Today's home-based studios are all about multi-tasking. But in order to get the most work done in an effective way, it's important to stay organized and keep your room in order. Here are five simple tips to help keep your creativity flowing.
Keep everything in reach
In my studio, I try to have as many things in direct reach of my chair as I can. That includes the power conditioner, computer with its slots, hard drives, a few channels of good preamp, a hi quality guitar DI interface, rack tuner, my headphones, studio monitor controller, mixing board (although much is done virtually), small keyboard controller (sits under the desk) and even my guitar rack. Sure, it may take a little shuffling around and ergonomic planning, but it's worth it.
Get a good chair
Ok, I know guys that sit on a drum stool in their studio, and they wonder why their back is bad. Seriously, skip a bunch of latté runs and spend some money on a good, comfortable, adjustable chair. It's a top priority if you plan on doing this for more than a few months. Your back will thank you in the future.
Tune your mix position
While this is easier said than done, it's important to make sure what you hear out of your speakers translates to the rest of the world. In my room, I hung some Auralex panels, bass traps, and even a ceiling diffusor. In the back of the room, I also have a wall full of diffusor panels to scatter and eliminate any flutter echoes. Yes, it took an investment on my part, but my room is tuned and that gives me full confidence that my mixes are on target.
While you don't have to go that far, it makes sense to simply ensure your room sounds good on playback. There's a lot of great information available about studio acoustics. While egg cartons may work, it might take a bit more effort. You don't have to spend a lot to make a difference.
Rich Tozzoli's Studio: Sounds great, clean and organized!
Get rid of unused plug-ins
One thing I like to do is constantly go through my Plug-Ins folder and pull out anything I'm not using on a regular basis. I label a new folder 'Unused Plug-Ins' and drop them in there. This not only keeps your DAW/Sequencer/Recorder running smoother, it lessens the chance of a plug-in related crash. By keeping them in this new 'Unused' folder, you can put any of them back in use when needed. Just drop them in the Plug-Ins folder, relaunch your software and they'll be right back where you want them.
Get some plants
Get some plants? That's an odd one right? Not really. Plants add a great vibe to a studio, and they help clean the air. I put a light behind them and at night it gives off a nice glow. During the day, I like to work in natural light (which I'm lucky to have at my studio), but in the evening, I like a nice, cool vibe and the lit plants help deliver that. Just go to the local plant store and ask them which plants work best inside. Then get working!