As much as we all love the big studio toys like microphones, preamps and consoles, it's just as important to be stocked up on the studio essentials we need to ensure each session runs as smooth as possible. In this blog, I’m going to highlight some of the key items and how they can greatly improve the quality of your studio. Speaker Stands Having your speakers in the proper listening position is key to getting the most neutral response from your room and the best translation of the mix between different listening environments. Since every speaker, desk, console, room and stand are a different shape and size, Vintage King offers a variety of speaker stands so you can find the pair to best match your gear. Many of the more heavy duty speaker stands are non-adjustable, but often times come in a variety of different heights. They are often non-adjustable because they’re meant to be filled with sand to increase the overall mass, which increases sturdiness and prevents any unwanted ringing or vibrations from the stands. Some of our best selling heavy duty speaker stands are from Argosy, Pro Workstations, Sound Anchors, Ultimate Support and PMC. Each manufacturer typically offers every stand in 36” and 42”, which is most commonly the ideal listening position on a majority of consoles and workstations. We also offer a wide selection of adjustable speaker stands. Stands such as the K&M 26720 and K&M 26740 aren’t as heavy duty as the ones mentioned before, but are adjustable to any height and have a wide base and bed for the monitor to ensure they will be safe. Mic Stands If you have a lot of nice microphones, you’ll want to make sure you have a lot of nice microphone stands. Vintage King carries stands of all shapes and sizes, from the small desktop stand all the way up to the heavy-duty Atlas and Latch Lake. For smaller stands, look into some of the deals from K&M and Atlas. The Atlas stands are very short with some as low as 5”. These are nice if you want to set up a talkback microphone on your desk, or setting up multiple microphones for a podcast or script reading. Most of them can be adjustable up to 26”, making them very convenient when miking up a kick drum, smaller guitar amp or snare bottom. To make shorter stands more versatile, look into adding either an Atlas BE-E or AKG KM211 extendable boom arm, or an AKG KM259 that has a tripod base and telescoping boom arm right out of the box. A telescoping boom arm can help fine tune the positioning of a microphone on any source, and help save space in the studio. On drums, they make it easy to position a microphone inside of a kick drum pointing directly at the beater, or being able to position the snare bottom microphone directly underneath the snare top mic. They’re also nice to use on a guitar cabinet to fine tune where you position the mic on the speaker. For the heavier or pricier mics in your locker, be sure to use a heavy duty standard size stand. For something up close and personal, look into some stands by Atlas, Beyerdynamic, Gefell or K&M, which offer sturdy bases with either straight or boom arms. These stands are the bread and butter in a large recording session, used on nearly every instrument such as the snare top or tom microphones on a drum set, larger guitar or bass cabinets, vocals, percussion, horns, strings, live piano, acoustic guitar, upright bass, etc. For the mics that need to be placed really high up in the room, or stretched over an instrument such as a drum set, string section or choir, you’ll want to look into the heavy duty oversized mic stands. Brands such as Atlas and Latch Lake offer stands that can hold any microphone in any position for as long as you need. Each have a heavy-duty base to ensure the mic will not fall over even if the stand is fully extended. The stands can be adjusted vertically and horizontally, the boom arm that extends horizontally is much longer than an average stand and has a large counterweight on the opposite side of the microphone. The Latch Lake 2200 and 3300 are a favorite of many tracking engineers. These stands have multiple adjustments throughout the stand to ensure the most accurate and thorough mic placement possible. These are some of the best stands on the planet for positioning overhead microphones on a drum kit, no matter what microphone technique you decide to use that day, the Latch Lake can accommodate for any setup. Cables You don’t want to have a bunch of high-end gear and connect it together with low quality cable. Whether you’re a guitar player, synth enthusiast, singer or studio engineer, Vintage King has the cabling you need to take your rig to the next level. All of our Vintage King brand cables are handmade at a facility near our headquarters, just outside of Detroit, Michigan. They’re quality inspected before leaving the warehouse and have now found their way into some of the top recording facilities and players rigs on the planet.  One of the things that always seem to go bad at the wrong time are headphone extension cables, and they are an item that studios should always have a backup supply of. The most important thing in a session is for the artist to be comfortable, and if they headphone setup is off in any detail, it can throw off their whole vibe. Look into extensions from AKG to add some quality cabling to your studio for a reasonable price. Take advantage of these deals to stock up on custom snakes to upgrade the quality of your live room input panels or patch bay connections. Many of the brands offer a variety of connection types on each end to ensure all your gear can be hooked up no matter the configuration. For those of you using DB25 connections, we have just about every connection under the sun, so load up those interfaces and patch bays. If you plan on upgrading your eurorack modular synthesizer this holiday season, be sure to snag some additional patch cables. When you think modular, you think Moog, stock up on their 6” and 12” patch cables to take your sounds to the next level. Patch Bays A patch bay becomes the central hub for all your gear in a larger studio setup. Without one, you would spend hours connecting everything together for a session, your studio would be an absolute mess, and you would probably always have a headache. Add some convenience to your setup by integrating your first patch bay, or adding an additional bay for more flexibility. No matter how big or small you want to go, Vintage King has the bay you’re looking for. For more information on patch bays and how implementing them into your studio will greatly increase your workflow, be sure to check out our in-depth blog on the subject here. If you're interested in talking with one of our Audio Consultants about studio accessories, please reach out to us via email or by phone at 888.472.9023.