Let’s face it, anything that makes life easier, speeds up tasks, or in general, helps you get through a job is welcome. So, we combed through pages and pages of products to find some standouts that will in fact make your life easier—and they even cost under $100.
JUST LET THINGS SLIDE
Rack shelves are handy places to stuff things, but they don’t always make access easy. For example, you can’t see the display on your smartphone if you put it in the shelf—which makes it awkward to check your Facebook page when you’re running live sound (not that you would ever do that, of course). But the Odyssey ARPOT1 provides easy access because the 1U shelf slides out so you can see top-facing devices like meters, test gear, written “cheat sheets,” and the like. At this price, it’s a no-brainer to add it to your rack. (Note: for best stability, the rack needs a rear rail, or rear rack mounts you add yourself).
PRESERVE THE PEACE WHEN CONNECTING CABLES
It’s meeting or presentation time, with everyone sitting around the conference table nervously as they try to figure out where to plug in their laptop power and/or Ethernet connection. Some folks scurry under the table, looking in vain for connectors. Others search for wall plates that, for some inexplicable reason, are always inconveniently mounted, and just a few inches further away than the length of the cables you want to plug into them. And this is why you need the Altinex TNP151 Tilt ‘N Plug Jr., which installs in tables from 1 to 3 inches thick, and mounts flush with the surface. Pop the top, and courtesy of a pneumatic spring, two AC outlets appear along with two RJ45 connectors. When you’re finished, push back down, and the unit’s top is flush with the table surface. Is this thing cool, or what?
CARRY ON, MY WAYWARD MIC
Sure, your mics probably come with carrying pouches or cases. But do the math of taking 12 microphones, 12 cases, putting the mics in the pouches, closing them up, finding something that holds all 12 mics, and then carrying them around—compared to just stuffing all of them in a single, highly protective, easy-to-carry bag. That’s what the Gator GM12B-K-2 is all about. Constructed from durable nylon, it not only holds and protects 12 mics, but also has an exterior pocket for cables and accessories, a padded shoulder strap, and comes with Goby Labs microphone sanitizer—an easy-to-apply spray that kills 99.99% of the germs that cause odors on mics and gear. You even get a Popper Blocker pop filter insert for ball-style mics. If you can find a safer, easier, more efficient way to carry up to 12 mics around—we want to know about it.
REELIN’ IN THE GEARS
Now that your mics are squared away, what are you going to do with those long cables? Speed up your workflow with the JackReel-3 high-capacity cable reel. It’s built to last, with a steel (not plastic) frame and high-impact, thermo-plastic core. It holds up to 300 feet of Quad-Star mic cable, 100 feet of 14-3 SJ Power Cord, or even 30 feet of cable with a 3/4” outside diameter—basically, any video, mic, data, or industrial control cable. There’s a comfort handle for easy carrying, and to hold the reel steady when reeling in cables. What’s more, cable port holes on the side of the drum and on the reel face allow easy cable termination onto the reel for permanent installation. When you want to save time and money deploying cables, this is the ticket.
IF YOU HUM A FEW BARS…I’LL GET RID OF IT
Don’t waste precious time trying to track down ground loops and hum by switching outlets, living dangerously with ground lift removal, or trying different wirings—in just a few seconds, the Ebtech Hum X filters out unwanted voltage and current in the ground line. Just plug the AC cord with the ground loop issue into the Hum X, plug the Hum X into the wall outlet, and get on with the rest of your life. Don’t worry—even though Hum X gets rid of the hum and other noise issues, there’s still a solid ground connection. It’s particularly effective when you hear computer whine and noise coming through studio monitors; plug your computer into Hum X, and you’ll be glad you did.