store cables.
- Attach power bricks: when using your home recording studio, you will probably hook everything to a power outlet. This means more loose cables and hence more clutter for you. This is where a power brick comes in handy. Use it to contain your cables and attach it under your desk.
- Keep cables off the ground: hanging cables are not only unsightly but a health hazard as well. One way to keep them off the ground is to use a cable tray attached to the underside of your desk.
De-clutter your desk
As an artist, you know the importance of keeping the right headspace when making music. Whether you are writing lyrics, recording a song, or perfecting your skill, you need to be in the right frame of focus. One of the proven ways of productivity is doing away with clutter especially on your desk.
Granted, it is practically impossible to clear everything but you can keep the bare minimums only. Find out what that means for you. Often, things like power cables can be kept under the desk rather than on top of it. Only keep what you absolutely need on your desk and let the rest stay within arm’s reach.
Use storage bins for miscellaneous items
Storage bins are life-savers when organizing a home recording studio. No doubt you will come across a plethora of things that don’t belong in any specific category. Or those that aren’t used regularly but come in handy from time to time. A storage bin almost always sorts this problem out.
The thing with bins is that they are neat and tidy. You can cram things in one, place it on the top shelf and no one will know everything will think your organization game is on another level. Of course, you want to try and keep the items neat and tidy in the containers for your own sanity and clarity of mind.
Keep things within reach
Convenience goes hand in hand with organization. It is easier to keep a nice and tidy home recording studio when you have everything in direct reach than when stuff is farther away from reach. This is true for equipment frequently in the studio (rack turner, headphones, DI interface, hard drives, computer, monitor controller, and mixing board). Getting a convenient location for each of these may be confusing at first but after a while, you will certainly be successful.
Use stands for your guitars and keyboard
Most home recording studios use the desk as a keyboard stand. While this works, for the most part, it can cram the desk and negatively affect your focus. If you particularly have a large MIDI keyboard, a computer monitor, and a mouse, it can be hard to keep a clear head when working.
The solution is to use a stand for your keyboard. If you have limited space, order a tiered stand which will allow you to place three synthesizers and keyboards in there. Similarly, using a guitar stand is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your studio.
Maintain a good order of your equipment
You can get by without following a given order for your equipment. However, if you really want to take things a notch higher, you might want to maintain an order of sorts. Use one drawer to store things that are related and label it. You can store all things related to the guitar or keyboard in one, computer accessories in another, and power cables in one more. This way, you will know what is where and will have an easy time maintaining the order.
Establish a weekly cleaning routine
It is one thing to have a solid organization system in place for your recording studio and another to stay on top of the mess. You need a combination of both for optimal results. A weekly cleaning routine does the job just fine. However, if you have time, make it twice a week. Dirt and dust can creep up on you and create a mess that can be hard to deal with. This is especially true if you work with multiple people in the studio. Vacuum all your surfaces, dust everything down, mop your floors, get rid of cobwebs, clean the walls, and more.
It is every musician’s dream to have a home recording studio at home. The problem is keeping it clean and organized. If you struggle with the mess in your recording studio, you probably skipped a few steps in this guide. Go back to square one and determine what needs to be done to bring it back to life once more.