Gear acquisition is a real thing, and the more gear you collect in your music studio the harder and harder it can be to keep clean. But having a clean studio is one of the most important things an audio engineer or producer can have, as it helps keep your gear operating and helps boost creativity.
But seeing as most producers would rather just straight into their DAWs and spend as little time and attention into keeping their space clean and tidy, we felt that it was high time we broke down the topic a bit deeper and make an argument why producers should keep their studios clean and the benefits of having a tidy workspace (regardless of the studio’s size).
So let’s dive in.
Benefits Of Having A Clean Studio
Having a clean studio is of vital importance, as having a clean space directly affects the two most important things in the music creation process: you and your gear. So let’s dive in a bit deeper.
For Your Health
While the idea of being a frantic creative that is surrounded by tons of gear and clutter about their desk, having such a messy and untidy space can actually affect your creative output in a negative way. It can cause unwanted distractions, break your focus, and impede your ability to access your hardware in the fastest and most frictionless way possible.
Conversely, having a clean workspace allows you to more easily focus on your music and streamline your workflow. Having a clean and tidy desk allows you to avoid distractions and dial in on your DAW.
Some clutter, such as decoration or small desk items, is fine to use. But avoid having a cluttered desk that hardly gives you room to set down your coffee cup. I promise, your creativity and headspace will thank you.
For Your Gear
Having a dirty studio can also severely affect the shelf life and performance of your hardware gear and the health of your computer.
The first and most dangerous one is the unseen killer: dust. Slowly but surely, dust and smoke particles can settle on your hardware, and computers, and get inside the internals of each. This crud collects and accumulates and can seriously damage the performance of your gear. The more clutter you have in your room, especially when it comes to thick carpet, piles of clothes (for those producing in their bedroom studios), and overall mess you have, the more dust will be created in your room which can then settle on your gear.
The other issue which should be mentioned is simple human error or tripping over wires and bumping gear that’s strewn across your desk. I can’t count the number of times I have made that critical error and damaged gear that fell off the desk or cables that got ruined and had to be replaced. The organization is key here!
How do you keep a music studio clean?
The best way to keep your studio clean is to stay ahead of the problems and catch any issues before they start. Here are the best ways to do this.
The easiest way to avoid your studio getting dirty and cluttered is by having organizational systems in place that help you stay compartmentalize in your studio and streamline how everything is set up. This helps keep you from simply tossing cables into a corner or placing a new synth haphazardly on your desk. Here are a few quick things you can do right away to upgrade your organizational game in your studio
- Desk mounts and computer stands help raise your computer and synths off of the desk, allowing for more desk space and prevents the risk of you knocking things around when in the creative flow
- Cable ties and protectors help bundle loose cords and wires together and can help prevent you and your collaborators from tripping over them. Cable management is key!
- Have dedicated spaces where you hand cables and headphones when not in use. Try to utilize wall space for these to help maximize the studio space itself for the creation process.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Do whatever you to prevent problems before they start and sidestep user error. Here are a few ways I sidestep the mess before it can happen.
- I make sure I have ample storage in my studio so I never have to look far for the best place to store new gear.
- I keep a small space heater in my studio, the Solaris Slim H3 Heater to be exact, to keep the room at an even temperature and avoid the need for extra clothes and blankets which all introduce extra dust into the space.
- I maximize the amount of desk space that I have by using desk raisers and laptop stands that ensure my desk space stays clean.
Make Cleaning A Habit
This one is easy but all too easy to forget and skip.
Set aside time, ideally a couple of times a week, to clean your studio. This includes vacuuming to remove the dust, organizing miscellaneous studio gear back to where to belongs, and reassessing just how essential gear is on your desk and within immediate release really is. If you don’t use a piece of gear on a daily basis, it might be better suited off your desk and stored away until you are ready to use it on a case-by-case basis.
Having been producing in a relatively small space for the better part of the last eight years, I have acquired some pretty useful gear that has changed the game for me and allowed me to keep my studio clean and organized.
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Here are the favorite things I have snagged for my studio that help keep it organized and clean, allowing me to focus solely on the creation process.
Macro Max S Air Purifier
This one is a secret game-changer.
Before I brought an air filter into my studio, I was constantly cleaning off all of the dust that had been collected on my laptop and synths. On the surface, it’s just annoying seeing all of your favorite tools accruing a layer of dust. But what’s worst is when that dust starts seeping into the internals of your hardware and starts affecting its performance.
My last laptop suffered from this so poorly that it was actually affecting the typing action of the keystrokes, but having this simple Air Purifier ensures that dust stays out and the air in my room stays clean.
Solaris Slim H3 Heater
Back when I first started producing in college, we lived in an apartment without heating. As such, I got used to producing while wrapping in layers and layers of blankets. When not using the blankets, they were often stored on the bed or in a pile on my floor.
This added more clutter to the floor, caught more wires than I care to admit, and collected further dust. Having a small and, more importantly quiet, a space heater can save you so much space and keep you comfortable no matter what room you’re producing in.
These modular wall hangers were mean absolute change changer for my little studio and allowed me to create customized wall racks to hold all sorts of miscellaneous studio gear. I use my Wall Control racks to hang and organized everything from replacement parts for my gear, to chords, to even smaller desktop synths that I am not currently using.
So even if you think your small studio doesn’t have enough storage or places to easily access some of your smaller studio essentials, the Wall Control racks are a godsend.
The Hexcal Studio is a game-changer for a few reasons. The first and foremost is that it gets your computer off of the desk space itself, freeing up so much more room for extra studio gear, synths, and coffee cups.
But the amount of utility they packed into this device is next level. It has a ton of cable management slots in the back and even more room inside the Hexcal to help keep your cables tucked away. Out of all of the hassles and issues mentioned about in the body of this article, Hexcal remedies most of them in the fastest and most streamlined way.
Modular Closets is a great way to instantly add more storage space to your smaller, bedroom studio. Smaller studios’ biggest limitation is their lack of storage as we are often forced to pack everything we want to be organized into whatever closet space comes pre-built in the room. But the Modular Closets allow you to instantly create more storage out of nothing and place it wherever you want in your space.
These are awesome and allow you to build them however you want, which not many other companies on the market are doing these days.