Gadgets & Goodies: Cheap and Cheerful Studio Accessories Can Make Your Life a Lot Easier

This issue, we’re going for gadgets galore—with a bunch of inexpensive, tried-and-tested groovy goodies for solving pernicious problems.
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This issue, we’re going for gadgets galore—with a bunch of inexpensive, tried-and-tested groovy goodies for solving pernicious problems.

Fellowes CD Storage Boxes ($18 street, www.fellowes.com).
Problem: You have a zillion CD/DVD-ROMs because you’re smart, and back up your data.
Solution: Forget about expensive binders, jewel cases, and towers. For stuff you need to store but don’t need to access often, put your discs in paper sleeves, and get a high-capacity storage box like the Fellowes 96503.

Fellowes

Ziotek Power Strip Liberator (5-pack for $7.80, www.ziotek.com).
Problem: You have a barrier strip, you have wall warts, and the wall warts block outlets.
Solution: Ziotek offers several “power strip liberators” in various lengths, available singly or in money-saving packages.

Ziotek_

Mighty Bright Micro Clip Light ($6 street, www.mighty bright.com ).
Problem: You need to connect something to the back of a rack or computer, but it’s dark—and holding a flashlight ties up one hand.
Solution: The Micro Clip Light is bright, and can lay flat or clip on to a shirt pocket or thin surface. And, you can rotate the lens to place the beam where you need it.

MightyBright

Profile PT-2800 Digital Tuner ($15 street, www.american musicandsound.com ).
Problem: You want to tune an acoustic instrument—guitar, ukulele, violin, bass, etc.—but you need three hands to play the instrument and hold a tuner with a built-in mic.
Solution: Clamp this on to the headstock, and tune away. It’s bright, too, so it’s great on stage.

ProfilePT2800

TC Electronic Level Pilot ($80 street, www.tcelectronic.com ).
Problem: You have near-field monitors driven by an interface with no master volume control—and occasional blasts of sound make your ears hurt.
Solution: Level Pilot is a classy, highresolution pot (that’s why it’s not cheap) with stereo XLR male and female connectors. Insert this between the speaker ins and whatever feeds them for an instant master volume control.

LevelPilot

Keith McMillen Batt-O-Meter ($30 street, www.keith mcmilleninstruments.com ).
Problem: So . . . is that 9V battery in your favorite effects box (or axe with active electronics) good, or about to die?
Solution: The Batt-O-Meter not only checks voltage, but measures the battery under load so you get an accurate estimate of remaining battery life. It tests standard batteries, too.

Batt-O-Meter

Pick Stick ($20 street, www.pickstick.com ).
Problem: You keep losing guitar picks.
Solution: Pick Stick holds up to 30 flat picks, as well as a lesser number of thumb picks. It has a non-skid bottom, and provides a classy-looking home for your picks.

PickStick