Over the past year or two, I have had many pieces of both professional audio gear and consumer electronics that employ exceedingly bright LED lights. In the studio, these lights can be especially distracting when the room lights are turned down low for artistic ambience. I came across this product called LightDims, which is basically a sheet of 100 stickers in various sizes and shapes, specifically designed to be placed over LED lights. LightDims come in three strengths/colors. For most devices, I find Original Strength dark-grey stickers to be very effective at cutting down more than 50% of the brightness while still showing enough light to maintain the LED's intended usefulness. Silver Edition stickers work well on aluminum products, like a MacBook laptop. Blackout Edition work great for the power indicator and lit logo on my flat-panel TV. LightDims don't use glue or adhesives, so they are easily removed and are reusable, just like window and wall "clings," but they have remained on the audio gear for at least a few months already without falling off. A customizable cut-it-yourself sheet is also available. ($5.49-$5.99 per sheet; www.lightdims.com)
2x24M microphone cables, Matrix Reference XLR audio cables, Silver Coax S/PDIF cables MC2 digital cables
by Brian Lucey
Cables are huge in overall tone color for both digital and analog recording. When I was in the midst of putting together this studio three years ago, I had a conversation with a respected gear head...