Studio Junk Drawer?

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Studio Junk Drawer?

Post by huluporok » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi all, first time poster, so I hope this is the right place for this thread...if not, please advise where it should be instead!

I recently moved from one city to another in the Metro Detroit area, and in the process of moving my home studio, I came across a surprising amount of "studio junk", which I managed to consolidate to one (rather large) drawer, and I got curious whether anyone else maintained such a collection of seldom-used flotsam and jetsam, and if so, what knick-knacks or curios are likely to appear in your "studio junk drawer"?

The bulk of mine is stuff like old, "outdated" equipment (lots of RCA cables, cheap crappy little dynamic mics from handheld tapecorders, broken cables awaiting a solder job, drum and guitar hardware, spare parts, etc.); but the items which most caught my interest were the less musical ones; stuff I like to keep on hand to make life easier on visiting musicians: chap stick, cigarette lighters and rolling papers (I don't personally smoke anymore, and I don't allow it indoors, but it strikes me as the sort of thing that's just polite to have on hand), kleenex, travel size toiletries, and the one that really caught me off-guard and got my mind rolling on the whole topic: lock de-icer. Here in Michigan, it sees more use than you might think! But it struck me as the type of thing that you're more likely to find in a small independent home-studio type of environment than in a larger commercial studio.

Anyone else have any wacky stuff tucked away in a drawer somewhere? I'm especially interested to hear about unlikely stuff that nevertheless sees a surprising amount of use, like the lock de-icer. I'm always on the lookout for other odds and ends that should be on hand in the studio, especially stuff that can make my life or my clients' lives easier!
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Post by mscottweber » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:04 pm

Aside from the usual stuff (guitar picks/strings, drum keys/moongels, soldering stuff) I like to keep around hand lotion, assorted teas, and candles

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Post by CurtZHP » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:03 pm

I keep a big plastic storage bin in my studio closet that houses small rolls of raw cable, a box of numerous connectors, a box of old bakelite knobs, some miscellaneous computer parts, a couple 10" take-up reels, blank rack panels, patch cords, adapters, power strips, etc. It's the sort of stuff that I hardly ever use, but I know I'd kick myself for throwing out.
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Post by vvv » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:57 pm

Funny you mention that; I was searching today for a particular power plug.

I came across my old BR8, a Midiverb 2, various cables, back-up CD's, electrical parts (jacks, sockets, alligator clips, screws, etc.), a cassette stereo recorder, a Rocktron Para-Q, a mini compressor and EQ, etc.

All that's in 3 storage tubs in the closet. There are about 5 more in the garage ...
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Post by Cyan421 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:09 am

First studio I worked in had many of those things you mention, Hulu. Including a glass pipe, miscellaneous mens magazines, but mostly broken stuff needing to be fixed. Stuff that just didn't work or sound good enough to get fixed. Sort of the survival of the fittest in that drawer.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:40 am

drawer? i have a whole hallway devoted to useless crap.

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Post by Chris_Avakian » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:46 am

im also more on the hallway side of the junk. i mean... it goes on for DAYS!

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Post by CurtZHP » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:42 am

MoreSpaceEcho and FRIZEYED, you should post a list of what you got. You never know; someone might make you an offer on something.
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:58 am

When it cools down enough here in the SF Valley, I'll have to go through my storage shed... And two chests of drawers... And four plastic boxes, and... And... And...
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Post by Judas Jetski » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:26 pm

This thread just convinced me to post a bunch of NOS parts that I'm never going to use for anything at all on Buy/Sell/Trade. Just sayin'.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:45 pm

i cleaned up the junk hallway this weekend. you can actually walk through it now.

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:52 pm

I don't have anything as bad as a hallway or shed full of junk but there's still lots and lots of it. It's mostly broken stuff that I'll get around to fixing someday. At the moment that includes a Baldwin Synth-a-sound analog mono synth, 2 early 1970's era Traynor PAs, a Schaller spring reverb, and a few reel to reels. Also lots and lots and lots of parts.
It's not too bad these days but I do make an effort to purge the junk every year.

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Post by dino » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:10 pm

Junk piled in a back room for me. Which unfortunately also describes my home studio. Nearly all of my stuff probably belongs in a junk drawer. At least compared to you guys.
As far as useful stuff, did anyone mention one of those crank thingies for guitar strings? I have one with a snazzy string cutter that actually cuts strings! Speaking of weird stuff, I just found an unbalanced 1/4 inch patch bay that I don't remember ever acquiring. Somewhere I think I have a small box of oddball transformers that could be interesting to reexamine. I also found several more rolls of the special tape made to secure motion picture film. The stuff sticks over and over but never leaves a residue. Thirty plus years old and it still works! Perfect for marking mixers. I can save it with the tape/HD/CD and put it back on the board for remixes. God... now you got me started. I might as well clean it now... Thanks alot ...Old uncle dino
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Post by Zacharia Matilda » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:25 pm

Two-sided velcro strips for securing cables, candles, harmonicas, drum keys, a 6" speaker, a recorder (the wind instrument), rolling papers, china markers, mic clips, archival tape (no residue!), tubes, guitar picks, soldering iron, flux, solder, an old gooseneck microphone, pens, a notebook, various percussion toys, headphones, adapters of all kinds, loose change, screwdrivers, strings, stompboxes...and especially rabbits!

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Post by alcoyot » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:50 pm

I don't really consider spare parts to be "junk". Anything that might come in handy is good to keep around.

If its a cheap, crappy radioshack style mic, yeah I'd never keep that around. I have a few things in my closet, under my bed and in random corners.

1. A broken 80s stereo tape recorder/player. I really like those great quality japanese cassette tape recorders, I'm still harboring hope I can fix it some day.
2. A broken tascam porta 1. Even If I get this fixed I don't know how much use it will be, its so noisy.
3. A 70s solid state guitar combo amp. This thing is pretty quiet, works about 1/2 the time, I'm never sure whether its really working at 100%. It has a broken tremolo which sounds really f'd up. I plan to either try to fix it or scrap it for parts, maybe it has a really cool transformer or something.
4. A broken EV 646. This looks really cool, I have to open it up, and see if I can find what the issue is.
5. A gemini mic preamp. This is pure garbage, but I'm going to use the metal enclosure for something.
6. probably a few other thing I'm forgetting.

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