In this “Best of” series, we’ve talked about many of the essential parts of a home studio. One of the parts people often overlook, however, are the accessories that hold it all together. Microphones need cables, stands, and pop filters, monitors need stands and isolation pads, and equipment needs a desk, among other things. Today we’re checking out the cables, stands, and more that have the best reviews or are fan favorites among our Home Studio Enthusiasts Facebook group.
What Accessories Do You Need for Your Home Studio?
Let’s take a quick look at what kinds of accessories you’ll need to put your home studio together and start recording:
Studio Microphone Accessories
For every mic you plan on recording simultaneously, you’ll need a stand. If you’re recording anything other than just vocals, you’ll want boom stands so you can easily position the mics at any angle. Boom stands of different heights can also be useful, like short stands for guitar amps, or tall stands for drum overheads.
Every mic recorded at the same time will also need its own cable. If you have a mic preamp, you’ll also need another cable to run between the mic preamp and your interface. I recommend buying decent cables, as excessively cheap cables can introduce unwanted noise and tend to break easily.
Another must if you’re recording vocals is a pop filter. It’s far easier to prevent plosives (“p” sounds) and excessive sibilants (“s” sounds) from reaching the mic in the first place than they are to remove from your tracks once they’re recorded. Some mics come with a pop filter, but beware that some budget mics come with flimsy or poorly designed pop filters that don’t really do anything but provide a false sense of security.
Studio Monitor Accessories
Your studio monitors should be positioned at ear level at equilateral angles, which a desk isn’t always conducive to. If you don’t have shelves to place them on, you’ll need stands or risers. To avoid bass frequencies transferring from your monitors into your desk and throwing off your mixes, an inexpensive pair of isolation pads is a must. Also, since most monitors don’t come with cables, you’ll likely need a pair for those.
Last but not least, you’ll need a table, desk or another surface to set everything on. Any flat surface with enough room should work, but there are special studio desks out there that will hold all of your equipment within arm’s reach, raise your monitors to ear level, have built-in rack spaces and computer shelves, and help with cable management. Though not essential, studio desks make working in your home studio more convenient and functional, so if you have the budget they’re worth a look.
Stands and Isolation Pads
First up, we’ll check out the recommendations for mic stands, as well as accessories for mounting studio monitors:
(Please note that since studio gear goes in and out of stock frequently due to high demand and low supply, prices can and will vary. If the item you want is out of stock, you may want to seek out another vendor, pick a different item, or wait until the one you want is restocked.)
On-Stage Tripod Mic Boom Stand
I bought an On-Stage tripod boom stand when I was just a college kid doing small gigs for beer money and I still have it today. It’s stood up to 20+ years of abuse and will probably be around for many more. My go-to stand for everything that needs a boom. The boom is also removable for using it as ajust a tripod stand.
On-Stage Round Base Mic Stand
For non-boom applications, my round-base stand is my other standby. The small footprint is great for cramped rooms where space is a premium, and the weighted base keeps your expensive vocal mic from eating floor.
Gator Frameworks Weighted Base Boom Mic Stand
I originally bought this stand as an accessory for podcasting, but quickly learned the value of a short boom stand for miking guitar amps and kick drums. Make sure to get the version with weighted base and counterweight, or you’ll be searching the house in the middle of a session for something to keep your mic from tipping over. A bit pricy for a stand, but worth every penny.
On-Stage SMS6000 Near-Field Monitor Stand Pair
If you have plenty of room on your desk for your monitors and can keep the tweeters at ear-level, then you won’t need separate stands. If either of those two conditions is not met, give these monitor stands serious consideration. Steel construction and adjustable from three to four and a half feet.
JBER Acoustic Isolation Pads
Whether you’re setting them on your desk or on stands, your monitors will cause some unwanted vibration on their mounting surface unless you do something to decouple them. These pads accomplish that goal for 5-inch or smaller studio monitors, and they’re a bargain at this price point. I particularly like that they have reversible tops and bottoms for angling your monitors up or downward, making them useful for a variety of monitor placements.
Sound Addicted Studio Monitor Isolation Pads
The same concept as the previous pair of isolation pads, just in a larger size to accommodate 6.5- to 8-inch monitors. They have a similar construction and angle feature to the JBER pair.
It’s just two plugs and some copper, right? Not quite. There are some pretty great cables out there, and also some terrible ones. Here are some cables at different price points that I can recommend based on my own experience or that of trusted friends:
Cable Matters 2-Pack XLR Cables
I have used some of the most expensive cables and the cheapest as well, and these are surprisingly well-constructed and affordable for the pair. I always order two when I need one because you never know what the next session will bring. A good choice for monitor cables or other applications where the connector doesn’t get moved around a lot. They also make TRS and instrument cables that are similarly affordable.
Pig Hog XLR Cable
One word: rugged. I got a set of three Pig Hog cables for free with a hardware purchase a few years back and have been incredibly impressed with them. If you’re the kind of person that is on the go a lot or is a clumsy oaf like me that is constantly running over the cables in your studio with your chair, these are worth a little extra coin.
Mogami Gold Cable
Mogami XLR and instrument cables are supposed to be the best. According to their website they are 95% quieter than other cables, which makes them a great choice for recording condenser mics. They are a bit of sticker shock, but more than one person I know swears by them and won’t use anything else.
A pop filter is an incredibly important accessory, but they are surprisingly affordable. Here are a couple options:
Aokeo Microphone Pop Filter
This affordable pop filter solution was my first pop filter that didn’t come with the mic, and still my go-to for most vocal applications. It clips on the mic stand and has a flexible gooseneck to place the filter at the best angle in front of the mic. I like that I can set it up 6 inches away from the mic capsule to keep myself from getting too close to my condenser mic in the heat of the moment. If your mic doesn’t come with a good filter, this is a great option at a super-cheap price.
PEMOtech Curved Pop Filter
Another good option with lots of great reviews is this model from PEMOTech. The curved front and elastic bands on the back mount directly onto the microphone for catching plosives and sibilants. Three layers – cloth, foam, and metal – keep your tracks free of excessive breath sounds or “p” pops. Great for singers who tend to side-address a mic, or if you don’t like the hassle of adjusting a gooseneck.
On-Stage WS7500 Studio Workstation
With multiple levels for a MIDI keyboard and monitor, plus a pull-out tray for a computer keyboard and mouse, this is an affordable and compact entry-level studio desk. If you’re outfitting a new studio, this may be a better investment than buying a separate desk and monitor stands.
Studio RTA Producer Station
In no way a necessity, but packed with features that quickly turn a bedroom into a studio. There is space on this desk for a computer keyboard, MIDI keyboard and drum pad, interface, control surface, computer monitors and studio monitors, your recording computer, and tons of rackmount space for outboard effects. Plus the whole thing is on casters for easy movement in limited space.
Best Home Studio Accessories 2021 – The Bottom Line
There you have it, my recommendations for some accessories to help complete your home studio. If you have any questions about what you need for your specific setup, feel free to join us in our Home Studio Enthusiasts Facebook group, and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction.