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Gear Geeking w/ Andy
In the previous issue, I described how my "nerd vest" and "nerd bandolier" have been essential trappings while my broken bones are healing. I'm unable to hold things in my hands while crutching around my studio, and "wearing" the items that I use regularly - mobile phone, water bottle, etc. - means less gimping around. For the same reasons, I recently returned to a pre-"9/11" habit of carrying a multitool. As you might guess, I have a collection of multitools for my various geeking pursuits, but the one that I prefer in the studio is my Leatherman Juice S2 ($40 street; www.leatherman.com). It's compact, incorporating just the basics - three flat drivers, including one small enough to open Switchcraft XLR connectors or use as a tweaker; Phillips driver; needlenose pliers; wire cutter; knife; scissors; bottle opener - while eschewing tools that would be superfluous in the studio - saw, file, corkscrew, glass breaker, etc. ••• The Leatherman made me think that perhaps a tool belt would be a better studio-geek accessory than my nerd bandolier. But standard tool belts are better suited for multiple hand tools rather than daily essentials. I then recalled that decades ago, an old skateboarding buddy had developed a tool belt for bicycle messengers that could hold a water bottle, 2-way radio, basic tools, spare inner tube, and U- lock. Googling failed to produce any evidence that my friend's belts still existed, but the first hit to my query linked me to the Fabric Horse Superhero ($146 direct; www.fabrichorse.com), a vegan, handmade in USA, urban utility belt for cyclists. Hipster cyclists. I promptly ordered one - in gray, "coyote," and teal. With four pockets, the Superhero has the most carrying capacity of the various belts from Fabric Horse. A fanny- pack-sized zippered pouch is big enough for folded headphones, but that's where I keep my Leatherman and whatever else I feel like carrying; a Velcro-flapped pocket easily fits my Nexus 4 and Moto X smartphones together; a snap-equipped pocket holds my Camelbak Better Bottle (or a bottle of Sriracha) when unsnapped; and a tiny Velcro-flapped pocket can carry a thumb drive or two. A heavy-duty D-ring allows me to clip on keys and whatnot; and an elastic loop is perfect for a pen or tweaker. Donning the Superhero is easy; it wraps around my waist just above my hips, and its two ends overlap and Velcro together - no need to feed it through the belt loops of my pants. Once on, it's very stable. Ingeniously, the Superhero incorporates its own (hidden) belt loops, so if I do want to sport a belt for extra fashion or stability, I can feed it through the Superhero first and then put the whole kit around my waist. My only complaint is that my water bottle can slip out from its pocket when I bend down; I wish Fabric Horse had incorporated a recycled inner tube on the inside lip of the pocket to better grip a bottle. The Superhero is great in the studio, but I'm also looking forward to wearing it bicycling when I'm back on two feet. - AH
Gear Reviews by John Baccigaluppi
- Control Surfaces
- Direct Boxes
- DSP Accelerators
- Mic Preamps
- Mobile Apps
- Signal Processors
- Virtual Instruments